I am trying to figure out the best way to start this article, but all I can think about is how much I want to return to Zanzibar. I wasn’t expecting to miss it that much, especially when initially I wasn’t sure whether or not I wanted to combine my active trip to Tanzania with a few days on the beach in Zanzibar. I am happy I went though, as it gave me a little taste of what this beautiful island has to offer. I won’t lie, it took me a while to find the best accommodation option on the island for me. I stumbled upon New Teddy’s on the Beach several times on Booking.com but I didn’t book it straight away because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend my time in Zanzibar in the North or in the East – where the best beaches are. To be honest, my decision was based on the prices: the North was much more expensive than the East and, arriving just a couple of days after New Year’s Eve meant that there wasn’t much availability either.
In the end I settled on Jambiani, a quiet village just a few kilometres away from the more popular Paje. I booked New Teddy’s on the Beach on booking.com and paid around 75$ for 3 nights, in a shared dorm. You can check the current rates by clicking here. You can also check their awesome reviews on TripAdvisor, by clicking here.
Location and How to Reach
New Teddy’s on the Beach, as the name suggests, is located on the beach in Jambiani, south of the village, close to a small shop and a few local restaurants that serve traditional Tanzanian food as well as plenty of seafood dishes.
The best way to reach the hotel from the airport in Zanzibar is by taxi or private transfer. I booked my transfer though Zanzibus, a cheaper alternative to the private taxis on the island. Zanzibus also runs a bus from the airport and Stone Town to the hotels around the island, but it only runs during the high season. Their private transfers run all-year round though, and they are significantly cheaper than the taxis. I paid 35$ to travel from the airport to New Teddy’s on the Beach, a journey which other taxis would have charged 50$ for.
I booked online and the driver was waiting for me at the airport. He was very friendly and asked me if I needed to go to the ATM before our journey to Jambiani. I declined because I had already taken out enough money in Moshi before I boarded my flight. There are very few ATMs in Zanzibar, so make sure you plan accordingly, so you don’t run the risk of running out of money midway through your holiday.
New Teddy’s on the Beach is an idyllic backpacker resort, offering both shared and private accommodation. It is a very chilled place, perfect if you want to relax during your holiday. There are no late night parties here, but there is entertainment. During my stay they organised a live afternoon concert with a local band. This is a good thing for people like me who are not keen on loud parties and club music late at night.
I felt that New Teddy’s on the Beach was like a big family for solo travellers such as myself. I met so many great people there, who I am still in touch with. A few months after the trip, Deyan even wrote about his experience on a day spent in Kizimkazi for my blog. Sophia from Germany and Victoria from Australia were my partners in crime for sunbathing and snorkelling. Topias from Finland always shared stories about his adopted country, Namibia, over dinner. The staff were also extremely friendly, always smiling when interacting with the guests.
“Life is now” – is written on a board, above the stairs leading to the beach. That inspired me!
The rooms are located at the back of the resort, therefore any noise from the bar won’t be heard. Each room has a Swahili name instead of a number, which I thought was pretty cool.
The resort also features a beach volleyball court, plenty of board games and a bookcase full of books left by other travellers. So, even if you don’t take a book with you on your trip, you will find something there to read. The resort has WiFi but it only reaches the bar and the restaurant area. I didn’t mind as I was on holiday, and I didn’t need to constantly stare at my phone when I had such a gorgeous view of the sea right in front of me. In fact, I left my phone in the locker during the day – I didn’t really need it.
Facilities at New Teddy’s on the Beach
New Teddy’s on the Beach has a lovely large pool with plenty of sun loungers, beds, hammocks, and swings scattered around the property. My favourite ones were at the sea front end of the property, from where I could also enjoy the gorgeous view.
The bar often runs special promotions such as Happy Hour or themed nights. I would have loved to try their Swahili tapas night, which sadly for me happened in the evening of the same day I left. I did however take advantage of the cocktail happy hours.
To encourage reducing plastic, New Teddy’s on the Beach has a water dispenser where guests can use as many times as they want for a daily fee, which is about the same as a plastic bottle you would buy in the shop. They also happily accept any trash which you might find during your walks on the beach and want to hand in.
