Utupoa, Matemwe Beach, Zanzibar

House - Private room · Mnazi Mrefu village, Kaskazini, Zanzibar North, Tanzania

The Space

Lying opposite Mnemba atoll on the dazzling Matemwe beach, 'Utupoa' is Swahili and means people are 'fresh' or 'humanity is cool.' Karibu to our unique house with its huge roof, hidden somewhere between the East African tall palms and utopia.

Matemwe represents one of the quieter parts of the island with the most beautiful white stretch of working beach. The fishermen head out daily on their ngalawas and bring the fish into auction and ladies farm seaweed in the low tide.

We have 3 ensuite bedrooms available in Nyumba Safi. 'Ngalawa', a tribute to Swahili sailing culture; 'Sultani', echoes of Stone Town; and 'Kijijji' after our own local village. We can accommodate singles, couples, or groups of 6-8. If you are traveling with more people, let us know and we'd be happy to try sort something out. The house comes with its own very well equipped kitchen and a third floor lounge area with TV featuring the famous DSTV channels and a computer with WiFi.

In our main house Nyumba Kubwa we have two rooms available, recently remodelled and each with its own veranda leading onto the beach. We charge a bit more for these rather special rooms and we invite our guests to make themselves at home and enjoy the use of the whole house.

For meals we are very flexible, inviting you to eat with us or to cook for yourselves or just advising you on the best nearby restaurants. We can certainly organise traditional dinners of fresh seafood brought straight to our front door and cooked by our fabulous Swahili cook Ma Fatuma.

We are set up as a place to stretch out, shut down, sail our ngalawa, watch the sea (or DSTV), and leave recharged - as strongly as our solar back-up system!

Please always send us a message to inquire about availabilty as we have more than 1 room.

Karibu kwetu!

Room type: Private room
Bed type: Real Bed
Accommodates: 8
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 3
Beds: 5
Extra people: $35 / night after 2 guests
Minimum Stay: 2 nights
Weekly Price: $410 /week
Cancellation: Flexible
Pet Owner: Dog(s)

Overall Guest Satisfaction

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  • Very lovely place ! We had a nice stay. I can recommend it. Go !

    March 2014
  • Joyce and Tim were an absolute pleasure to stay with! There were 7 of us looking for some peace and relaxation after climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and Tim and Joyce's retreat was perfect. It honestly felt like an all inclusive experience- we didn't have to worry about a thing! For a little extra you can get breakfast, lunch and dinner at the main house (all of the meals we had were delicious, as you can imagine the fish is incredibly fresh!), and Tim and Joyce arranged everything for us. We wanted to go snorkeling/scubaing so Joyce arranged for us to go with local guides the very next day. She also set up a taxi service for us when requested. We didn't have to lift a finger to organize any activities, which was very much appreciated after our climb. The houses and the beach are stunning and very quiet. It's a little slice of tropical island heaven. I definitely recommend staying with Tim and Joyce if you are looking for a peaceful Zanzibar getaway. Thanks again Boswells!

    March 2014
  • Well, What can I say. The place is called Utupoa which means "cool" but it should be called Utopia as that is what I found. Heaven on earth. Tim and Joyce have carefully crafted the perfect holiday abode in what must be the quietist (tourist wise) beautiful island paradise. I was reluctant to post this as I don’t want anything to change and I want to go back many more times and don’t want the town of Matemwe to commercialise but I cannot hold back of raining of praise for this place. Top things to do. 1. Dine at the house, Ma Fatima cooks the best food everywhere else will not live up to her cooking. 2. Local village and school tour with Joyce’s students (A must, very authentic experience) 3. Take the neighbours kayak out for a paddle 4. Sit and relax on the hammock and smile and realise that you are in absolute paradise. 5. Snorkelling trip with a local (Remember to bargain, it should cost no more than $20 USD) 6. The swimming is great as the water is so clear and warm, be careful of urchins and low tide. 7. You must buy one of Joyce's amazing bead necklaces, don’t forget to ask Tim about the story of your necklace 8. I had to mention eating Ma Fatima's food again.....Yes it was that good. 9. Try and drink from a fresh coconut from the tree, If you are lucky Joyce will offer you a good slurp of rum in it! 10. Enjoy, Relax. If you are lucky enough to stay with Tim and Joyce, enjoy every minute as time slips away far too easily and before you know it you are back at the desk wondering if that such a place existed. I will find my way back there one day!.

