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Next Paradise Boutique Resort 3.5

Pwani Mchangani, Zanzibar Island, Zanzibar Archipelago

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Review Summary

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  • Ideal beachfront location and beautifully manicured gardens
  • Spacious rooms with hand-carved furniture plus modern amenities
  • Generous furnished terraces in all rooms, some with sea views
  • Next Paradise Restaurant and bar overlooking ocean and pool 
  • Decadent breakfast buffet is free and candlelight dinners available
  • Two outdoor pools and a poolside bar plus coffee shop and deli
  • Tennis court and table tennis plus free bicycles
  • Library plus free coffee and tea in the lobby
  • Shuttles around the area plus to airport and ferries (for a fee)
  • Free Wi-Fi (but signal can be iffy) 


  • Location means tides here making swimming less than ideal
  • Area can feel isolated (a pro for some) 

Bottom Line

The secluded three-and-a-half-pearl Next Paradise Boutique Resort offers only 16 simple rooms plus a restaurant and breathtaking beach. However, it manages to feel far more refined. The hotel's low-key profile combined with thoughtful details like beachside candlelight dinners, free decadent breakfast, and free bicycles makes this boutique property special -- and explains why honeymooners flock here. Rooms are outfitted with handsome carved wood furniture plus flat-screen TVs and air-conditioning, and everything from tennis to diving classes to pools are on-site. Unfortunately, super-low tides make it impossible to swim in the sea for much of the day. Those hoping to splash in the ocean more regularly should check out the hotels in Zanzibar's north, like the similarly priced DoubleTree Resort by Hilton.

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Romantic beachfront boutique resort with a tranquil and secluded atmosphere

Sun, sand, and tranquility are key ingredients for a romantic beach getaway, and if the vibe at Next Paradise Boutique Resort is to be believed, a resort might not need much more to provide an excellent stay. This is a small and simple place, though careful attention has been paid to decor and features, helping make this one of the nicest choices in the area. After passing through wrought-iron gates, guests walk along sand that's lined by huge palm trees. This leads to a charming open-air rotunda that serves as the hotel's lobby, with a massive thatched roof that’s typical of the East African village where it resides. Traditional culture is seamlessly integrated into the hotel's style: a series of African masks are on display on the front desk, while taller sculptures stand in the hallways. Handsome pieces of carved furniture with dramatic zebra-prints fabrics also make a fine statement. This is a low-key retreat that may be a little too secluded for some, and those looking to swim in the ocean may want to look elsewhere, as tides here mean swimming is often not an option. Given its romantic setting, the hotel almost exclusively attracts couples, many of whom are German and Italian.


In small rural village of Pwani Mchangani on Zanzibar's northeastern coast 

The resort is on Zanzibar's northeastern coast in Pwani Mchangani, a coastal village with just over 2,000 residents. The property sits right on the beach and within a kilometer of a lovely coral reef, which is accessible at specific times of the day depending on the tides. Nungwi and Kendwua Beaches in the north are least affected by the island’s tide schedule -- they are about a 40 minute drive from the hotel. Otherwise Mapenzi Beach is just a five-minute drive away, and Kiwengwa Beach is within walking distance (about 20 minutes on foot), though both are equally prone to low water levels. The nearby Mnemba Island is accessible via a port about thirty minutes from the hotel. 

As a tiny rural village, Pwani Mchangani remains a very quiet place at night, except for the occasional weekend party and some scattered beach bars. Restaurants are also sparse, though there are hotels nearby with their own restaurants (like Waikki Hotel -- popular with pizza-lovers). Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the island's hub for culture and nightlife, and is just about an hour’s drive away. This is where you’ll find The House of Wonders (the most well-known museum on the island), along with various eateries and local shops. The Zanzibar International Airport is just over an hour away. 


Spacious, authentically styled rooms with modern accents, air-conditioning, and balconies

The 16 rooms here are well-maintained and spacious, with the added benefit of large furnished balconies for relaxing outside -- some have full or partial ocean views. Fresh flower petals are scattered on the large canopied beds, and hints of red complement the otherwise neutral tones. Local touches add an authentic character to the rooms, and include intricately carved dark hardwood furniture and wall hangings. Art and decorative extras are otherwise kept to a minimum, which contributes to the rooms' breezy character. Suites have details like wood-beam ceilings that add an even more charming quality. These also have separate bedrooms and living rooms. Count on modern amenities in all rooms, like flat-screen TVs with satellite stations, as well as minibars, free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, electric kettles, and safes. Bathrooms here are bright and clean, with reasonable counter space and showers. Suites add whirlpool tubs and high-tech showers. 


Wide beach, two pools, and free breakfast buffet plus candlelight dinners and free bicycles

Despite its small stature, there are a number of features on offer here that make this a fine place to unwind. The beach here is stunning: white sand stretches along a wide expanse of shoreline all along the eastern coast of the island. The hotel provides beach towels, as well as a few canopied daybeds and tiki huts for much-needed shade. While the constant security presence safeguards against pesky hawkers roaming the strand, the frequent low tides mean that the water is too shallow for swimming at regular intervals (it can go out as far as 200 meters offshore). It’s too bad for avid swimmers, but those who like to collect seashells and other treasures have ample time and space to do so. Otherwise the two on-site pools will have to do -- and luckily they’re not too shabby: comfy sunbeds encircle the clean blue water, with shallow sections curving along one end. 

The hotel’s Next Paradise restaurant overlooks the pool and ocean, and menus feature a blend of local fish and meat dishes plus Mediterranean cuisine. Vegetarian meals are available on request too. Honeymooners can request a romantic dinner on the beach (at no extra cost), complete with flowers and candlelight -- all of it comes with a perfect view of the sea. The free breakfast buffet includes a decadent selection of fresh fruits and juices -- including coconut water that’s picked fresh from the nearby trees daily. Sparkling wine is also served.

There are tennis courts and table tennis, plus dive classes take place on-site. Wi-Fi is free here, though the signal is iffy, just like almost everywhere else on the island. Guests can borrow bikes for free -- a thoughtful perk -- and self-parking is also free. 

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Plot 88, Pwani Mchangani 3363, Tanzania

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