“ZURI” means “beautiful” in swahili, which is the language of the island of Zanzibar, and that is precisely the feeling we want you to experience in our 12 hectare micro universe. When thinking how best to evoke the beauty of Zuri to you sensually, we focused meticulously on three main areas:
THE BEACH was the reason why I bought the land many years ago. Unlike most Zanzibar beaches where one must walk 500m to swim at low tide, our beach, settled in the large lagoon, is always perfect.
I have travelled the world and stayed in the most exclusive sea-front properties, but I still consider Zuri’s beach as one of the best on Earth. It is not just the white sand and the incredible color of the turquoise Indian Ocean, but also the local way of life, which is so cheerful and optimistic.
When you see the dhows (the traditional wooden sailing boats) at a distance during the spectacular sunsets, you do not need to practice mindfulness or meditation training to enjoy the present moment and understand the power of now.
THE HOTEL is not made up of rooms; just villas, and bungalows. Each separated from one another to attain absolute privacy, and all of them outfitted with outdoor showers and large terraces.
The size of our plot could easily accommodate twice as many houses, but we decided to build only 56 of them. Nestled on a west-facing slope, most of the units enjoy direct sea-views.
And our ceilings reach for the sky: African-style roofing delivers a breathtaking cathedral-like feeling over your bed and cannot be compared to anything you would find in busy Western cities.
On the other hand, being so far away from civilization, we did not want to compromise the quality of your connection with the rest of the world, which is why we have built our own dedicated fast internet line to the mainland – the only hotel in Zanzibar to date!
THE GARDEN is the icing on the cake. I do not mean the private spice garden covering a quarter of our land – the only one of its kind in the area. I mean that Zuri itself IS the garden.
All the villas and bungalows are just part of an enormous tropical park which you can enjoy by walking through and investigating. Hundreds of gardeners and landscape designers needed more than two years to select all the trees and flowers, in which you can bask.
The result is an enormous tribute to the pinnacle of Zanzibar and its rich historical legacy.
Today, when more and more things tend to feel and taste the same, it is not an overstatement to say that Zanzibar is different. Located just on the Equator, the colours are more intense, more saturated, more vibrant.
And, for some reason, the time runs differently as well! In this environment, it is so easy to forget our daily routines, to rouse our dormant imagination, and to perceive life from a new angle. Stop “doing” and start “being”. Because, ultimately, – we are human beings, not human doings! And it all began in Africa 🙂
Zuri Zanzibar is the only DESIGN HOTELS‘ member in Zanzibar and it is spreading the Design Hotels‘ vision to create an unrivaled global community for design, architecture and culture, and to become a source of original hospitality experience.
From the very beginning, conscious choices were made to minimize the impact of the construction of the resort. On that basis, sustainable architecture and environmental design principles were followed in order to preserve the landscape and cultural heritage of Zanzibar.
Zuri Zanzibar was designed by the award-winning architects JESTICO+WHILES, with a brief that they respect Zanzibar’s culture, climate and geography through the use of locally available materials, the organisation of space, and strong references to the island’s heritage and craftsmanship.
They have elegantly combined 21st century tourism requirements with environmentally friendly architecture and an authentic African atmosphere.
All of Zuri’s 56 bungalows, suites and villas are fitted-out with a mix of stylish contemporary furniture and local artisanal features and artwork, ensuring a wonderful tropical experience of indoor and outdoor living, with rooms flowing seamlessly out to generous terraces surrounded by lush tropical gardens.
All inclusive and full board supplements are available upon request, in addition to standard half board rates.
OCEAN-FRONT THREE BEDROOM LUXURY VILLA
An exceptional and luxurious villa in an exclusive location with your own private beach and infinity pool. This spacious setting enables family and friends to enjoy their own private paradise on the beautiful island of Zanzibar.
Stunning views of the Indian Ocean and the marvellous sunset. Three separate bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, living room, and kitchen with a dining corner
An entertainment room with pool table and relaxing area with TV and multimedia system
GARDEN TWO BEDROOM VILLA
The Garden Two Bedroom Villa is ideal for families or a group of friends. Hidden in its own private garden with partial views of the Indian Ocean and the beautiful sunset, the villa is very spacious with a lot of outside space that includes a large terrace with dining corner and relaxation area as well as a private jacuzzi (195 x 199 x 79 cm).
