Zanzibar White Sands Luxury Villas

Jessica Alexander experiences a tropical oasis at White Sands Luxury Villas in Zanzibar, the perfect place for honeymooning couples looking to relax

The Background:

Located on the east coast of Zanzibar with direct access to the powder white sands of Paje beach, the five-star Zanzibar White Sands, a Relais & Chateaux property, is home to 11 one, two and three-bedroom villas each with its own private pool or jacuzzi, plus three Cinnamon rooms.

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The Location:

The resort is an hour’s drive from Zanzibar’s Abeid Amani Karume International Airport and is securely gated. Paje beach, which is just steps from each villa, is a kitesurfing hotspot thanks to strong winds and shallow waters. Apart from kitesurfers zipping up and down, it’s not unusual to have the long stretch of sand to yourself.

Paje has much fewer tourists than the North so you are unlikely to get hassled on the beach. Although there is not much within walking distance, the famous Rock restaurant, which at high tide seemingly floats in the sea, is a 20 minute taxi ride and Stone Town, home to many bars, restaurants and points of interest, is an hour’s drive. VIP Transfers are available through the hotel.

Hobie Cat

The check-in:

I was greeted by the hotel manager and offered a cool towel. After being introduced to my personal butler I was given a tour of the property and shown to my room. I was told to use Whatsapp to contact the office if I needed anything.

The Room:

My Garden Villa felt spacious and luxurious with high ceilings, neutral tones and oak furnishings. The plush king-size bed was very comfortable and looked out onto the garden. The bathroom, as big as some bedrooms, consisted of a free-standing bath with optional bath salts, a rain shower and his and hers sinks. Luxury toiletries included a natural soap scrub, body lotion and a nail kit alongside Relais & Chateaux body wash, shampoo and conditioner.

The separate lounge area had a sofa, armchair and flatscreen TV, a fruit bowl and cookie jar were topped up daily. The personal touches including beach bag, straw hats, flip flops and daily printed weather updates were all thoughtful additions. The outside space was framed by garden foliage which created ample privacy to enjoy the outdoor hot tub, loungers and rain shower. 

Key Facilities:

An outdoor gym, steam room hammam, Senses spa and infrared sauna added to the wellness offering. There is a large main pool area which I had to myself when I spent time there. Alternatively, those wanting to enjoy the beach have the use of loungers and parasols which are very private and are surrounded by greenery. There is also a kitesurfing and watersports centre on-site with free kitesurfing tryouts available to guests. I attempted a lesson but was quickly spooked by the power of the wind.

Rooftop Bar

Restaurants & Bars:

There is a rooftop Sunset bar which is open between 18.00 and 20.00, perfect for pre-dinner drinks and a game of darts.

The hotel sets up a pool-side BBQ twice a week serving locally-inspired dishes accompanied by live music. I helped myself to colourful salads, curries and fresh fish, the most popular station by far was the banana flambe which is cooked on a hot flame and served in a coconut. It was a delicious sweet treat.

The fine-dining restaurant has a varied a la carte menu serving zesty fish dishes and spice-sprinkled curries. The staff are very personable and friendly, and even offer to carry your plates for you. There is also a beach bar serving cocktails and club sandwiches.

The breakfast buffet has an array of juices, pastries and fresh fruits. There is also an egg station and guests can choose to have a champagne breakfast if they wish. I particularly enjoyed reading the Zanzibar White Sand Chronicles monthly newsletter which provides a timetable for complementary activities for guests as well as featured hotel facilities and a Swahili dictionary.

Dinner

The verdict:

The entire resort is hidden under a canopy of tropical trees and plants, making for a peaceful and private stay – except for the occasional monkey sighting on your way to breakfast! The staff are incredibly attentive and can’t do enough. Paje is a bit of a sleepy area so Zanzibar White Sands is best suited for couples who want to relax and enjoy the slower pace of island life.

Rates:A Garden Villa with hot tub on half board basis starts from £1,100.

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