“Discover the island’s fairy tale where the spirits & sounds of Zanzibar create memories to last a lifetime.”
Karibu Zanzibar, meaning “Welcome to Zanzibar”, and Hakuna Matata, which means “No worries”, are the phrases you hear everywhere when stepping on the magical island of Zanzibar. Situated only a short distance off the Tanzanian coast, this island has lately been regarded as a little paradise and complimented for its turquoise waters and white sands. This fairy tale island is historically rich with an incredible mix of African, Arabic, Indian and European cultures, creating a wonderfully colourful fusion of influences which can be seen, tasted, heard, and felt throughout the island.
Having heard countless tales of Zanzibar, I had to experience it for myself and decided to choose one of the island’s pearls – a chic & bohemian boutique hotel Upendo. Upendo means love, and you feel it in every single detail whether it’s the eastern hip interior or a fusion food.
Upendo is distinctive in so many ways, but the aspect that struck me the most was the careful attention paid to create the relaxing and sophisticated atmosphere of a real “hakuna matata” life. Here the modern luxury meets island tradition in a fusion of Eastern inspirations and Western classics. Everything — from smooth beats to sumptuous eats to artisan seats — has been hand-tailored to surpass your expectations.
Upendo is a truly barefoot chic. Sip their famous speciality cocktails as you dip your toes into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Recline on colourful cushions while sampling fresh grilled lobster or an Indian-style thali. It is worth to mention that they have an incredible cuisine, which represents the spirit of Zanzibar – a mix of cultures.
Mouth-watering local and freshly catch seafood needs no introduction, jumping straight from the sea to the grill to your plate. Authentic Swahili and Indian dishes transport you to the other side of the Indian Ocean, using specially blended Garam Masala spices and the owner’s own family recipes, straight from the source. From daily chef’s selections, to Sushi Fridays to the best Sunday Brunch this side of the Atlantic, fusion and quality are the rule at Upendo.
The restaurant and lounge zone have bohemian twist and offer incredible views of world-famous The Rock and wild Indian ocean. It is perfectly designed to have a breakfast with a breath-taking view, or a lazy cocktail and snacks after a long day on the beach, or simply to finish your night with the sounds of fusion music.
The boutique resort comprises Villa Shiva (3-bedroom villa), The Beach House (4-bedroom villa), 2 one-bedroom villas and 2 hip style bandas. All of the villas are sea-facing on the beachfront and The Rock, and surrounded by incredible beach garden. In keeping with a mix of modern and ethnic design, the villas’ interiors are unique and individual, so that each of them have a separate name. An around-the- clock butler attached specifically to your villa ensures that you are easily able to live the “hakuna matata” lifestyle.
Play in your private sea view pool and hanging lounge beds, and forget you ever have to leave! Everything here merges to create a relaxing atmosphere of the island lifestyle.
Upendo offers guests a host of activities, including snorkelling (some of the best I have ever experienced), fishing, swimming with dolphins, a tour of Stone Town, island hopping, and a spice tour. It is situated close by to a famous Paje beach that is well-known for having some of the best kitesurfing conditions in the world. You can take some lessons in one of kitesurfing schools situated directly on the beach.
Whether you are a discerning solo traveller, passionate newlyweds or daring vacationers, the Upendo experience is yours. Families and friends, too, will find the three-bedroom villa perfectly suited to their needs. Eat, play, rest and relax exactly the way you want to. You will love Upendo as much as I did.
Sway with the palm trees, play with the monkeys, and unwind into Upendo luxury. Turquoise tides and African time are calling — what are you waiting for?