About this listing
A unique beach Lodge where we ask our guests to become family.
Choose between 6 separate Listings for our 6 different rooms.
Whichever room, we want you to feel you are at home within a hotel.
This Listing is for the Utupoa, Kijiji 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.
Our stay was fantastic. Utupoa is an amazing place to stay for a weekend - and we would have loved to have been able to stay for a month!
If you are looking for a place distinct from a 'hotel experience' but with all the niceties hotels offer, this is the place. Our room was great - bright, clean and very comfortable. The grounds were gorgeous around the buildings with plenty of spaces to lounge and read in the shade. The beach and the views of the ocean (particularly from the great hammock) were excellent as well. Really, this is an idyllic place to stay.
Tim was away, but spending time with Joyce was an excellent perk! She's a wonderful host and made us feel very much at home. She also has great knowledge of Matmwe village and the local history and culture and can help with any plans we may have wanted to make. We had dinner each night with Joyce and the other guests and it was excellent (common meals are completely optional, but very much recommended!). The food for breakfast, lunch, and (especially) dinner was all fantastic (thank you Fatima!!). The main building's table overlooking the beach was a gorgeous setting for breakfasts and lunch, and the larger table for dinner was a great place for it too!
I would also very much recommend snorkelling which can be arranged through Tim or Joyce with a local guide (Ali - who was great as well). The reefs and beaches nearby are fantastic.
Really, we cannot recommend Utupoa and Joyce (and Tim) as hosts more. Thank you!
We spent 10 lovely days at UTUPOA for our honeymoon. At first, we were just looking for a quiet place far from Zanzibar North bustle. And... Wooow !!!! This place was so much better than our expectations !
First of all the welcome was excellent. Tim & Joyce are pure people who treated us like family. We had such wonderful dinners with them (believe us, you have to taste just once in your life Ma Fatuma's cooking!).
Second, the place is really unique by its beauty and quiet.
There is a huge beach of white sand just in front of the house, wich is close to a -private- beach as you can stay there for hours without hearing any noise apart the waves... Perfect place for relaxation.
We also had wonderful swims there, and when the tides are low, you can easily manage to hire bikes or go snorkelling...etc !
Our trip was unforgetable, many many thanks !
Quite simply one of the most beautiful houses/lodges I've seen in my life. Being in Utupoa made me dream of happily retiring one day in a similar place.
Tim was an excellent host. We felt comfortable and truly at home. Huge thanks also to Fatuma who prepared the most delicious meals.
All in all, we couldn't have asked for a more pleasant stay. Thank you so so much.
Amazing beach, friendly host, lots of mosquitoes, lunch is a little disappointing.
We had a great week at Utupoa, and really enjoyed the quietness of the place.
On the negative side, the lunch is a little sparse (some days we only got leftover rice and vegetables) considering the price (8 USD) - also there is no child discount (our 6 year old daughter had to pay full price, even though we got an email beforehand half promising that we could talk about the price).
Please also be advised that dinner is served quite late (between 8 and 9 in the evening), which might be an issue if you have smaller children that are used to eating earlier.
Finally, remember to bring lots of insect repellent, as there are quite a lot of mosquitoes, and even though we slept under mosquito nets, they managed to sneak inside and bite us quite a lot (so tuck yourself well under the sheets)
Besides those couple of negatives, I must say it's quite a fantastic place, with lots of character, both the place itself and the wonderful host, who's got quite a number of good stories to tell over dinner.
If you are tired of staying at hotels/resorts, where each room looks the same, and where you barely interact with the staff, let alone other guests, Utupoa is definitively the place to visit.
No two rooms are the same, and the dinner at night with the host and the other guests is sure to bring people together.
I can't begin to describe how wonderful our holiday at Utupoa was. Not only is the location spectacular, the house itself is phenomenal and Tim and Joyce are exceptional hosts. We were looking for a relaxing holiday on the beach away from crowds. At Utupoa we were able to not only enjoy the tranquility of Matemwe beach which is on the doorstep of the property but we also relished the moments we spent inside the house (a true feat when competing with such beautiful natural surroundings). Tim and Joyce have created a space that feels private and comfortable but that is also wonderfully decorated and gives the sense of a true home. Add to that Ma Fatuma's amazing cooking (which we often enjoyed overlooking the beach from the top floor of the main house) and the excellent company of the hosts and you have the combination for a perfect holiday. We cannot say enough to express how much we enjoyed our time at Utupoa and our wonderful and fascinating conversations with Tim and Joyce. This is the perfect tranquil and beautiful beach holiday.
Staying at Utupoa with Tim and Joyce was a unique experience! They welcomed us into their lovely home and it was a great place to explore one of the nicest areas of Zamzibar.
Utupoa was a fantastic way to visit Matemwe Beach. It was the height of rainy season, and I was the only guest booked, but I was still welcomed warmly, fed incredibly well, and got to enjoy excellent conversation with Tim at dinnertime. The room was lovely (and the whole house has excellent character) and the location cannot be beaten - for anyone who is looking for a quiet, peaceful way to experience the beaches of Zanzibar, I cannot recommend a stay at Utupoa highly enough.
This host has 12 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
About the Host, Tim & Joyce
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.