A unique beach property where we ask our guests to become family.
Check out other Listings: 'Utupoa, Nyumba Kubwa' and 'Utupoa, Ngalawa bedroom'
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.
Other Things to Note
"This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whomever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond."
As we like to say, 'utupoa' means 'humanity is great.' We like to live up to this in terms of how we treat the beach, each other, and our relationship with the local village.
Our location dictates that we look after the environment. Water is a precious resource and electricity is still very much a privilege, not a right here. We ask that our guests respect and understand this paradise we are lucky to spend time in, and to help us protect it.
I was made to feel very welcome, right from the start. Tim was on hand to meet me, and introduced me to the people who'd be involved in my stay, something I really appreciated because I was able to establish relationships based on chemistry, and not on quality of service - which was just the right degree of helpful. The room was not exactly as I imagined - nothing ever is - but I was happy with it, and in it, because the veranda and surroundings were so lovely. I particularly liked the feeling that I was more than a paying guest, and was close enough to observe the daily rhythms of a household, rather than cloistered in a bubble; but removed enough to spend time away without feeling obliged. There was enough space for me to retreat and unwind, but not feel isolated. I especially liked the gathering around the dinner table at night, where lively conversation and good food rounded off lovely days.
utupoa was the perfect start to our honeymoon. we felt that we had the best of both worlds. the privacy and comfort of a 4 star resort - but at the same time the insights, local knowledge and advice so generously shared by our amazing hosts. we loved the interesting conversations around the dinner table. with delicious food to match. we pretty much had the beach to ourselves. only 30 mins by boat to the most amazing dive sites. we can confidently recommend utopoa as a very memorable and enjoyable holiday destination.
My sisters and I had a great time at Utupoa. Tim and Joyce made us feel immediately at home and cared for. We were greeted by beautiful weather and fresh mango juice, and our dinners in the evening were better then any restaurant. We enjoyed the great conversations, evening music, and lounging in their beautiful home. The beach was great, and while it may be far from more tourist-populated areas for some travelers, it was exactly what we had hoped for. I only hope on our next trip we can stay for longer.
We felt very welcome and
enjoyed the hospitality. The location is fantastic.
Often, we were the only people on the beach, like Robinson Crusoe, with WiFi. We over-imagined our ability to prepare gourmet fresh seafood meals, given the kitchen facilities. It would have been better if we had planned on dining with Tim and Joyce, or visiting some of the nearby beach restaurants.
Thanks for visiting our home Larry and Joyce. It was lovely meeting you. I hope you had a nice flight back and that you now have your airbnb p and running. Beautiful house. I am sure it will be great to visit. I am glad you enjoyed your visit to Utupoa and my apologies for the plumbing in the kitchen. Mental note to ke it occasionally used.
We went on a 3 week African adventure that included climbing Kilimanjaro, going on an unforgettable safari, and trekking with Gorillas, so to say that our stay with Tim and Joyce at Utupoa was undoubtedly a top highlight, is a lofty statement. From the moment we arrived, Tim welcomed us into his home and immediately began infusing our experience with culture, history, friendship, and his own personal stories of Zanzibar which enriched our entire experience on the island.
The house is filled with souvenirs, art, treasures and family moments that keep you intrigued from the moment you arrive, and make your mind wander to places you never knew existed. Their bookshelves are filled with insight and their walls with glimpses of a beautiful life.
Utupoa is a home away from home, a slice of heaven on the beach, a kitchen with delightful tastes, a comfortable escape filled with the sound of Africa, a place to relax and ponder, and a special home to be welcomed into.
Tim and Joyce thank you for hosting us, and for so much more.
A wonderful stay at Utupoa, my father and I were very well looked after, and did not want for anything. The location, the food,information about ancillary services we needed (drivers, diving etc), the spacious rooms, and above all the company, were tip top!
It has been nearly a week since we left Utupoa and it has taken just about that amount of time to find the words to express the depth of our appreciation for the visit. Simply put, this place is magical. Tim and Joyce have created a truly welcoming, warm and amenity-filled home. The décor and setting speak for themselves in photos here -- but it is the spirit and amity of this place that must be experienced. They are the essence of our extraordinary stay.
Utupoa provides access to tours and massages and activities similar to nearby hotels, but it is far better than a hotel or boutique lodge, it is a home. The other travelers we met all seemed to immediately become relaxed and interested in getting to know each other…sharing meaningful time together. Nightly dinners, cooked by Fatuma, were exceptional, and the opportunities to engage in meaningful conversations with residents and other guests were not to be missed.
We are certain that our meeting local young men and visiting their village along with an invitation to a wedding at another village (which we attended) could not and would not have happened at a hotel. Another highlight was Tim (and D.D) joining us to find caves, which we did and enjoyed (with bats!). Truly enchanting.
We will be back. No doubt about it.
This host has 8 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
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.