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All reviews private pool white sand living room beach restaurant beachfront villa main restaurant main pool outdoor shower separate living coffee machine beautiful resort beach front rooftop bar kite surfing course menu our honeymoon food is excellent
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73 - 78 of 509 reviews
Reviewed 16 January 2018

We stayed at White Sand Luxury Villas and Spa for our Honeymoon in December 2017. It was the perfect end to a trip to Capetown and Safari beforehand. The hotel is luxurious, relaxed, peaceful and quiet. The staff are awesome and the welcome so friendly. The villas are so spacious and have beach access and private pool and deck. The main pool is relaxed and quiet too. The food is excellent, with poolside dining on a couple of evenings per week (with either a local band or international style band...plus a Masai warrior show too). We stayed for a week and were sad to leave. This is genuinely a little piece of heaven on Earth.

Room Tip: Villas are awesome. Beach access, very private, lots of room with good sized pool, hammocks in the gardens....outdoor shower and tub!
  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Angie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Linda L, General Manager at Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa (Relais & Chateaux), responded to this reviewResponded 27 January 2018

Dear Angie,

We are delighted to have made your honeymoon an unforgettable experience! We hope to see you here again , I wish you all the best.


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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2018

This was our second trip to White Sand Villas. It was absolutely amazing as previously. The GM and staff are friendly and very accommodating. We had privacy and every single requirement to ensure that our family which included a 2 and 4 year old were catered for. The Villa is spacious, clean and modern. Our Butler, Joseph did everything to make sure we were happy and the chef even prepared chocolate cake for me :)
We plan on returning to this amazing resort every year if God wills. Thank you all again for our holiday, we had an awesome time.

  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank HawaM57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Linda L, General Manager at Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa (Relais & Chateaux), responded to this reviewResponded 27 January 2018

Dear Hawa,

We were pleased to host you in our wonderful property again, and very happy to hear that you enjoyed your second stay with us!
It will be a real pleasure for Joseph to see you again!
We are all looking forward to see you here soon.

Best regards

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2018

We selected this hotel based on the pleasant reviews here, and we were Not disappointed. It’s a lovely place to relax. It is not noisy. The staff were extremely charming and friendly. The whole place is kept very clean. The food was always freshly cooked thus the reason one needs to order early enough, especially at lunch hour. The Friday night barbecue with the live band was awesome. It is a perfect place to stay with children. They’s a children’s play area and a baby pool for the younger ones.
We were very sad to leave and wished we could have stayed longer.
We can highly recommend it.

Room Tip: Cinnamon rooms are cheaper than the villas . They don’t have bathtubs but, the showers are very good. Perfect when staying with children.
  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Nimu2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Linda L, General Manager at Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa (Relais & Chateaux), responded to this reviewResponded 27 January 2018

Thank you for this comment, I'm really happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay in our peaceful paradise. I hope we will see you here again, to try our new BBQ set up! It was a pleasure having you as our guests, I hope you had a good journey back, I wish you all the best.

Best regards

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2018

We stayed at a nearby hotel and were desperate for some decent food so we decided one night to bravely ignore the "guest only" boards, walked in from the beach, got a bit lost in the beautiful gardens, found reception and a little embarrassed, asked if we could please dine at the restaurant.

This was when our holiday went from ok to amazing!!

Even though we made no reservation, we were welcomed with open arms.
The staff were just lovely. Everyone from the General Manager to the waitress made us feel so welcome and special.

It is not just the service itself that is wonderful, it is the personal touch and the sincerity in the welcome.

The food was yummy in all ways possible. We love dinning out and have been fortunate to eat at some amazing restaurants and we both agree that White Sand is right up there with the best of them.

For the rest of our holiday we slept at our hotel and ate at White Sand. The lunch at the beach restaurant is as good as at the main restaurant. The salads are fresh and different everyday and the grilled main was always perfectly grilled - whether it was lobster or chicken. A very talented chef!!!

After our experience, most of the guest who were at our hotel ended up eating at White Sand and not one single one had anything negative to say.

