Mrembo (Kiswahili for beautiful, sophisticated woman) is a small, unique spa specializing in traditional beauty treatments...
Mrembo (Kiswahili for beautiful, sophisticated woman) is a small, unique spa specializing in traditional beauty treatments from the Zanzibar Archipelago.Only locally grown flowers, herbs and spices are used in Mrembo’s 100% natural remedies. Stefanie Schötz, the owner, spent many years studying the indigenous herbs and flowers and collecting classic Zanzibari beauty recipes that have been passed on through many generations. She has learned from elderly local women who have shared their extensive knowledge and experience with her.Most of the plants used for Mrembo treatments are grown organically on Mrembo’s own plantation north of Stone Town and supplied freshly every day. Mrembo is more... mremboIt is a place where you can spend an entire day pampering yourself with various treatments, sip ginger/lemongrass tea, and experience the Zanzibari way of nurturing your body, mind & soul.Listen to the enchanting sounds of Taarab music, allow yourself to be seduced by the mysterious scent of “Udi”, the traditional incense made from sugar, rosewater and musk, and explore our shop where you can find local crafts and all our scrubs, oils, incenses, soaps and fresh flowers, tastefully wrapped as the perfect gifts to take home. Mrembo Signature Treatments This is just a glimpse of what awaits you at Mrembo. Please download our menu to see all our treatments – or simply pop in! We are open every day from 9am to 6pm. “Singo” Traditional Body Scrub singoA very special treat and an all time favourite with our guests! It is usually administered to a young woman before she gets married. Starting about two weeks before her wedding, she will undergo a daily “Singo” of her skin, with a natural scrub prepared from fresh Jasmin and Ylang Ylang flowers, rose petals, mpatchori (it's not the well-known patchouli but a sweet smelling herb growing mainly on Unguja), mpompia (geranium), mrehani (sweet basil) and liwa (sandalwood) which are blended in a traditional “kinu” blender with rosewater. We begin the treatment with a 45 minutes relaxing aromatherapy massage, after which the scrub is applied. It exfoliates your skin, leaving it glowing, fragrant and soft as silk. “Kidonge” Clove Scrub Clove ScrubAnother Mrembo highlight is the “Kidonge” Clove Scrub that originates from Pemba and is particularly favoured by men. The clove stems and buds that remain after distilling the famous clove oil are pressed into balls with addition of a small amount of “marashi” rose water. Before applying the scrub, the clove ball will be soaked with a natural aromatic oil of your choice. The treatment begins with 45 minutes aromatherapy massage, followed by the scrub. A refreshing, invigorating experience that gives you an energy boost! Taarab - the Music of Zanzibar TaarabTaarab (from the Arabic word „tarab“, which losely translates as enchantment or ecstasy) is a musical style that blends African, Arabic and Indian elements. Its origins reach back into the 19th century, when Sultan Barghash sent a Zanzibari musician, Ibrahim Mohammed, to Egypt to study their music and bring it back to be performed at his court. Eventually it made its way to the people and spread from Zanzibar all along the Swahili Coast.Classical Taarab is traditionally played by an orchestra using European instruments (violin, cello, double bass) alongside Arabic ones (qanun, nay, oud) and African drums and percussion. Often the orchestra is accompanied by singers. The lyrics are often poetical and romantic, revolving around love, loss and longing. There are several Taarab orchestras in Zanzibar that enjoy huge popularity. In recent days, Taarab has been adopted by young artists and mixed with contemporary musical styles to create „modern Taarab“, which is very popular, but has despite its name very little similarity to the traditional style. Henna HeenaIn Zanzibar henna, locally known as ‘hina’ symbolizes the world of beauty, joy and happiness. It is a very popular adornment and considered to make a woman more attractive.The real natural hina paste is obtained by pounding the dried leaves of the ‘mhina’ plant (LawsoniaInermis) and mixing the powder with water. Lemon juice can be an added to give the paste a reddish tint. It is applied to the soles of the feet, the ankles, palms and nails. Once the first layer is applied, one has to wait for it to dry before a new layer is added. The more complex the design, the more attractive it is.To this day, henna occupies a special place at weddings and festivals in both rural and urban Zanzibar and Pemba. A week before her wedding, a Zanzibari bride is sent to her “somo” (teacher), where she is being adorned with elaborate designs of henna. During this period men are restricted in seeing her. heenaWomen use henna to express their happiness and to mark religious or other festive occasions. They also adorn themselves with henna to gladden and welcome home their spouses who have been away for some time. The men compliment them by buying them new khangas (colourfully patterned wraps), shoes or jewelry. After the adornment follows a week in which a woman does what in Zanzibar is called “giving henna its deserved rights”. She dresses in her finest: khangas of the latest issue, beautiful dresses and jewelry. According to Swahili custom, unmarried girls are not allowed to adorn themselves with henna as married women do. A woman with henna looks more desirable and can therefore be a temptation to men - particularly if she is young and unattached. Some men object to their wives wearing henna, because it is seen as a potential source of mischief. Henna has inspired folklore and the arts. Famous Makunduchi-born poet Mwalimu Hija Saleh wrote about it: Zinanishangaza hina zipakwazo mikononi Hennas surprise me those painted on hands Utaona lako jina limekoza kiganjani You will notice your name in bold on someone’s palm Ukiyachungua sana silako utabaini If you investigate deeply it’s not yours you’ll realize Napindi uulizapo jina hili ni la nani? And when you ask whose name is this? Utaapiwa kiapo lazima utaamini It will be affirmed as yours and believe it, you will!! Khanga – The Pride of the Swahili Woman khangaKhangas, the colourful wraps of the Zanzibari women, embody art, beauty and tradition in Swahili culture.The word “khanga” comes from the Kiswahili name for the spotted black and white guinea fowl. This is because scarves with a print similar to that of a guinea fowl were marketed during the same period, and this design became very popular.Khanga sayings are often about relationships and feelings of love and jealousy, or make references to social, cultural and political issues.Discover all this and much more at Mrembo Traditional Spa! You find us in the heart of Stone Town close to the Catholic church and at Mtoni Marine Resort. We are looking forward to welcoming you!