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Dhow on the clear waters in Zanzibar
Credit: Ross Nortier/Getty Images

Today in Reasons to Travel Now, an upcoming opening in Zanzibar is part of a crop of chic new stays that are making Tanzania’s island paradise the next must-visit beach destination.

This July, Tanzania's first Design Hotel, Zuri Zanzibar (bungalows from $345), will debut on the northwestern tip of Zanzibar's main island, Unguja. The 55 thatched-roof bungalows have warm, earthy décor and private terraces. The garden-like setting — a product of two years of meticulous plant selection — gives each villa a sense of seclusion. If you need a break from the private white-sand beach, head over to the Spice Garden, a mini-park with shaded footpaths, lounge areas, and an outdoor kitchen for cooking classes.

View from the Zuri Zanzibar hotel, a Design Hotel
Credit: Courtesy of Design Hotels

But Zuri Zanzibar is only the latest in a wave of arrivals that have reached this ocean idyll. For years, Zanzibar’s luxury hotel scene was dominated by Mnemba Island — a private island off the eastern coast — and the white-washed beachfront Kilindi Hotel in Nungwe. But as the popularity of this easygoing east African island chain grows, so do the accommodation offerings.

Chuini Zanzibar Beach Lodge opened in 2016, bringing a chic hotel with a collection of thatched bungalows to the west coast. Across the island, Xanadu Villas and Retreat opened six beach-facing villas nestled between tropical palms. And in 2020, Blue Amber, a luxury development with residences and an Anantara Zanzibar, will be unveiled.

Despite the archipelago’s expanded offerings, some things don’t change — no matter when you go or where you stay, you’re still guaranteed those stark-white beaches and an iridescent blue sea.