Zuri Zanzibar: Our full report
Zuri Zanzibar is a luxurious, beach resort situated on Zanzibar's pretty north-west coast.This area of the island has a more steeply shelving coastline than Zanzibar's east coast, allowing you to swim in the sea throughout the day, and the west coast of Zanzibar also enjoys beautiful sunsets over the Indian Ocean.
The far north-west corner of Zanzibar has long had a reputation as a backpackers' hub, but this is changing, and Zuri is certainly far removed from the low-budget market.
The hotel was designed by award-winning architects Jestico and Whiles, and is a member of Design Hotels – their only property in Zanzibar. The hotel has been thoughtfully designed throughout, combining 21st-century elegance with environmentally friendly architecture, taking inspiration from Zanzibar’s landscapes and people. Zuri has been awarded a gold rating from EarthCheck which recognises the resort’s commitment to sustainability, and its work to reduce its environmental footprint and improve its social impact.
With 55 bungalows, two suites and two villas, the resort is relatively large, and though it was completely full when we visited in 2019, it didn’t feel crowded.
- The 55 bungalows are split in to four different categories: Garden, Zuri, Ocean and Ocean Jacuzzi. These are then split into smaller groups, named after local spices, to help with orientation and to create a more exclusive experience. The bungalows, although set relatively close together, are surrounded by mature foliage and feel very private. There is an emphasis on wood and other natural materials, resulting in clean and fresh interiors.
The Garden Bungalows are set in the tropical gardens; the Zuri Bungalows have partial ocean views; the Ocean Bungalows have full ocean views; and the Ocean Jacuzzi Bungalows have private whirlpool baths. In design terms, the bungalows share a similar style, with a wraparound veranda and en-suite bathroom with an outdoor rain shower. Inside are all amenities of a high-end resort, with an evening-breeze overbed air-conditioning system, tea- and coffee-making facilities, satellite TV, and WiFi throughout.
- The two suites offer an even higher level of luxury. In addition to the amenities found in the bungalows, both suites come with a separate living area, a large deck and a spa pool as standard. The Zuri Suite has a partial ocean view whereas the Ocean Suite directly overlooks the spectacular, palm-fringed beach.
- If you’re looking for a more exclusive experience then you might consider one of the villas: two-bedroom or three-bedroom. These offer space and privacy, with your own lounge, kitchen, outdoor space, and an area of private beach.
Alternative dining options include the Beach Restaurant and Bar which is open all day for light meals and is also open to non-guests. The main Upendo Restaurant has live cooking demonstrations and is next to the Peponi Bar, which has plenty of soft seating.
Near reception, the Zuri library has an impressive array of books and more than 500 DVDs available for loan.
For ultimate relaxation the Maua Wellness spa offers a wide range of treatments including facials and pedicures, from its three massage rooms. There’s even an in-house hairdresser. Group and private yoga and meditation sessions can be arranged on Zuri’s yoga deck, on the beach or in the garden. And if you’re feeling energetic, you can pay a visit to the outdoor fitness area.
The 300-metre white sand beach at Zuri shelves steeply enough to mean you can swim at all stages of the tide. There’s an on-site watersports and PADI diving centre, which hires out snorkelling equipment, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. The centre also books sunset sailing excursions on the Zuri boat and snorkelling trips over the colourful coral reefs near Tumbatu Island.
We were really excited to see a high-quality resort hotel in this area of the island. With a stylish, contemporary design and relaxed beach vibe this is a good choice if you're looking for a larger hotel with plenty of on-site facilities and opportunities to swim at most stages of the tide.
- Northern Zanzibar, Zanzibar
- Ideal length of stay
- Stay three to seven nights to relax on the beach and explore the island.
- Zuri Zanzibar is around an hour’s drive north of Stone Town and Zanzibar Airport.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Half Board
- Food quality
- There are three restaurants which serve a range of local and international cuisine; the main Upendo restaurant and Peponi Bar, is the smartest and largest of the three. Then there is the Maisha Poolside restaurant and bar, and a relaxed Beach restaurant – bar where you can dine with your toes in the sand.
We have not had the opportunity to extensively try the food at Zuri, but have heard good reports, and with multiple restaurants there should be something to suit all. When we visited in 2019 we enjoyed a light lunch of chicken skewers with mango relish and crispy fries at the beach restaurant. It was fresh, tasty and well presented.
Special requests and diets can be catered to with advanced notice.
- Zuri Zanzibar is a larger resort with a lively atmosphere, luxurious villas, and number of bars and restaurants to choose from - great for a romantic honeymoon on Zanzibar. The beach is less tidal here, allowing you to swim throughout the day.
- See ideas for Honeymoons
- Beach holidays
- Located in the north west of Zanzibar, Zuri Zanzibar sits on a beautiful stretch of palm fringed beach. This area of the island is less tidal than Zanzibar's east coast meaning that you can swim in the sea throughout the day.
- See ideas for Beach holidays
- One of the newest, and arguably one of the most luxurious resorts on the island, Zuri Zanzibar is a great choice for people looking for a lively, modern resort with stylish accommodation and a choice of onsite bars and restaurants.
- See ideas for Luxury
- Attitude towards children
- No suited to young children.
- Special activities & services
- There are no special services or activities.
- Generally recommended for children
- The property is not geared up for young families, and has quite an adult atmosphere. Zuri is better suited to older, mature children
- Power supply notes
- Back up generator
- WiFi throughout. Patchy cellphone signal.
- TV & radio
- Sat TV in all rooms.
- Water supply notes
- Fully plumbed.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- Onsite doctors office. Close connections to local, larger clinic and hospital.
- Dangerous animals
- Low Risk
- Security measures
- Security on gate and patrolling on the beach.
- Fire safety
- Fire extinguishers by rooms and in communal areas.
- Disabled access
- Not Possible
- Laundry facilities
- Extra charge unless staying on all inclusive package.
- Eelectric safe in all rooms.
- Accepted payment on location
- All major currencies and credit cards (including American Express) are accepted. There is a 4% surcharge on card payments.
Other lodges in Northern Zanzibar
Alternative places to stay in this same area.