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“A Zanzibarian Getaway” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge & Spa

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Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge & Spa
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Chuini Ruins, Bububu, Tanzania   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bububu
Muscat, Oman
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A Zanzibarian Getaway”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This was a wonderfully relaxing, family-run, peaceful little hideaway, far from the tourist track of constant nightlife and thrill-seekers. This was a perfect place to put your feet up and let others wait on you. I loved easily accessible spa which was certainly affordable for a daily treatment. I did book once for a massage but when I arrived, my appointment had been taken by someone else. I wasn't unduly put out about it, as I was sunburnt and the therapist suggested I re-book. All excursions and travel arrangements were laid on by the hotel and my favourite was a picnic on a sandbank in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Hotel staff packed us a special gluten-free picnic and we were given the choice of champagne or beer. They sailed us out to the sandbank to do some snorkeling and then laid out a lovely spread for us, sailed off and collected us a few hours later. This was magical. We enjoyed an Africa under the stars dinner on the beach one evening, and a family dinner to say goodbye to the owners who were travelling to Germany for a vacation. The owner prides herself on taking a personal hand with the menu and we were never disappointed. The only negative is that our room was right next to a building site and we were often woken with noise. We tried to take an afternoon nap once and gave up. This was unfortunate as we had escaped our home in Muscat that was, at that time, surrounded by 4 building sites! We had not been able to have a good lie-in for months and was looking forward to some peace and quiet. The beach, too, is a little disappointing. It is fairly rocky and you needed to wear those rock-climbing shoes. But it was lovely for a get-away, no noisy children and a very friendly and welcoming staff.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a sea view and not on the perimeter.
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  • Stayed October 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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409 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    296
    77
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See reviews for
48
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2015

We were so excited to enjoy our honeymoon at Hakuna Matata and saw it as a once in a lifetime opportunity to stay in a luxurious honeymoon suite. However, when we arrived we were disappointed to find that the suite was overlooked by building work and the hot tub had been removed. We were moved to another cottage but this was not the luxury we had expected (or paid for!) and in fact the drains were really smelly, which was not nice at all.

On the positive side the food was nice and some of the staff were friendly but overall it was not the experience we were expecting and we did not feel it was value for money.

Zanzibar is beautiful but I think there are much much nicer places to stay. I wished we'd paid more attention to the negative reviews on here before we booked.

Room Tip: If you have booked to honeymoon suite, check the status of the building work beforehand, you may wan...
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  • Stayed December 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ljubljana, Slovenia
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2015

That's German managed resort, so they ask you before breakfast to reserve for dinner if you wan't to! And there was no choise at all, only tortelini...! So much about spontanity. Beach is awful, becouse when it's low tide, there is no sea. For nice beach&sea go to the north west of the island. Drinks and coffe are twice the price of other hotels. When we cheque out two ladies in charge paid more attention to their dog, than to me and my husband, so that was the kind of hospitality for the guests who don't go to their massage (50 $) and daily trips. You can get to Prison Island with centuries old turtles from Stone Town for 30 $, hotel arrrangements are far to expensive. Zanzibar is far too expensive for what you get and this hotel is at it's top (for what you get).

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HakunaMatata1, Inhaber at Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, 4 weeks ago
We are very sorry the guests are not happy with Hakuna Matata Beach Loge$ Spa
Anyway I want to defend our staff to some comments.
I think there is a problem with language and communication.
The guests are absolute correct - we are not the cheapest Hotel in Zanzibar but for sure we have an excellent value for Money. If somebody is looking for cheap Drinks and Food we are the wrong Resort.
As you can see in most of the comments we are very well know for our fresh and homemade food - we don’t do Tortellini - maybe they ate somewhere else.
Also they are correct we ask BB booked guests during the morning time if they want to join dinner in case we have some Special Events like Beach or Swahili - why not?
Also sure you can go from town in a common boat to Prison Island - if you want this standard everybody is free to do so - we do private tours ( only the ones who booked) for snorkelling, Prison Island etc .
For sure we don’t force someone to go to the massage in our Spa - they just get a voucher for a free Foot Massage each - again I think it´s a communication and language issue.

