For the ultimate beach escape where time stands still, where sand, sea, and horizon melt into each other, where there's exclusivity, total relaxation, and impeccable food and service, it would be hard to find anywhere in the world as alluring as Mnemba Island Lodge on &Beyond's privately owned Mnemba Island. You'll be transported from Zanzibar by 4x4 and speedboat to this ultimate desert island. Your deluxe, Swiss Family Robinson–style beach house—one of only 10 on the island—is hidden between strips of coastal forest and faces a turquoise sea that would've challenged even the palette of Van Gogh. Coconut matting covers the walls and floors of your bedroom, dressing room, en-suite bathroom, and covered veranda, which is furnished with handmade Zanzibari furniture. A feature of this superlative lodge is its imaginative use of recycled glass. Check out the blue glass-bead shower curtain, your soap dish, or your champagne flute. Diving and snorkeling off a coral reef just a few feet from shore is an experience, and if you've always wanted to dive, then this is the place to fulfill that dream with two experienced dive masters and state-of-the-art equipment. The cooing of doves will soothe even the most savage beast as the tiniest antelopes in the world, the rare suni, scamper happily past you while you sit on the beach under your private canopy and sip sundowners. Mix with fellow guests from all over the world or dine alone a few feet from the soft surf under pulsing stars by glowing lantern light. Heaven can't be better than this.
- there's a snorkelling reef just off the shore that you can swim out to
- plenty of privacy
- you need to book in advance, as it's a sought-after destination
- if you don't dive you're not taking advantage of the on-site master and being able to go out whenever you like
- the doves can be noisy as can the hoardes of other divers and tourists who arrive twice a day even though they are not allowed on the island (there is a hefty fine)