Food & Drinks

A Pool Bar That Made Me to Almost Dance


Bluebay Beach Resort, Zanzibar, is a wonderful place. It’s not just the white soft-sandy beach and the serenity of palms trees and gardens. It’s the chefs and the chapatis they cook in the mornings. I’m a pushover, I review places positively if they serve chapatis for breakfast. But then when dusk came and the entertainment hauled out their guitars and drums and tapped the microphones with their fingers (why do they all say ‘testing testing?”) next to the swimming pool, you knew you were about to find out that they are more than just chapatis.

Because they have amazing entertainment. Unfortunately, most hotels have some corny chaps singing “jambo Kenya/ hakuna matata” or doing acrobats. Tourists might lap it up, but “locals” are always so jaded by this routine.

However, at Bluebay Beach Resort you were always eager to see what band they would bring that night. I don’t know the names of the bands, but each night there was an act and all of them worked the crowd.

Normally guests who are dining would ignore these people, treating them like piped music, but not at Palms Pool Bar. The slow eaters who were still dining would all turn to look at the band.

The fast eaters at the bar (and the bar was always full) would be staring at the bar, digestifs in hand. I loved all their bands. Even when doing renditions, they owned the songs.


They brought a special mood at night. They made you linger on with a drink in your hand long after you had eaten your dessert. And most importantly they never once said “hakuna matata.” People danced. I know they were good because I was so close to dancing.

If you ever find yourself in Zanzibar or you plan to go to Zanzibar, check out the band at Palms Pool Bar at Bluebay Beach Resort, they should offer internship for other hotel bands.