    March 2014
  • This was a wonderful place to stay! better than a 5 star hotel!
    Joice and all the housekeepers plus the Swedish neighbors were all amazing! I didn't spend a single moment wondering what to do, there's always something up at Utupoa! Joice has great connections with locals in all kinds of businesses and she seemed happy to help out with anything. The house is beautiful, Fatuma's cooking is superb (will never forget). There's only two more things to mention: tide water sucks (schedule you swim), 1 hour drive to town.
    I definitely recommend this and I will surely come back if I get a chance. Thumbs up!

    February 2014
  • We stayed 3 nights at Utupoa and actually came back at the end of our stay in Zanzibar - it was so good here! A beautiful place, the house is huge and just amazing, and you can find several places in and around it to read, have a nap, etc. The deco is worthy of design magazines, with impressive paintings from their daughter, a "private" beach with incredible colours, and very nice and comfortable rooms.
    We received a very warm welcome from Tim and Joyce, had the chance to learn about them and life in Zanzibar at dinner (Fatuma's Cooking is really great to discover Zanzibar meals, much better than at most local restaurants).
    Utopa is quite far from tourist-laden beaches and places, which is great to relax, but also means having the meals here is the easiest option.
    Tim and Joyce also put us in contact with drivers and people for excursions or transport. When we came back, we already felt at home.
    We can absolutely recommend this place. It is more in the spirit of a real bed and breakfast than most other appartments we stayed at.

    January 2014
  • My wife and I had a great time at Utupoa, we enjoyed the peace and quite of the house and beach. Our host and hostess could not have been nicer, their local knowledge was a great help in our understanding and enjoyment of our time Zanzibar.

    January 2014
  • I should maybe leave a negative review of Utupoa: perhaps then not too many people would find the little paradise that Utupoa is, Tim & Joyce wouldn't get exhausted of hosting people and I'd increase my chances of being able to visit them again… Just kidding: go there if you can! The place has a unique, relaxed, timeless atmosphere that I really enjoyed and Tim, Joyce and Fatma were very welcoming: I felt immediately at home upon arrival.

    It was easy to concentrate on living in the moment at Utupoa & Zanzibar in general. The days went by on a diving course. Then, if I felt like it, I borrowed a bike from a nearby hotel and went for a ride on the beach and around the island or had something to eat, or had an interesting conversation with the other guests, or just took it easy in one of the hammocks. This is a perfect place to forget about time pressures: eat when hungry, relax when tired, socialize with the others when you feel like… Just don't miss Fatma's call to dinner! The food is every bit as good as everyone keeps telling you.

    I also recommend getting to know the locals, at least a bit. You can perhaps find someone to take you on a village tour to the local village of Kilimajuu and have a talk with the guides afterwards. It will be worth your while to have look also behind the scenes, as it were!

    January 2014
  • I had a great time at Utupoa. Would like to come back any time, it was hard to leave.

    January 2014
  • Our family of four (with two teens) stayed at Utupoa for seven nights after a week in Rwanda and a safari in Tanzania. It was paradise. We had our own private area with two large bedrooms and bathrooms, a deck, and kitchen. We ate most of our meals, prepared with fresh, local ingredients, with Tim and Joyce and the three other guests staying there at the time. Lively conversation and one evening, a rousing dose of Cranium. Fatma is an amazing cook and a couple of times prepared whatever the fishermen had caught that day and brought to Utupoa. I am still dreaming of the sweet mangoes and pineapples and crunchy coconut. The menu is very flexible and Fatma will accept requests, but my advice is leave it up to her. Every bite is delicious.
    Spend your days in one of the hanging swings, a hammock or bed on the beach. Pick up one of the many books lying around the place, including the Swahili/English dictionary. Stroll through the village behind and greet the friendly villagers. When the power goes out, count your blessings. When the water pressure is low, open a beer. Wait for the tide to come in and go for a swim. Snorkel.
    The beach is empty, and long walks at sunrise are the best time to plot how you are going to quit your jobs and move here for life. Today it is minus 32 in Montreal and my plotting continues....

    January 2014
  • Un petit paradis!
    We have been really happy with our experience in Utupoa. Everything was perfect, the accommodation, food, beach,... Tim and Joyce are really helpful and interesting people. Fatima, the chef can be really surprising! She can cook amazing food. If you want to enjoy the beach and rest, this is the place to be!
    We will definitely go back.

    January 2014
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Tim was a pilot in the Middle East when we first came to Zanzibar on a flight he was operating. It was 1992, before electricity, tarmac or cell phone networks. We fell in love with Matemwe and have made it our home. It is a home that we like sharing, and are very happy to welcome guests to experience the fantastic beach, food, hospitality and weather that Zanzibar has to offer.
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