THE Zanzibar Serena Inn, located on the westernmost tip of Stone Town, is the smartest hotel in Zanzibar and a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Heritage-style rooms feature dropdead views of the Indian Ocean; there is complimentary transport for guests to private Mangapwani beach and the front desk can organise myriad excursions around the islands. Packages available, including an Under Canvas & Indian Ocean Adventure deal from Small Luxury Hotels of the World (three nights at Kirawira Camp in the Western Serengeti and two nights at Serena Inn). www.serenahotels.com; www.slh.com.
Mnemba Island Lodge, in a marine conservation area off the northeastern tip of Zanzibar, is the other top-drawer recommendation (a five-star rating is barely adequate). There are 10 secluded bandas , or palm-woven beach bungalows, with facilities that live up to the resort’s claim of ‘‘ barefoot luxury’’. www.mnemba.com. Michael Stothard