Set on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar, Zuri Zanzibar proudly supports environmental protection, works with the community, and aims to better the lives of locals. During construction, architectural firm Jestico + Whiles used regional materials to highlight the long heritage of local craftsmanship, creating a lush and leafy haven that resembles a traditional African village.

Inside, spaces are decorated with art and artifacts from Tanzania’s markets. The water program is particularly ambitious, using ozone technology—the first resort in East Africa to do so—and a desalination system that doesn’t rely on the water resources of the local village. Putting its water expertise to good use, Zuri Zanzibar helps build and fix wells in the surrounding community.

ARCHITECTURE. Building plans were made per the natural structure of the land, keeping the majority of the original trees and greenery. Locally sourced, environmentally friendly materials were used.

WASTE. The hotel donates items that are not needed to local hospitals, veterinarians, and the community. The interiors feature decor made from recycled materials.

ENERGY. Zuri Zanzibar uses LED lighting and offers guests the option to choose the Evening Breeze cooling system over standard air conditioning, saving up to 75% energy.

WATER. Water is purified using ozone technology—the first resort in East Africa to do so—and desalination plant systems, so the hotel does not use local village water sources.

CULTURE. With their pack-to-give project, guests are able to bring items to donate to local education and healthcare systems.

RECREATION. The hotel offers visits for guests to the local school and recycling shops.

HEALTHY WORKPLACE. Zuri Zanzibar offers a hospitality education program for local students, training for supervisors and leaders, personal development plans, and a clean water program.

COMMUNICATION. The hotel shares news in its newsletter and is releasing a CSR booklet. Before guests arrive, they receive an email with information about the pack-to-give program.

What is your sustainability philosophy?

At Zuri Zanzibar, our philosophy is to connect with nature and the local community by focusing on educational, environmental, and waste management initiatives.

How do you forge a connection to the local community and cultural surroundings?

We employ local communicators and involve village leaders in our decisions. We listen to and support their needs.

What do you see as the biggest sustainability hurdle for hotels? How are you combating that?

We face a lack of interest from other local resorts to participate in large community projects. Sometimes, there can also be a lack of local community awareness/education to understand the reasons for various activities. In cooperation with a variety of local groups, we support education for school children and local mothers’ groups to explain the influence of our current actions on future generations.

Published by DESIGN HOTELS