Out Of This World Memoirs: Xanadu Villas & Retreat, Dongwe, Zanzibar

2 min read

In this wanderlust-fuelling series, MOJEH editors journey back in time to the escapes that have inspired them most. Here, we visit the the breathtaking beauty of a deserted sea-edge in Zanzibar. 

Look inland and wild, gigantic palm trees rise up from verdant grassland and frame gloriously starburst-hued sunrises and sunsets. Face out to sea and crystal-clear water gently laps across marshmallow-soft sand. This is Zanzibar’s eastern coastline – all at once perplexingly beautiful and wildly raw – where life moves at the tender flutter of a butterfly. 

Hidden among the unruly greenery resides Xanadu Villas, an exquisite Arabian-inspired retreat featuring seven uncompromisingly perfect – yet each one unique from the next – villas that overlook the glistening Indian Ocean.

Xanadu Villas & Retreat

Xanadu Villas & Retreat

Conceived by its owners out of a “desire to breathe,” laid- back luxury at Xanadu is like nowhere else. The surprisingly spacious villas feature high ceilings, private pools and the most superb eye for art, (paintings of wild Elephants from Africa’s plains hang across from eclectically-hued works from local artists).

Bursts of vivacious colour are found at every turn of the resort, from the perfectly preened flora to the impressive interiors which feature a patchwork of Seventies-style prints.

Xanadu Villas & Retreat

Xanadu Villas & Retreat

Morning, noon and night exists to the backdrop of African, Arabian and Spanish music gently humming throughout the space, punctuated only by the sounds of local staff who are jovial, unassuming and always on-hand.

The rhythms of the day are interrupted by long, lazy walks along the beach, paddle boarding, yoga on request, or by indulging in locally sourced organic products at the Kiota Spa. A relaxed, convivial revelry lingers on, particularly by nightfall, when the retreat is littered with warm lighting and laughter. 

Xanadu Villas & Retreat

Xanadu Villas & Retreat

Time of year… The island is best enjoyed from June to October where the climate is both cool and dry.

What to pack… The dress code is boho slips and bikinis for barefoot strolls down to the beach. If it is a bit laissez-faire, nobody cares.

Find out more at Zanzibar-retreats.com

Read Next: MOJEH takes a trip to back to the Anantara Layan Phuket

  • Words by Kelly Baldwin