Zanzibar is one of the places we visited for a luxury travel feature in 2014 and we absolutely loved it.
Whenever we hear of new developments on the island we want to know more and the ‘more’ this time is that award-winning architecture and interior design practice, Jestico + Whiles have been appointed to design a new hotel resort on the island for RSJ Private Equity. Until 1963 Zanzibar was a British protectorate before becoming a constitutional monarchy. Today the island is part of the United Republic of Tanazania with its main industries consisting of spices, raffia and most applicably to this article, tourism. It’s these industries that have contributed to the islands being know around the world as the ‘Spice Islands’.
The Uzuri Hotel Resort
The new property will be known as the Uzuri Hotel Resort and is scheduled to open in early 2016. It will take the form of a village resort with 60 individual cabanas, five larger villas, together with restaurants, bars, yoga, meditation spaces and massage cabanas.
Detailed attention will be paid to the cabanas and to ensure that they make maximum use of the shade and sea breeze to help create a natural ventilation system within the interiors. In keeping with the ecologically and socially responsive design brief that Jestico + Whiles have set themselves, rain water will be harvested and two wells will be built on site to pump salty water into a desalination plant, supplying clean, fresh water to the whole resort. The cabanas will be situated in small clusters and will be located close to the beach among a gently sloping landscape of sand, palm trees and timber walkways. A palm thatch roof extending out over a private garden will subtly shade the living and relaxation space, creating a retreat where guests will want to spend their days outdoors. This arrangement differs from standard hotel layouts and will be unique for the island. The resort’s design responds to Zanzibar’s culture, climate and geography through the use of locally available materials, the organisation of spaces and strong references to the island’s heritage and craftsmanship. African design features such as Omani doors and balconies, traditional coconut thatch roofs, coral stone structures and typical local finishes will create a tranquil and elegant atmosphere throughout the resort.
Framed views of the beach and sea will be available from all parts of the site and the practice will design the lush landscaping to include a Spice Garden where indigenous and rare fragrant spices will be grown and used in the resort’s restaurants as well as to create an exclusive range of cosmetics.
Jestico + Whiles is an award-winning architecture and interior design practice with offices in London and Prague and a reputation for design quality and innovative solutions so we’re expecting great things of the Uzuri Hotel Resort.