We welcome you to Zanzibar’s most exclusive, private resort with just seven villas in a personalized and intimate setting…. the perfect, romantic getaway.
The Palms is a sanctuary for those in search of tranquility…a place to stimulate the senses and experience the very best of the Island of Zanzibar. The Palms is one of the world’s most romantic all-inclusive resorts, says Travel + Leisure.
Zanzibar, the magical Island where the fusion of Arab, African and European cultures has created a pace of life, a style of cuisine and a colorful tapestry of architecture, heritage, myth and magic that is found nowhere else in the world.
Immerse yourself in the crystal-clear water of the Indian Ocean, sip a freshy cut coconut from our waving palm trees, indulge in a massage, dive our Coral reef, experience our warm, genuine Swahili hospitality. The Unforgettable Beach experience at the Zanzibar Collection.
Our family has its roots in East Africa. We are passionate about Zanzibar and love the Island, the people and its spectacular natural environment.
When we came to Zanzibar over 25 years ago, and set foot on our world renowned beach, we decided to use our degrees from the Cornell School of Hotel Management to combine the highest standards in hospitality with the personalization and warmth of a family owned and run business reflecting the beauty, culture, exoticism and the uniqueness of Zanzibar.
We are not a chain and we have no formula and.. no, we do not have a fleet of resorts in other Indian Ocean islands. We are here, in every sense of the word.
We did not choose our location by accident. We are located on a beautiful, peaceful beach chosen by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the top island beaches in the world.
Of course, when we came, hardly any journalists or travel writers had ever visited our beach-we were true explorers, searching for the perfect spot. We are delighted that the most prestigious Travel magazine in the world approved of our choice!
Why the South East Coast?
We’re biased, admittedly, but 25 years of experience confirms our initial feeling that the less-visited south-eastern coast of Zanzibar promises the ultimate Zanzibar experience.
This is the authentic Zanzibar, far from the crowds; this is where the beaches excel in translucent water and white powdered-sand beaches and where the pristine coral reef promises superlative diving and snorkeling.
It’s here where the sunsets are at their most spectacular best, here too that you’ll find the original fishing villages – still largely unaffected by tourism. And the warmly genuine Swahili welcome and hospitality so characteristic of the local people.
However, because Zanzibar is so tiny, and the road network so good, you can get anywhere and everywhere with minimum effort. So… we hope you will agree that the south-east coast has it all.
The Palms has seven villas, each over 140 square meters with a bedroom, living room, full en suite bathroom, dressing room, extra room with its own en suite bathroom & large furnished terrace with views of the Indian Ocean.
Each villa features a sophisticated interior composition in all colors of coffee and cream where filmy caramel colored curtains billow, dark grained polished floors extend, and the decor is a unique marriage of colonial grandeur and traditional design.
On the veranda, a silk-draped four-poster Zanzibar Bed accents a sunken, midnight blue plunge pool with long views of the Indian Ocean.
At The Palms, our culinary team has devised a menu that reflects the magical mélange of Arabic, Indian, Persian, Asian and Swahili flavours that epitomize traditional Zanzibari cuisine.
We also showcase the best of the island’s locally grown produce and, because our menu changes every day, we’re able to portray every facet of the Spice Isle’s ancient heritage.
The extensive menu also features our Chef’s presentation of a range of continental dishes and, of course, our team will also be delighted to incorporate any dietary preferences you may express.
WEDDINGS & HONEYMOONS
We excel in the art of bespoke weddings – as intimate for two as they are for 200. Our silver crescent of Indian Ocean beach makes the ideal venue for a simple bare-foot ceremony.
We are also experts in the provision of evocative wedding bowers, which can be set either against the backdrop of our translucent aqua-blue waves, or amongst the palms or even by the pool.
Our wedding team is exceptionally well-versed in working with you on personalizing everything from flowers and champagne – to hair to make-up. If you’d like an authentic Swahili ceremony, why not arrive by dhow?
And we’ll provide a hand-woven palm arch, traditional music and the best of Zanzibar cuisine; alternatively we’re adept in staging an elegant formal banquet.
And, whether you’d like to reserve the entire hotel and grounds for the event or just our superlative honeymoon suite we will consider it an honour to make your special day a memory to treasure.
We are delighted to offer the only PADI five-star Gold Palm and RAID diving certified dive centre in Zanzibar. We’re also proud to have been the first dive professionals to have discovered the pristine treasures of the largely unexplored south-eastern coastline of the island.
