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Playground in paradise: new mega-resort in Africa promises 5-star luxury in Zanzibar

Aug. 15, 2021
3 min read
Playground in paradise: new mega-resort in Africa promises 5-star luxury in Zanzibar
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A massive new luxury property is coming soon to Zanzibar, one that could have a transformative effect on the lush archipelago known for its bright waters and soft sand.

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Blue Amber Zanzibar is a tropical resort that, once completed, will cover more than a thousand acres of pristine Indian Ocean coastline. The resort will feature five-star hotels like the Ritz-Carlton as well as residential vacation homes, and world-class amenities like aqua parks, an underwater restaurant, horseback riding, and even east Africa’s first Signature Championship golf course, designed by golf legend Ernie Els.

That all sounds amazing, but the question I'm sure we all have is, when will this island paradise be open?

Given the size and scope of the project, Blue Amber will open in phases. The first phase, will include the Shirazi Resort and Villas, a leisure activity center and beach restaurant, and is expected to be finished by 2023. Construction on the remainder of the project, including retail stores and the golf course are slated to begin near the end of 2022, and expected to last three years.

The resort looks to capitalize on Zanzibar's popularity with tourists looking for an exotic tropical getaway. Like almost every other destination, the cluster of 51 islands in the Indian Ocean lost much of its tourism due to the pandemic. But since January, nearly 200,000 visitors have returned.

Zanzibar's pristine coastline is a big selling point for the new luxury resort (Image courtesy of Blue Amber Zanzibar/Facebook)

Zanzibar is also not that difficult a locale to reach. It's just a short flight from Tanzania and there are many connecting flight options from major travel hubs.

In addition, Lufthansa recently announced twice-weekly flights to Zanzibar from Mombasa. Also, Air France in October will debut its first flights to Zanzibar, providing twice-weekly service on a Boeing 787-9 as the continuation of a flight to Nairobi, Kenya.

Along with promises of white-glove service with unblocked views of endless ocean, Blue Amber is trying to appeal to investors looking for oceanfront vacation homes by building hundreds of oceanfront villas. Changes to Zanzibar's tax regulations now allow foreign investors to buy property in the country for the first time and reap the financial benefits, making the resort's 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes, with prices starting at $198,000, particularly attractive.

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Blue Amber's vacation villas are offered for sale at prices that begin at $198,000. (Image courtesy of Blue Amber Zanzibar/Facebook)

The developer of the project, Pennyroyal Gibraltar, stated its goal when the project was first announced was to redefine tourism in East Africa.

“With the commissioning of this luxury tropical resort... the premium hospitality offerings and world-class facilities will benchmark luxury in Africa," the firm said in a statement.

Full details on all the amenities the resort will offer have not been finalized. But we like what we see so far, and will be watching and following the project as it moves closer to its opening.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
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  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023