Maybe we have been the wrong Hotel for their Budget.
We feel sorry for them and it´s a shame they did not complain to us during their stay to give us the chance to help .
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2015

The location is beautiful (however a bit misleading if you were expecting long white beaches - the beaches are quite rocky and not really suitable for swimming). They bay however with the ruins in the middle is visually stunning.
The staff were excellent throughout our stay, making it comfortable and welcoming. So were the dogs!
Rose and Fritz were great hosts as well. The kitchen was stellar, bringing out delicious dishes (presented fantastically) every time we sat down for a meal, especially since we there were 3 vegetarians in our group.
We also did the east coast tour which was fantastic (try and negotiate to squeeze the spice tour into the east coast tour for a really full day if you are short on time)

The rooms were spacious however there were a few issues here... Firstly the bathroom was tiny, minuscule even. Barely any space to move.. and poorly lit. The shower was quite horrible. Barely any pressure and lukewarm at best. Secondly the air conditioning was very weak; barely cooling the room even when left on an entire day. This led to somewhat uncomfortable nights. Lastly the sockets in the room were all european.. which we found quite strange. There are adapters available at the reception but they were all taken when we asked.. There really should be an adapter for each room.
Also watch out for the afternoon tea, its great and the cakes are tasty but they are not complimentary! Quite pricey actually..
The wifi was barely usable.. but didn't really need to use it as we were trying to disconnect! (you can also pay for a faster connection)

Overall the stay was great. We had a really good time and I would recommend the place to couples and travelers.. Families with small children may struggle.

Room Tip: At the time of our stay there was a lot of construction going on around the hotel which made some of...
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  • Stayed December 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2014

-over priced
-friendly staff but poor service & management
-not only food is bad.. but it's expensive too !
-rooms are not equipped.. and no mini fridge
-basically you will pay for a lodge & spa .. and they think it is.. however it's less than a motel bcuz of the reasons i mentioned above.. so if u don't travel much u might like it.. but if u do u will know it's below average

  • Stayed December 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham UK
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2014 via mobile

I booked this hotel after looking at reviews and the hotels website and the hotel did not dissapointed! I emailed asking what time I could check in and the hotel offered to organise a transfer for us which was cheaper than the one out other hotel had offered.

When we arrived we were offered a welcome drink which was lovely! The staff were so welcoming and helpful throughout our stay. Our bungalow had everything we needed it was clean and well presented. The hotel itself has lots of different things for you to do a private beach, cinema, bar and restaurant. We are all our meals here and all of the food was fantastic. We had a Swahili night and then dinner on the beach which was really beautiful. On our last day the hotel staff allowed us to check out late which meant we could swim and then have showed just before leaving. I highly recommend this hotel and the service was fantastic. Thank you for a wonderful stay!

  • Stayed October 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2014

Recently, I stayed at the Hakuna Matata Beach lodge and Spa. I was a bit worried because I am a young, female traveling alone. My fears were for naught, although you have to drive through some "interesting" territory to get to the lodge, it is well worth it. The lodge was beautiful.There were a few cons but mostly pro's and I would certainly stay there again. The staff was amazing and the food was so good, I wanted to beg the chef to come back to America with me. ☺. Mohammed, the tour director on site was a godsend and the entire team made my trip that much more enjoyable.

Pros
Mohammed ( All 3 Mohammed's)
Staff
Room
Furniture ( i would give anything to have the furniture shipped to the US)
Location to Beach
Location to Ruins
Breakfast
Dinner

Cons
Wish I had more interaction with the owners Rose and Fritz
Mosquitoes ( OMG) be prepared because that part sucks but by day 2 I was fine. I was ready for the little buggers.

So- SO Situation
No TV in the room.. Yikes, but believe it or not it made my trip more relaxing because I was able to read my books
Wifi is not that great

Room Tip: Try to ask for a room further into the lodge, I was so paranoid my first night because I was near th...
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  • Stayed October 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge & Spa

Address: Chuini Ruins, Bububu, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Bububu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bububu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge & Spa. Located on the west coast of the exotic island Zanzibar under shady age-old mango trees, bordered by a secret private bay you will find our 4 star hotel Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge & Spa. Our beach hotel offers 13 comfortable bungalows - all with a spectacular view to of Indian Ocean. The new Villa Zanzibar is the highlight of all bungalows. Weddings and honeymoons - are you are looking for a romantic place to get married under palm trees, on the beach or next to historical palace ruins? Here, your dreams will come true. In our unique Day Spa you may revitalize your body and soul. Enjoy the breathtaking African sunsets. Let your eyes wander to the south, see the skyline of Stone Town, the small Chapwani and Prison Island, and just ahead the silhouette of the African continent. You will feel enchanted. The hotel is managed by the German owners Rose and Fritz. We are looking forward to welcoming you soon. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hakuna Matata Beach Hotel Bububu
Hakuna Matata Beach Bububu
Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge & Spa Zanzibar/Bububu

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