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“The Ultimate in 'Barefoot Luxury'” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Fundu Lagoon

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Fundu Lagoon
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4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Wambaa Peninsula, Tanzania   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
7 nights for 4
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Pemba Island
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“The Ultimate in 'Barefoot Luxury'”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

After a week of southern circuit safari Fundu Lagoon was just perfect for a bit of tropical island relaxation on our honeymoon. From the moment you arrive at the end of the jetty by boat to the moment you board the boat again to leave you are very well looked after.

Firstly, the place is so beautifully designed - sand pathways, wooden decking, thatched buildings and tented accommodation all built into the jungle with minimal environmental impact. Rather than clearing large trees when bulding the place, they simply built around the trees. There was even a huge tree growing through the roof of our suite! The structures have all clearly been built by hand using local raw materials, but there are plenty of luxuries too (such as plunge pools in the suites). The bar, restaurant and pool areas are all really well-designed, with great views of the beach and surrounding jungle.

We stayed in two bungalows: a beachside room and the jungle suite. The first was really good - right on the beach and with a small balcony with a sea view. But the jungle suite was just incredible! The 'room' itself is exactly the same, as the tents are the same size. But it is not the room that is important really, it is the lounging area on the deck next to the room which makes the difference. You get a huge wooden decked area with a two storey 'lounge area' for chilling out or having room service meals. There is also a a large plunge pool, sun loungers and a hammock big enough for two. The whole suite is surrounded by jungle, and is accessed by a winding path, so it is really private, but you still have a view of the sea from the lounging deck.

The food was always really good, and sometimes great! The Swahili nights were good fun and the private dinner on the beach on the last night was incredible!

Hannes does such a fantastic job of running the place, and really personalises the experience. I just wish I had followed his 'unofficial advice' about taking malarone from the beginning (I was very ill with side effects of the drug, along with another couple who were staying there).

Room Tip: Stay in the jungle suite - it has to be the best room for couples!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
ellis f, Creative Director at Fundu Lagoon, responded to this review, October 14, 2012
Thank you very much for your kind review of Fundu Lagoon. I was so pleased to read that you both appreciated the design and overall feel of the resort. When I was designing Fundu, I spent many months at my kitchen table trying to work out ways of making the buildings feel as though they blended into the environment, with the least possible disturbance to the surrounding jungle, so it is immensely rewarding to read your comments in relation to this aspect.

Thank you also for your kind remarks about our food. I think that our chefs do a wonderful job of producing an exciting variety of fresh dishes from our island location, and we also encourage local cultivation of vegetables and fruits that we can use at the resort. The Swahili nights are great fun, and I am delighted that you took advantage of enjoying a private beach dinner on your last night.

I would also totally agree with you that Hannes does a ‘fantastic job’ of managing Fundu and its staff, and I know that he makes every effort to make each and every one of our guests feel special.

Thank you again for taking the time to write about Fundu – your comments are very much appreciated. Congratulations to you and your wife on your recent marriage – I wish you a long and happy life together.

Ellis Flyte (Creative Director)
c.c. Hannes Wolters (General Manager)
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216 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

We spent 7 nights on Pemba at Fundu Lagoon following 7 nights on safari. After a week of game drives we were looking forward to rest and relaxation. Pemba is a fantastic place to get away from it all, completely raw and unspoilt but so beautiful. Don't come here if you want an upscale 5 star resort with all the bling. You are paying for the privacy, the unspoilt location and the fact that you are contributing to the local community. Most of the staff are from the local villages and the best thing about our stay was chatting to them and learning about their lives and aspirations. Special mention also to the diving school who looked after a very nervous novice diver so well. The place is so small that you can take your own private instructor and boat crew out for dives and afterwards relax on your own private island. The food was great, again very relaxed using really fresh ingredients. The fruit in particular was sublime. Our room, a superior suite, was beyond our expectations. We had so many places to sit we struggled to make use of them all in a week!

Room Tip: Superior suites have their own plunge pool and large completely private sunbathing deck which is goo...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
ellis f, Creative Director at Fundu Lagoon, responded to this review, October 14, 2012
How kind of you to write such a lovely review of Fundu Lagoon, and read how much you enjoyed your recent stay with us. I am glad that you enjoyed speaking to our staff – they are quite rightly very proud of their heritage, and really appreciate guests taking an interest in their lives.

I will make sure that your kind comments are passed on to our Diving instructors. You were certainly in very good hands when you decided to take the plunge with them, and I know that our dive team will have made you feel totally at ease. It was wonderful to read that you took full advantage of seeing for yourself the spectacular underwater wildlife that Fundu is so fortunate to have in its immediate waters, and also at the nearby Misali Island.

