kizikula

Kizimkazi Dimbani, Jambiani & South, Tanzania
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kizikula

Kizimkazi Dimbani, Jambiani & South, Tanzania

Stunning eco-hotel that fuses boutique luxury, individuality and local charm to create the ultimate romantic getaway

Stunning eco-hotel that fuses boutique luxury, individuality and local charm to create the ultimate romantic getaway

The very name Zanzibar conjures up the exotic and the glamorous – glittering seas, burnished sunsets, romance and the promise of adventure. Nowhere on this beautiful Tanzanian island captures that mood quite as effortlessly as kizikula, a cluster of nine spacious rooms nestling by the sea on the southern coast.

Owned and built by childhood friends Shehab and Adel, the villas look deceptively simple from the outside – pink coral limestone walls hidden amid the tamarind and soursop trees. But each has been lovingly and individually designed by (and named after) a series of renowned artists, and are both modern and timeless, simple but extravagant. Each is completely enclosed and private with its own spacious outdoor shower and a terrace or balcony facing the glittering waters of the Indian ocean. The décor combines hard surfaces and organic material – battered concrete, local Mninga wood, pastel tones, natural fabrics – and the pulsating scent of the tropics (not for nothing is Zanzibar called The Spice Island). If you can tear away from your private cocoon, there’s also a farm-to-table restaurant, a spa area, a 20m elevated pool, and a pavilion, and cocktail area overlooking the ocean – which is itself accessed by a charming underground tunnel.

Highs

  • The food in the all-day restaurant. The onsite organic permaculture farm yields much of the produce used in the kitchen – goats cheese, eggs, papayas etc
  • The service. One guest called kizikula the ultimate in ‘barefoot luxury’ – unfussy, relaxed but impeccable
  • The details. The architects Case Design not only designed the handsome villas but also much of the furniture and fittings too
  • This is the perfect spot to hole up with a special someone
  • Three roof terraces and a deck, all of which can be booked for dinner, yoga, meditation, the amazing sunsets, a night under the stars...

Lows

  • A pretty remote location, where you go to get away from it all. Shopping and nightlife will require planning and a car. The main focus of any such action is in Zanzibar City/Stone Town – nearly a 90-min drive away
  • Children under 15 are not encouraged – kizikula is very much a romantic haven. No rooms can be twins, there are no extra beds
  • The shore along here is rocky rather than sandy; the swimming pool and lovely beaches nearby more than compensate
  • No mini bars

Best time to go

July to September is the dry season and therefore the most popular time to go, although the temperature is fairly constant (around 28-34 degrees) all year round and even the short rains of November/December are quickly followed by bright sunshine. The only time be wary of is April to May when the long rains move in.

Our top tips

Stone Town is well worth a visit – it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and make sure you stay late enough to explore the night markets at Darajani and Forodhani Garden. There’s amazing food and wonderful sunset views from Swahili House restaurant. Grab a sugarcane juice, a spiced tea (or a cocktail) and soak up the atmosphere.

Great for...

Beach
Eco
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Romantic
  • Beachside Boutique Inn
  • 9 rooms
  • Restaurant and bar open daily
  • Adults only
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
  • Laundry service
Room:

Rooms

There are only nine dwellings so exclusivity comes as standard; the emphasis here is on privacy. Each has been designed by or inspired by a renowned artist so they are individual, although cohesive in tone and facilities – kingsize beds with Coco-mat mattresses, personal outdoor showers, air-con, bespoke fixtures and fittings, a generous balcony or terrace and yoga mats. The pink coral limestone found throughout has been quarried locally. Three pairs of rooms are arranged together, one atop the other. Winding paths connect all rooms to the pool, restaurant, palm-dappled gardens and beach.

Erica and Sam, on the ground floor, features indoor and outdoor showers and sits amid the permaculture garden. Sanaz (influenced by gallery owner Sunny Rahbar) has a gorgeous central bath. Mona is the most private and boasts pink hues and coral walls, while Sheeshoo is bolder and more modern, an eclectic marriage of bruised concrete, washed pink walls and dazzling aquamarines. Ambrosia has beautiful views over the ocean while Lava, we are assured, is favoured by lovers and honeymooners.

Do note there are quirks. For example all rooms have books except Sanaz and Meitha, some rooms have discreet, modern speakers – others have old school record players and vinyl albums. Some have cameras and coffee machines, others not.

Features include:

  • Fan
  • In-room treatments available
  • Mosquito net
  • WiFi

Eating

At kizikula breakfast is included and the menu changes according to the seasons – much is produced onsite (papaya marmalade anyone?) from the organic permaculture vegetable gardens, and can be tailored to vegetarian/vegan tastes. Lunch and dinner are also served daily and change often – seared tuna, calamari, biryani and the daily catch with lime, ginger and garlic – the seasonal farm-to-table ethos here is a point of pride. The menus are small, but always feature at least one option for vegetarians, pescetarians and meat-eaters. The resort also offers cooking classes in local cuisine.

There are some eateries within walking distance nearby: Karamba (ignore the menu and ask the chef what’s good); Stone Village (shrimp marsala, sweet potato with coconut) and Mnama (international cuisine (the Swahili curry comes highly recommended). Italian is a feature at the popular Aya Beach Restaurant but it specialises more in seafood – although people rave about its sambusas (a meat and onion samosa).

For more restaurant options and drinks, a 30-min car ride will take you to Paje Beach where you can wander the seafront and take your pick of beach bars, grab a cocktail as the sun goes down before dancing into the early hours.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian options
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • The sea recedes a considerable distance at low tide, allowing exploration of the sea bed
  • There’s a homemade gym and regular yoga classes
  • Take the bikes out and explore; the surrounding countryside is also ideal for an early morning hike
  • Enjoy boat excursions including a sunset cruise; many of the boat trips include a beach barbecue and, if you’re lucky, you might spot a dolphin or two
  • Take a day or two to explore the wider island. The customer team can arrange fishing and snorkelling trips, water and jetskiing, diving and kitesurfing
  • There are also a host of tours to be taken – a spice tour with cooking class, trips to Prison Island and Vanishing Island, walking tours around Stone Town, and a guided tour around Jozani Forest

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Kitesurfing
  • Private guided tours
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Well being
  • Wildlife
  • Yoga

Kids

This is an adults-only hotel.

Kid Friendly:

Location

kizikula is situated on the southern coast of Zanzibar, about 60km from the main airport Abeid Amani Karume International in Zanzibar City.

From the Airport
Airport transfers can be arranged, there are also a host of car hire outlets at the airport and in Zanzibar city. It's an hour and 15 minutes from the airport.

By Car:
Check out our car rental guide if you want to self-drive around the island. Note that roads are bumpy and signage can be unreliable. Taxies are fairly pricey but less stressful!

Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Abeid Amani Karume International Airport 59.0 km ZNZ

Other:

  • Beach 0.1 km
  • Shops 23.0 km
  • Restaurant 23.0 km

Rates for kizikula

Arriving on: