- “Experience the tranquil serenity of Mombasa Beach.”— Ad
On October 20, 2552, the Hotel Zanzibar was abandoned, along with the rest of the city. When the UNSC In Amber Clad dispatched Pelicans full of relief troops for the massive battle going on inside the city, one of those Pelicans was shot down by a Scarab near the hotel. The Marines who survived the crash set up a command post inside the hotel lobby. They were surrounded and almost overwhelmed by Covenant ground forces when John-117 arrived and aided the surviving Marines, eventually leading them into New Mombasa.
The lobby is located on the Liberty Street side of the building. From the lobby is a little foyer, which contains four elevators. This foyer then leads down a hall, which contains 16 rooms. This hall leads to an outdoor pedestrian bridge which crosses over the waterfront road way to a small viewing area. As well, somewhere within the hotel, is the Zanzibar and Grille.
- The hotel bears a slight resemblance to the Guggenheim Museum in Portland, Oregon.
- On the Heroic and Legendary difficulties, the attack on the hotel is led by a Sangheili Ultra. On the Normal and Easy difficulties, he is replaced with a Sangheili Major.