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“Beautiful, 'local luxury', built for romantic relaxation” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Manta Resort

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The Manta Resort
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4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Box 32 | Wete, Tanzania   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 5 hotels in Pemba Island
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Beautiful, 'local luxury', built for romantic relaxation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

We will be coming back to Manta. Five days was definitely not enough.

What I like most about Manta is that it is not a luxury resort plunked down on a beautiful tropical island. It is a luxury resort that grew out of a beautiful tropical island. Everything...from the lodge, to the villas, to the beach bar and the umbrellas...was built by people from the surrounding villages. The staff are local, the food is sourced from the fishermen whose local harbor happens to be 200 metres up the beach. As a result, the local community seems to respect and value the resort and its guests, and I did not sense any of the animosity felt by locals near other resorts I've been to.

Highlights
- Snorkling right off the beach, or via a short sea-kayak paddle; we saw hundreds of crazy fish, morey eels, and giant starfish (we didn't dive, but hear it's fantastic)
- The ginger lemongrass sling...quite possibly the best cocktail I've ever had
- Getting to know Selle (or any of the other 'butlers' for lack of a better word, who are matched up one-to-one to take care of you throughout your visit)
- Incredibly fresh seafood and high quality cooking
- Big bed, nice open room, with gorgeous sea views (in seaside villa)

Tips
- Be careful not to lock your partner in your villa...it's very easy to accidentally slide the bolt on the outside while leaving. Trust me, I know.
- Take advantage of the daily massages
- Bring your own suncream, and lots of it...it's a bit hard to come by locally
- Don't stress about flight connections etc...these are small planes, and we were told they would wait if we were a bit late

  • Stayed December 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
    • 4 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.
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197 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 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Lytham St Anne's, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

We had a wonderful stay after a pretty full-on three weeks in Tanzania. We had just come from a research centre in the Usambara Mountains, so what we really needed was some relaxation, luxury and some great food. We got all that and more, everything was taken care of with the staff all incredibly friendly.
The snorkelling from the beach was great and I'm sure when they have the under-water room available that will provide a really unique experience.
We were really pleased and surprised that all inclusive was including all cockails and wines as well as local drinks, and we were also able to have a joint massage each day.

We also went out birdwatching one afternoon with one of the staff and we were able see all the Pemba endemic birds (three of them actually occur in the grounds).
Meal on the last night was a great experience.

Room Tip: Cottages with beach view and bed on the veranda are great.
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  • Stayed January 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

We have just returned from a week in paradise and found that we didn't want to leave. Manta is not the slickest or most luxurious place to stay (in fact the term 'Resort' could be a bit misleading) but it's one of the most authentic, welcoming and naturally beautiful places I have ever had the pleasure of staying.

When you arrive you are welcomed into the Manta family which to the more cynical would appear to be a clever marketing ploy....

Let me reassure you that this is not the case.

The warmth and hospitality of this place really sets it apart and the staff, from the guys who rake the beach to your personal service fundi, are from the local village. This is genuine Tanzanian hospitality and your service fundi will even take you to his village and introduce you to his family if you like!

Manta sources its supplies locally, shares its water with the local village and is actively involved in improving the lives of the local community through a philosophy of ethical tourism.

This is a place to truly relax and unwind, gradually reconnecting with nature and what's truly important in life. The beach is perfect powdery white sand and you can enjoy good snorkeling from the water line. The scuba diving around Pemba is also spectacular with a variety of wonderful dive sites nearby. We saw a pod of dolphins from our veranda and the sunsets were simply stunning. All our alcohol was included and we especially enjoyed making our way through the variety of rum cocktails on offer (which are something of a specialty here).

This is nature at its best and at night you can see the milky way so clearly the amount of stars are almost like a cloud across the nights sky. If you want an authentic experience of real Tanzanian hospitality in a remote location of unspoilt natural beauty, you can't do much better than Manta. It'll take you a couple of days to really relax into the vibe of the place so you really need to spend a week here at the very least.

We're already looking forward to our return and next time we'll make sure we stay for longer.

Room Tip: Stay in a Sea View Villa to make the most of the light, space and beautiful views.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

We spent 8 days here in February and we could have stayed here for 2 months and still not have had enough.

