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Baraza is a relatively small family-owned resort with only a handful of villas, and yet is grand in impressive architecture, intricate brass lamps and golden mirrors - making the resort feel like that of a modern Sultan’s Palace with the added magnificence of a setting on an exclusive stretch of African beach.
On Bwejuu beach beneath colourful bougainvillea, frangipani and jasmine you'll find 14 one-bedroom and 15 two-bedroom villas - and even a Presidential two-bedroom villa for that extra special stay. The style is a blend of influences with its Swahili arches, Zanzibari furniture and hints of Arabic and Indian design evident in the brass lanterns and intricate antiques: the kind of opulence that can only be reminiscent of the Sultan era. Each villa has a private butler service and spacious interiors with draped beds, walk-in dressing rooms, daybeds and en suites complete with freestanding bath tubs. Simply step out to find your exclusive terrace and plunge pool. Fit for a king? It can't be far off.
The fusion of Arabic, Indian and Swahili inspiration seeps its way into the menus too, blending local ingredients with an array of spices that the island is famed for, creating enriched aromas and flavours. The resort offers a different dining venue for each meal of the day, starting with breakfast on the open-air Livingstone Terrace. A buffet lunch offering everything from salads to hot specialities straight from the tandoori oven is available from Sebule, which opens again later for afternoon tea. And where would be more fitting for dinner than The Sultan's Dining Room, which specialises in fresh seafood and alternates between buffet and a la carte in a spectacular setting, often to the harmonious tones of traditional Swahili singers and dancers. If it's a night cap you're after or a cocktail to get the evening started, you want to sample a tipple at Dhahabu Bar and Lounge.
As far as activities go; have your children entertained in the super kids club and burn off your holiday indulgences in the gym, yoga room and tennis courts. Alternatively just aimlessly float in the large outdoor pool and totally unwind in the Frangipani Spa.
If you can tear yourself away from the resort and manage an amble 300 meters down the beach, we promise it'll be worth it. You will find a fantastic water sports centre offering wind surfing, kite surfing and sailing. Nearby five-star Rising Sun Dive School provides the equipment and instruction to allow everyone access to the wonders of the Indian Ocean.
Attention all culture vultures, head to Stone Town to pick up your holiday trinkets and learn about the cultivation and production of spices in one of the many tours the island has to offer.
Shades of gold and white, Baraza is subtly luxurious and never in your face about its elegance and grandeur.
Tom, Original Traveller