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“Rustic, remote and AWESOME!”

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Upepo Boutique Beach Bungalows
Ranked #6 of 14 Bwejuu B&B and Inns
Reviewed February 3, 2014

We LOVED our few days at Upepo on the gorgeous island of Zanzibar. Here are the reasons:
1. It's remote and very quiet. A real getaway! You won't see or hear many other people.
2. The food was fresh and lovely. Fish, fruit, amazing lobster!
3. The service was above and beyond what we expected. The manager Mohammed (and his crew) was irresistibly sweet and happy to do anything possible to make our stay fun.
4. Gorgeous snorkeling in the lagoon of a boat with Ramadan and Haji.
5. Riding bikes on the beach was super fun. Walking for miles is great too.
6. The water was so aquamarine and warm it was heavenly. Wish I was there now.
7. Our little cabana was right on the powdery sandy beach.
This place is not for people who want the usual western amenities. The showers are cold water, not sure their is wifi everywhere (we didn't care), no AC (we didn't need it. ), when it's windy in January it gets pretty sandy. For us, this was a real get-away. We loved it. Thanks guys!
By the way.. the review by mkpatt2 says it all very well. thanks!

Room Tip: We stayed in both of the little beach bungalows. One for my husband and me. The other for our adult...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Kjstanton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 - 29 of 71 reviews

Reviewed January 20, 2014

The bungalow I stayed in was perfect. It's just what I was hoping for. Surrounded by windows and full of fresh ocean air. You'll only hear the rustle of palm fronds and waves crashing as you fall asleep. Bwejuu was quite when I visited, but it made for the ideal Zanzibar experience. I can't recommend it enough. Here are details on which bungalow to ask for: http://www.trulytraveled.com/upepo-bungalows-bwejuu-village-zanzibar/

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank mdjVT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2013

This is absolutely one of the best places we've ever stayed hands-down. A review could not even do this place justice. Pictures can not do it justice. Now, if you like fancy all-inclusive resorts, then do not stay here. If you like hidden gems, local flavor, peaceful, the real Zanzibar experience, then this is for you. This is a true hidden gem. Now, I know I have a long review so if you want something shorter, visit their website and view the end of the video. It's a good snapshot. I feel the video portrays the place very accurately and actually the place is even nicer than what the pictures and video can do justice.

It is the best value for money on the whole island. It is not fancy but it's incredibly nice and you get a much nicer experience here than you get for more money at any other place on the island. We drove around the whole island twice trying to scout out other places and found nothing even close in comparison. We planned to only stay here 3 nights and then look for something elsewhere but after seeing this place, and the other options, there was nothing like it and we stayed 2 weeks instead!
It is a true boutique accommodation in that there are only 3 rooms. The rooms are all the closest to the water/beach that you can get. I could sit up in bed and feel I was on the beach.
The owners and staff are fabulous and make you feel like family and give you a real local experience.
The food is the best value for money as well. We tried eating elsewhere and were always disappointed in quality and price so basically ate all our meals here. They are great cooks and it's all fresh, local and delicious.
Very relaxing atmosphere. This is not a big resort beach here, just locals and scatterings of small boutiquey resorts.
The beach is the best on the island aside from resort areas. Now you have to understand that Zanizbar beaches are tricky. If you want the best beach you have to stay in crowded resorts and you won't get a beachfront room unless you pay ridiculous prices and there will always be tons of people at the beach with you. This beach has great sand, blue blue water but you can only swim at high tide. There is lots of seaweed but you get that everywhere in Zanzibar except the resort beaches of Kendwa and nearby those. However you can still snorkel here, you can still swim and it's great for walking on...you can walk all day if you want here. The sand is exceptionally white and soft. If you walk down to Paje beach from here there is even better swimming (still hard to swim at low tide) but you get more people and kite surfers but it's nice swimming. So you can get a bit of everything by staying here.
The rooms are spectacular. Very well kept, nice bathrooms, again, right on the beach.
There is a good breeze here on this beach which is a must in Zanzibar. Kendwa has nearly no breeze. You need the breeze. You don't really need airconditioning. yes it's hot, but there's always a breeze at Bwejuu beach so it's fine.
I would absolutely stay here again, no hesitations. I would recommend this place to anyone that isn't looking for a resort type area. You could be on a budget, splashing out on your honeymoon or have plenty of money to spend in Zanzibar and this place would fit the bill. It's great value for money for Zanzibar.
Some of our best memories are from here.

Room Tip: The room that is right below the owners' is great. Right on the beach.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank mkpatt2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2013

The only problem with Upepo was that I didn't arrive 3 days earlier. I
had decamped from Kendwa which had really not been my dream of a quiet
Zanzibar paradise. Upepo and Bwejuu were exactly that.

I was lucky enough to get the above ground floor room at Upepo (there
are only four rooms) which has a big balcony facing directly onto the
beach. The room is very simple but light and lovely - I liked the
typical Swahili fabric used. Towels are provided, although not beach
towels. There's no safe/fridge/AC but I didn't even use the fan
because the breeze kept everything more than cool enough. The one
luxury I did miss a little was hot water, especially as it is quite
cool in the evenings when taking a shower, but I found the classic
head under tap approach worked well enough!

The staff are absolutely lovely and so were the other guests, which
really enhanced my experience. I enjoyed the food which is reasonably
priced - the crab coconut curry and octopus were my favourite and the
fish was also good. The calamari I found a little tough and the
lobster had a somewhat powdery texture and maybe was a little overdone
but then again I had similar experiences with both elsewhere so I
think it's the way this seafood is rather than the cooking. I really
liked the spices used on the calamari and octopus - cloves I think?
Anyway it's all good although bear in mind that portions are not
gigantic (although totally adequate) so if you've just been for a 1h
swim/2h walk you might need dessert or to add some snacks you bring
yourself. It's also worth bringing water to have in your room just for
convenience. I didn't try any other restaurants nearby because it was
just so nice to have everything on site. All you have to do is tell
Rasta about an hour beforehand what you feel like eating, and it
appears! Then you can focus on enjoying one of the hammocks, possibly
my favourite Upepo feature.

