“A small private island just off Stone Town with 10 guest rooms, a villa, a restaurant and a long sandy beach”
There are 5 traditional Zanzibari bandas (thatched bungalows) which are split into 2 ensuite rooms. These share a terrace that overlooks the sea and have double height ceilings, wooden beams and traditional fabrics. The bedroom features a large double canopy bed - the traditional Zanzibari four-poster with a mosquito net draped over it - whose plump pillows are adorned with a freshly plucked hibiscus flower. There’s a small table and chair, a ceiling fan and simple but elegant décor. There’s just enough space for a cot or an extra bed if required, while at the back is a bathroom with a basin, shelves, an open-plan shower and a separate toilet. We suppose there’s a possibility of noise from your adjoining neighbour but we didn’t hear any. All in all, these are simple, practical, comfy beach rooms, perfect to lay yourself down in after stepping off the sand.
Outside is a shared wooden terrace with deckchairs, and just beyond that a thatched parasol with your own sunloungers. The sea is so close that at very high tides it practically laps at your terrace. It's a lovely place to watch the sunset while you sip your sundowner.
Then there's the Sunset Villa (the newest addition at Chapwani). This can be made up as a Suite with a double bedroom, a living room, 2 bathrooms (1 of which has a huge tub), a private terrace, a plunge pool and its own section of beach, making it the ultimate honeymooners’ getaway. It can also be booked as a Family Room, with the living room transformed into a second double bedroom. It’s traditional in design and decorated simply, but you’ll be gazing out at the incredible view of the Indian Ocean.
Sandy paths, lit by paraffin lamps, lead to the central dining and seating area; an open-sided space with a high thatched roof and views to the sea in both directions, which showcases the narrow island.
Dinner is a communal and relaxed affair which begins with a cold beer and a chat with the other guests and staff. We enjoyed baked crab served in its shell, steak and chips, and a fruit parfait served by smiling and traditionally robed young Zanzibaris. You can expect succulent seafood and spicy local delicacies, like cucumber-and-crab-paste, crab pincers cooked with ginger, fish curry with raisin-and-saffron-speckled rice, local ratatouille and, after cleansing the palate with fresh mango, flambéed bananas. Many of the ingredients are grown on the island and the fish are bought directly from the local fishermen. If you're in the Sunset Villa you can opt to eat on your terrace. On special occasions, alternative and personalised meals can be arranged and served exclusively by the pool or on your terrace.
Breakfast was a familiar (but always delicious) spread of fresh fruit, juices, hot drinks, bread, jam and eggs to order. If you're half board but decide to stay on the island for lunch, there is a comprehensive snack menu available.
Chapwani is a great place for children of all ages; with a sandy beach, unthreatening wildlife and a fascinating town on your doorstep. Under 12s stay for free in parents' rooms. Wooden Zanzibari cots and extra beds are available on request.
Each of the bungalows contain 2 double rooms which families can book together. But better still is the Sunset Villa set up as a Family Room: 2 double beds, and space for 2 rollaway beds and 2 baby cots, plus you'll have a private plunge pool and section of beach on your doorstep
Baby cots are available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking