Shooting Star Zanzibar: The Lowdown

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Why do we love Shooting Star Zanzibar?

We went to Shooting Star Lodge for a business meeting. We promise we did. It’s just that somehow we got distracted by the palm trees and the languorous lunch and the view, and ended up hardly doing anything at all. This lovely boutique lodge on Zanzibar’s idyllic east coast is the sort of place where you totally lose track of time, and only awake once you’re really, truly, relaxed.

What’s Shooting Star like?

Shooting Star has only 16 rooms in total, perched on a cliff high above a strip of white sandy beach. There are simple garden rooms, rooms that overlook the sea and two large private villas. Décor is simple and typical of Zanzibar’s beach lodges: white lime-washed walls, simple stone floors and gorgeous carved Zanzibari beds with mozzie nets wafting in the breeze. They’re so beautiful we seriously considered trying to take one home in our hand luggage. Don’t come here expecting air-conditioning and satellite TV- you won’t find them- instead you have sea breeze and endless waves to watch: this is simple, rustic charm at its finest.

What can I do at Shooting Star?

Not too much! What makes Shooting Star stand out from the large hotels up and down the coast is that it’s so personal and peaceful- we’d struggle to do much more than wander from bed to the beach and back. The beach (like most on Zanzibar) is pretty tidal, but Shooting Star has a lovely infinity pool to dip your toes in while the water’s out. There’s bao (an addictive local game) to play at the bar- just don’t take on any of the barmen unless you’re prepared to be thoroughly trounced, and a parade of fresh seafood to enjoy. If you really must do more, there’re dhow trips out on the ocean, kitesurfing in the nearby village, and snorkelling on the offshore reef- we’d recommend making a day of it and heading up to Mnemba Island on Zanzibar’s northern tip.

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