As for the swimming and walking, I really enjoyed both. I didn't have
the problem with stinging jellyfish bits here I did up at Kendwa,
which was nice. When I was at Upepo the tide was in from about 11-3 so
there were lots of swimming hours and the water gets really nice and
warm close to the beach, but is more wavy and exciting further out
(actually, be careful of the currents if you do swim far our because
they are quite strong). I loved walking in the early evenings,
especially seeing local residents out wading and playing football on
the beach. The beach really doesn't feel touristy at all - there's
very few other foreigners on it, which is great, and you might have a
few people approaching you (I think this happened to me more because I
was a woman alone) but not so much that it gets annoying/intimidating.
It's not completely unblemished white because there's seaweed but I
liked how natural this looked and it's amazing to just see palm trees
lining the shore rather than hotels. You can walk for miles - I walked
down to Paje to see the kite surfers which is quite a sight, and you
can go way beyond that even. Proximity to Paje is good if you do feel
like a night out because there's more going on down there, however at
Upepo we also had an awesome beach bonfire on Saturday night with the
guys joined by others from next door for some raucous singing.

I've already recommended Upepo to several friends - it's just perfect
as far as I'm concerned, and really good value. I hope to come back!

Room Tip: There is one double room above ground which has a balcony with unbeatable beach/sea reviews, ask for...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank Pgnacht
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2013

My sister and I stayed at Upepo during our staying in Zanzibar and were instantly in love with this magical spot. The lovely tropical gardens, the white sands of the beach, the OUTSTANDING food (seriously, I've never eaten so well), and the fantastic staff all made this the trip of a lifetime.
Our hosts, Fatma and Shareef were attentive, warm, and helped us arrange fun outings to go snorkeling, dancing, to the Jozani forest where we saw tons of monkeys up close, to Stonetown... whatever we wanted to do they helped us make it happen. Rasta was also amazing - always with a smile on his face and something funny to say.
We loved our Garden bungalow, tucked under the trees amongst the tropical plants of the garden. The space was clean, cool, the decor felt luxurious and the mattresses were so comfortable after a long day in the sun.
I can't rave enough about this place - everyone should stay here when visiting Zanzibar!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Sara S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2013

I was completely in love with this hotel. Really beautifully done rooms, right on the beach if you request, wonderful hammocks to lie in, yoga mats to use or lie on, gorgeous sunrises, great beach to walk or bike on at low tide. The staff are incredibly attentive, friendly, and helpful - they can take care of anything you need, and the prices they charged for activities, airport pickup, etc. were quite competitive (get the airport pickup - a driver who doesn't know the place will never find it). They are very protective of you, and really make sure that you have a fantastic stay. I don't quite know how to capture how beautiful this place is, and what a good job Upepo does in allowing you to appreciate it fully, from well-placed and designed seating, lovely and charming room decorations, a lovely outdoor dining area, etc. Very highly recommended.

Things to be aware of (I'm hesitant to say cons, since these are the sorts of things to be expected in a small beach hotel, but do be aware before you book): 1) There is no hot water, and it is a salt water shower. 2) There are a fair number of bugs in the room. Generally not distracting (though there were a bunch of tiny ants in my bed at one point, which I was not a huge fan of). They have great mosquito nets though (the structured ones that you don't have to fuss with and tuck in), and the wind generally keeps the flying bugs at bay, but if you would be upset by seeing some bugs on the bathroom floor, this might not be quite the right place. 3) Food takes a very, very long time to be prepared. They say 1 hour, but it's often more like 2. The food is really tasty once it arrives though! And I didn't find that any of these things interfered with my enjoyment or love of Upepo, since I was prepared for them by other Trip Advisor reviews, but it is a good idea to be prepared for them.

Room Tip: Ask for a beach front room! They are stunning.
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Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
2  Thank L K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2013

My boyfriend and I have just returned from a 10 day stay at Upepo near Bwejuu and had an amazing time there. It was the perfect holiday. We loved it and are officially in love with Zanzibar, Bwejuu and everyone at Upepo!! The owners, Shareef and Fatma, are lovely genuine people who are there if you need them but also give you the privacy and space to enjoy your holiday. The rest of the staff: Mohamed, Rasta and Chollo, are all incredibly friendly and welcoming and nothing is too much trouble - they made our holiday! :-)

The accommodation is great - simple, clean bungalows in a stunning setting right on the beach. The food was tamu tamu (Rasta is a god in the kitchen!) and the beach was beautiful with loads to do, or you could just sit back and relax.

For us it was the perfect place to stay: quiet, laid back, away from the tourist resorts, beautiful beach, great people and amazing food.

We would go back in a heartbeat and can't recommend it enough!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank iamhannon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Upepo Boutique Beach Bungalows

Address: Bwejuu Village beach, Bwejuu, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Bwejuu
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 14 B&Bs / Inns in Bwejuu
Price Range: $68 - $80 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Upepo Boutique Beach Bungalows offers the convenience of a hotel with private bungalows on the beach and a great breakfast included in the price. Set on a long white sand beach on the East Coast of Zanzibar, we offer a quiet safe environment to relax. Enjoy opportunities for snorkeling, diving, kite-surfing, or rent a bike and explore on your own. Our restaurant uses fresh local ingredients and serves Zanzibar dishes as well as International favorites. Follow us on Instagram: upepo_zanzibar ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Upepo Boutique Beach Bungalows Zanzibar Island/Bwejuu

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