Zanzibar Serena Inn, Stone Town, Zanzibar $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
The Serena, Stone Town's most luxurious hotel, is right on the waterfront. The cool white rooms have traditionally carved furniture, with louvered doors that open onto wrought-iron balconies. Such details as carved staircases, lavishly embroidered rugs, and heavy brass-studded doors make the Serena resemble a sultan's palacebut one with modern conveniences (rooms have satellite TV, phone, and Internet access). Relax in the Persian bath-style pool, get a massage in your room, or have the attentive staff arrange a sightseeing tour for you. The hotel's excellent seafood restaurant serves guests on an open-air terrace; downstairs, the equally romantic Baharia restaurant is constructed so that waves lap within inches of the windows. As you eat, you'll see lateen-sailed dhows drift lazily by.