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“Paradise found!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Fundu Lagoon

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Fundu Lagoon
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Wambaa Peninsula, Tanzania   |  
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Ranked #2 of 5 hotels in Pemba Island
Angouleme, France
1 review
“Paradise found!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

We have had the great fortune to have visited many beautiful parts of the world and have always been of a mind that there are too many others, still to see, to return to the same place twice. Fundu Lagoon has just blown that little philosophy right out of the water. It was simply the best holiday we've ever had. It's like finding a secret piece of paradise.

We arrived, after a long and stressful journey (we chose the wrong carrier, the wrong route and had aircraft problems), to find lovely Lizzie with a big smile, a refreshing drink and just one question, "What do you need first?"

By the time we'd answered, "Swimming costumes and food", our bags were in our bungalow. After a quick change, we were off up to the gorgeous pool area for a swim, a late lunch with a couple of Fundu Coladas and a snooze. It was bliss! And that's just how it continued for the rest of the holiday.

We had the small suite on the beach, which was perfect for us. But, then, everyone we spoke to found their bungalows and suites perfect for them. That's just how it is. Everything you need is there. There are lovely luxurious products in the bathroom, including after-sun lotion, and little things like cotton wool pads. In the bedroom, there are cotton robes, a beach-basket and sun-hats. The bed was so comfortable that the only thing which got me out of it was the wonderful day that I'd miss, if I didn't get up.

We'd packed quite lightly, for us, as we knew that there wasn't much stowage room on the cessna flights, but still took too much. All you really need at Fundu Lagoon are beach clothes and some nicer things for the evenings. You definitely don't need sandals!

Barefoot and completely relaxed, the most taxing thing we had to do all day was deciding where and what to eat at lunch-times. three courses in the dining room or something lighter at the pool. Actually, deciding what to eat was always difficult because everything really was so delicious.

In the evenings after a couple of sun-downers in the jetty bar, dinner was sometimes by the pool and sometimes in the restaurant. On Hallowe'en, it was Swahili night and all the tables were set on the jetty and on barbecue night, it was dinner on the beach. Usually followed by night-caps, chatting with fellow guests and Hannes and Lizzie. All wonderful, memorable evenings.

We found it to be truly idyllic. Beautiful location, fabulous facilities, food and drink, but what made it really special for us? The people. We have never before experienced such a warm welcome. And for this we would like to say some great big thank yous.

To Ellis for everything you have done and continue to do at Fundu Lagoon and for sharing your little corner of paradise with those of us who are lucky enough to get there.

To Hannes and Lizzie for absolutely everything you do to make Fundu Lagoon, and us, feel so special. And for your wonderful company...we miss you already!

To Kris and Filbert and everyone in the dive centre, whose enthusiasm is infectious, for the great diving trips.

To all the staff behind the scenes, in the kitchens, in the grounds, in housekeeping and anywhere else I might have left out.

To the girls in the spa with their magic fingers.

And to all the boys and girls who saw to our every need, with beaming smiles, and tried to teach us Swahili. There are so many of you, I'm afraid to name names in case I, accidentally, miss someone out. You all know who you are and you're all fantastic.

Asante sana kila mtu!

Hope to see you all again soon
Karen and Nigel

  • Stayed November 2013, 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
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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, November 30, 2013
On behalf of Hannes, Lizzie, Kris, Filbert, the spa girls, and each and every one of our staff, thank you so much for your lovely review of your recent stay at Fundu Lagoon. Well done on the Swahili too btw!

As the Creative Director of Fundu Lagoon all aspects of the resort’s design are my particular speciality, so I was particularly touched with your comments about our products in the bungalows and bathrooms. I’m delighted that you took full advantage of using the cotton robes, sun-hats and beach basket – that’s exactly what they are there for! Your tip to others who might visit us about going barefoot around the resort is definitely a good one. We do occasionally have guests arriving with all sorts of assorted footwear which they do their very best to wear in the sand, but they end up barefoot after 24 hours when they realise that they can just relax, not bother with shoes, and not be criticised for not wearing them either.

As you know, Fundu means the world to me, and it’s a place very close to my heart. What is so enriching is that you noticed that our staff also embrace that passion, so thank you for that too.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write your review, it really is appreciated – come back and stay with us again!

