by Lesia
October 4, 2017

andBeyond Mnemba island is a private island paradise considered to be one of the most unique, luxurious and expensive hotel you can find on the Zanzibar archipelago.

Intrigued, the Shadows of Africa team was wondering whether the property lives up to its hype and its hefty price tag and decided to check it out for themselves. Julia and Lesia from our Ukrainian office had a short stay in the lodge and were blown away by their experience.

mnemba island

Location

andBeyond Mnemba Island is a private island located not far from Unguja, the largest island of Zanzibar.

It takes around twenty minutes to get to Mnemba by boat from Muyuni Beach. During the trip you will enjoy the view of Mnemba, traditional dhow boats and the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean.

The resort is an exclusive one and you’reonly allowed to set foot on the island only if you have booked a room in the resort.

rooms-mnemba

bathroom-mnemba

Rooms

When the ladies arrived on Mnemba, they were met by the management and got a short briefing regarding their stay. The chef came out to greet them and to double-check all their dietary preferences. After welcome drinks, they were escorted to their luxurious room.

AndBeyond Mnemba Island Lodge has ten beachfront bandas with no windows or doors. This gives guests a truly exclusive feel to their vacation, with approximately 20 guests can stay on the island at any onetime. Each of the bandas sit apart from one another, promising you maximum privacy.

Each of the bandas is surrounded by tropical forest and has a spacious veranda with easy access to the pristine beach. Guests get their own lounge zone and traditional Zanzibari sunbeds. A covered walkway will bring you to a shuttered bathroom with a huge shower. Basically, in the bandas you will find everything that you would expect to find in a luxuryhotel, all while maintaining that feeling of connection with nature. Julia and Lesia felt that they got a truly decadent Robinson Crusoe experience.

mnemba-food

view-mnemba-tanzania

Food

The chef took care of a tasty lunch with a choice of different starters and main courses. The food was so good that the ladies even broke their rule and ordered dessert. The sorbet with cardamom and pineapple looked too attractive to refuse!

If you have any special dietary requirements, the hotel will take care of it in advance.

Dinner in Mnemba is usually served on the beach. You will get a beautiful set up surrounded with lights. You’llbe served by your own butler. After a delicious meal,the staff of the hotel did a birthday surprise for Lesia - a beautiful cake decorated with fruits and candy!

Breakfast on the island is served with a variety of fruits, seeds, and natural jams.The chef and your butler will follow all your preferences. The guests dine in the main restaurant admiring the view of the ocean. Though, you can always request it be served in your villa and enjoy some privacy.

dinner-mnemba

Activities

Sleeping in Mnemba is a very unique experience. Your bed faces the ocean and the absence of a door lets the gentle crash of the waves lull you to sleep. You’ll rest safe and sound beneath a mosquito net in your huge, comfortable bed and wake to the sound of birds singing their dawn greetings.

In the morning, the ladies decided to explore the island. Mnemba Island is surrounded by a coral atoll which has been declared as a Marine Conservation area. It is a great spot for divers and snorkelers.. As it’s a house reef, you don’t even need a boat! Just walk into the water and explore the marine life. If you have a PADI certification two dives per day are even included in the package!

You can also go kayaking, wind-surfing or go for a sunset dhow-cruise. There are three dolphin species around the island, whale sharks, and around 600 species of coral reef fish. If you are lucky, you might even spot humpback whales! The beach of the island is also a nesting place for Green Sea Turtles, which you can see from February to September.

Besides the stunning beach, the island can boast a tropical forest with some rare antelope and bird species. Here you can meet the suni antelope and even the highly endangered Ader’s duiker.

mnemba-villa

Privacy

Julia and Lesia experienced privacy in full in Mnemba. Guests of the island might meet each other sometimes during lunch or walking around the beach, but you will definitely get a feeling this island is just for you!

andBeyond Mnemba Island is not a place for party people, who like to interact with other guests, enjoy shows, and participate in extreme activities. It is perfect for that travelers who would like to get some relaxation and time for themselves, who wants to forget about the work and their problems, connect with a nature and enjoy one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It is also for that once who appreciates great service and barefoot luxury experience.

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