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“I dont recall any of my africa visits that i was looking foward to leave asap” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Mafia Island Lodge

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Mafia Island Lodge
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3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Utende Beach, Mafia Island, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Mafia Island
Istanbul, Turkey
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“I dont recall any of my africa visits that i was looking foward to leave asap”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

We went to Mafia İsland Lodge during New Years 2013 and stayed for 4 days. The room was ok and clean but a had serious infrastructure problems. One day we came to the room and the sink was broken. They fixed it. The next they we came to the room and the room was flooding. They fixed it. Another day we came to the room the AC was broken they fixed it.

However, the worst thing was I literally lost weight during my stay in Mafia Island Lodge. The food was TERRIBLE (if you can find food of course). For the breakfast they were asking us "Do you want eggs". At this point whatever we asked for inside the egg, they were missing. No Potato, no onion, no bacon, no ham, no nothing. One time I was so hungry, I asked for french fries, guess what, they didnt have potato but at dinner they served potato..I should also mention the food we ate during dinner were very very bad.

The only thing you can do is to dive but please do not dive with mafia island lodge. They do have a nice attitude. I will write another review to PADI about them as well.

To sum up, dont loose time and money and have a great time somewhere else in mafia

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MafiaLodge, Manager at Mafia Island Lodge, responded to this review, February 12, 2014
Thank you for sharing your feedback with us.

The local supplies like fruits follow seasons and we have to rely on our overseas suppliers, and the logistics can be difficult at times, as you can understand being located on a remote island.
We do prefer to offer a cuisine, which is generally very much appreciated, based on fresh ingredients. If we are not able to meet special requests, we do compensate with the best possible options to satisfy our clients.

We do maintenance regularly and of course the staff may miss something but we are always ready to intervene promptly, as you pointed out whenever the problem is brought to the attention of the management.
Rest assured that we do our utmost to keep Mafia Lodge at its best, but we have to keep into consideration that it's not easy in a difficult environment like Mafia (heat, humidity, termites, salinity).

We are sorry that your holiday at Mafia Lodge did not meet your expectations.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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161 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    31
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    5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
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English first
Paris, France
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2014

We went to Mafia as a group of friends over the new years and stayed at the Mafia Island Lodge for 4 nights. If there were other hotels available on the island or availability on any flights to Zanzibar, I doubt we would have stayed that long in that lodge...

(I want to mentioning that we have traveled the area before many times and do not have unrealistic expectations).

The sentence 'finished, no more' became the slogan of the holiday. During breakfast they would run out of honey, peanut butter, bacon and mango. And the only other option is an omlette which is of ridiculous portion… One day we tried to ask for something else on the menu at an extra cost and guess what the answer to that was?? 'sorry no more crock monsieur because no more potatoes for fries and no more ham'.

The food in general was bad. We had one good meal on the day we arrived and it all went downhill from there. I went to bed 2 nights munching on cookies because I was hungry.

The rooms are ok, the best thing about the lodge. However, I think everybody's AC broke at least once during the 4 days. Also our bathroom flooded one evening due to a broken pipe. This place needs a serious facelift.

The beach is very mediocre for this part of the world. The beach bar is a joke, they only have soft drinks and beer. You have to track to the main building to get any other drinks. But of course there is never any ice so what's the point??

We are very honest to the manager about the issues we encountered, and he couldn't care less. That's the worst part, there were no apology for anything!

So as a conclusion, don't go there unless you're spending your entire time diving. And bring cookies.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
MafiaLodge, Manager at Mafia Island Lodge, responded to this review, February 12, 2014
Thank you for sharing your feedback with us.

The local supplies like fruits follow seasons and we rely on our overseas suppliers in some cases, but logistics can be difficult at times as you can understand as we are located on a remote island.
However, we are sorry to hear you didn't appreciate our cuisine. We do prefer to offer a cuisine, which is generally very much appreciated, based on fresh ingredients. If we are not able to meet special requests, we do compensate with the best possible options to satisfy our clients

It is unfortunate you did not appreciate the uniqueness of Mafia Island beaches and ecosystem, which are not comparable to other destinations. Mafia has been chosen to be home of a Marine Park considered one of the most important in the continent and arguably it is the best diving destination in East Africa

We acknowledge that you stayed with us when we had a temporary problem with the refrigerator at the beach bar. As you can understand spare parts and qualified technicians are not promptly available on a remote island. Even with this handicap, we did our best to serve our clients with cold drinks. We are happy to inform you that the problem has been fixed in the following days.

