This is a great place for bird and nature lovers and for those who prefer a tranquil setting a few kilometres from the hustle and bustle of Stone Town. Mbweni Ruins Hotel is situated in a botanical garden, overlooking a golden stretch of beach dotted with mangroves. Butterflies dance, birds twitter and fireflies dart through the lush greenery fragrant with the scent of hibiscus, frangipani and oleander.

Paths wind through the well-maintained gardens to the swimming pool, which overlooks the beach. The informal dining deck and bar also have lovely views over the ocean. This is the ideal spot to sip a sundowner while you watch the dhows and fishing outriggers glide by.

A nature trail takes you to see more than 650 plant species and 150 varieties of palms from around the world. One of these is the endemic Pemba Palm (Dypsis pembana). You can also take a stroll to the ruins of St Mary’s School for Girls, which was built in the 1870s. The school provided education to the daughters of freed slaves and to girls who were released from the inhumane slave dhows.

Location: Mbweni Ruins Hotel is situated on the west coast of Zanzibar, 7km from Stone Town.

Accomodation: Air-conditioning, Tea- and coffee-making facilities, En-suite bathroom, Balcony and Honeymoon suite

Facilities: Large swimming pool near the beach and a courtesy bus to Stone Town leaves five times a day.