Bringing 19 years of experience to our Rising Sun Center we can promise you, not only committed professionalism, but also a dedication to preserving the pristine ecology of this supremely colourful marine environment.
Our unusually extensive range of diving equipment, together with our adherence to a policy of taking only 6 divers per guide, also guarantees you an exclusively personal experience that will deliver memories for a lifetime. All ages and proficiencies are welcome.
The Water Club is our water sports center located approximately 300 meters from The Palms Zanzibar on the Bwejuu – Paje beach front.
Featuring a great selection of new equipment and offering instruction in wind surfing, kite surfing and sailing, The Water Club is the perfect place to experience the very best of the Indian Ocean.
Approved as the First BEST KITE SCHOOL IN ZANZIBAR, our certified instructors will have you flying in no time with our new 2008 Kites and Gear.
Ride the island
Climb aboard one of our bikes; the ideal way to explore the lyrically beautiful northern coastline or discover the timeless villages of Bwejuu and Paje in the south.
Alternatively, stay close and explore the renowned silver beaches of our own south-east coast. Ideal for families, perfect for couples… and great exercise too. To book your bike simply contact the Guest Relations Desk.
Beaches don’t come more beautiful than in Zanzibar – so why not make the most of them by joining with our activity teams for a game of football or volleyball?
Alternatively take a walk around the silver sweep of the bay, build a sandcastle with the family, or observe the brilliance of the marine birdlife. Just contact our Guest Relations Desk to learn more.
Playtime at the Palms
If you’d like to take in some action whilst you’re with us – why not indulge in a little frisbee, beach-tennis or swimming-pool volleyball?
The right shoes for the job
There’s no better way of exploring the spectacular coral reef than to take a walk on it at low tide. But you need some tough shoes.
Happily, we’ve got it covered and can supply reef shoes in all sizes. So… head out to discover the treasures of the reef and revel in the spectacular view of the coastline as you walk back. Just ask at the Guest Relations Desk.
The true magic of the coral gardens lies below the waves. To discover this hidden world, where impossibly colourful tropical fish swim through fantastically shaped coral, simply sign up for a snorkeling trip with a member of our watersports team.
The guided tour takes around two-and-a-half hours … but the memories will last a lifetime. We’ll provide all the equipment you need.
The Zanzibar Kite Surfing Experience
This is the fastest growing water sport in the world. This is available for everyone, from just trying a trainer kite to tips and lessons on Accessible for everyone – young and old, experienced or not, kitesurfing is the fastest growing watersport in the world.
It’s also the most rewarding, more especially against the stunning backdrop of our idyllic beach. Our experienced trainers can start you off with a ‘sample surf’ before moving you on to water-starts, jumps and other more ambitious tricks.
Whether you’re an experienced sailor or a novice, the calmly translucent waters of Zanzibar make the ideal sailing venue. We offer easy-to-learn Hobie Cat single-sail boats for daily lessons, self-charters or skippered expeditions.
Harness The Wind
It’s ideal – year-round warm waters, a constant breeze, the latest equipment and a team of experts waiting to teach you how – or wave you off if you’re already a pro.
Whether you’re experienced or a novice, you’ll find the Zanzibar coastline the ideal surfer’s paradise. Daily lessons offered and rental of equipment easily arranged.
Why Not Kayak?
No skills needed. Just climb aboard and paddle your way down one of the most unspoilt and spectacular coastlines in Africa. Our professional sea kayaks are ideal for couples or family fun.
A form of water transport perfected by the ancient Hawaiians; stand-up paddle boarding is now the latest leisure craze. With good reason. Easy to master, perfect for a morning or afternoon of marine discovery; and ideal for families or couples alike. Try it – we promise you’ll be hooked.
So much to learn
We have a dedicated library filled with an inspirational selection of books on the island, its history and culture. Our range also includes a comprehensive selection of books on flora and fauna, ornithology and marine biology. You’ll also find information on the island’s spice trade, cuisine and folk lore.
Immerse yourself in Zanzibari culture
It’s a feature of Zanzibari life – a gathering in the shade of a palm tree where people can exchange views – it’s known as a Baraza. At The Palms, however, we’ve evolved our own form of Baraza.
Gather beneath the palm trees and listen while our local Mwalimu (teacher) offers lessons on the Swahili language or the history of Zanzibar. Alternatively, take a beach class on the traditional art of palm-weaving – and make your own sun hat.
Most popular of all are our culinary classes during which our chef will demonstrate how to make some of the most famous Swahili dishes; and tell you all about the islands world-famous spices and their medicinal and culinary uses.
