"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 32 ACRE MICRO-UNIVERSE. WHEN THINKING HOW BEST TO EVOKE THE BEAUTY OF ZURI TO YOU SENSUALLY, WE FOCUSED METICULOUSLY ON 3 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 luxurious 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 55 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 :-)
I wish you many Zuri moments.
From the very beginning, conscious choices were made to minimize the impact of the construction of the Zuri Zanzibar. 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 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.
The architecture takes into account the natural beauty of the sloped terrain, with the larger-volume buildings located on the top and flat part of the site. The smaller-sized bungalows are spread in clusters with a lot of space between them, and the bungalows themselves “float” on columns in order to minimize the impact to the ground.
Hundreds of local plants and trees have been planted around the plot, and a large area has been left for a spice garden, where guests can truly enjoy nature.
Sustainability is an integral part of our operation and we make conscious decisions to meet the needs of our guests and consider the impact on the surroundings. Our sustainable solutions include:
• Using our own wells, desalination and treatment plant to provide fresh water, ozone technology and UV lamps to reduce the amount of chemicals in the pool, re-using water for irrigation, and computer monitoring to manage water consumption
• We provide drinking water in glass bottles and natural drinking straws to avoid the usage of plastic
• The Evening Breeze cooling system in the guestrooms uses only 25% of the energy used by standard air-conditioning
• Buying local products and entering into partnerships for product development; for example, the guest amenities come from Seaweed Co. Zanzibar, decorative items and lights from CHAKO and many of the products in our shop from Tanzanian NGOs and small, local producers
• The community involvement programme ‘Zuri Giving’ started in 2015, 3 years before the opening
“Sustainability is the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”
From the start, when the Zuri Zanzibar was still a dream, there was a desire to protect the environment, respect the cultural heritage, and find a balance between modern and traditional ways of life.
The plan has always been to work together for the benefit of the area, and keeping the wellbeing of current and future generations in mind.
We wish to inspire and exceed expectations, make a positive contribution, and offer authentic, enjoyable experiences to our guests whilst protecting the very core of what brought us here in the first place.
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.