In the March (2012) issue of Conde Nast Traveller Magazine, there is an article with some brief and interesting history of Zanzibar:
Zanzibar is one of those names, along with Timbuktu, Kilimanjaro and Marrakech, that conjures extraordinary, exotic images – of Arabian Nights scenes colored with dhows, spices and treasures – as well as evoking darker stories of traders and adventurers on the hunt for elephants, gold, power and slaves…..
The article also review some of the hotels in zanzibar among them Baraza Resort and Spa:
Architecturally the most opulent of the island’s new hotels, Baraza was styled on the palaces of the Omani sultans who ruled the Zanzibar from the mid – 1600s until the British took over in 1890……
You can download the full article here (pdf).