Indigo Beach

Bwejuu, Jambiani & Southeast, Tanzania Book from

Reviewed by Megan Wyche
A barefoot beach hideaway on a swathe of white sand; rustic-chic style in sublimely chilled surroundings
This unpretentious boutique resort sits in the village of Bwejuu on Zanzibar’s southeast coast, on a vast stretch of beach where fishermen haul in their catch on traditional wooden boats. It’s easy and honest; a comfortable timeout for those seeking powdery white sand, without the boisterous party venues and high prices you often find in this popular corner of the island.

Contemporary in design, it is most popular with 30- to 60-something couples, but it’s also effortlessly accommodating to families (children aged 4+ are welcome, and there's a kids' club during school holidays). The 9 spacious, airy guest bungalows have lounges and outdoor bathrooms, and some have 2 bedrooms; there are also simpler rooms in the main building for those on a budget. The restaurant serves tasty fare, with an appropriate emphasis on fresh fish and seafood; a few steps away sparkles the alluring infinity pool, and there’s a tented cabana for holistic massages. In the background a hip, chilled-out playlist quietly thrums along, coaxing you into a lazy bliss of books, strolls, rests and dips. Kitesurfing, diving and snorkelling are the go-to activities for those who can muster the energy, and excursions to Stone Town and elsewhere are easily arranged.

Highs

  • The lovely, palm-fringed beach - quieter than many in southeast Zanzibar, and voted one of the world's top 10 by Conde Nast Traveler
  • A friendly and uncomplicated vibe that put us instantly at ease
  • Expansive ocean views from all but one bungalow, and most open straight onto the sand
  • Cool and comfortable chill-out areas, plus a glistening infinity pool
  • Tasty seafood at the restaurant, set under the shade of a breezy Bedouin tent

Lows

  • No air conditioning (though you do get a ceiling fan), and the open-air bathrooms are hot in the middle of the day
  • WiFi in communal areas only and it can be slow, but you’re here to forget the outside world
  • Dinners have a set menu, but dietary requirements are easily catered for
  • A feline interloper at meal times
  • Full pre-payment required before arrival, plus a 5% surcharge for credit-card payments

Best time to go

Zanzibar is best visited from June to mid-October (a spectacular time, with warm but comfortable temperatures) and mid-December to mid-April (hot but often stiflingly humid). These are also the best times for kitesurfing. Diving is best in March. The island experiences 2 rainy seasons, with heavy showers from mid-April to mid-May, and lighter ‘short rains’ during November.

You might want to check the dates of Ramadan, when food and alcohol aren’t served outdoors, and some bars/restaurants close altogether (most notably in Stone Town, although extra respect is expected throughout). This will not affect you within the confines of Indigo Beach.

Our top tips

Make sure you try the hotel's spicy local twist on margaritas: delicious. The signature Indigo Beach cocktail is excellent, too.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Honeymoon
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Resort
  • 19
  • Restaurant & bar (open daily)
  • Ages 4+ welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

There are 9 white, blue-roofed bungalows, some single-storey, others spread over 2 floors. All have sparse yet comfortable furnishings and a modern-rustic touch: rattan chairs, cushions adorned with bright local patterns, the occasional flower-filled vase. Bedrooms are large, with enticing queensize beds wrapped in mosquito nets; we slept very well, though we did hear occasional noise from low-hanging palms scratching our roof. You also get a lounge with a sofa, a private slice of garden, and an outdoor bathroom with a rainshower and screens of reeds for privacy.

Eight bungalows face the ocean and open directly onto the sand, where a couple of loungers await. Two of these are geared up for families, with a second twin bedroom, as is the Garden Bungalow (the only one without a sea view).

There are also 10 smaller, simpler bedrooms in the guesthouse behind the pool. They’re decorated in fresh whites and blues, with indoor ensuites - ideal for single travellers, couples on a budget, or a group of friends.

Features include:

  • Coffee tea making
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Mosquito net
  • Private garden
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Universal plug adaptor
  • WiFi

Eating

Meals are taken under the shade of a Bedouin tent, at exquisite dhow-timber tables surrounded by white sand and lush, green gardens. The tasty, no-frills food spans many international cuisines, but there’s an emphasis on local specialities and super-fresh fish.

Days kick off at a leisurely pace with a buffet breakfast and eggs to order; the à la carte lunch menu is well-priced, with a reasonable selection of appetising plates - Caesar salad, grilled calamari, that kind of thing. Dinner consists of a delicious 3-course set menu (any dietary requirements are accommodated with ease), which is well presented and lovingly served. Our tuna and grapefruit ceviche and grilled kolekole (kingfish) main were exceptional. There’s also a good selection of drinks, including mouth-watering mojitos.

Should you wish to eat out, there are a number of options a short walk/cycle away; just ask staff for recommendations.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee tea making
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • The beach is the main draw. Lounge on the sand, or wander along the shore into the village, watching local characters and the arrival of the daily catch
  • Rent a bicycle from the hotel and cycle a few km to the next town, Paje
  • Kitesurfing is a hot favourite in the area. You'll find numerous kite schools in Paje, offering tuition and equipment hire for every level
  • Diving and snorkelling can also be arranged nearby; you'll spot colourful fish and, if you're lucky, inquisitive turtles
  • A variety of excursions further afield are on offer, too: a spice tour to get acquainted with the spices for which the island is renowned; a step back in time amid the alleyways of Stone Town; or a day at sea on a traditional wooden dhow

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Historical sites
  • Kitesurfing
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Scuba diving courses
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being
  • Wildlife

Kids

Children aged 4+ are welcome. There’s a play area with toys and games, plus a kids’ club during school holidays. Babysitting can be arranged, and hotel and restaurant staff are endlessly accommodating.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Three bungalows are set up for families, with an additional twin bedroom. All bungalows (but not the guesthouse rooms) can accommodate 1 rollaway bed.

Babysitting:

Can be arranged with 24 hours’ notice.

Creche/Kid's Club:

The kids’ club is open during school holidays for kids aged 4-10, with creative workshops, swimming and group games.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Play area with toys and games
  • Creative workshops
  • Direct beach access
  • Bikes to rent

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Snorkelling and diving
  • Kitesurfing
  • Boat trips

Families Should Know:

The pool isn't fenced.

Distances:

  • Airport: 1-hour drive (Stone Town)
  • Shop: 5-minute walk (Bwejuu)
  • Hospital: 20-minute drive
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
8/
Food
10/
Service
10/
Value
10/
Overall

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