White Sand Villas: Our full report
Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa is a privately owned resort near the vibrant town of Paje, Zanzibar.It opened in 2014 and is set in 3.6 hectares of lush tropical gardens with a 200m beachfront. White Sand Villas was built with luxury, comfort and private space in mind.
With excellent service and facilities, Zanzibar White Sand Villas fits well in to the luxury end of the market. It is one of the smaller resorts on Zanzibar with just 11 villas and three rooms.
Each of the 11 villas has a private swimming pool, air conditioning and WiFi. Inside, they are spacious but simply furnished in light Scandinavian-style wood, with woven fabric rugs and eco lamps from New Zealand. Each bedroom has a large bed with a retractable mosquito net, a desk and a comfortable chair. In the open-plan bathroom you’ll find twin basins and an impressive rain shower, while outside is a second shower and a bathtub. Sunloungers and a hammock beckon on the private veranda.
The villas at White Sand Villas come in three configurations:
- The five Beachfront one-bedroom villas have been designed to blend in with the natural setting, whilst also meeting a high level of luxury. All five villas are sea-facing and split into two simple areas: a main lounge and dining area, and a bedroom; both are spacious and minimalist, decorated in light creams and soft wood. Up a flight of stairs is a shaded roof terrace with a day bed. Each villa also has its own private entrance to the beach in front.
- The five Family two-bedroom villas consist of a large recreation area and two bedrooms, which are both en suite. They also have a balcony with sea views, but are set further back than the one-bedroom villas, with no direct beach access.
- The Presidential five-bedroom villa is made up of three en-suite bedrooms and two others that share an interconnected bathroom. With 730 square meters of space, the villa can accommodate at least ten guests easily, with extra beds available if needed. It has a rain shower in each bathroom, a panoramic rooftop terrace, a Jacuzzi, and a home cinema; but no direct beach access.
- The three Cinnamon rooms are set a little further back from the beach and consist of a double room with en-suite bathroom but without the private living area and outside space found in the villas. One of these forms a family room consisting of two interconnected bedrooms
The lounge bar and dining area at White Sand Villas are decorated in the same fresh modern style as the villas, with driftwood sculptures and light-wood panelling on the walls. Upstairs, the rooftop champagne bar serves a selection of wines and champagnes and provides a great location for watching the sunset.
Below the main bar and restaurant is a large pool surrounded by areas of wooden decking with several shaded sunloungers. A small bridge separates the main pool from an adjoining shallow children’s pool that comes with a number of floats and pool toys. Nearby is a small children’s playground with swings, a slide and a table-tennis table.
White Sand also has a beautiful spa sited beside a waterfall with lush vegetation and tropical flowers that give it the feeling of a hidden oasis. Along with a sauna and steam room, there is a range of treatments available using locally sourced products based on seaweed, coconut and spices found in Zanzibar. As if to offset all that indulgence, the adjacent open air gym offers a selection of exercise equipment and weights.
Activities at Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas are numerous. With their own kitesurf club, Zanzibar Kite Paradise, it’s a great place to kitesurf and they cater for people of all abilities. Kitesurfing is best from June to September, and December to January. The hotel also has free bikes available for guests, as well as a number of kayaks and paddleboards that guests may hire. Diving can be arranged through the nearby Rising Sun Dive Center which is based at Breezes Beach Club.
With its minimalistic, modern, Scandinavian style and friendly atmosphere, White Sand Villas offers a refreshing alternative to several of Zanzibar’s other luxury ‘boutique’ hotels. The large villas combine plenty of privacy with great facilities and a high level of service. We think that the resort is a really exciting addition to Zanzibar’s coastline.
- Michamvi Peninsula, Zanzibar
- Ideal length of stay
- 3 or 4 nights
- It takes around 30 minutes to fly to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam, then it’s a further hour by road to White Sands.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Half Board
- Food quality
- White Sand Villas serves a range of tasty Swahili influenced dishes with European overtones. These are made using fresh, locally sourced ingredients including homegrown vegetables from their own garden. The food here is some of the best we’ve experienced on Zanzibar but it is worth noting that it is relatively expensive and it is possible to rack up a quite a bill over a few nights here.
