Darn Good Digs Review - Editors' Choice
Mustapha's Place, Bwejuu, Zanzibar, Tanzania
Nominated By: Chandra Barbagallo, London, United Kingdom, July '10
Price Range: US$15-$30 (per person) # of Rooms: 9 Kid-Friendly: yes
What makes Mustapha's Place so Darn Good? Mustapha's Place is a locally owned and managed quirky and funky hotel set in leafy gardens just two minutes away from a stunning tropical beach with powdery white sand and turquoise ocean. The garden creates its own micro-climate where tropical birds can be seen while you eat breakfast. I received a wonderful African massage at the in-house spa and was blessed to have a great time during my stay.
Vibe: The atmosphere is laid back, but everything is kept in good order by the very attentive and committed staff members who will do their best to accommodate your every need. Mustapha's staff has a great relationship with the locals which makes for a real cultural experience.
Location: Mustapha's Place is in the village of Bwejuu on the island's quiet eastern coast. While chilling out at the beach, swimming, and snorkeling are the most obvious activities, guests can also keep themselves busy exploring the rest of Zanzibar. Day trips include a visit to Stone Town, a Swahili coastal trading town designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a guided tour of the Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park to spot rare red colobus monkeys.
Rooms: The nine guest cottages, with telling names like the Treetop Room and Swiss Banda, are made from local materials such as makuti thatch and coral rock and are decorated with African fabrics and murals by local artists. All rooms are well cared for and unique, some have private baths, and others share nearby bathrooms.
Food: The kitchen prepares wonderful, nourishing, and healthy African-inspired food. The chef specializes in Zanzibari dishes and Swahili seafood such as plantains in coconut milk and octopus stew, as well as vegetarian meals using fresh produce and island spices. The bar serves up local beers and cocktails, and a simple breakfast of fresh fruit, toast, and eggs, along with coffee or tea, is included.
Keep in Mind: The hotel spa is only open during the high season.