We do work very well with our diving partners, but our Lodge is also ideal for families, groups and couples looking for that affordable getaway with clean, basic and lovely rooms.
We are sorry that your holiday at Mafia Lodge did not meet your expectations.
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Romsey
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2013

We went here as part of a diving group. Half of us stayed here and the other half in Pole Pole. You get want you pay for here. MIL was a great site with very helpful staff and for us, with days full of diving, just what we wanted. If you were prepared to pay a lot more Pole Pole was the hight of luxury - their bathroom was close to the size of our apartment!

We weren't able to fit much in besides the diving and Whale Shark Safari's (saw a few. Very impressive creatures) but there were a few tours run that we were told we also good by others that went on them.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Jackson, Wyoming
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2013

We went to Mafia to dive. So let me start with the dive shop, which was exceptional: the owners are fantastic and their concern for the environment and our safety and enjoyment was the best we have ever experienced. Consequently, the customer service couldn't have been better. The quality of the reef is the excellent - better than we've ever seen (although we haven't been to Indonesia or the Philippines). The variety of fish was overwhelming. And just to top it off - we went snorkeling with whale sharks.

We also liked the lodge quite a bit (nice rooms, good food, friendly staff, etc.) But so many little things went wrong (door lock not working; order a beer and get a Coke, etc.). Patrick (the manager) really tried. And so did the staff. But it never quite gelled. We kept trying to excuse this by saying "after all, we are in Africa," but unfortunately, our experiences elsewhere, were far better.

Nonetheless, we would, indeed are, planning to return. Just with slightly reduced expectations and a better sense of humor.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2013

I chose Mafia Island Lodge because I wanted air conditioning to keep the mosquitoes at bay and the dive centre sounded good. Guests at other more expensive accomodation reported rats in their rooms so think I made the right decision. The building is very attractive, set back a little from the beach so quiet in spite of being in the middle of the local village Utende. The beach is pleasant for sunbathing with loungers, hammocks and shade available, and the local people wander along to their fishing boats or to catch the ferry over to Chole Island where 300 people live. Only a little disturbance from men wanting to book you on whale shark trips which cost from $60 - 100. We opted for a $60 trip and were lucky to see 3 or 4 whale sharks. Alternate days people didn't see them. Generally the rooms were OK although my Superior room didn't have hanging space for clothes. There was a small balcony but only separated from the next one by a curtain so not very private. Had a fan and AC and in 10 days had two brief periods without water due to power cuts which affect the water supply but they have a generator so lights and fan use not affected. The food was fine and I spent $15 a day on bottled water, alcohol and snacks. Patrick the Belgian Manager kept in touch with guests at meal times and was very helpful as were the other staff.

Room Tip: Had no choice but Superior Room which was fine.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013

We spent five nights at the lodge and enjoyed it immensely! Room was clean and comfortable. The staff so accommodating? Thanks Patrick, the manager and two standouts Peter and Simba. Food was amazing. We enjoyed the seafood. It was nice to have the beach right there. Lovely white sand and turquoise warm water

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
PEI
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

Myself and two girlfriends spent five days at Mafia Island Lodge scuba diving and relaxing. The staff were incredibly friendly and accommodating and went above and beyond to make sure our stay wtih them was wonderful. The food was incredible, the rooms were very clean, and the scuba diving was wonderful.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mafia Island Lodge

Address: Utende Beach, Mafia Island, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Pwani Region > Mafia Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Mafia Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Mafia Island Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Mafia Island Lodge stands amidst tall palms on a sandy beach in Chole Bay, in the heart of the marine park near Utende village on South coast of Mafia.14 Superior rooms, 18 Standard rooms and 2 Family rooms are set among the coconut palms with their own veranda overlooking the bay. They are all self-contained with air conditioning. Twin and double beds are available. Among the 34 rooms there are 2 family Suites, which are made out of 2 comfortable connecting rooms with one sharing bathroom, each one with its own veranda overlooking garden and sea. They may comfortably accommodate a max of 5 guests. All our rooms have garden and sea view. Hot and cold water is available 24 hours a day. The main lodge has a relaxing atmosphere with a large open restaurant, bar and lounge area. Board games, table tennis and volleyball are also available.Other facilities include a gift shop, laundry service, excursions, snorkelling, sailing and scuba diving.The cuisine is continental with an emphasis on seafood. Snacks, sandwiches and bitings are also available.Located on our beautiful beach - the only one in Chole Bay unaffected by tide - our Beach Bar offers light lunches and early afternoon fare such as salads, sandwiches and freshly caught fish, complemented by a fully-stocked bar. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mafia Island Hotel Mafia Island

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