The Beach House @ Upendo. Zanzibar. Tanzania.
Why we love it
The Beach House funnels the spicy sea breezes off the long white Michamvi Pingwe Beach through it’s open Zanzibar–style Makuti roof. With big airy rooms and a short hop on to the white sand, you really can’t do better. This part of the island is far quieter than the North, so beach touts and other tourists are thin on the ground. Situated opposite The Rock, a tiny restaurant built on a single rock out at sea, its romantic and relaxed. A staff of three will take care of all your needs all in your own time, including Richard the chef who is excellent.
What to expect
The villa is made up of four rooms, sleeping 8 people comfortably. It is offered on an exclusive use basis only. The two sea-facing front rooms are doubles, with huge beds and doors that open to the patio and serpentine pool. The smaller back two rooms would suit kids with two single beds and their own bathrooms. All have aircon, which is important in Zanzibar. There is a central lounge area downstairs and a lovely upstairs chill-pad overlooking the beach with a self-help bar. Meals are either on the patio beside the pool, or upstairs to gather the sea breezes at night. There is Wi-Fi throughout the house. Meals are entirely designed around you, but salads come from their garden, fish from out front and vegetables from the local market right behind the house.
What to do
This is a place designed for long lazy days of reading books, eating fresh seafood, lounging around the pool and taking long walks along the gorgeous beach. At low tide, picking through the shallows is a treat of star fish, eels, sea urchins and octopus. The staff at the villa will organise any excursions for you, including swimming with dolphins at nearby Kizimazi, Kizongoni Forest, Spice Tours, Safari Blue and other great day trips. Or ask them to organise a sailing trip on a local Ngalawa fishing boat. Our kids loved playing Boulle with the three Maasai Askari’s. Everything can be arranged – a massage, a nanny, a guide or yoga teacher!
Kids : A very easy relaxed place to keep kids busy. However the house doesn’t have any boats, bikes, toys or things to keep kids busy, so bring your own. Toddlers beware the open pool and steep open drop from the upstairs room.
Best time to visit
Monsoon season in Zanzibar is from March to early June, and most of the island shuts for this time. Nov – March is very hot, and June /July a bit windy. But expect humid hot days all year round with lovely sea breezes in the evenings.
How to get there
From Zanzibar airport, it’s a short drive of about one hour to the house which is easy to arrange. Recommend a night or two first in Stone Town to experience that part of the island.