Steeped in culture and history, Zanzibar is stepping out of the shadow of the archetypal Indian Ocean island retreats of the Seychelles and Maldives to emerge as must-visit destination on the 2018 wanderlist. Cementing this status is the arrival of Zuri Zanzibar, a new Design Hotels™ member which masterfully draws upon contemporary design and sustainable architecture to create an atmosphere of refined luxury, shot through with an authentic African flair. Focusing on exquisite gastronomy, wellness and responsible tourism, this green oasis is the perfect base from which to discover the Spice Island.
Located on the breathtaking northern coast of Unguja, the Tanzanian archipelago’s main island, Zuri Zanzibar boasts an idyllic setting on 300m of private beach. The hotel’s 55 bungalows, suites and villas are nestled in tropical gardens and have uninterrupted views over the glittering turquoise waters. The six 130sqm Suites offer semi-private access to the beach, as well as a Jacuzzi, while the 260sqm Ocean Front Villas are ideally suited to families. However, it is the 500sqm Ocean Front Luxury Villa which is the resort’s showstopper, complete with private beach, 12m pool, zen pond and three bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. Prague- and London-based studio Jestico & Whiles are responsible for the design concept, which incorporates natural, regional materials and traditional craftsmanship. Elements such as the thatched roofs and traditional East African artwork emulate a traditional Zanzibari village.
As befitting Zanzibar’s past as a prominent trading post, the hotel’s three restaurants and four bars are inspired by international flavors and culinary traditions. European, African, Arabian and Indian influences can be found at the Upendo Restaurant with its open show kitchen, as well as at Maischa, which serves specialty dishes from the Josper oven. The Bahari and Peponi Bars are perfectly placed to play host to stylish sundowners thanks to an impressive gin collection.
For sun worshippers and water babies alike, the 32m infinity pool with its dedicated water sport and dive center is a veritable mecca—only enhanced by the impeccable day-round beach service. Those of a more adventurous nature are spoilt for choice with activities in the region ranging from snorkeling with turtles at the Tambatu Marine Park to swinging by “Wild Fitness” in the midst of the African wilderness. A little closer to home, the fully-equipped SAGI Yoga Center and sea-fronted Maua Spa cater for guests’ spiritual wellbeing.
The beating heart of the hotel is the 1.6 hectare Zuri Garden, a wild, verdant oasis with an outstanding variety of native flora and fauna. A peaceful spot for private yoga and meditation sessions, the lush gardens are open to all guests 24/7 and form an integral part of Zuri Zanzibar’s sustainability program. This program also extends to the implementation of a desalination plant, a focus on locally-sourced and organic products, and the use of reclaimed timber for doors and furniture. In the guestrooms, the unique “Evening Breeze” system creates a microclimate around the bed to promote healthy sleep and uses approximately 75% less energy than a conventional air conditioning system.
Zuri Zanzibar sits on a pristine beach in Kendwa village on the island of Unguja, about 50km northwest of the capital Stone Island. A surfer’s paradise, the Indian Ocean also offers ideal conditions for diving and snorkeling, as well as swimming with dolphins and turtles. The renowned Jozani Forest and Prison Island are also easily accessible.
Distance to Zanzibar International Airport is 55km | 60 minutes by car