Xanadu Villas and Retreat is unlike anything you could ever imagine! It is distinctively different from any other private retreat you will ever have the pleasure of visiting in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Here is where peace and tranquility await you. It is beyond a 5-star experience; therefore, I am reluctant to use this rating when talking about this incredible property. Xanadu Villas and Retreat is situated along the South East Coast of Zanzibar. While it is only about an hours drive from Stone Town, it offers you something that Stone Town doesn’t, EXCLUSIVITY!
Xanadu Villas and Retreat is a secluded, luxury, beach-side retreat that initially seems like a mirage, but I assure you, it really does exist. The sheer beauty and splendor that is all around you, is enough to make you ask someone to pinch you because you may just think you’re dreaming. I know what you’re thinking, “nothing can be this fabulous.” However, Xanadu Villas and Retreat is as fabulous as it gets! It is how I would describe, pure luxury.
Guests are retrieved from wherever they are and personally driven to the retreat. You have no idea what to expect since it is a destination that is slightly off-the-beaten-path. However, I assure you that what you will experience is nothing far from amazing! Upon arrival, you are warmly welcomed to Xanadu Villas and warmly welcomed by the manager Ashley. Ashley is as much a part of your total Xanadu Villas and Retreat experience, as the rest of the incredible staff. Guests are escorted to their villa where they are given an overview of everything in the villa and introduced to their butler, yes, a butler.
Each villa has a personal butler who will attend to guests every need during their stay and is only a call away. Check-in is very personalized, as they bring the forms directly to you. Meals are made to order, whenever guests would like and dining is offered in your villa, beach-side or in the retreats lovely dining area. If you’re like me, you’ll want to experience eating a meal in every part of this stunning property. However, I must admit my absolute favorite place to have my meals were at the beach-side gazebo. I simply couldn’t resist watching the sunset over the ocean and listening to the sounds of the Indian Ocean while dining beach-side.
The creative genius behind Xanadu Villas and Retreat, Eileen (who I simply can not say enough good things about) designed and decorated each villa. The design and architecture of the villas are like something out of this world. The villas are extremely regal because of their décor and design aesthetic, all thanks to the property owner, Eileen. Eileen decorates with deep rich colors alongside calming neutrals to create the perfect balance of serenity. Each villa is different yet each is just as spectacular as the next. Villa’s come with a private plunge pool, outside shower, WIFI, kitchen and lounge, mini fridge, beach access, housekeeping and laundry service, meals and drinks (soft drinks, beers, wines). They are so far apart from each other that you really feel as though you are on your own private island.
As guests are left to settle into their villa and compose themselves, they may want to explore the property further. In the center of the retreat is where guests will find a beautiful resort-style pool, lounge area, and dining area. The ambiance is like that of a tropical island, open and airy. Fresh breezes and fresh air are all around and Xanadu Villas and Retreat is the perfect place to lay back and take it all in. While most guests appreciate the laid-back, tranquil surroundings offered at this lovely beach-side retreat, after a few days of catching up on some rest, it may be time to set sail for an adventure.
Activities Coordinator, Liam will sit with guests and help them create the itinerary that is ideal for them. The things that will be offered to you is kayaking, Sup boarding, snorkeling and other water activities and private excursions. Picture yourself on a private boat, headed to a secluded island where a chef is preparing a gourmet meal. These are the types of excursions that are offered to the guests of Xanadu.
The meals prepared for guests are just as exquisite as the retreat itself. Inspired by the cuisine of Zanzibar, meals include locally sourced vegetables, fresh herbs from the gardens of Xanadu, and freshly caught seafood, perfectly blended with the spices of Zanzibar to create gourmet food fare unlike no other. The server does a wonderful job of making recommendations for both food and wine based on your food preferences, i.e., vegetarian, seafood, steak, etc. Nothing is etched in stone so if you have a special meal request, the resident chef will pull out all the stops to try to accommodate your requests.
Finally, no island vacation would be complete without pampering yourself with a spa treatment. While staying at Xanadu Villas and Retreat, make sure you stop by Kiota Spa to get the total ‘Xanadu Experience!’ They offer everything from signature massage treatments to manicures and pedicures. Your spa experience is enhanced with the sights and sounds of the Indian Ocean, just across from the spa.
I could go on and on telling you about Xanadu Villas and Retreat but in reality, it is simply indescribable. The exceptional service, property, food and overall attention to detail are what make it a must-see. This is one place that far exceeds expectations and where you really do get what you pay for. Chances are that when you stay at Xanadu Villas and Retreat, you will undoubtedly become a regular and you will always be welcomed with open arms.
Hakuna Matata (No worries in Swahili) takes on true meaning when you stay at Xanadu Villas and Retreat.
Travel Writer/Luxury Boutique Hotel Specialist
Dawn Wilson is a Travel Writer and Luxury Boutique Hotel Specialist. As the owner of Unique Boutique Hotels, she writes about the boutique hotels with the highest guest approval ratings. She has also written for several digital lifestyle magazines, which include, the Miami Shoot Magazine. Her love of travel, art, and design led her to become a travel writer who focuses on luxury lifestyle experiences. She recently began exploring more international boutique hotels & resorts and is excited to share her recent discoveries. Dawn splits her time between the U.S. and South Africa.