The ingredients of Mnemba Island are as close to “perfect” as you can get: the temperature of the sea, the soft, white sand, even the size of the island. The idyllic Mnemba is recognized as one of the most romantic islands in the world—and the boutique hotel occupying the island as one of the most exclusive ones.
Covered with tropical palm trees growing straight from the powdery sand, the small island is easily circumvented in 10 minutes. It is large enough to ensure maximum privacy in villas yet everything is within walking distance.
The hotel consists of only ten bungalows, or bandas, topped with thatched roofs and constructed using local, traditional methods.
The interiors are comfortable, rustic and elegant: designed using traditional mats, hand-woven from palm leaves, light cotton fabrics and large pillows. Exquisite woodcarving—done by the best craftsmen in Zanzibar—adorns the beds’ headboards.
In the villas of such rustic character it is almost surprising to have WiFi.
One with nature
This paradise of palm trees and white sand, surrounded by coral reefs and warm waters of the Indian Ocean lies within a marine reserve.
Coral reefs are home to hundreds of species of fish and three species of dolphins live in the waters around Mnemba. Whale sharks can be spotted too, and from July to September humpback whales visit these waters. Mnemba beaches are nesting spot for the endangered green sea turtles, the island is also a breeding ground of many local and migratory birds.
As if this wasn’t enough for the picture-perfect idyll: roaming free amongst the palms are tiny deer. Could there be anything more romantic?
Marine life and untouched coral reefs make the waters around the island great for diving and snorkeling—and the water sports, diving and fishing are included in the hotel rate.
Celebrities looking for this kind of idyllic island charm are frequent quests of the Mnemba—amongst the former guests were Naomi Campbell, Tom Cruise and Bill Gates.