Taking its name from the Swahili word for “beautiful” and aiming to be as self-sufficient as possible, the newly opened Zuri Zanzibar offers guests a celebration of contemporary design and traditional African craftsmanship.

Designed by celebrated London- and Prague-based firm Jestico & Whiles, the 55 thatched bungalows and villas are the height of refined and uncomplicated luxury – think simple excellence.

Located on a 300-meter stretch of pristine white-sand Kendwa Beach, on the northwestern coast of Zanzibar’s main island of Unguja— the sun-drenched spot is ideal for an idyllic ocean stay.

Tasked with a brief to conceive a concept that was both chic and contemporary but with profound respect for traditional African design, the team created buildings with a village-inspired feel.  Private and protected, the stilted tropical villas peek from behind curtains of indigenous greenery, yet are deliberately placed so that most boast dreamy ocean views.

Spacious and serene, villas range from 66 sqm to 250 sqm, with the addition of an owner’s villa of 500 sqm. Unifying the design concept throughout the villas and bungalows are open and airy spaces dominated by natural wood, wicker, and a neutral color scheme. Indoor and outdoor areas are blurred, with each villa featuring its own expansive terrace and outdoor shower. Custom-crafted regional artworks have been produced by local artisans, including handmade wall murals, spice motif carved doors, beaded curtains, and lotus flower decorations.

With plenty to choose from, sink you teeth into a varied number of cultural culinary options. The dining experiences at Zuri Zanzibar are a reflection of the destination: a mix of African, European, Arabic, and Indian cuisines. Several distinct styles and environments will give guests ample variety during their stay—from casual beach beers and bites to the chic venue Upendo. Guests can also enjoy cooking masterclasses with one of the hotel’s chefs at the central Spice House–an interactive way to discover more about Swahili cooking.

Worried about filling your time? Make the most of an outdoor 32-meter infinity pool, an extensive library and movie collection, pool table, water sports, and a wellness centre with outdoor gym and a yoga studio.

The delicate balance of life on this island means that with a project of this nature comes a responsibility to foster deep ties to the local community. This has been done through partnerships with organisations that are ensuring preservation, education, and quality employment remain at the forefront.

Find out more here.