We really enjoyed our one week stay at this resort. Going to Pemba is like the opposite of Zanzibar; no tourists and few flights, and therefore higher prices and more logistics for the management. The staff were excellent: Fred and Els running the place (Cisca and Raf were away),Craig as the dive master and Mkanda as the boat captain. Ali in the bar were also very friendly and fun talking to. He explained us a lot about local traditions. And the four dogs: LOVE THEM!
Breakfast: Ok (toast, pancakes, porridge or eggs). Could have been more fruit (some banana and orange the first days). We saw a lot of fruit for sale in the villages to and from the airport, so it was just for the resort to get it... Mango, pineapple, etc...
Between dives: pancakes - ok
Lunch: Very good! fish, meat, vegetarian... loved the wraps!
Dinner: Very good, except the extremely boring and tasteless sponge cake for dessert. We had mango one day (or two?) with vanilla cream - perfect!
It's remote, it's Africa and it's warm and humid! You should now what kind of resort you are booking. For us, knowing there were only electricty at night and no hot water, it was as expected. But I can understand other guests are surprised if they have no idea what they are going to (which can happen if you do not do the booking yourself). We loved the room in a Turkish/African style with an outdoor bathroom. All nice and clean, but ofcourse an outdoor bathroom may attract some animals... First night: a hermit crab, second night: a huge spider and every night: bat poo. A cameleon outside our door and the lizards running around in the room just makes the stay more fun and with less insects.
Diving was great, and Craig made it even better pointing out all kinds of marine life to us. We will reccomend to bring some diving gear (regulators, wet suits), as the gear at the dive centre seems a bit old. This might just be due to the high humidity (my wet suit/bikini/towel didn't dry once during the week). Craig was the only divemaster present during our stay and had been diving (with guests) twice a day for 30 days! They are waiting for another divemaster to arrive soon, but I do expect more from a 5 star PADI dive resort. We were told that Raf, the owner, also is a divemaster, but he was in the US at this time.
Pick-up service at the airport:
Excellent! The driver was there on time. It was more like a guided tour than a transfer to the resort. He showed us different spices, mango trees, bought sugar canes for us, told us about people and traditions.
We got the impression (as other guests from reading reviews) the Cisca and Raf would be there during our stay. This was based on Cisca's very helpful emails saying that she would sit down with us and help us with planning a safari trip etc. It was not important whether they were around or not, she could just have said it in one of many emails.
The driver was not told which flight we were on, but decided to go to the airport for the first flight just in case, which was good.
Craig had been diving twice a day for a month waiting for the other divemaster to arrive. NOT GOOD!!
The boat captain got sick one of the day and we had to wait 2 hours for Fred to finish some paper work before taking us out. None of the other staff could drive the boat.
The sponge cake for dessert!
Lack of fresh fruit, we even ran out of bananas!
We ran out of all sorts of soft drinks except coke and fanta the second day of our stay, and no more supplies of soft drinks. The bar also ran out of fruit juice (and this was not because we drank litres of juice every day).
All in all a great stay, but with some management improvements this would be excellent.
We stayed in room number 6, which was nice.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
April 13, 2013
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Thanks for your review of our location. I am so happy you enjoyed it.
We have taken your comments on board and we now have much more fresh fruit on the table.
I was indeed in the USA as I am every year to promote the great dive destination that Tanzania is.
We have two instructors at any one time, not including myself. Craig had four rostered days off during that month, which were placed in the dive diary. In my absence he disobeyed my instructions and did not take one of them due to misplaced loyalty to me. Craig is an excellent instructor and a good friend- but he is not the world's best mathematician. When I got back we read your review and calculated that he had not had a day off for 14 days- again due to his actions not mine. He apologized to me and said that this had been a mistake. And he has taken his days off regularly since!
Thanks again for the great review.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.