June 18, 2019
I was fortunate enough to be able to stay at Constance Aiyana on Pemba Island in Zanzibar last year.
To get to Pemba island we flew with Auric Air in a 13-seater plane from Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar. The airport is quite small but the ground services are on point. One way in and one way out. On entering the building, you have to sign a form and provide passport details. Your bags are then lined up and you just pick them up and walk out.
The hotel had a driver on standby to collect and transfer us. The drive is approximately 1 hour on a smooth road and then 30 minutes on a bumpy road that goes through the Ingezi Forest. It was interesting to note the different vegetation and housing along the route.
As you step out of the vehicle onto the property, you are just blown away by the calming sound of the ocean and the breath-taking views. It really is a once in a lifetime experience that is not to be forgotten.
I always believe that the staff at a property are what makes or breaks a destination, and at Constance Aiyana Pemba, you immediately feel comfortable and right at home once greeted with a friendly face and refreshing drink. Throughout your stay the staff are constantly helpful, cheerful and willing to assist wherever needed to really give you a pleasant stay.
If there is anything that can keep a guest satisfied, it is constantly fresh, local and healthy food. This was a true way to my heart and stomach. The food offering was plentiful and they cater for guests with special dietaries which was extremely impressive. There is nothing better than knowing that everything you eat is either from the ocean or locally sourced from the land.
Constance Aiyana Pemba has 30 rooms comprised of different categories. Each room is absolutely spectacular as they are spacious and well designed. A highlight was that each room has an outside shower which is perfect to use in the evenings when the weather is hot and humid.
Aiyana has some amazing activities on offer, of which the below are just a few:
1) Sand Bank experience – 20 minute boat ride from the hotel to an exposed sand bank to enjoy a picnic. You can add snorkelling in their conservation area if you would like.
2) Discover Mangroves by boat – 45 minute boat ride where you hop onto a kayak and then get shown around the mangroves that are only available during high tide. You are offered drinks and snacks while you enjoy this experience. To top it off, the fishermen on the boat were charming and entertaining and really wanted you to learn about their culture and the land they grew up on.
3) Scuba diving with Swahili divers
4) Sunset/morning cruises
5) Pemba morning fishing trip
6) Deep sea fishing
7) Pemba North Tour (visit Spice farms, local markets and Pemba flying foxes in the Ingezi forest)
8) Village tour by bicycle
9) Private lunches or dinner on the beach
Words cannot express how phenomenal this experience was, I was willing to throw my passport in the ocean just to be able to stay longer.
If I had to distinguish 5 unique selling points for this property, it would be:
1) Their food is to die for. It is healthy and always fresh
2) There is so much to offer in terms of activities
3) If you take exclusive use of the property it can really feel like your own paradise
4) They offer a beautiful spa and gym facilities
5) Pemba is easily accessible from Dar es Salaam; a thirty-minute light aircraft flight from Zanzibar and can be part of a multi-destination safari trip or a stand-alone exotic holiday.
I would happily recommend this property to anyone and would drop everything in a heartbeat to be able to go back!