Breakfast is served between 7.30am and 10.30am, and includes a range of fruits, cereals and pastries as well as several cooked options.
Lunch is served 12.00–15.00pm, includes a number of light meals and snacks.
When we were last here in June 2016 we enjoyed a delicious beach barbecue served on tables tucked between the vegetated dunes with views out to the kitesurfers on the beach. The food was buffet style with a tempting selection of fragrant salads; hot vegetable curries and rice; and a delicious seafood and chicken barbecue. This was all washed down with chilled bottles of wine, water and beer from silver ice buckets alongside the tables.
Dinner is a little more formal and provides an opportunity to get dressed up. In the evening they serve a three-course à la carte menu with three choices per course. We particularly enjoyed the curry which was superbly spiced.
- Dining style
- Individual Tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Further dining info, including room service
- Room service is provided at White Sand Villas.
- Drinks included
- Drinks are not included. Tap water is fine for brushing teeth but is not recommended for drinking.
- Family holidays
- The two bedroom villas at White Sand's are fantastic for families. With their own private pools and plenty of space, these provide luxurious accommodation for children of all ages. For young children there is a small play area and shallow pool too.
- See ideas for Family holidays
- The luxurious, spacious villas and array of facilities make White Sand Villas a great choice for a Zanzibar honeymoon. You can enjoy a couple’s massage in the spa, a dip in your private pool, or a romantic dinner on the beach.
- See ideas for Honeymoons
- Beach holidays
- Contemporary and luxurious, White Sand Villas sits on a beautiful coastline, ideal for a beach break in Zanzibar. Here you can enjoy a stroll along the beach and watch the kitesurfers skim across the waves – or join them!
- See ideas for Beach holidays
- White Sand Villas has a beautiful spa offering a range of therapies using locally sourced products. Set by a tranquil waterfall and with its own sauna and steam room, this is a great place to relax and unwind in Zanzibar.
- See ideas for Wellbeing
- White Sand Villas was certainly built with luxury and comfort in mind. The 11 villas are modern and stylish; each comes with its own private swimming pool. Enjoy a seafood barbeque on the beach or have a drink at the rooftop champagne bar.
- See ideas for Luxury
- Attitude towards children
- Children of all ages are welcome.
- Special activities & services
- Staff can prepare a range of child-friendly dishes. A child-minding service is available although staff have no professional training.
- A child’s bed can be added to the one-bedroom villas.
- Generally recommended for children
- White Sand Villas is well set up for children of all ages. There is a small play area with swings, slides and a trampoline and a shallow swimming pool with children’s toys.
- There is direct access to the beach and no lifeguard on duty, so parents are advised to keep their children under supervision.
- Power supply notes
- Power is generated by solar panels and a wind turbine with a back-up generator.
- There is good cellphone reception and free WiFi throughout.
- TV & radio
- The main bar area has a large satellite TV. All the villas also have a TV available on request and a DVD collection available for use.
- Water supply
- Transported in
- Water supply notes
- All bathrooms have flush toilets and showers are plumbed.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- Several of the staff are first-aid trained and there is a first-aid kit on site. For more serious incidents there is a hospital in Stone Town, which is an hour’s drive away.
- Dangerous animals
- Low Risk
- Security measures
- White Sand Villas has 24-hour security guards who are based at the main gate and at all corners of the property.
- Fire safety
- There are smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in all the villas and communal areas.
- Disabled access
- Not Possible
- Laundry facilities
- A laundry service is available at an extra cost of US$3–10 per item.
- White Sand Villas is able to exchange small amounts of currency. There are electronic safes in all the villas.
- Accepted payment on location
- White Sand Villas is a stylish, contemporary hotel with great facilities located on a quiet stretch of beach south of Paje on the south-east coast of Zanzibar.
Other lodges in Michamvi Peninsula
Alternative places to stay in this same area.