Ellis Flyte (Creative Director)
c.c. Hannes Wolters (General Manager)
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194 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
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 November 9, 2013

We travelled to Fundu Lagoon with 2 friends after gorilla trekking in Rwanda and met 2 more friends at Fundu where we spent a wonderful 7 nights.
From the moment we arrived we could not have been better cared for by all the staff especially the manager Hannes. Make sure to ask him about all the hotel does for the local community and how it came into existence , so interesting.
The accommodation is 5 star beach chic and barefoot, beautifully done to compliment the setting. Do not expect Dubai 5 star bling, this is on the edge of the jungle, on a beach, on a remote island off the coast of Africa. I think what they do here is completely amazing. And the food is the best I have had in Africa. Go on all the trips, to the island to snorkel, the dolphin safari, the sunset cruise and the village walk.
One word of warning, take Deet insect repellant and apply liberally at all times, we did and were not bitten once but those who ignored this advice paid the consequences!!
I have never been more sad to leave at the end of a holiday , quite simply we all adored Fundu.
Thank you Hannes.
Tolly and Sarah x

Room Tip: Go for anything on the beach or the Jungle suite. All fantastic.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
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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, November 30, 2013
Thank you both so much for your great review of Fundu Lagoon. Hannes is actually flying back to Fundu as I write this, having been on leave from the resort for a short break. Whilst he was over here in London he and I had a good opportunity to spend time together discussing all aspects of the hotel, and one of the things we did chat about was saying how lucky we’d been in having such wonderful guests to stay with us at Fundu such as yourselves.

I’m so glad that you both had such a good time at Fundu and the Deet tip is a good one. Our chefs will be beaming with delight when they are told that a guest has said that their food is ‘the best in Africa’; it means a lot to them and indeed to all of us, particularly as we’re hardly in a position to be able to run down to the local supermarket to pick up any daily supplies!

Should you ever consider it, we’d love to be able to have the opportunity to welcome you back to Fundu at some time in the future. Thank you again for your review.


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.
San Francisco, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2013

My wife and I spent 5 nights at Fundu Lagoon after a week of safari in the Serengeti and it was the perfect ending to our August honeymoon. It’s a bit like Ewok Village meets Robinson Crusoe – extremely remote and ideal for unwinding. To get here requires another short flight from Zanzibar, a 45 minute cab ride and a 10-15 minute boat ride, but it was well worth it.

The service was terrific and the food was amazing. There’s fresh fruit, vegetables and fish at just about every meal. We spent most of our time in the spa and at the infinity pool, which was never crowded, most likely due to the fact that there are only 18 rooms, which seemed to be filled half by honeymooners and half by families with older children. Chris & Phil in the dive center were great and offer a number of activities. We opted for the sunset cruise in a dhow boat and a day at Misali Island, (which is an even more remote island ideal for snorkeling and picnic lunches) both of which were fantastic. Dinners seem to get moved around the resort, which is a great way to keep things fresh; we ate on the jetty, in the main dining area, and had a private dinner for two on the beach.

There’s a very cool story on the history of the resort and its relationship with the local villages, which I won’t ruin in this review. A big thank you to Hannes, Ellis, and Kris for making our stay in paradise so memorable.

Room Tip: Go with a beach front room
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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 6, 2013
How wonderful to read your lovely review of your recent stay at Fundu Lagoon. I love the analogy of Ewok and Robinson Crusoe! We are indeed a little bit off the beaten track which usually involves 3 different types of transport to reach us, but I’m glad that you both felt that it was nonetheless worth the effort.

Our chefs will be thrilled to learn that you enjoyed the variety of food and beverages that we have on offer at Fundu. As you say, there is fresh fruit and vegetables (much of which is grown on site) and locally caught fish served wherever possible. I was also pleased to read that you appreciated the change of dinner venues at Fundu – we have fun arranging this, and I would agree with you that it keeps things fresh. How wonderful also that you had a private candle lit dinner for two on the beach.

Kris and Filbert will be so pleased to read that you enjoyed meeting them, and that you had fun at Misali Island and on the sunset cruise.

All of us are delighted that you chose to spend the end of your honeymoon at Fundu Lagoon and that you had such a ‘memorable stay in paradise’. Our congratulations on your recent marriage, and we wish you a long and happy life 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.
Wimborne Minster, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

A big thank you to Hans the manager for making our holiday so special.
So pretty and peaceful along with fantastic food.
Our room was perfect and the staff could not do enough to make our stay amazing.
Thank you Hans and thank you Fundu Lagoon
Jane and Jon

Room Tip: we had a beach villa and worked well for us
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 6, 2013
Thank you so much for your very kind review of your recent stay at Fundu Lagoon. I am so pleased that you enjoyed your time at the resort. Hannes and all of our staff will be delighted to read that you both had an amazing holiday with us. All our guests are special to us too.