Inside amenities include a living room with sound system, fully equipped kitchen with Nespresso coffee machine, two separate bedrooms each with bathrooms, an office corner and small library. Two separate bedrooms with bathrooms, and a living room with a kitchen corner.
Located just a step away from the beach, this suite offers uninterrupted views of the stunning Indian Ocean. Separate bedroom and living room area. Private Jacuzzi
The magnificent natural setting provides the ideal backdrop to an exceptional dining experience, whether you choose to be on the beach, at the swimming pool, at one of Zuri Zanzibar’s beachfront restaurants, or in the privacy of your own accommodation.
FAMOUS ZURI DJ SUNDOWNERS
The iconic “Sunset Zuri” event with DJ or local live band takes place several evenings per week on the Zuri beach front.
The most magical moment in Kendwa – the incredible sunset – will be even more fascinating if it is accompanied by Zuri’s special selection of wine, drinks and salty bites. It is a perfect option how to spice up the end of another day of your holiday.
MAIN RESTAURANT & BAR
The Upendo Restaurant overlooks the entire resort and serves international cuisine with an African/Indian Ocean twist. The restaurant’s laid-back Zanzibari style and live cooking shows make it the ideal place for breakfast and dinner, whilst its separate deck is ideal for private events or larger dinner groups.
Peponi bar in the Zuri Zanzibar offers comfortable benches and sofas for a peaceful and relaxing ambiance. Switch from the sun directly into the cooling shadow of the Peponi Bar and enjoy its high quality selection of gins and cigars.
POOL RESTAURANT & BAR
Decorated in a chic African style, Maisha has a casually upbeat setting with an easy African vibe, and is the perfect venue for enjoying the ocean views.
Guests can enjoy its one and only fusion cuisine that mixes Southern European and Indian Ocean cuisine throughout the day, and, upon reservation, typical Middle Eastern and Omani food for dinner under the pool’s pergola.
BEACH RESTAURANT & BAR
The beach restaurant & bar embraces its natural surroundings with modern, yet authentic, features. You can enjoy finger food and small bites whilst admiring the Kendwa beach‘s amazing sunset and beautiful starry sky.
Choose from the bar’s wide range of original cocktails, aperitifs and special refreshing drinks, including sugar cane cocktails, fruit daiquiris and smoothies.
Located on the semi-private beach in front of the villas, the private beach bar offers a casual. but chic atmosphere for guests staying in the deluxe suites and villas.
BECOME A SWAHILI MASTER CHEF
Learn something new with a relaxed and stress-free cooking or cocktail-making class that includes a lot of stories, hands-on practice and, of course, tasting of your delicious Swahili dishes and exotic drinks. This is your time to find your hidden talent and have fun while creating beautiful memories.
Harmonise your body and soul and rejuvenate YOURSELF with Zuri Zanzibar’s various wellbeing activities, such as yoga and meditation, massage, a walk or relaxation in the Spice Garden’s glades or through a physical workout in the outdoor “wild fitness” gym area.
MAUA WELLNESS BY HEALING EARTH
MAUA Wellness by Healing Earth has 3 massage rooms and 1 salon. With a wide range of treatment offers – manicure, pedicure, facials and Jacuzzi deck with sunbeds – it is the perfect place to relax with a cup of Zuri tea.
WELLBEING BY ELEMENTS
Experience the Wellbeing by Elements offering you a wellbeing upgrade that puts a holistic frame around your vacation which is aimed at boosting immunity, reaching a balance, and providing tools for lifelong mental and physical self-guidance. Find more information in the brochure.
The perfectly articulated structure of the program, paired with increased vitamin D intake from both the sunlight and Zuri’s nutrient dense, low fat cuisine, will transform you on all levels.
Try starting your day with a pre-breakfast energy-boosting yoga class and join the art therapy session in the Spice Garden later in the day. Whatever you choose, you can be sure that the program will provide you with an unexpected and alternative experience to the perfect beach holiday.
