Zanzibar, Tanzania

Constance Aiyana

Rates per night from$894.07

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD894.07), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Cyan serenity

Setting

The clove isle

Constance Aiyana skirts a powder-white beach on Pemba, a lush and unspoiled island with some of the best marine life in the Zanzibar archipelago. A 30-minute flight from mainland Zanzibar, Pemba is the Spice Island’s wilder cousin, a rugged and fertile place where nature still reigns supreme. With its sprawling villas, capacious infinity pool and beachfront restaurant, the hotel seems the exception to the rule, but its layout ensures you feel every bit in tune with the landscape. Built of local limestone and coconut wood, the villas look onto the cyan surf on one side and fragrant gardens on all the others, keeping nature center stage. By day, you can dive and snorkel to kaleidoscopic reefs, kayak through mangrove forest and wander the Ngezi Forest Reserve, returning for lantern-lit dinners at dusk.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A three-hour snorkelling trip, bottle of wine, fruit basket and – subject to availability – a free room upgrade

Facilities

Photos Constance Aiyana facilities

Need to know

Rooms

30 suites.

Check–Out

Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $894.07, excluding tax at 18 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast and use of the mountain bikes, snorkeling equipment, paddleboards and kayaks.

Also

The hotel is a showcase of local artwork, and has a boutique selling paintings in a wide variety of styles.

At the hotel

Beach, free WiFi throughout, laundry. In rooms: flatscreen TV; minibar; Nespresso coffee machine; tea kit; free bottled water.

Our favourite rooms

If it's just the two of you, you’ll likely be booking one of the Beach Villas, the only one-bedroom option at the hotel. Skirting the edge of the sand, these villas have wood-clad interiors, king-size beds and an egg-shaped soaking tub overlooking a walled garden. Making the most of the climate, they all have private gardens, an alfresco dining area and direct access to the sugar-white sands. The two-bedroom Ambassador and three bedroom Royal villas have their own private pools; the sprawling Presidential villa has a pool and a private stretch of beach.

Poolside

The vast infinity pool runs along the beachfront, with little more than a strip of white sand standing between it and the Indian Ocean. Sunloungers run along the sea-facing side, and there’s a shallow section separated from the main pool by an underwater ledge.

Spa

Maji spa takes its name from the Swahili word for water, paying tribute to the element that plays a key role in so many healing rituals. There are four treatment rooms in the spa hut, which is scented with clove, soundtracked by the ocean and surrounded by lush, fragrant greenery. There are two single and two couples’ treatment rooms, a bath ceremony room and a fitness centre.

Packing tips

Bring trekking gear for the hike through Ngezi forest, especially if you want to leave the path to get closer to the wildlife.

Also

The layout of the grounds and lack of adapted rooms makes the hotel unsuitable for wheelchair users.

Children

All ages are welcome, but older children will get the most out of the grounds and activities. Children up to six stay free if they share a bed with their parents. Children from seven to 16 stay on an extra bed for US$100 a night (all-inclusive).

Food and Drink

Photos Constance Aiyana food and drink

Top Table

If you’re celebrating, ask the staff to set up a private table on the beach.

Dress Code

We’d swing one of two ways – all-out exoticism or monochrome white.

Hotel restaurant

Neema is right on the edge of the beach, ensuring every table on the palm-studded terrace has an ocean view. At breakfast, you’ll be bathed in the day’s first sun; in the evening, the tables and flagstones are strewn with glass-encased lanterns, adding a romantic flourish to dinners. The cuisine is international but there are always traditional Zanzibari options on the menu, including the hotel’s signature breadfruit and aubergine curry, served in a traditional clay pot and accompanied by rice and paratha. Finely spiced seafood is also a big feature, drawing on Zanzibar’s plentiful waters and fragrant spice farms. 

Hotel bar

Although its open all day, Jua Bar seems made for sundowners, with a row of deep sofas set along a terrace of sun-warmed limestone. Toast the evening with one of the signature cocktails, which are shaken with local ingredients. 

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 7am to 10.30am; lunch from 12.30pm to 3.30pm; dinner from 7.30pm to 10.30pm.

Location

Photos Constance Aiyana location
Address
Constance Aiyana
Mekangale, Pemba island
Zanzibar,Tanzania
Tanzania, United Republic of

Constance Aiyana is on the west coast of Pemba, a remote and rugged island in the Zanzibar archipelago.

Planes

Pemba Airport is closest to the hotel. The best way to get there is to first fly to Zanzibar International Airport, which can be reached from the UK via Muscat or Istanbul. Once there, you’ll hop on a light aircraft to Pemba, a flight of around 30 minutes. The drive from Pemba Airport to the hotel takes around 90 minutes if the weather’s good; return transfers are US$120 a person, which will be in a four-wheel drive.

Automobiles

Most people choose to leave the driving to the locals, who’ve grown up navigating the at-times unpaved roads. If you still want to hire, the Smith24 team can arrange it. There’s free valet parking at the hotel.

Worth getting out of bed for

Famous for its aquamarine water, colourful reefs and diverse sea life, Pemba Island lays claim to some of the best snorkeling and diving in East Africa (you’ll have the chance to see turtles, puffer fish and anemones in every colour of the rainbow). If you’d rather be on the water than in it, take to the waves on a paddleboard or kayak – both are free to use. Once you’re back on shore, restore weary shoulders with a couples’ massage at Majia spa, itself inspired by water.

If you’re serious about diving, consider chartering a boat to Misali, a remote and uninhabited island with marine life that’s as diverse as it gets. Once you hit the shore for a spot of lunch, there’s a good chance you’ll have the sand all to yourself bar the occasional fisherman. Much of Pemba’s own coastline is swathed with mangrove forest, which is best explored in a kayak, which slips neatly beneath the overhanging branches. It’s worth keeping your eyes on the canopy, as Pemba is home to at least 183 species of bird, many of them brightly feathered, and some incredibly rare. Inland, there’s the Ngezi Forest Reserve, which is a natural playground for red colobus monkeys and Pemba flying foxes, one of the largest fruit bats in the world. You’ll need a guide to enter, who can lead you along either of the two trails: Joshi, which takes around an hour, and Tafiki, which takes three to four hours and winds up at Vumawimbi Beach, a prime spot for a bit of wild swimming. 

Local restaurants

There’s not much of a restaurant scene in the local area, and even if you were to go looking, you’re unlikely to find anything that’ll rival the hotel’s cuisine. 

Reviews

Photos Constance Aiyana reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this beachfront hotel in Zanzibar and unpacked their photos of red colobus monkeys, a full account of their back-to-nature break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Constance Aiyana in Zanzibar…

Few places have beaches quite as idyllic as Zanzibar, where sand that's one shade from snow is lapped by water so vibrant it almost looks artificial. And that’s the thing – these otherworldly looks have put the island on every beach lovers bucket list, making it harder to find a stretch of that sand to call your own. Unless, that is, you go to Constance Aiyana, which is on the west coast of Pemba Island, a less developed landmass to the north of Zanzibar itself. Granted, the journey is a little longer and the drive involves an unpaved road or two, but the rewards are worth their weight in saffron, the red gold of the spice world. On your first day or two, the long stretches of sugary sand will be novelty enough, but once the wanderlust kicks in again, you’ll have the rest of Pemba to explore: mangroves, reefs teeming with fluorescent fish and forests that are home to whooping monkeys, bright-liveried birds and the Pemba flying fox, one of the largest bats on earth. Of course, it’s not all wild. Between excursions, you’ll be sipping exotic cocktails, dining on delicately spiced seafood and luxuriating in your sprawling villa – just the way we like it

The Guestbook

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