We will definitely be going back to Zanzibar, only this time we will be staying at the White Sand and we can't wait!

Room Tip: it's all good!
  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank greycat2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Linda L, General Manager at Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa (Relais & Chateaux), responded to this reviewResponded 27 January 2018

Dear greycat2018,

Thank you for your kind review - it was a pleasure meeting you at Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa. Our kitchen staff is happy to hear that you liked the food in our restaurant. We hope to see again in our resort as a guest of White Sand Luxury Villas and Spa - Relais & Chateaux!

Reading about your appreciations of our culinary creations bring great pride to our chefs, who always aim to provide the finest international cuisine using the choicest ingredients and freshest produce shipped from all over the world.

Kind regards,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2018

We visited this resort arriving very late Saturday 18 November and departing Sunday 26 November 2017.

This is a wonderful, luxury small resort comprised mainly of villas that I understand has a maximum occupancy of 50 people.

Aesthetically speaking, and in terms of a resort you want to gaze at its beauty and tranquillity all day, there isn’t a more attractive resort than this.

Flight arrived and we were picked up outside the airport by the Resort’s amiable driver, Emmanuel, who meet our bags and carried them to the van. Remember this is now 2am in the morning at the airport, so exhausted after a 9 hour flight to Nairobi, then 3 hours in transit before catching a midnight 1 hour flight to Zanzibar.

Anyway, Emmanuel sat us comfortably in van and gave us each bottle of cold water; air conditioning was operational which was a bonus as it’s very humid in Zanzibar.

Journey to Paje(East of the Island where the resort is) from Stone town is an hour or so and we were very well greeted at the Resort, given a welcome fruit mock tail drink in the reception are and swiftly checked in.

We were then led to our double suite room.

The Cinnamon double suite, which has a double bed and two single beds in a separate room. It is a stone’s throw from the reception area and pool – and is very nice, clean, ventilated, healthy supply of toiletries, nice fluffy towels and plenty of storage re cupboards and wardrobes. I strongly recommend this room if you are carrying lots of luggage.

Anyway, we found some fruit and snacks awaiting us in the room…nice touch.

The fridge was full of cold water, beer, wide, sodas etc.

We showered well and slept soundly, waking up early for breakfast which is served from 7am to 10.30am.

Probably, rather than give an 8 day commentary, I will do outline the positives and ‘suggestions for improvement’ of this resort.

Firstly, the Positives.

Very professional transfer from airport to hotel and vice versa, comfortable, air conditioned, vehicle and bottled water provided. Thanks to the driver, Emmanuel who undertook the trip to the resort and the gentleman who took us to the airport. Both very amiable and have good local knowledge, whilst maintaining a respectful quietness.

Fabulous greeting on arrival at resort plus welcome drink, a fruit mock tail as we relaxed in the lounge. Anthony, the Assistant Food & Beverage manager heads a good team.

Luggage is swiftly transported to our room in meantime.

All staff, whatever area of responsibility they have on the resort, are very friendly, professional and always smiling.

Stayed at the Cinnamon room’s double suite. The suite has a double bed and two single beds in a separate room. Fruit and snacks awaiting us in the room on arrival…nice touch. The suite is very well kept and cleaned to a high standard – nice bed linen, all cleaned and change daily plus a turn down service.

Spacious bathroom (large shower area, no bath) with nice fluffy towels and a healthy supply of toiletries. Room has brilliant air conditioning system in all rooms. Curtains and mosquito nets very clean.

I strongly recommend this room if you are carrying lots of luggage.

Satellite TV provided.

Fridge very effective and ensures drinks get cold very quickly. Nicely stocked fridge with local malt lager, wines from South Africa and bottles and soft drinks locally.

Fabulous operational safe

My thanks to our Butler, Joseph and Thomas, who both served as our butlers during the duration of our stay and ensured everything ticked over nicely.

Path to room from main reception area well light, including outside the door.

The room also has a private outside space but not accessible from your room.

Security is visible and vigilant both day and night, patrolling the grounds.