I will make sure that your kind comments on our food are passed on to our kitchen staff, who, given our out of the way location, work tirelessly with Hannes in coming up with new dishes as often as possible. We encourage the local villages to grow as much fresh vegetable and fruit produce as possible that we can use in our menus, and the ‘sublime’ fruit that you had would definitely have come from that source.

Thank you again for taking the time to write about Fundu Lagoon; feedback from our clients is always important to us.


Ellis Flyte (Creative Director)
c.c. Hannes Wolters (General Manager)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

We spent 6 nights at Fundu Lagoon as part of our honeymoon and it was definitely the most memorable trip we've taken. The location is unparalleled -- only accessible by boat! -- and the views, beaches and sunsets are truly paradise.

We splurged on a suite which was fantastic with its own pool and views over the beach. The resort is small and friendly, and the staff could not be more helpful. Fundu is impeccably managed by Hannes and his team who are extremely welcoming but in a relaxed way that puts you at ease. The food is delicious with many options and it's lovely to finish the evening with a drink in the bar area with other guests and the staff.

You don't need to spend all your time lying on the beach either: we went kayaking, waterskiing, scuba diving, on a sunset boat cruise, visited the spa for a massage, beauty treatment and henna, had a moonlight dinner on the beach and went on a tour of the local village.

This last activity really illustrated for us one thing that really sets Fundu apart as a business -- its dedication to both environmental and social responsibility. The resort has been built in an ecological way that uses local materials for an authentic look and feel. Even more importantly, 70% of the staff come from local villages and Fundu is the only employer on the peninsula. The resort has not only provided employment opportunities though, but contributes directly to improving the lives of the villagers in the area by building wells, providing transport and funding for the locals to receive hospital treatment if needed, and building a school, which continues to develop.

Fundu is an amazing place which is not only beautiful but very welcoming and friendly. We loved every minute and have no doubt that you will too.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
ellis f, Creative Director at Fundu Lagoon, responded to this review, September 23, 2012
How very kind and thoughtful of you to write such a charming review of Fundu Lagoon. I was so pleased to read that you and your husband enjoyed the ambience of the resort, and that you both made the most of all the facilities that we have available at Fundu.

It is particularly encouraging for me to read that you understood our commitment to the ecological, environmental and social responsibility that we have towards our surroundings. Your observations are spot on in that the resort makes the greatest effort to work in harmony and tandem with the local villages, jungle landscape and wildlife.

It is wonderful that Fundu will always be a part of your wedding memories for you and your husband, and I wish you a long and happy marriage together.

Ellis Flyte (Creative Director)
c.c. Hannes Wolters (General Manager)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockton-on-Tees, England
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

We arrived at Fundu after a fantastic Safari in Selous and were looking for a nice relaxing time. Fundu delivered – the rooms are great either on the beach or on the hillside – we had a beach room with a large decking area (where we had visits from the local monkeys and bush babies, which was really sweet).
We have travelled a lot, and shabby chic (it's websites tagline) really describes Fundu perfectly – it is a very relaxed place and if you are looking for formal dining and full on 5 star service Fundu may not be for you, don’t get me wrong the service was fine and all the staff were great in a very laid back and relaxed way, it just takes some getting used after staying at other hotels in the world.
We got into the swing of things very quickly, and although we had a few dodgy weather days the ambience of Fundu got hold of us.
The food was great, a good choice and something for everyone, we enjoyed lunch at the pool bar, and enjoyed the nights when dinner was served around the pool, it was really relaxing. The infinity pool overlooking the ocean is stunning. The Swahili night and the beach barbecue were also really nice.
It was my birthday whilst we were there and we arranged to visit Missalli Island for the day, Fundu packed us a picnic with a bottle of fizz and off we went.
Missalli is beautiful and an absolute must to visit, walk through the forest or along the beach to Turtle beach, as I have said we have travelled extensively but Turtle beach is the most beautiful we have ever seen and it was ours for the whole day, not another soul around, one of the most perfect days ever.
We also had our 20th Wedding anniversary at Fundu and the staff were great, they presented us with a cake whilst doing some Swahili dancing for us, which was good fun.
We had a great time at Fundu, thanks to all the staff who looked after us.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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FunduLagoon, Creative Director at Fundu Lagoon, responded to this review, August 22, 2012
Thank you very much for your review of Fundu Lagoon. I was so pleased to read that you enjoyed the gentle and relaxed atmosphere of the resort, and I love the fact that we are such a contrast to formal 5 star hotels! The weather, as with anywhere in the world these days, can throw some unexpected rainy days into the mix, but I’m glad that this didn’t cause your enjoyment of the hotel to be impaired.

