Nature, Spice, and Design Magnificence
When Czech business mogul, Vaclav Dejcmar, decided to get into the hotel business, it was done with an architectural and design “splash” in the form of Zuri Zanzibar on Unguja island, a newly opened resort in the famous holiday destination. Of course, over 300 m of pristine beach played a part, too.
When it came to choosing the location of Zuri, the beach helped make up the mind of Dejcmar. “Unlike most Zanzibar beaches where one must walk 500 m 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 luxurious sea-front properties, but I still consider Zuri’s beach as one of the best on Earth,” he explains.
The long stretch of pristine soft sand which boarders the turquoise Indian Ocean faces West, allowing guests of Zuri to relax upon the loungers on the private beach to worship the sun, but also to bid it farewell as it dips below the horizon in a mesmerising palette of fiery hues.
The draw of the beach did not mean that the architecture of Zuri was a second thought – much time, effort, and talent went into designing the Zuri universe.
A Botany Fanfare
Thirty two acres of land, teeming with verdant life, dotted with structures built with immense attention to detail in mind makes up the world of Zuri Zanzibar.
Lush greenery and pops of bright flowery shades line the walkways and surround each bungalow and villa, making them each quaint private havens within the wider paradise of Zuri.
When building the resort, special attention was given to the plant life present – much of the original flora was kept, and anything brought in was done so with careful consideration. The result is an abundance of life that elevates the feeling of being in nature. The plant life is all watered using recycled H2O, and the ecoconsciousness does not stop there. Edification and Eco-conscious Design The team of Zuri did not want to have any adverse effects on the villages that call Unguja home. In order to make the addition of the resort to the island a positive one, Zuri does not use any water that goes to the village in the running of the resort. The Zuri team built their own
desalination plant in order to be selfsufficient, and sunk new wells for the neighbouring village. Prior to opening the resort, Zuri ran a two-year programme for the local residents who were to be employed at the resort. Through Zuri, they went through a hospitality course, increasing their skills and assisting them with their careers.
An African Village
The environment and keeping ecoconsciousness in mind led the resort to Jestico + Whiles – the United Kingdomand Prague-based architectural firm that focuses on eco-friendly constructions. When it came to accommodation and congregation spaces, the Zuri team gave Jestico + Whiles the brief of an African village, with immaculate facilities.
The 55 bungalows, suites, and villas are nestled in nature. Walking up to one of the relaxing sanctuaries, the spiceinspired name for the abode rests next to welcoming decorative wood-carved doors.
Whether you are in Nutmeg, Lemongrass, or Saffron, the rooms were designed with comfort and relaxation in mind. The wraparound deck comes together at the back of the bungalow, complete with hammock and outdoor furniture on which to relax and bask in the tropical days.
Coming through the glass sliding doors, the room welcomes you with plush beds draped in netting, hardwood floors, and eye-catching design elements. Handcrafted beaded curtains from local artisans grace the bathroom spaces, and next to the double basins are handmade soaps created by local seaweed farmers. Much of the wood construction materials used are reclaimed wood from traditional boats and doors, further adding to the ecofriendly mind-set of the resort.
While the bungalows each consist of one single room, the three-bedroom villa has a private pool and Jacuzzi, and the twobedroom villa includes a private Jacuzzi. The Spice Element
Not just the names of the abodes hark back to the spice history of Zanzibar – the Zuri team has interwoven the exotic flavours through the resort.
Zuri has dedicated over one and a half hectares of its tropical paradise to spice. The Spice Garden is a place of aroma and relaxation. Here, guests can simply walk around and take in the fragrance and beauty,
or meditate in one of the pods in the Spice Garden. If you are interested in how to use the array of spices in food, Zuri holds cooking classes in the Spice House or in the garden.
After experiencing the culinary exquisiteness presented on each plate – for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – many will certainly want to gain Zuri spice-knowledge to take home.
Dinner is an affair of indulgence, uniqueness, and flavour at Zuri.
Each night, a different menu featuring an amuse-bouche, starter, intermediate course, main course, and dessert is presented.
The kitchen takes inspiration from local cuisine, which itself is an amalgamation of many flavours, with Indian, French, Swahili, and Arabic influences. Of course, being on the doorstep of the ocean, one of the best ways to revel in the flavours is with seafood. From red snapper and tuna, crayfish, prawns, squid, and grouper – the fresh seafood on offer is prepared in a number of tasty ways (steamed, pan-fried, crispy, and carpaccio). It is not an easy feat to get bored when eating the variety of catches.
Zuri Zanzibar is a destination in its own right. With its distinctive design choices setting it apart from the other resorts on the island, the feel of an African village with firstrate luxuries, and, of course, the splendour of having a beach a few steps away where you can submerge yourself in the temperate waters, regardless of tides, makes Zuri a resort in a class of its own, and a reason in itself to visit Zanzibar.
For more info, visit www.zurizanzibar.com.
Due to the architectural wonder of Zuri Zanzibar, it is a member of Design Hotels. Owing to the dedication of the resort to the surrounding area and environment, it is aiming for certification from Earth Check. Logistically Speaking
Zuri Zanzibar is located just a one-hour drive from the airport, as well as the famous Stone Town. The resort will happily help you with day trips to the town where you can browse markets and get to know the history of the island, as well as other excursions, such as into the ocean for snorkelling and driving, and even a trip to an island of Voodoo.