&Beyond Mnemba Island, on an island situated off the north-eastern coast of Zanzibar, will undergo renovation between January and October 2024.
Undertaken by long-time &Beyond collaborators Fox Browne Creative and Nicholas Plewman Architects, the reimagining will retain the casual and sophisticated feel of the island while adding a touch of additional elegance.
Drawing inspiration from nature, the design will reflect the form of the nautilus shell, while the interiors will maintain the lodge’s current natural colour palette, punctuated by coral accents. The lodge structure will continue to incorporate coral stone, with the addition of traditional Lamu plaster. Rooted in the culture and essence of Zanzibar, the design will breathe new life into the property with its contemporary touches and antiques.
Changes to the lodge’s main areas will provide the opportunity for guests to either enjoy additional areas to socialise or to seek out the privacy of secluded corners. The existing bar area will be expanded into a coffee and juice bar by day and cocktail area by night.
The addition of a mezzanine level to the dining area will provide an added area for private dining, while new design elements will allow for dining spaces to be enclosed in the event of inclement weather. An inner courtyard will be utilised for torch-lit dinners with a distinct Swahili influence.
Inspired in shape by the nautilus shell, 12 new beach bandas (lodges) will offer additional space for comfort, with a new design that retains the feeling of being open to nature while still offering privacy. Each banda will boast two entrances, one directly from the beach and the other from the island’s interior forest. Floor-to-ceiling louvred blinds will provide the options for bedrooms to either be closed off or remain open to the cooling sea breezes.
A fresh interior design will combine the shells and beads of the current bandas with sleek and sophisticated new touches. A new family banda, comprising a full suite with an interleading smaller room and bathroom, will cater for those travelling with younger children.
Wellness and watersports
In line with an increasing focus on wellness, the Wellness Banda will offer two treatment rooms and an outdoor yoga deck. Mnemba’s Healing Earth wellness treatments will be supplemented with a range of ever-changing alternative therapies that will include reiki, reflexology, singing bowls, sound bath, and meditation.
A brand-new Dive Centre will be expanded to offer the opportunity for more island activities, some of which will include all-day dhow cruises, hydrofoil bikes, catch-and-release fishing, kayaking and a selection of beach games.
Elsewhere, &Beyond is also refurbishing &Beyond Phinda Forest Lodge in South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal province, a project due to complete by the end of this year. The renovation of the site’s 16 suites will utilise existing lodge and room structures to minimise impact associated with an entire rebuild.
Newbuilds on the slate include &Beyond Suyian Lodge, arriving in Kenya in Q3 2025; and the firm’s imminently opening Asian debut, &Beyond Punakha River Lodge featuring six tented suites, as well as a two-bedroom villa with a private pool, and a one-bedroom villa with a plunge pool or hot tub, depending on the season.