In 1992 we came to Zanzibar with a romantic idea of opening a hotel. We wanted to create a home, which was exotic and personalized, with high standards yet unmarred by the lack of personalization of chain hotels that we have experienced in our many years of traveling. Our family was based in East Africa and been in the hospitality business for over 30 years. With both “the daughters” Paulina and Nathalie studying hotel management at the prestigious school of Hotel management at Cornell University we were convinced that a destination as exotic and delightful as Zanzibar needed a luxury hotel that reflected the wonderful sense of mysticism and culture which we had fallen in love with.
And so we started to build Breezes. We located our favorite site, which we selected with a stringent criterion; a beautiful beach, far away from other hotel developments to ensure privacy for our guests and an area where we felt a connection with the people of the local village. We then proceeded to design and build our first hotel. We could write a book about our experiences, which in turn would have been a comedy. A piece of land with only sand and palm trees was turned into our vision. We installed a state of the art water desalinization plant and ran the hotel on generators and eventually assisted the local government in funding electrical connection to the main line, the road was partially tarmacked and then graded and in time a police station set up.
Those were the logistics, now to the design. Every furniture item was painstakingly hand carved by our dedicated team of 50 carpenters, the exotic silks and fabrics were hand sewn by our diligent tailors and we personally visited shops, museums and houses trying to find the right pieces of antique furniture to showcase the magnificent designs of Zanzibar’s bygone days
The months without air conditioning, electricity, a diet of crab and fresh fish, dealing with the 350 construction workers remain among the most challenging but memorable times of our lives. We had an incredible opportunity to connect with the Zanzibari people and learn to work in a unique culture and environment.
Our staff were trained by us with our team of managers who were brave enough to assist us on a remote island in opening a beautiful hotel. The first time we setup interviews, so many turned up for the waiters position that we had to eliminate them by making them run around the pool with full glasses of water-those that spilled the least were short listed – a creative way to hiring! After that we went about training with a staff of 280 and opened the hotel.
And here we are now, as a family owned and run business we are so proud of the accolades and last year we were nominated among the top five resorts in Africa and won the “Best Resort in Tanzania” at the World Travel Awards.
We invite you to Breezes, to enjoy the fantastic setting, beautiful beach and our warm friendly staff.