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“Hidden paradise!” 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 Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Hidden paradise!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

We stayed at Fundu Lagoon in September 2012 for the second part of our honeymoon. Wow! If you want to get away from it all this is the place. Stunning beach front villa with views of the sea when you wake up, a veranda, a plunge pool and an adjacent 'outdoor living room' with seats and tables and sun loungers. Tea and coffee in your room and no need to bring toiletries as plenty in the shower. They describe this place as barefoot luxury and it is exactly that, no need to dress up, no need for shoes apart from flip flops as all paths are sandy. If lying down in various places around the resort from the pool to the beach to next to the beach bar soaking up the sun gets too much there are plenty of activities to do. Friendly dive school and great reef with so many fish, snorkelling, kayaking (but save some energy for the way back as its not as smooth and a little bit tough!), jet skiing (so much fun, but gosh my arms ached like mad after!), boat trips. There is also a lovely spa, a little pricey but worth it for a heavenly massage. They take you on a complimentary sunset boat trip which is lovely with plenty of wine and snacks. Management and staff really attentive and friendly, made us feel so welcome. Dinner is in a different setting almost every night from the beach, the pool, the jetty, makes it really special. Perfect, was very hard to leave this place, keep doing what you guys are doing.

  • Stayed September 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 3
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, December 19, 2012
Thank you very much for your kind review of Fundu Lagoon. I am delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us so much, and that our soubriquet of ‘barefoot luxury’ lived up to its name. You certainly seem to have made the most of our amenities on offer, particularly with regard to water based activities. I am slightly confused about your reference to jet skiing though, as we do not have this on offer at Fundu as it is definitely not eco friendly and is also very noisy. However I still have kayaking left on my list to do, and when I finally get round to it, I’ll remember your comments and have one of those heavenly massages booked for immediately afterwards!

Congratulations to you both on your recent marriage, and hopefully one day we’ll be able to welcome you back to Fundu. In the meantime, we’ll keep on doing what we’re doing.

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.
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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 (38)
Date | Rating
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English first
Istanbul, Turkey
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

A hidden paradise for couples. Tent Rooms are in the jungle but luxurious with all amenities. Hotel's sandy beach is all for you to relax or explore nearby villages on the beach. Management is very good, try to help anyway they can. They arranged a private plan from Pemba to Darulesalaam to catch our flight to home at the last day of our 5 day vacation.

one more note; at night close your tent tightly as "bush babies" swings from tree branches and occasionally from tent to tent!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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ellis f, Creative Director at Fundu Lagoon, responded to this review, December 18, 2012
Thank you so much for your kind review of your recent stay at Fundu Lagoon. Your comments are very much appreciated as we try and accommodate our guests in every way possible at all times, so I was particularly pleased that our arrangements for your private ‘plane to Dar es Salaam fell into place for you.

Thank you also for your reminder to guests to make sure that their tents are closed at night - the cute bush babies can be very cheeky at times!


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.
All Over
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

What an amazing ten days we spent here. This place the very definition of exquisite isolation. We stayed on a beach villa which was stunning. The food was fresh and delicious, the service attentive and friendly, there is simply nothing to fault at Pemba. You can read more at our blog post here:
http://starboardhomeportout.com/2012/11/11/fundu-lagoon-resort-pemba-island-tanzania/

Room Tip: The beach villas are hard to beat, the sea is merely meters from the door....
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  • 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 4
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, December 18, 2012
Thank you very much for your kind review of Fundu Lagoon. I printed off and read the blog that you posted during your stay – absolutely fascinating – I don’t ever recall reading about a guest before who has counted all 27 meals that they have had at the resort during their stay, but I’m glad that you enjoyed them!

I am so pleased that you both found Fundu such a haven to escape to from the frenetic pace of life that you both lead in your working lives back home. In fact Fundu exists purely because of that reason. I wanted to find a place to run away to from the 24 hour madness of life in London; however, what was originally going to be a house, turned into a hotel instead.

I was happy to read that all of the transportation arrangements to Fundu fell into place for you both, and that you were well looked after by our driver and speed boat staff. I was also very relieved to learn from your blog that your husband resisted the urge to throw open the emergency exit on the ‘plane – he just needs to take a few more flights on small seater ‘planes and he’ll get used to it, so please come back and visit us again.

Feedback from our clients is always important to us, so thank you again for your review; 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.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

My husband and I chose Fundu lagoon on Pemba Island over other beautiful beach locations in Zanzibar with the help of our travel agents Imagine Africa as it is completely secluded with absolutely no chance of 'beach boys' or others trying to sell you anything. It's an amazingly constructed beach/jungle resort built with natural resources from the jungle itself, reached by boat only, with only a few small villages locally - the only people you'll see are the women walking across the beach at low tide to collect shellfish. There are only 18 'bungalows', so there'll never be more than 36 guests at any time, we were lucky with only 4 other couples staying during our week long stay.

The staff are friendly and relaxed, 70% employed from the island itself, greatly improving the quality of life for many of the island inhabitants. Fundu also created a project to build and maintain a school for the local villages, so staying there, while indulgent, also feels good as you know the profit is actually helping the locals and environment. Not many high end resorts can say that!

Our jungle suite was everything we hoped it would be - private, spacious, beautiful, we couldn't stop smiling for days looking around us!

We spent a lot of time relaxing around the suite but when we wanted to do something there was kayaking, a private trip to Misali Island to dive/snorkel and see Turtle Beach, dolphin and whale watching, massages and spa treatments, pool in the games room, a sunset cruise on a traditional dhow, and a walk into the local village to see the school Fundu helped to build.

The food was good, with a choice of the main restaurant and pool bar restaurant, with dinner often served on the jetty, as a beach bbq or private tables set up along the beach under a beautiful starry sky. Monkeys often pop up for a look at breakfast, and if you leave a banana out in the evening you might be lucky and see a bushbaby (you'll certainly hear them!).

Highly recommend staying here, especially if you can afford the jungle suite, we hope to be back one day!

Room Tip: The Jungle Suite is ideal for couples. Complete privacy; lots of different areas to relax/sunbathe/c...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
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 for your wonderful review of Fundu Lagoon. I was delighted to read that you and your husband enjoyed your recent stay with us, and found that the relaxed and private ambience of the resort suited you both very well.

It is really helpful to us to read that you found the cuisine in our main and pool bar restaurants to your taste. I too always enjoy our jetty bar and beach barbeque dinners, and am glad that you both did too. I’m afraid that I have to chastise you slightly for your recommendation of leaving out fruit for the bushbabies, as we actively discourage guests from leaving out food for the local wildlife, no matter how strong the temptation may be. The bushbabies in particular, can be very swift and adept at raiding canapé trays during cocktail parties held at the swimming pool, although admittedly, it is extremely entertaining to see them run off standing upright on their hind legs clutching a chicken wrap or a crisp!!

I am so glad that you both enjoyed your accommodation in the Jungle Suite, and that it lived up to and excelled your expectations – that is really wonderful to hear. All of our suites are different, and every time I design a new one I am trying to second guess what possible extra touches I can add to make it extra special, so your comments in this area are really appreciated.

Thank you again for your review; all of us at Fundu look forward to being able to welcome you and your husband back to Fundu at some future date.

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, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
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)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 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)
Report response as inappropriate
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)
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
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Fundu Lagoon 4.5*
Also Known As:
Fundu Lagoon Pemba Island
Fundu Lagoon Hotel Pemba Island

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