The program is offered every week from Monday to Friday. Each week offers slightly different practices to ensure that regular participants enjoy an array of different experiences, irrespective of whether you want to book one day, one week or more.
OUTDOOR FITNESS AREA
Our well-designed outdoor fitness space offers you the chance to explore outdoor natural movement exercises with or without weight equipment, and is a great place to work-out in the fresh air, right in the middle of tropical greenery.
The breathtaking beauty of Zanzibar sits at your feet, its turquoise blue waters reflecting the magic of your special moment.
Your wedding day should be one of the happiest occasions of your life, and the Zuri Zanzibar Hotel & Resort aims to ensure that this once-in-a-lifetime experience will be a joyful and unforgettable occasion.
HONEYMOON IN ZANZIBAR
Just the two of you …. all honeymooners receive the following benefits in order to ensure the perfect honeymoon vacation: complimentary bottle of sparkling wine, 20% discount for a 1 hour couple massage, 1 complimentary dining experience for 2, VIP present and 1 x sundowner on the beach for two.
Minimum length of stay 5 nights. Can be combined with other special offers. Valid for1 year after a civil wedding (certificate required).
Away from the stress of the normal day-to-day life, the Zanzibar „Pole-Pole“ slow down environment is ideal for any kind of event. Whether you have a ‚white party‘, Buddha Bar or African style in mind, the Zuri team will assist you in order to ensure an unforgettablee and tailor-made event.
ZANZIBAR LOCATION & WEATHER
Zanzibar is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, lying on the eastern coast of Tanzania, which consists of Unguja and Pemba, the two largest islands, and about 50 smaller isles and sand banks.
With just a few degrees dividing Zanzibar from the Equator, the tropical climate offers warm sunshine and incredible shades of blue ocean. The climate is more humid than on the mainland. The long, dry season that runs from June until October comes with a bright blue sky and gorgeous sunny weather.
The “green“ season starts at the end of March/beginning of April and lasts until the end of May. The ‘short rains’ take place during November and December and act as a refreshing period for the land, with the second dry season, just a short one, taking place in January and February.
The temperature from September until April is 26-32˚C and from May to August 25-28˚C. Tides are very important in Zanzibar, as they have a big impact on the daily life of the inhabitants. Depending on the moon, Zanzibar experiences 2 low and 2 high tides per day, with 6 hours in between low and high.
The full moon and new moon provide stronger tides (“spring tides”) on the shoreline. However, depending on the location, they have more or less important tidal consequences. The north west coast is the least exposed to tides, which makes Zuri Zanzibar an ideal location, since tides have no impact on its private beach.
As the history and culture of Zanzibar is influenced by many different cultures, its cuisine follows it. Persians, Arabs, Chinese, Indians, Portuguese and others have brought new tastes, flavours and smells to the islands, from Chinese glass noodles, to sweetmeats from the Middle East, to spices from India.
Zanzibari culinary art contains dishes flavoured with cloves, ginger, pepper, some chilli and fresh coconut. Other delicacies originate from the African mainland: manioc potatoes, boiled beans, sweet potatoes, roasted corn on the cob and yam.
Another equally traditional dish is “sorpotel”, a mixed offal and pork stew seasoned with curry spices. The famous Zanzibari pizza is also not to be missed. For food lovers, it is easy to find special meals: shark in pepper, octopus in coconut milk prepared with curry, cardamom, cinnamon, garlic and lime juice.
HISTORY & CULTURE
The Zanzibar archipelago consists of the islands of Unguja and Pemba, along with a number of small islets. The name is thought to have Persian or Arabic origins. Following Vasco de Gama’s visit in 1499, Zanzibar was ruled by the Portuguese and remained this way for almost two centuries.
Zanzibar then became part of the overseas holdings of Oman and was ruled by the Sultan of Oman. It soon became the main slave market of the east African Coast where ivory trades thrived, and there was an expanding plantation economy centred on cloves.
The islands gained independence from Britain in December 1963 as a constituional monarchy. A month later, the bloody Zanzibar Revolution led to the Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba. In April, 1964, the Republic merged with the mainland Tanganyika to form Tanzania.