Fruit juices are wonderful, we had loads of mango and passion fruit juice drinks freshly made, ice cold, the best I have tasted in the world.

The Food was nice. Personally, I preferred the grill at lunch time by the beach where you could have either fish or meat or both, served with salads etc. Kole Kole fish, king Fish, Lobster, Beef, chicken were available. Ramadhan, the chef at the beach kitchen grill was a delight – the grilled meats and fish were seasoned very well and maintained a good moisture. The salad bar was beautifully presented – Rashid prepared salads at lunch and these were magnificent and delightful

Breakfast was varied, you could have anything – wide selection of fruit juices, fruit, croissants and sweet pastries, also home-made bread of various types, and jams are all local and also mainstream.

Cooked breakfast is sausages, pork and beef, bacon – eggs of your own choice made to order – lovely cappuccino or any type of coffee made from top brand coffee machine makers and all types of tea.

Eunice, Restaurant supervisor, Hussein, Faston, Mike, Christina and Abdallah Yasin (all Food and beverage servers) are amongst many people I would like to thank for their professionalism and pleasant manner in their service.

Juma (Food and beverage) kindly served us free coconuts on two occasions – once in the main reception building and the other on the beach. These are available every day for free at 10.30am and 3.30pm, if memory serves me right.

The Spa and Wellness centre is a delight. It is run by two pleasant ladies named Evelyn and Tekla. The path leading to it and the reception area is beautiful beyond belief. It is clean, full of wonderful vegetation around it, water features and a beautiful relaxing/mood music (from clearly a high end sophisticated sound system). I had the best massage ever over an hour and the facilities were magnificent – the sound of water trickling and soothing music whilst having a massage was heaven. The products they use are magnificent and the whole place is very clean.

In terms of the entire White sands resort, the grounds are magnificently well kept and manicured, the plants, tree variety (including palm trees) are so well maintained and leave you in awe. Absolutely first class. Well done to the gardeners and grounds staff.

The beach at this resort is the piers be resistance. Totally white sands, with miles and miles of very wide white sand beaches and beautifully clear ocean, with not many people in sight(at least in November when we were there). The tide also goes back in the morning, so you are able to walk right up to the reef and pick shells etc. And whilst the beach is public, the immediate area in front of resort perimeter is ring fenced for hotel guests only. There are comfortable sun loungers and also enhanced bed loungers for communal occupation.

The security at the beach is magnificent. The security have a dual role. One to ensure you and your belongings are safe. Secondly, directing you and escorting you to an available lounger and show you where the towels are. My thanks to John and Amosi for being so vigilant and helpful.

The beach kitchen grill area is fabulous…..views to die for and serves drinks of any kind. The soft music they play out of a high end sound system keeps you so chilled…..I recall it is Southern African music.

The barbeque dinner by the pool on Mondays was enhanced by the various local singers and dancer – absolutely first class. My thanks to Bozena, one of the resort managers, for ensuring that we all had a good time – subtly advising staff well to ensure tables had cutlery etc. cleared and that our drinks etc. were topped. Bozena also helped initiate and facilitate the dancing amongst many of the shy guests, me included!. It was a classic example of management visibility in a subtle way, keeping an eye right across the dining area, ensuring everything goes well.

The swimming pool was immaculately kept, very clean and separated by kid’s pool and main pool. The area is immaculately clean and well presented with sun loungers and umbrellas.

Excursions to Stone town and Spice Tour were well organised and prompt. Thank you Lucas for arranging this for us. The transport and tour guide were excellent.

The General Manager, Preetam and Ivan, the Accounts manager were very pleasant, friendly, helpful and visible. They were also very kind to invite all guests to their weekly evening management reception at the champagne bar, even though we must have missed them there!

We were also always helped and greeted very well by Balbina at the main reception desk, with a wide range of queries on a daily basis. Always smiling and professional. Our check out was swift.

There is also a nice gift shop by the reception area.

Saidi and Joseph also responded to ensure our satellite TV was restored to working order. Very swift.

