Baraza Resort & Spa

CEDARBERG RATING

Top of Class

PRICING FROM

$ 310 (Pps)

Overview

Baraza Resort & Spa is a grand ultra-romantic resort on the south-eastern coast of Zanzibar. It offers the best of both worlds - the charm, style and romance of the East (when Istanbul was still called Constantinople) complemented by modern comfort and design. And it is decadent! It has private plunge pools, lush yet spacious gardens blazing with bougainvilleas, and intricate Swahili style.

The pictures below give the impression of gold everywhere but this is deceptive. The overwhelming impression is of spaciousness, white walls and shade curtains swaying in the breeze, expanses of green lawn and a magnificent turquoise swimming pool. If you have deep pockets and want to treat yourself, Baraza is the perfect place!

One of great aspects of this part of the eastern coast of Zanzibar - shared by Baraza, The Palms and Breezes -  is that even when the tide is out, the protected lagoon inside the coral reef keeps some of its water so that you always have a sea view, even if the sea is very shallow at low tide. Given this high tidal range, at low tide you can walk for miles in specially provided sandals, up to the edge of the coral reef. At high tide, you can dive straight into silky waters outside your front door.

Accommodation

There are 14 one bedroom villas, 15 two bedroom villas, and a two bedroom Presidential Villa. All the villas are decorated in the same style with classic Swahili architecture with dramatic arches and intricate hand carved decoration. Hand-carved furniture, brass lanterns and palatial bathrooms are the order of the day at all the villas.

The 14 one bedroom villas (148sqm) at Baraza Resort have either Ocean Front or Ocean View locations. Personally we think it's worth paying a little extra for the Ocean Front villas to get that full-on sea view. Each has a bedroom with en suite bathroom, walk in dressing room, living room, TV, CD Player, day bed, minibar, tea/coffee facilities, small garden area, terrace with sun loungers and a private plunge pool.

The two bedroom villas (193sqm) at Baraza Resort are ideal for families. They are decorated in exactly the same style but with a master bedroom and a second bedroom with en suite shower room. (The Sultans Villas are slightly closer to the sea but none have a full-on sea view so we are not sure that its worth paying the extra.)

The Presidential Villa is an impressive 254sqm with two master bedrooms. It boasts a spectacular sea front view, swimming pool and you can walk straight out onto a private area of beach which is reserved for you.

Facilities

The Baraza Spa is lovely - a serene oasis featuring its own lap pool, indoor and outdoor relaxation rooms, the Sultans Bath House (for Baraza's signature treatment for two) as well as a yoga room and fitness centre. The relaxation room may make you feel like you are an extra in Aladdin's nights!

The Water Club is located on the beach front, and offers wind surfing, kite surfing and sailing. They also offer a great snorkeling trip to the reef only 10 minutes drive away. Alternatively you can take some complimentary snorkeling gear and swim out to the reef which edges their beach.

Other facilities at Baraza Resort include a library, a selection of restaurants and bars, its own upmarket 'bazaar' shop as well as the very well equipped Baraza Kids Club with its own splash pool ideal for younger children.

Diving at Baraza Resort & Spa

The Dive Centre at Baraza Resort is the only PADI 5* Gold Palm and National Geographic Dive Centre in Zanzibar. There's a 65km reef just a mile offshore so diving is an excellent option at Baraza Resort.

Baraza Resort & Spa on the map

Rooms

Sultan Two Bedroom Villa

The sultan villa measures 193 sq meters and features a master bedroom with en suite bathroom and freestanding bathtub, walk in dressing room, living room, TV, DVD Player, Sultan’s Lounge Bed, mini bar area with tea/coffee making facilities, large terrace, two sun loungers and plunge pool. This in addition to a large terrace with two sun loungers.

One Bedroom Villa

The one bedroom villa measures 148 sq meters and features a master bedroom with en suite bathroom and freestanding bathtub, walk in dressing room, living room, TV, DVD Player, Sultan’s Lounge Bed, mini bar area with tea/coffee making facilities, large terrace, two sun loungers and plunge pool. This in addition to a large terrace with two sun loungers.

Garden View Two Bedroom Villa

The garden view villa measures 193 sq meters and features a master bedroom with en suite bathroom and freestanding bathtub, walk in dressing room, living room, TV, DVD Player, Sultan’s Lounge Bed, mini bar area with tea/coffee making facilities, large terrace, two sun loungers and plunge pool. This in addition to a large terrace with two sun loungers.

Ocean Front One Bedroom Villa

The ocean front villa measures 148 sq meters and features a master bedroom with en suite bathroom and freestanding bathtub, walk in dressing room, living room, TV, DVD Player, Sultan’s Lounge Bed, mini bar area with tea/coffee making facilities, large terrace, two sun loungers and plunge pool. This in addition to a large terrace with two sun loungers.

 

Baraza Resort Review

I thought that Baraza Resort & Spa might be too 'over the top". It actually isn’t, though there is certainly some glitz and glamour. Indeed there’s an argument to say that its rejuvenating to stay at places which are completely different from home. If you have a bit of cash to splurge, this hotel would be hard to beat - see plus points below. The beach is stunning and the water never leaves the lagoon so it is always attractive, even at low tide.

The style is very Arabic set in lush tropical gardens. Yet the gardens are open and spacious which is a rarity in Zanzibar. The decor in the public areas is white and moroccan in style, with gold as the contrasting colour. The pictures give the impression of gold everywhere but this is deceptive. The overwhelming impression is of spaciousness, white walls and shade curtains swaying in the breeze, expanses of green lawn and a magnificent turquoise swimming pool. It looks truly amazing at night all lit up - very magical and straight out of Arabian nights...

Yes the gold trim was not completely to my taste but overall it worked. (Though I found the formal restaurant a little overpowering.)

Baraza is very romantic. But it is also child-friendly. It manages this by trying to keep the two groups apart! Each one bedroom suite has its own designated beach lounger on one side of the beach. (No marching out at 7am to claim the best lounger here!). The family chalets have some shaded sun loungers on the other side of the beach, which is a neat way of subtly dividing couples from families.

There are two room configurations - one bedroom villa and two bedroom villa. The one bedroom villas are extremely spacious all with private terrace, garden and plunge pool. There’s a bedroom, sitting room complete with day bed, dressing room and palatial bathroom. Personally we think it's worth paying a little extra for the Ocean Front villas to get that full-on sea view.

The two bedroom villas are designed for families (not two couples) as there is a master bedroom and a second twin bedded room with smaller shower room is for the kids.

The Presidential Villa was a little too under-stated for me and felt rather dark and heavy to me. But there’s no denying the setting.

All in all, if you have deep pockets and want to treat yourself, Baraza is the perfect place!

Positives

  • Amazing setting
  • Superb pool and gardens
  • Very friendly and service orientated staff
  • Good range of activities on offer
  • Excellent food - best we had!

Negatives

Very little! Coffee/tea offering in room does not match up to the rest of the hotel eg. instant coffee and only one type of tea! But apparently that is changing…

Kate’s Room Tip
If you are a couple, I DO think its worth paying extra for the Ocean Front villas.Personally I don’t think its really worth paying extra for the Sultan's Villas (family). All you are gaining is a slightly shorter walk - there is no improvement in view.

Cedarberg : Kate Bergh

Includes

All inclusive with non-premium drinks

Family Suitability

Family-friendly all ages

Malaria Rating

Low risk and/or seasonal malaria

Good For

Beach, Leisure, Relaxation, Watersports, Wine

Features