Mvuvi Boutique Resort

Kiwengwa, Matemwe & North, Tanzania
Book from GBP Book from £165 per night

Mvuvi Boutique Resort

Kiwengwa, Matemwe & North, Tanzania

A serene boutique resort perched on a spectacular beach, with 8 charming rooms, a seafront restaurant and a dreamy pool

A serene boutique resort perched on a spectacular beach, with 8 charming rooms, a seafront restaurant and a dreamy pool

On the northeast coast of Zanzibar (Unguja), an hour from the city, is Kiwengwa beach, one of the island's most beautiful. Here, perched right on the powder-white sand, is Mvuvi Boutique Resort. With just 9 light and welcoming rooms, this family-run beach retreat delivers on charm in a big way. For such an awe-inspiring setting, the vibe is pleasingly unpretentious. Rooms are contemporary and charming with a traditional Swahili twist – think whitewashed walls and pops of colour from locally sourced crafts and cushions. All come with a lovely outdoor terrace and a view of the turquoise sea or lush green, flower-filled gardens.

Spend days lazing by the oasis-style pool, tucked away in the resort, surrounded by trees and flowers. The restaurant here is an experience in itself; scoff just-caught seafood on the relaxing shaded deck overlooking the ocean. Walk a few steps across the resort’s private beach and go starfish-spotting in the crystal-clear blue sea. You might venture to a nearby diving site and swim alongside dolphins and turtles, or paddleboard at sunrise. Whatever you do, we suspect this is one for the memory bank. If you’re hankering for a chilled, bucket-list-worthy beach escape, this is it.

Highs

  • Doorstep access to a stunning private white-sand beach and clear blue ocean. Heaven!
  • The hotel staff are lovely and, by all accounts, offer an exceptional service
  • A top-rated restaurant in a chilled, to-die-for seafront setting
  • Spa treatments to the sound of the sea
  • A great location close to phenomenal diving/snorkelling sites

Lows

  • We hear the WiFi is a little patchy in the rooms but better elsewhere in the hotel
  • It’s not ideal for those with limited mobility – while there are spacious ground-floor rooms, there is sand right outside and no adapted bathrooms
  • The restaurant is spendy compared to others in the area
  • Expect a small traipse to the sea at low tide

Best time to go

June to October is Zanzibar’s dry season. June, July, September and October are especially pleasant times to visit. Temperatures are balmy and there's little rain.

There are two rainy seasons: mid-March to late May, and November. March brings the best diving conditions. Expect sweltering conditions in January and February. Note: it’s worth checking Ramadan dates if you plan to travel outside the resort because some restaurants close and there’s no drinking or dining outdoors during this time.

Our top tips

Be sure to pack limb-covering, light cotton clothes - not just for mozzie protection purposes, but also for respecting Muslim tradition when venturing into the town.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Resort
  • 9 rooms
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily) open daily
  • All ages welcome
  • 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
Room:

Rooms

Each of the nine rooms is a good size and pleasingly unpretentious. The design is contemporary with a traditional Swahili edge, each decorated with local arts and crafts like bold, patterned cushions and handcrafted homewares. Walls are white to keep things cool and airy. The beds are beautifully carved, wooden four-posters (twins are available if preferred), and there are ceiling fans and air-con to keep things cool.

All rooms are spread across the ground level and the first floor. The garden-view rooms are split into three categories – Standard, Deluxe, Superior – according to their size, and you can expect lush green garden views from the terrace swing chair or sofa. If you want to see the water, opt for either the Standard Sea View with its small private sit-out area, or the Comfort Sea View room on the ground floor, which packs some serious punch with its dreamy view and close proximity to the ocean – we’re talking sand hitting your toes the moment you leave your terrace.

Features include:

  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • In room treatments available
  • Safe box
  • WiFi

Eating

A relaxing, shaded terrace positioned directly on the hotel’s private beach makes for an impossibly beautiful dining setting. You could spend hours here, gazing at the ocean with a glass of something cold. Cuisine-wise, think Mediterranean-Swahili fusion, with an emphasis on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Breakfast is delicious fruit platters alongside your usual hot contenders. We hear it’s quite the spread.

The dishes served at lunch and dinner sound divine. We’re talking lobster with grilled vegetables, house fries and aioli; or seared tuna with green papaya, daikon and sesame dressing. Expect a good range of meat and vegetarian options also. There’s an impressive drinks menu too; spend evenings in the same spot, cocktail in hand. If you’d prefer something a little more private, the hotel staff can arrange a starlit table for two on the beach.

If you’d like to mix it up, there are other highly rated seafront restaurants within walking distance.

Features include:

  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian options
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Cool off in the hotel’s peaceful tree-lined, oasis-like pool
  • For peak relaxation, choose from a range of massages on offer in a serene cabana, nestled among the trees
  • Spend easy-breezy days chilling on the private beach, stopping only for a dip in the crystal-clear blue ocean
  • Dive or snorkel alongside dolphins, turtles and whales in Mnemba Atoll, a stunning conservation area. The hotel organises excursions
  • Set sail on a hand-crafted trimaran sailing boat. Cruises leave from outside the hotel and take you to the magical, starfish-filled coral reef
  • The hotel has recently opened a watersports centre, located a 3-minute stroll along the beach, offering kitesurfing, stand-up paddleboarding and wing foiling. Take lessons or borrow the gear and do your own thing
  • Explore Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Zanzibar’s historical heart (60 mins). Potter the mazy pebbled streets, barter in the spice market and devour freshly grilled fish at the buzzy Forodhani Gardens
  • Explore the immediate locality, there are bike rentals in the area

Kids

All ages are welcome at Mvuvi Boutique Resort, but parents take note: there aren’t any facilities aimed at children. We suspect the spectacular beach, watersports and shaded pool should keep them busy though.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

All but one of the rooms (the Comfort Sea View ) can come with an extra sofabed or cot, so families of 3 are well catered for. If travelling as a family of 4, you’ll need to book the Superior Garden Room on the first floor. It has two extra daybeds and a kingsize for the grown-ups. This is the largest of them all and is adequately roomy.

Distances:

  • Airport: 1 hour
  • Hospital: 15 minutes
  • Shops: 2 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

Mvuvi Boutique Resort is set on Kiwengwa beach, on the northeast coast of Zanzibar (Unguja) island, an hour northeast of Stone Town.

By Air:
Fly into Zanzibar International Airport. Regular flights from Heathrow and Gatwick take about 15 hours via Dubai.

From the Airport:
The hotel offers private transfers. Or take a cab from the airport (45km/1 hour).

By Car:
Check out our car rental guide if you need your own wheels. Be warned though, that roads are bumpy and signage is unreliable. Taxies are fairly pricey but less stressful!

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

Airports:

  • Abeid Amani Karume International Airport 46.0 km ZNZ

Other:

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

Rates for Mvuvi Boutique Resort

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