Check out was swift, be it slight warm at Midday. Balbina and front desk were very kind. There is a wonderfully designed Guest book you hand write your comments in on departure and plus the resort takes a Polaroid snap of you, which you take for free.

We also had an evening flight, and given room check out is by Midday, the General Manager, Preetam, had our luggage stored away and we were allowed to continue using the resort facilities for free until our early evening departure by resort transport. This included a free lunch. Nice touch.

Resort transfer to airport was very comfortable and speedy – nice AC 5 wheel car.

Now to the suggestions for improvements

I am all for naturally fresh air, but the reception and main lounge needs to be air conditioned. Both are very open but it is far too humid in Zanzibar for that areas not to be or at the very least have the option to use it. You don’t want to be checking out and be sweating buckets. Plus you want to be able to relax in the lounge, in a cool environment. Fans simply are not good enough. But to be fair the ladies, Christina and Balbina were very helpful in being proactive providing fans when it was very warm.

All teams on the resort are very quick at responding to requests for say TV satellite not working or internet connection dead, but once they arrive on the scene and start dealing with the issue (be it externally) – if you happen to leave the room or are out, we were not told if the matter had been resolved.

As way of example, when we had an issue with the hot water not coming on in the mornings, they sent someone round during the day whilst we were at the beach, but once we came back to shower in the evening, the hot water was still not working – so we then had to phone front desk and were advised that someone had come round and but they weren’t aware whether it was fixed. I think at the very least we would expect there to be a note to say – ‘all done now, working okay’ or alternatively, a message with front desk that it has/has not been fixed pending this’. It was resolved the following day though.

I guess what I am saying is that there has to be a central point/database where all the faults for each room are logged and and updated as to the status and when done or pending – so main desk doesn’t have to ring round to the repair person to see whether they had resolved problem at room/villa 1 or 2.

Just worth pointing out that on days at breakfast and dinner in the main restaurant, when the guest numbers were high, we, at times, found ourselves waiting longer than normal – and I accept that is to be expected but it would have been more reassuring if there was a visible (front of house) keeping an eye on what was going on. On a few occasions, I then had to prompt someone for our drinks. This was seldom, but it is worth pointing out.

The Champagne bar has an absolutely brilliant location on the top floor (which is the first floor) of the main building. It has wonderful views. It sells itself. I just think it could do with a cosmetic makeover, particularly around the bar area – embellishment if you like, to inject abit more life in it. Perhaps, more plants upstairs and coloured lighting.

Wi-Fi is an issue, at least for Apple products (i phones/pads), so I was advised by our butler. Just to be clear in the main building and the beach, there were less issues with connectivity, but in our room, there was no connectivity at all. Yes, a holiday is about getting away from multi media/smart phones etc. but there are times when you need connectivity for being receptive to/contacting family and friends in case of emergency etc. Also if a resort/hotel says it has Wi-Fi, then it should be accessible wherever you are on the resort. I am though aware that management, to their credit, are working on this.

But the above are things that can be easily rectified and although I have marked a score of 4, it is a very strong 4(4 Plus if you like) which can easily turn to a 5, once the above issues are considered.

This resort has only been 5 years or so in operation and has everything going for it - idyllic location, aesthetically beautiful grounds, vegetation and white sandy beach and .

It is also a spacious resort with a moderately small number of guests, in mainly villas.

It is the most ideal location for a relaxing break

The staff and management are very friendly - and work very well as a unit.

The food is nice and whilst there could be a little more variety at dinner a la carte menu, that is easily fixed.

I think the resort could be a little better co-ordinated in managing problems reported. They are quick in reacting, but having a central database where resolved and ongoing problems are stored (snagging list) would be very helpful to everyone I feel.

Worth noting that going for Fully inclusive is much better value for money - there are not that many options to eat locally in Paje,unless of course you have a car.

All the above said, I have to say I strongly recommend this resort to anyone who is looking for a beautiful, peaceful, wind down, white beach holiday in a luxury end environment. Wonderful.

Room Tip: Ensure you know what room/villa you are booking and how many other rooms/units are attached to it for sharing pool/privacy purposes.
  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank PaulS12987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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