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Kilindi, Zanzibar 

Tel: 255 24 223 1954
view web site ›'s insider take:

Located on the quiet northern coast of Zanzibar, Kilindi is a tranquil place to round out your time in Tanzania after the excitement of a safari or a Kilimanjaro climb. Antique Zanzibari doors lead to 15 private pavilions, which include a bedroom with panoramic views of the Indian Ocean, a lounge, a dining area, a sundeck, an open-air bathroom, and two plunge pools. The white domes of the pavilions add a touch of whimsy to the landscape, deflect the sun, and collect rain for watering the 52-acre grounds. Much of the produce that chef Richie Tewnion (formerly of Jamie Oliver's Fifteen) pairs with local seafood is grown organically at the hotel; other plantings are designed to attract tropical birds and colorful butterflies. Keep in mind that Kilindi is an hour and a half outside Stone Town—if you're hoping to explore the city's restaurants and markets, book a hotel that's closer to town, such as the Zanzibar Serena Inn. —Collen Clark

From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
Not since the last sultan's palace has there been anything so stylish on this fabled east African isle. The designers have created a landscape of whitewashed domes and arches that seem to mushroom up organically from the forested folds of Zanzibar's north shore. Kilindi is generous with space: Fifteen pavilions are set on 52 lush acres with 1,640 feet of beachfront. Each hideaway is a maze of split levels and staircases latticed by a waterfall and two plunge pools (which double as an ecologically smart plumbing system). The breezy rooms are cooled by the trade winds (instead of air-conditioning), and the decor is uncluttered: handwoven baskets, a few seashells, and the odd cotton kikoy throw. By night, the scene softens with storm lanterns lit by Masai warriors, who also patrol the premises. The hitch is the beach, which is used primarily by local fishermen and thus can be pungent. Better to laze by the T-shaped infinity pool and watch the dhows sail out while sipping top-notch cocktails from a bar that's easily one of the best on the Swahili coast. The kitchen serves up yellowfin sashimi, octopus masala, and just about anything you fancy: When I found a plump mango that had fallen off a tree, the chef chopped it into my crab salad. —2010 Hot List

Which room to book: Pavilion 15 for the best views, the most privacy, and an infinity pool; Pavilion 7 gets special mention for the baby baobab tree in its garden

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