I arrived at the New Teddy’s on the Beach quite early, after a red eye flight from Moshi to Zanzibar, which I had to wake up at 3AM for. The room wasn’t ready when I arrived, but I was allowed to leave my backpack at the bar (which is also the reception), change into my swimsuit and have a nap on one of the sun loungers, under a palm tree.
I booked a bed in the dorm, which was a large wooden structure directly on the sand. Yes, the floor was sand. Before I arrived I was wondering how that would work, but the sand is so soft that it doesn’t stick to your feet, so there is no need to worry about carrying it into bed with you.
The bed was bigger than your average bunk bed. Each bed was covered by a mosquito net and had its own individual light and plug. Each guest was also assigned a locker, which I locked with my own padlock. If you don’t have a padlock, you can rent one from Reception.
There were a few fans cooling down the dorm, but no air conditioning. I didn’t feel that it was needed to be honest. I slept like a baby every night and woke up in time for sunrise each morning. And oh, what a glorious sunrise each morning brought!
The shared bathrooms were in the back of the resort. The showers were very spacious and had hot water. Not that it was needed, as at the end of the day all I wanted was to cool down my sun kissed skin with cold water. The bathrooms were cleaned several times a day, and I never had to wait when I wanted to take a shower.
The showers are inside, whilst the sinks are outside, so when you brush your teeth you can enjoy the breeze and the sound of the birds chirruping.
Breakfast at New Teddy’s on the Beach
Breakfast at New Teddy’s on the Beach was included in the nightly rate. Each morning there were two options: sweet or savoury. The sweet breakfast consists of two chocolate pancakes, fruit, fresh juice and coffee. The savoury breakfast is an omelette, chapati bread, fruit, fresh juice and coffee. You can also order specialised coffee from the menu, for an extra fee.
The Restaurant at New Teddy’s on the Beach
I’ve eaten a couple of times at the restaurant in New Teddy’s on the Beach. Each time the food was delicious. I have to mention the seafood pasta, which was incredible. I don’t usually order pasta for dinner, but because other guests had raved about it, I did. And I didn’t regret it. There was so much seafood on the plate, probably three times more than I was expecting. The pasta was cooked in a creamy sauce and topped with plenty of cheese. The entire dish tasted so good!
I also had the tuna burger, which was good but it didn’t top the pasta. The tuna patty was soft and flaky, topped with fresh veggies and a delicate tartar sauce.
I definitely recommend eating at New Teddy’s on the Beach, which is why I also included it in my article about the restaurants where I loved to eat in Jambiani.
I didn’t feel at all unsafe at New Teddy’s on the Beach. They have a security team which patrol around the resort, making sure the guests are safe. There are plenty of men walking around the beach, asking you to buy souvenirs or trying to sell you tours, which can be quite annoying. However, they do not come into the resort.
The dorms have keys, and the last person in is responsible for locking the door. The key is held at reception.
Other Services Offered
The resort works with a local tour provider and offers excursions around the island, such as snorkelling, Prison Island or Stone Town. The prices are fair and depend on the number of people who book the same tour. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to make friends at the resort, so you can explore the island together.
I went on a snorkelling trip on a traditional dhow boat with two other guests, and if I remember correctly, I paid around 15$.
They also can help you book a bike or a moped for the day. I wouldn’t recommend mopeds though as the roads around the island are not the best. If you want to go to a different village, it’s better to take the bus or book a taxi.
One important thing that I must mention is that you can pay by card at New Teddy’s on the Beach. During your stay they start a tab for everything you eat and drink, which you settle at the end of your stay. This helps a lot with managing your cash, as the nearest ATM is in Paje and it’s not guaranteed that there will be any money in it. Most of the places in Zanzibar don’t take cards.
Like it? Pin it!
Disclaimer: Some of the links on this website are “affiliate links.” This means that if you click on the link and do a purchase, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. This helps me keep my website running and continue to share my travelling knowledge with you. I thank you for booking your flights or hotels using the links on my website. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.