Infinity pool, outdoor gym, running track, water sports
Airport distance: 60km
Zawadi Hotel, Mswakini Beach, Southeast coast, Zanzibar
Zawadi Collection: +254 720 538 148
The back story
After opening in summer 2016, Zawadi, meaning ‘gift’ in Swahili, is the more exclusive member of The Zanzibar Collection, which comprises of three other hotels along the Zanzibar southeast coast. Co-owned by the Raguz family, it joins their second portfolio, the Palacina Collection, who run properties in Nairobi, Berlin and Woodstock, Vermont. The ethos here is to create a ‘home-from-home’ and tastefully reflect the location that you’re in.
Perched upon a cliff above, arguably, Zanzibar’s most picturesque cove, Zawadi wins you over immediately with its bougainvillea-filled gardens and arresting Indian Ocean views.
It’s reached via a village on the island’s sleepy southeast coast – around an hour from Stone Town (a 20-minute flight from Dar es Salaam airport) – and you could easily while away days without leaving the hotel grounds. The beach becomes private when the tide is in and it’s a short distance from The Rock – a restaurant that in high tide, appears to ‘float’ in the middle of the sea.
Honeymooners, Tanzania safari-goers and A-listers looking for a luxe island getaway.
There are only nine villas here so you’ll only ever share this idyllic enclave with a handful of other guests. It feels incredibly intimate, yet spacious enough to avoid feeling like you’re short on privacy.
The chef pulls out all the stops here and every plate that leaves the kitchen is elegantly refined. The Mswakini Beach Bar is an upscale yet laid-back affair where coconut-rich fish curries join a more-ish line-up of lunch dishes while the Drift Wood Dining Room (both open air) takes on a romantic vibe (think lobster three ways and South African wines) where staff are discreetly attentive and will remember your name.
With one of Kenya’s most prestigious interior designers – Palacina Interiors – behind the design, it’s no surprise that the hotel’s elegance-meets-shabby-chic aesthetic has been masterminded with aplomb. Its muted colour palette is carried across the property – just about everything is in pale greys and off-white tones. But the resort feels totally unique and at 100 square metres, the villas feel huge. Baths offer garden views and beds come with memory foam mattresses and floaty drapes.