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Zanzibar Serena Hotel

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Main Entrance
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Hotel and Pool Area
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View of Hotel from the Sea
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Hotel Interior
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Hotel Interior
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Serena Reception and Lobby Area
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Lobby Area
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Beach View
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Lobby Area
Our Opinion
Located on the seafront in a quiet corner of Stone Town is the Zanzibar Serena Hotel. The hotel opened in 1997 and has been designed to reflect Zanzibar's heritage, using a mix of Indian, Arabic and colonial styles.

There are a total of 51 rooms, all comfortably sized with a good selection of amenities, with views looking out to the pool and sea beyond. The rooms are a mixture of suites, doubles and twins. Facilities include a large swimming pool and a choice of restaurants and bars.

Although the hotel is located on the beach, it is not one that is used by the guests. Instead, just a short drive is the hotel's exclusive beach hideaway, Mangapwani Beach. Here you can enjoy a secluded beach with sun loungers, bar and restaurant. Shower and changing facilities are also available.
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Summary
The Zanzibar Serena Hotel is in the Shangani part of Stone Town. The main building was originally the External Communications headquarters, built in the 20th century by British colonial administration. The next door house is much older and was originally known as the Chinese Doctor's Residence. The explorer David Livingstone stayed here before one of his journeys to the African mainland. These buildings were restored and converted into a hotel in 1997 by the Aga Khan and the design reflects Zanzibar's heritage with Indian, Arabic and colonial styles. Although some say it lacks authenticity, generally the architects and local craftsmen have done a fine job and most travellers will not even notice such things.

If you want to sample what Stone Town has to offer but dont want to rough it as far as comforts are concerned, then the Serena Hotel is ideal It is fairly close to the airport making it a good place to stop for a couple of days at the beginning of your holiday or on the way out.