In Dongwe, on the southeast coast of Zanzibar, the luxurious 5 * Zawadi hotel is built on a coral reef, facing the Indian Ocean. Aesthetics and wonder guaranteed.
Opened in June 2016, the Zawadi, one of the luxury hotels of the Raguz family, faces the coral reef, in one of the most popular places on the island.The arrival at the hotel at low tide is enchanting. No less than fifty shades of turquoise dazzle the visitor.
As soon as we were greeted, an attentive waiter already offered us fresh coconut juice. We are going to spend two nights in this cocoon of well-being which reinvents the Swahili style.
Built high to respect the harmony of the coast, opposite the coral reef, the hotel offers nine spacious private beachfront villas of 100 m², each equipped with a pool and a large terrace open onto the ‘ocean.
Zanzibar. Zawadi Hotel. Visitors can access the villas via a path that winds through a magnificent bougainvillea garden.
The infinity pool overlooks a white sand beach set in a private cove, sometimes covered completely at high tide. It is reached by a wooden staircase. Here, you can swim most of the year in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, snorkel directly from the beach, or organize a scuba dive.
We appreciate this parenthesis far from the hubbub of the world.
The charm of the place operates and, facing the immensity of the ocean, we find the meaning of the words “here and now”.
The bedroom is spacious, with a pyramid roof covered with braided palms, with a nice high ceiling.
It is undoubtedly a strong experience to stay in this place of beautiful harmony, to breathe in silence the scent of rosemary flowers and grasses, bathed in the sun of Africa.
Devoid of children and their sometimes noisy joy, the hotel is very Zen. All guests are on an “all inclusive” basis, which makes it possible to forget the pecuniary aspects during the stay and to make the experience even more immersive. Besides, it is customary to say “if you can’t relax in Zawadi, God help you”.
In the kitchen, everything is homemade and the chef develops dishes with Zanzibar and international accents, especially the seafood that the fishermen deliver every day.
An activity not to be missed and accessible to all, a snorkeling trip to the “blue lagoon”, near Dongwe, on the Michamvi peninsula. It is a spot of breathtaking corals and marine life, in a water which reflects light only turquoise blue. The hotel organizes everything. You just have to go to the meeting point. You can extend the experience by going to the 5-star Padi dive center, “Rising Sun Dive”, which welcomes both beginners and confirmed.
Stone Town: the heart of Zanzibar
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the hometown of Freddy Mercury translates the Arab, African, Indian, Portuguese and Persian influences that shaped this stopover on the route to India. The carved wooden doors, the verandas and the buildings of plural influences, reveal the mixing of the city. Getting lost in this maze of lively, multicolored alleys, linked to each other in the manner of an untied lace, exposes to surprises: children run down there, painters work in their open workshops, women dressed in colorful saris stroll there; a bar broadcasts a football match in the street, gathering nonchalant walkers and informed spectators. At the end of the day, the song of the muezzin escapes from the mosque, covering the sound of scooters and the cries of the market, letting the historic city return to itself, calm and peaceful. It is at this point that the details of ordinary life catch the eye.
To end the day, we suggest that you let yourself be enchanted by the eternal spectacle of the sunset by going to “The Africa House”, a bar whose terrace is oriented towards the west coast of the island. In all bliss.
Text: Capucine Ferry
Photos: Capucine Ferry and Jérémie Josten