Today Zanzibar has its own Government and President with semi-autonomy. The elements of Persian, Arabic, Indian and European culture are most visible in the capital, Stone Town, which was recently declared a World Heritage site by Unesco.
The capital is the proud home of the Freddie Mercury Museum, as he was born in Stone Town. The most important sources of income are spices, which can be found in our very own Spice Garden (cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and black pepper), raffia and tourism. You can find some of these spices in our very own Spice Garden.
97% of Zanzibar’s population practices the Islamic faith, the rest is divided between Hindu and Christianity. Ramadan is the most important tradition for the local people.
Experience the most magical moments of Kendwa whilst sailing its waters on the beautiful LaPorte Dhow built exclusively for Zuri. With Sundowners served on board this is the perfect ending to a perfect day.
With warm, still waters and a constant breeze, what better place to learn this fun sport. Lessons are available most days and we also offer rental for more experienced windsurfers.
Boat taxi to Nungwi
Take a private boat taxi to Nungwi village to visit the Turtle Centre and discover the second largest settlement on the island. Return back to the hotel by boat, car or walking.
Please be aware that due to the tides walking is only possible in specific time slots. Ask our team members for the tides times. Return journey by boat and waiting time is subject to availability.
In Nungwi visit the Mnarani Turtle Conservation Centre, where you can feed and learn about turtles of various species and sites. The price includes the entrance fee fund supporting an education project for local children.
Private sightseeing tours
Enjoy a half-day private boat tour around one of the two most visited sites, the Tumbatu and Mnemba Island. If you are lucky enough, you might spot the dolphins on the way. The capacity of the private fiber boat is 2 – 8 persons and the tour includes water and towels.
Shared snorkel safari
Treat yourself to exploring some of Zanzibar’s amazing marine life and coastline. A member of the team will be on-hand for this amazing trip in order to show you the reef and Zanzibar marine life. Equipment, snack and water included.
Full-day boat trip to the amazing Menai Bay Marine Park. Sail by traditional dhow boat and have the chance to spot the dolphins along the way, with snorkelling, a visit to the sandbanks and a lunch stop on the beautiful Kwale Island. Lunch and drinks included. The car journey takes 2 hours per way.
Several boats are available for a maximum of 6 anglers. Please ask the Wimbi staff to provide you with more information about the equipment, the features of the boat and the type of fishing. Rates are per boat and include tackle, crew and catering
East Africa Diving
A family owned and run dive centre, operated for more than 15 years on Zanzibar. A PADI 5 Star Dive Centre as well as a DAN (Divers Alert Network) partner. Depending on the season, employing between 2-4 professional PADI Instructors from various parts of the world and 2-3 local and foreign Dive Masters.
GUIDED MOTORCYCLE TOUR
Enjoy a unique guided tour of Zanzibar in the saddle of a Royal Enfield motorcycle. With various stops whilst riding through farmland and lush forests, enjoy a lunch on a beach, and watch the Mnemba Island whilst enjoying local fruit refreshments along the way. Motorcycle and scooter rental available.
Golfers will enjoy a 9-hole Matkovitch course with a club house, under-cover driving range and practice greens, whilst enjoying the surrounding nature. To top it all, two of the last holes are played alongside the Indian Ocean. Experience a game with a view on the only golf course in Zanzibar.
For all those travellers wanting to experience a safari without missing even the one night in Zuri. The day’s focus is on the Serengeti National Park, which you will fly to early in the morning.
Enjoy a morning safari game experience and packed picnic lunch, in a beautiful setting in the middle of the savanna, before flying back to Zanzibar.
SWIM WITH THE WHALE SHARKS
This is your one-time chance to snorkel with the biggest fish in the ocean. As simple as taking a private flight, you will reach Mafia Island, the home of the giant fish, in less than one hour.
And suddenly you are in the water watching these incredible creatures swim around you. Minimum capacity for a private seater is 4 passengers. The best time to spot the whale sharks is from November to March.
Zuri Zanzibar is implementing several long-term initiatives together with communities, other companies and organizations for cleaner environment and ocean, and for promoting employment, education, and awareness in Zanzibar.
