My wife and I went for a 2 week safari in northern Tanzania in late Jan 2012. It could not have gone any better. Sanjay, apparently the owner of Roy Safaris, was absolutely the most thorough travel agent with whom I have worked.
Some of these reviews of Manta are, quite simply unjustified. I was expecting much more meager accommodations based on what these other reviews say. Overall, I was quite surprised! Simply put, it’s a 3 star resort in a 5 star location. They have done incredible things at the resort with limited resources. Therefore, I give it 4/5 stars.
Sandy, the manager was super welcoming and made sure our stay was perfect. She even printed maps of Stone Town and gave us restaurant recommendation for when we went back to Zanzibar. She left during our stay to go on vacation herself, but it would have been nice to hang out with her more.
We stayed in a beach bungalow. Nicely appointed, large, great views, clean and air conditioned. But as other reviewers have stated, the toilet does not have a door. That is the only thing I can knock about the room.
The food was excellent. Each group gets the same server every day. He’s a local with whom you’ll develop a nice relationship. Quantity and quality of food were NOT a problem when we visited. Maybe they have fixed that problem, but the food was EXCELLENT, and pletiful. The chef did a great job with what must be limited resources on such a small island. We ate local fish, sausages, chicken, soups, and beef. I actually looked forward to each meal! On the last night they surprised us with a private beach seafood extravaganza dinner under the stars. My wife did cartwheels on the beach at night while I ate the lobster.
The beach was spectacular. Very fine white sand. The best I’ve seen. There are not many people at the resort, so don’t plan on a busy social lift while you are there. It’s a place to relax, read, sunbathe, and dive. Previous reviews stated the quality of the beach chairs were “tatty”. We did not see this. The quality was just fine and clean.
The diving was just OK. The boat was of poor quality and many of the dive sites are over-fished. The locals free dive all day taking most of the bigger game. But the water was warm, and clear. It still enjoyed the diving. Go to Fundu Gap. That was the best diving there.
One other concern is that you really can’t leave the property to walk around. There is no town nearby, and even if there was, I’m not sure how safe it would be in this very traditional, poor Muslim country. We essentially never left the property other than on the water. Certainly, you can get a guided tour of a local village by one of the hotel staff, but you dare not go out alone.
The bars/drinks are all inclusive and seem to be always open. Again, there isn’t a happening bar scene, but that was not what my wife and I were looking for.
Overall, we had an excellent experience. I highly recommend it for adventurous types who want to do some diving in a remote location. I think 4-5 days was just about right.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Elevated and crafted along an idyllic island beach, The Manta Resort offers privacy, romance, adventure, and water sports on East Africa's finest island sanctuary. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Manta Hotel Pemba Island
- Manta Hotel Pemba Island