andBeyond has announced a comprehensive refurbishment for andBeyond Mnemba Island, situated off the northeastern coast of Zanzibar. To that end, the lodge will be temporarily closed from January 11, 2024 and will reopen on October 1, 2024.
Undertaken by long-time andBeyond collaborators Fox Browne Creative and Nicholas Plewman Architects, the design will reflect the form of the nautilus shell, while the interiors will maintain the lodge’s natural color palette, punctuated by coral accents. The lodge structure will continue to incorporate coral stone, with the addition of traditional Lamu plaster.
The expansion of the existing bar area into a coffee and juice bar by day and cocktail area by night will offer more opportunities for friendly chatter before activities and meals. The addition of a mezzanine level to the dining area will provide an added area for private dining while optimizing the views over the Indian Ocean. New design elements will allow for dining spaces to be enclosed in the event of inclement weather, while guests will still be able to enjoy the experience of dining with feet in the sand. An inner courtyard will be utilized for torch-lit dinners with a Swahili influence.
Inspired in shape by the nautilus shell, 12 new beach bandas will sport a design that retains the feeling of being open to nature while still offering privacy. Each banda will have two entrances, one directly from the beach and the other from the island’s interior forest. The bedrooms will have floor-to-ceiling louvered blinds. A new Family Banda, comprising a full suite with an interconnecting smaller room and bathroom, will cater for those traveling with children.
The Wellness Banda will offer two treatment rooms and an outdoor yoga deck with daily classes now included in the offering. Mnemba’s menu of Healing Earth wellness treatments will be supplemented with a range of alternative therapies including reiki, reflexology, singing bowls, sound bath, meditation and more.
A new Dive Center will offer the opportunity to include all-day dhow cruises, hydrofoil bikes, catch-and-release fishing, kayaking and beach games. A dive propulsion vehicle will enable scuba diving guests to explore even more of the coral reefs surrounding the island, and GoPro cameras will also be available.
Adjacent to the Dive Center will be an interpretive center showcasing the conservation and community programs run by Oceans Without Borders, a collaboration between andBeyond and Africa Foundation, which is dedicated to marine conservation and community development. Many of the on-site activities, especially those aimed at children, will promote awareness of Zanzibar’s marine ecosystem and the need to protect it. For instance, young guests will be invited to join the island’s turtle monitors on morning walks to check for evidence of turtle nests. They can also accompany the island’s chefs as they inspect the daily catch and educate local fishermen to ensure that no rare or endangered species are caught. Older children can even assist with land-based activities carried out by the team responsible for Mnemba’s coral reef restoration project. Guests of all ages can participate in community visits on mainland Zanzibar or join in conservation lessons taught at local schools.
Source : Luxury Travel Adviser