PACK TO GIVE
Our neighbourhood communities are not wealthy and the living conditions of many of them are very basic. Income levels are low and many families lack many basic essentials.
Instead of giving money to individuals, or sweets to children, we want to encourage our guests to bring specific in-kind donations to support the people in a positive way, without promoting begging or skipping school in the hope of receiving gifts from tourists.
In Kendwa village, the education level is low, which means that jobs in the tourism sector tend to be filled by skilled people from elsewhere.
At Zuri Zanzibar, we have aimed to be inclusive right from the beginning, starting a tourism training in Kendwa project, together with the Jambiani Tourism Training Institute (JTTI) in 2015 in order to ensure that we will have skilled young people joining our team.
Today we have students working at Zuri for their third year after completing their two-year education for a certificate in tourism and hospitality.
Both the students and their trainers received a monthly stipend to allow them to focus on the training. We believe youth employment and creating a decent livelihood is vital to the well-being of the community.
PRODUCT CREATION PARTNERSHIPS
Hotels provide a good opportunity for high quality local products to be showcased and provided to the guests, but very often you find that the needed quality or product design is not available.
In these ‘product creation’ partnerships we have worked together with social enterprises from Zanzibar and developed products for our hotel and guests’ use. Buying locally promotes employment and provides business opportunities that benefit the local communities the most.
CHAKO makes re-cycled products out of waste material that mostly comes from the tourism industry. They invite local artisans and craft workers, most of them women, to their workshop, where they learn re-cycling, co-creative design thinking, and artisan craft.
Workers are encouraged to independently create products, and this stimulates social and economic empowerment and promotes sustainability.
MWANI ZANZIBAR. is a socially responsible business on the east coast of Zanzibar that provides female seaweed farmers with the opportunity to improve their personal standards of living and develop economic activities that benefit the entire community.
We share a mutual vision: the aim to deliver exceptional quality to the guests and the wish to share their appreciation of Zanzibar through positive business practices. Guests can enjoy organic bathroom amenities made by Mwani Zanzibar and also purchase them at Zuri’s sustainable gift shop.
ZANREC – KEEP KENDWA CLEAN
Waste management infrastructure is still lacking in Zanzibar and too much of the waste ends up in the environment.
This causes harm for both the people and the animals. Waste management and the need to keep the environment clean is one of Zuri Zanzibar’s most important community programmes. Our main goal is to reduce the amount of waste produced and to manage it responsibly.
In 2016, we started the ‘Keep Kendwa Clean!’ project together with Zanrec, a waste management company. For the last years, our funding has allowed Zanrec to operate the project and provide a healthier environment for the community.
We have placed waste collection points around the local village, including the newest ‘Beach Clean Up Station’ inaugurated in July 2021, and located directly next to Zuri Zanzibar. The newest addition is supported by Zanrec and the Ozeankind project.
Education and the raising of awareness is a big part of this project. Trainings and discussions are organized in Kendwa village and in the primary school of Kilindi.
We are committed to protecting the natural environment for future generations, and we plan to expand this project. Some small local businesses and communities have already joined the waste management initiative and we hope to include more.
Many of the families in Kendwa make their income from traditional fishing practices, and the education level is very low. Subsequently the standard income level is also low and most homes have no electricity or running water. We want to be part of, and make a contribution to, the Kendwa community.
Education of the children is at the heart of every community. By supporting the Kilindi primary and secondary school, we are investing into the future of the community.
Thanks to your donations, both financial and monetary, we have successfully opened an English and IT Club regularly ran by one of our experienced team members, and performed yoga classes by the Wellbeing team. To motivate the children, we have rewarded the best students with a Mnemba snorkeling trip.
We are currently working on the completion of the Kilindi Kindergarten for 70 preschoolers in collaboration with a European NGO as well as finishing the rooftop for the secondary school.
We want to support the learning and training of all ages and we are continuously looking for sponsors to help the local teachers to be sent to the Kampala University. We have joined the community effort of building wells in the village and have provided an electricity connection to the primary school.
Before the wells were built in the village, the women and girls had to get water from farther afield, which took a lot of their time and kept them from studying or earning extra income to support their families.