How wonderful to read that you celebrated not only your birthday, but also your 20th Wedding Anniversary during your stay at Fundu – belated Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary. I’m glad that you’ve taken away happy memories of both occasions; Hannes can always be relied on to organise a decent party or two!

I will make sure that you kind comments are passed on to all of our staff. Feedback from our clients is important to us, so thank you again for taking the time and trouble to write – it is much appreciated.


Ellis Flyte (Creative Director)
c.c. Hannes Wolters (General Manager)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Qatif
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2012

We started our honeymoon with Fundu. And boy, it was a hell of a start. We loved the place, heart and soul. The resort is totally seamless from afar; intertwined with the surrounding beauty. Not a single piece of brick. We stayed 7 nights, and wanted to stay more. It was a true get-away from it all, a great time to relax and reflect. The therapy and remedy we needed after the wedding. We truly had the time of our lives in Fundu.

The rooms were very neat and clean, the staff were amazing and hospitable, food was great, massages were out of this world, and everything was just beautiful and perfect. No picture or review can give this place its full due.

We also had the privilege of visiting the surrounding villages, which are also supported by the resort. There’s this amazing energy in the place. The beauty and serenity are mind captivating. We felt love and kindness everywhere in and out of the resort. I made many friendships with the staff and had so many interesting conversations.

We also had the absolute pleasure of meeting Ellis, the founder and owner of the resort; a lovely, down-to-earth and nice lady. Hannes, the manager, is also a great guy who’s done an amazing job. Everybody in this place is just great and beautiful. A heaven for the free-spirited. Thank you for making our honeymoon special.

Much Love to Fundu!
Hassan & May

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
FunduLagoon, Creative Director at Fundu Lagoon, responded to this review, August 22, 2012
What a fantastic review of Fundu Lagoon – thank you so much! I am so pleased that May and yourself enjoyed your stay with us. As I mentioned to you at the time, I particularly look forward to meeting our guests during my visits to the resort throughout the year; it is also a very good opportunity to escape from my laptop in the office!

I am thrilled that Fundu made your honeymoon so special. I wish you a long and happy future life together, and look forward to our paths crossing again.

Ellis Flyte (Creative Director)
c.c. Hannes Wolters (General Manager)
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Mongolia
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2012

A luxurious and stylish Robinson Crusoe hotel in a stunning setting complimented by a fun and professional staff that is overseen by an excellent management team.
Their understated village project is an inspiration.

Impossible to fault.

We have travelled extensively and have never been so determined to return

Room Tip: All the rooms/tents are gorgeous and have their own charm and amazing privacy. The hillside ones hav...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
FunduLagoon, Creative Director at Fundu Lagoon, responded to this review, August 22, 2012
Thank you so much for your very kind review of Fundu Lagoon. I must say that I am somewhat tempted to use your wonderful words of praise for the resort and our management team in our next marketing campaign! Your comments are truly appreciated.

I was most touched to read your remark about the village project. It is a going concern that is indeed close to my heart, and the generosity of Fundu’s guests over the years have also played a major part in contributing to the improvement of welfare for the villagers. Both Hannes and myself liaise closely with the village elders (75% of our staff come from the 3 villages adjacent to the resort), and are proud of the close relationship that we have with them.

I am delighted that you are both returning to visit us again – we look forward to welcoming you back.

Ellis Flyte (Creative Director)
c.c. Hannes Wolters (General Manager)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wolverhampton
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2012

This is a somewhat late review as our stay was coming up to a year ago, but what a fabulous place to spend part of your honeymoon. We had one of the luxury suites on the beach front and it was glorious waking up to the sound of the sea lapping at the shore. The food was very good and so was the service, everyone keen to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. We completed our PADI course with the fantastic instructors who certainly knew their stuff and were keen to share their knowledge. To sum up a fantastic, relaxing resort and I would certainly look to go back again.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
FunduLagoon, Creative Director at Fundu Lagoon, responded to this review, July 26, 2012
Thank you so much for your wonderful review of Fundu Lagoon – I am always happy to read comments from guests who have enjoyed their stay at the resort, albeit late or otherwise!

Congratulations to you both on completing your PADI diving course during your holiday at Fundu. We would be delighted to welcome you both back again, and don’t forget that we have plenty more diving courses on offer too!


Ellis Flyte (Creator and owner of Fundu Lagoon)
c.c. Hannes Wolters (General Manager)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fundu Lagoon

Address: Wambaa Peninsula, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Pemba Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Pemba Island
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Fundu Lagoon 4.5*
Number of rooms: 18
Also Known As:
Fundu Lagoon Pemba Island
Fundu Lagoon Hotel Pemba Island

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