Breakfast is served on an open patio. There is sparkling wine, all manner of stuff to add to your muesli (the spiced banana compote is fantastic) and of course, fresh juices and tea/coffee. After cereal, they bring a fresh fruit platter to your table, along with a bread basket and toast if you want it. THEN they ask you what you want for breakfast!!!! The pancakes were good. To be honest, we didn't have a cooked breakfast very often.
At about 11-ish every day, they bring cool drinks or smoothies round to you in your private beach banda.
Lunch is served in the beach/pool bar, and is a four course affair. Sample menu: Pitta triangles with hot crab dip. Lobster Salad. Grilled fish/chips. Passionfruit Sorbet. Wine, beer - or any drink you choose.
Every day at 4 they serve afternoon tea and cakes on the fabulous verandah.
At around 6.30-ish they bring sundowners and canapes to your villa. Also in your room is a fridge stocked with cold soft drinks, beer and water. Plus tea/coffee making facilities and a platter of fresh fruit.
Dinner could be up to 8 courses if you wanted them all, and is served in the "Plantation House" dining room, complete with chandeliers! The food is first class. There is lobster on the menu every day. The seafood and fish here are great.
The wine is mainly South African and very good. You get a different selection every evening.
After dinner, you can have coffee pretty much wherever you want it. Some drinks (Baileys) aren't included in the AI, but if you ask them what is, you're sure to find a good selection to choose from.
The villas are amazing. Go to the Palms website to see what I mean! You have a private jacuzzi outside, and two day beds to lounge on nearby. Inside, there's a lounge/kitchen/tv area. Behind that is the wonderful (most comfortable) bed. Then there is a dressing room and HUGE bathroom with bath and separate shower, two sinks and a separate loo. Oh, and I forgot to mention the spare bedroom - also with loo and shower room!
The other guests (during our stay) were lovely. All very down to earth and appreciative of the surroundings.
There isn't entertainment as such. One evening they had a Taraab band playing for us right through dinner, which was a real privilege to hear. To be honest, the place doesn't need entertainment! You can, if you wish, borrow DVDs from reception. After dinner, sometimes people would sit around and chat, other nights, just wander back to their villa early. It's that sort of place.
The staff are lovely - friendly but not in your face too much, if you know what I mean.
On our last evening, they gave us a private dinner on the beach. That was so special!
There is a beach resort (Breezes hotel) next door, which is a sister hotel to Palms, and Palms guests use a lot of their facilities for free. That looked a good hotel too, with about 80 rooms. We used the spa a couple of times. My husband recommends the Thai massage!
Basically, once you're in the Palms, you just don't want to leave. It's amazing how soon you get used to the opulence, and being waited on hand and foot!
Travel operator: www.zanzibardirect.uk.com
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