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.
Crewe
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

We stayed here for three nights to relax after the rigours of a 10 day safari. Our travel agent couldn't have chosen a better place for us to unwind and recuperate. Its remoteness and tranquility were the perfect restorative and the requirement to do nothing more than eat, sleep, swim and read was perfect.
Our lodge was fantastic - large, tastefully furnished and with its own private plunge pool on the very spacious verandah. It's position, right on the beach, was perfect and private. What a wonderful experience it was to wake up in the morning and walk straight into the Indian Ocean from the steps of our lodge, for an early morning swim!
The thoughtful provision of sunhats and bag was a nice touch as was the range of teas, coffee (including filter coffee), fresh milk, soft drinks, beer and wine. And water, of course. The stock of clean towels never seemed to diminish, no matter how often we swam and showered!
Staff were friendly, polite and helpful. Although English is very obviously a second language everyone was willing to engage in conversation and exchange pleasantries. Staff seemed very pleased that we had learned a little Swahili and enjoyed correcting our mis-pronunciations! We were very willing students!! We enjoyed the sunset cruise on a traditional fishing vessel and chatting with the captain, Simba.
The food was of a high standard and there was always a good variety to choose from. The cinnamon-coated French toast with Pemba honey was my favourite breakfast dish, although to be fair, I didn't try anything else because this was so good!
I enjoyed wonderful massages from the wonderful Balinese masseuse and felt as if I floated back to our lodge afterwards.
This was a perfect end to our holiday and well worth the two flights, bus journey and boat trip to get to such a wonderful destination. The seclusion and privacy, with no demands made on us at all, made for outstanding R&R. Thank you.

  • Stayed September 2013, 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, October 6, 2013
It was wonderful to read your fabulous review of your recent stay at Fundu Lagoon. I am so glad that everything fell into place for you both and that you enjoyed your time with us. I’m delighted that you felt relaxed and at home in your beach suite, and thank you also for your kind words about our standard of cuisine and spa treatments.

Any words of Swahili that our guests learn are always appreciated by our staff. As you correctly observed, English is their second language as 75% of our staff are employed from the 3 villages that surround us. I feel it is important to employ local people wherever possible as we are all guests in their country. Our staff are gradually becoming more confident with their English and really enjoy talking to Fundu’s guests. As you discovered, they are also highly entertained by any western mis-pronounciation of Swahili phrases and words!

The sunset cruise is a favourite of our guests – the view of the sun going down over Fundu from the hotel’s dhow boat is always so beautiful.

Feedback from our clients is always important to us, so thank you again for taking the time and trouble to write your review.


Ellis Flyte (Creative Director)
c.c. Hannes Wolters (General Manager)
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Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2013

We stayed here for 5 days on the last leg of our honeymoon and it is a lovely place.
The luxury here is in the remoteness of the location, the small number of rooms and in the relaxed paradise-like atmosphere. It is not opulent. If you prefer to go to dinner dressed up or are looking for a grand hotel, then this is probably not for you.
Rooms are lovely and spacious. The food is excellent and there are no less than three bars for 18 rooms.
The spa is excellent and the massage therapists are very good.
The dive center is outstanding and Kris, who runs it is fantastic.
The resort is now 10 years old and this is just starting to show in places. No big deal yet but may become so if not addressed in the next couple of years. Compared to the other lodges we stayed at in Tanzania, the house wine was inferior. There is, however, a wine list where you can pay for better wine.

Room Tip: Would definitely go for a beach side bungalow over a hill side
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  • Stayed September 2013, 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
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 15, 2013
Thank you for your very kind review of your recent stay at Fundu Lagoon. I am so pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us and that you liked the ambience of the resort. Kris will be delighted to read your comments about the dive centre, and I totally agree with you – he is a true asset to Fundu. I’m glad that you enjoyed your massages and made the most of our spa centre too.

Congratulations to you both on your recent marriage – all of us at Fundu with 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
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

This is the barefoot paradise described by so many other reviewers. We stayed seven nights and loved it. However, it's not for everyone as a recent less complimentary review shows. The key is that fundu is very remote and located in challenging mangrove jungle conditions. This is not conventional five star luxury insulated from its natural environment; expect monkeys on the decking and the odd ant and mossie bite. But, if you can relax into a very different lifestyle then expect a warm laid back vibe, quality food, some exceptional dishes and the friendliest staff around. One needs to stay a minimum of five nights really to get into the swing of "fundu time". A memorable stay, remarkable location and such lovely people

Room Tip: Go for on the beach
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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
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 15, 2013
Thank you so much for your wonderful review of your stay at Fundu Lagoon. You both most definitely grasped the vibe of Fundu that I was aiming to create all those years ago, and that gives me so, so much pleasure. I love your phrase of getting into “Fundu time” – it’s absolutely perfect.

Thank you for coming to visit – we all look forward to being able to welcome you back at some date in the future.

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

Also Known As:
Fundu Lagoon Hotel
Fundu Lagoon Pemba Island
Fundu Lagoon Hotel Pemba Island
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 #2 of 5 hotels in Pemba Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Fundu Lagoon 4.5*

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