Balance September 2017 - 63

T R AV E L
AT A GLAN CE

Booking info:
A seven-night stay at
Zawadi starts from
€3,675 for two people
on an all-inclusive
basis. For more
information, visit
ZawadiHotel.com
and TheZanzibar
Collection.com
When to go:
From June to October
when it's cool and
dry or December
to February, when
it's hot and dry.
Culture:
Spices, music
(taarab) and a Swahili
influence throughout.
Scenery:
Beaches lined with
palms, plus alcoves
and narrow streets.

z

anzibar, or the 'Spice Island' as it's also
known, is fast-becoming a popular
wellbeing destination. With idyllic
beaches that beg for you to practise your sun
salutations and a wealth of yoga retreats as well as
Swahili-inspired spas, this island, 25-50km off the
coast of Tanzania, is great for all in search of R&R.
As I step into a candlelit passage, the whirr of
mopeds in Stone Town's frenetic streets gradually
fades and I'm in a rabbit warren-like space of low
ceilings and centuries-old stone walls. The smell
of oud, or udi, an incense worn by Zanzibari
women, fills the air and a gentle soundtrack of
taarab music plays. I'm led behind a make-shift
curtain fashioned from African Kanga fabric and
I wait for my spa therapist to arrive.
She's a local Swahili woman who speaks little
English and has impaired vision. She works
tentatively around me, yet her intuition as she
moves around the massage table, kneading the
knots in my back, is impressive.
I'm at Mrembo Spa (mrembospa.com) and
I've booked in for the 'Singo Scrub', a treatment
inspired by a time-honoured ritual carried out on
Swahili brides for many generations. This heady
mixture oozes scents of ylang ylang, jasmine, rose
petals, sandalwood and native herbs, such as the
sweet-smelling mpatchori. There have been power
cuts, which I'm quickly learning is a common
occurrence in Stone Town. So, after a soothing
massage and vigorous scrub, I'm told there is no
hot shower for washing it off - I'll need to shower
'African style'...

SOOTHINGLY TRADITIONAL
I'm shown to another room and there's a barrel full
of water and a large wooden ladle. It feels eons away
from the sophisticated spas I've visited until now,
yet refreshingly therapeutic as I douse myself with
water. I emerge into Stone Town's labyrinthine streets
feeling calm, humbled and completely revived.
Zanzibar has been a magnet for Western
travellers for a couple of decades. And
rightly so - the country has all the sugarsand beaches and gorgeous sunsets that
honeymooners and safari travellers could
want. But, in recent years, Unguja, the
largest and most populated island, often

P L AC E S T O S TAY :

W H AT 'S YOUR
BU D G E T ?

SPLASH OUT:

Zawadi Hotel is a collection
of six luxury villas perched
above a stunning cove on
Mswakini Beach. Guests
have access to the nearby
Frangipani Spa.
Zawadihotel.com

HIGH-END:

Baraza Resort & Spa is a
haven of opulent Arabic
architecture and Swahili
design with a sleek,
contemporary twist. It has
30 villas, each with their own
private pools and is home to
the luxurious Frangipani Spa.
Baraza-Zanzibar.com

AFFORDABLE:

Nur hosts 10 thatched
bungalows in Jambiani, on
the south-east coast. Guests
can step into the swimming
pool from the open-air lobby
and the approach is stylish
'flash packers'.
Nur-zanzibar.com

SHOESTRING:

The spa women from
Mrembo Spa. Also
(above left) Stone Town
- a UNESCO World
Heritage Centre

September 2017 BA LA N CE

Stone Town Café & B&B
offers comfortable rooms
in the heart of Stone Town.
Rooms have traditional
carved Zanzibari beds.
Stonetowncafe.com

63


http://www.ZawadiHotel.com http://www.Collection.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Balance September 2017

Balance September 2017 - 1
Balance September 2017 - 2
Balance September 2017 - 3
Balance September 2017 - 4
Balance September 2017 - 5
Balance September 2017 - 6
Balance September 2017 - 7
Balance September 2017 - 8
Balance September 2017 - 9
Balance September 2017 - 10
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