Protea Hotel Mbweni Ruins

Protea Hotel Mbweni Ruins is located on its own private beach four miles (6 km) south of Stone Town, the hotel is two miles (3 km) west of the airport in the upmarket garden suburb of Mbweni. A free shuttle service runs into Stone Town three times a day and the boat for the Chumbe Island Coral Park departs from the hotel jetty. Seasonal seaweed can affect the beach.

Protea Hotel Mbweni Ruins

Style and Character

At the top of the property is a large open-air dining room and lounge with low-slung woven chairs and a two-tiered deck which extends over thick mangrove stands. The westerly views over the ocean are gorgeous and make for idyllic sundowners, which is why the bar is popular with locals and expats. From here, paths lead down through the flowering gardens to a small swimming pool set in front of a secluded beach dotted with thatched umbrellas. Rooms are located behind the beach in a discreet two-storey modern block, hidden behind trees. It’s a tranquil, pretty place.
Service and Facilities

Staff are charming and friendly although like elsewhere in Zanzibar service is unhurried. Aside from the beach and pool, the best service here is the daily boat transfer to Chumbe Island for snorkeling around its gorgeous coral reef. The free shuttle bus to Stone Town is also very handy, and is a good option for families who want to mix culture in with relaxing by the beach or pool. The pool is open to non-resident guests at the weekend so it can get busy.


Rooms at Protea Hotel Mbweni Ruins

There are only 13 air-conditioned rooms consisting of standard doubles, family rooms and a large suite. After the communal areas they are a bit mundane, housed in a modern, two-storey block set back from the waterfront. That said, they are reasonably comfortably kitted out in ‘Zanzibari style’ with wooden beds and faux Persian rugs. All of them have a sea view balcony. Bathrooms are dated, but all the rooms are scheduled for a total refurbishment which will bring them up-to-date with modern fixtures and fittings.
Food and Drink

Breakfast is a standard buffet featuring fruit, cereal and the option of a cooked English breakfast on request. An à la carte menu is offered at lunch time and dinner is a three- to four-course menu with two options for starter and main. Fish features highly and most dishes have an Asian fusion slant. Occasionally atmospheric, candlelit dinners are held in the derelict chapel of the ruined missionary school.
Value for Money

Doubles from $180 (£139) all year round. Including breakfast. Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?

Not suitable.

Rooms can accommodate one or two extra beds, meals can be specially catered for children and babysitting can be arranged. This is a great option for families who want to combine a bit of Stone Town culture with some down time by the beach.


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