Several tours and excursions are on offer at our Guest Relations Desk, such as tours of the island or a tour of Stone Town – or the ever-popular Spice Tour.
All of which are highly recommended. But we’ve also put together a portfolio of experiences that are unique to The Zanzibar Collection. All offer authentic interaction with the local people as well as showcasing the real Swahili heritage and culture.
Meet the locals and experience authentic village life
Let us take you to the local village of Bwejuu to meet the locals. We’ll pop into the local school, visit a typical Swahili home and take a walk around the market. A uniquely authentic experience, this visit offers a privileged glimpse into the Zanzibari way of life.
We’ll take a soda at the local kiosk, perhaps buy some fruit or local crafts. Best of all, the proceeds of this tour go direct to the village fund, which is used for such vital causes as local health centres, enhanced educational tools, micro-funding and more.
Create your own Swahili banquet
Swahili cuisine is a magical fusion of African, Indian, Arabian and Persian cuisine. It majors on fresh-caught seafood, fresh-picked coconuts and just-squeezed limes – all with a magical swirl of spices fresh from the famous Spice Isle’s gardens.
If you’d like to learn how to create your own Swahili banquet, then our chef will be delighted to deliver his famous master-class. Ideal for couples and great for families.
Learn to play Bao
Bao is the oldest board-game in the world and still played extensively throughout East Africa, which is where it is thought to have originated. Bao is based on a mancala board comprising four rows of eight pits each—in Swahili, pits are termed mashimo, meaning ‘holes’.
Each player owns a half of the board comprising two adjacent rows and has 32 ‘seeds’ termed kete that are moved through a series of pits. Zanzibar is arguably the bao capital of the world and famous for its bao tournaments.
Here the ‘bao bingwa’ (master) is held in high respect. Good news then, that the local bao master is willing to teach our guests how to play this complex and strategic game. Lessons are traditionally held in the shade of a palm tree. Consult our Guest Relations Desk for timings.
Take the Coral Reef Safari
Staged at low tide, this fascinating guided walk takes you on a voyage of discovery through the rock pools of the reef. Our knowledgeable guides share their knowledge on the many different kinds of coral and on the creatures that live on the shore.
Sail the Indian Ocean on a traditional dhow
Dhows with their triangular lateen sales and elegant timber hulls are one of the most memorable sights on the Swahili coast. The dhow is one of the oldest ships in the world, having originated in India between 600 BC and 600 AD where it was adopted by the Omanis who brought it to East Africa.
Driven by the monsoon winds, dhows have plied the Arabian coast for centuries, typically carrying dates and fish to East Africa and mangrove timber to the lands of the Persian Gulf.
We have our own dhow, which is used for snorkeling trips, island exploration and magical moonlit dinners. So why not join our experienced Zanzibar seafaring crew as they sail down to the mangrove swamps of Mchamvi and round our local peninsula.
Climb a coconut palm
You’ll see the locals doing it all the time – shinning up a palm tree armed with nothing more than a rope. If you’d like to give it a try, one of our gardeners will be delighted to show you how. He can also teach you how to weave palm leaves into a hat or a mat – your very own memory of Zanzibar.
For those who’d like to expand the green-ness of their conservation profile we’d like to recommend a visit to our local turtle rescue programme.
It works with local fishermen, who are rewarded for not using traditional nets to fish and encouraged to work with the team to rehabilitate those turtles who have suffered from coastal plastic contamination.
The programme also offers turtle nest protection and supervision of baby turtles on their first journey down to the Indian Ocean. Guests can visit the Sea Turtle lagoon, which acts as rehabilitation area for juvenile or wounded turtles.
The programme also offers opportunities for guests to work with the ‘Trash to Treasures’ creative recycling/up-cycling project, which is working in close cooperation with the action group, World Unite, and the local community to transform Zanzibar’s plastic refuse into such things as decorative and building materials.
A visit to the Jozani Forest
Take a guided walk through the tranquil groves of the world famous Jozani Forest. An exceptionally green realm where trails lead through the forest and boardwalks traverse extensive mangrove swamps, this tiny park gives you an idea of what Zanzibar would have looked like at the dawn of time.
Zanzibar’s only national park, the Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park is one of the last remaining tropical forests in the world and is soon to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Home to the rare and endemic Zanzibar red colobus monkey, it also provides sanctuary for Sykes monkey, Ader’s duiker, the Zanzibar servaline genet, bush babies, 50 species of butterfly and 40 species of birds. The walk takes around an hour and makes a fascinating outing for couples and families alike.