I couldn't agree more with the previous posts, this is a four star hotel in a five star experience. The staff are extremely friendly and couldn't do enough for us. The food is amazing with freshly caught seafood everyday. The beach is hands down the best beach i have been too in terms of the colour, clarity and beauty (the colours are like the professional photos). Doing the honeymoon package we had a dinner on the beach which included fresh lobster, snapper fillets, calamari and salad. We regularly could not eat dessert as we had so much for entree / mains. The entire vibe at the hotel is relax and enjoy yourself and that is exactly what we wanted. Though that said, there was always something to do, from the sandbank, to sunset fishing boat cruises to diving / snorkeling on one of the perimeter islands.

We were talking to the managers about their proposed underwater room which is due to be complted this year and we cant wait to be back in a few years to see it.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MattManta, Manager at The Manta Resort, responded to this review, March 13, 2013
Dear guests,
It was a pleasure meeting you and thank you so much for your review. We are really looking forward to checking you into our new underwater room ?
Thanks again for sharing your honeymoon with us.
Warm regards,
The Manta Family.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lucerne, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

We had a wonderful week at the Manta resort.
Everything was perfect!

The staff were very nice and helpful, our beachfront villa a dream and the food was really delicious!

My husband did a lot of diving and he said that the dive center was very good too, nice and competent staff and good equipment.

I am sure we will be back!

Room Tip: Beach front villas are islands of tranquility and comfort
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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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MattManta, Manager at The Manta Resort, responded to this review, March 13, 2013
Dear guests,
We are all very grateful for your review and happy to have been able to share this unique part of the world with you both.
We are really looking forward to welcoming you back soonest.
Kindest regards,
The Manta Family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at the Manta for our honeymoon in August. My husband is a diver and tagged a week on Pemba after a two week safari. Our whole jpurney was an amazing adventure, but our favorite part was Pemba and Manta. The place is literally at the end of the world, remote and incredibly beautiful. The villas were rustic, yet well appointed, lovely linens and the most amazing soap made from cloves in the nearby village. The first night we were there, we were treated to a special beach dinner. Incredibly romantic. All of the meals were amazing. It was lovely to completely disconnect and play backgammon and scrabble at night. There's no tv here...thank goodness! But plenty of books and conversation. The daily spa treatments were great and the diving and snorkeling was spectacular although we never saw a Manta. But what really makes Manta special is the people. The staff and all of the people we met on the island, particularly Faisal who became a friend on this visit. We miss the sunsets and the beautiful call to prayer that echos across the island at dusk. A truly magical place that has forever captured our hearts. We are already planning to return.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
MattManta, Manager at The Manta Resort, responded to this review, March 13, 2013
Dear honeymoon guests,
We are truly delighted to have been part of making your honeymoon such a memorable adventure. Thank you for your review and for noting all that makes Manta so special.
Kindest regards,
The Manta Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

I have been to Pemba Island 3 times since the island was first opened to foreigners circa 1990 to go diving and it hasn't changed a lot except that today there is the newly-upgraded Manta Resort which is a lovely, comfortable hotel but has remained quiet. Zanzibar, in contrast, is well on the road to "development" with its international airport and numerous top-end hotels and growing crowds. I first went to Zanzibar in the late 80s (1980s, that is !) after it was just opened for tourism and it was a VERY sleepy destination with only one decent hotel, the Stone Inn, I believe it was called at the time, which didn't even have mosquito nets !! There weren't any car rentals but we managed to rent a 4 wheel drive jeep for a week for $100 in cash from a General in the Tanzanian Army. His military jeep had an official flag and all the police and soldiers on the island would salute as the mzungo drove by..... Those were the days !! .......If you are looking for a yet still "undiscovered" destination, Pemba Island just to the North of Zanzibar is very similar in topography to Zanzibar and just as beautiful but not yet developed. The beaches and coral reefs in Pemba are untouched and astoundingly beautiful. The blindingly-white coral sand beaches are amongst the most beautiful in the World, Bahamas included ! The 40 kilometers of coral reefs are truly virgin and untouched except for the occasional Pembian fisherman rowing by in his dugout. Pemba hosts some of the best dive sites in the World with it famous Manta rays and well-known herds of dolphins. There are a myriad of shallow reefs where you can snorkel in an aquarium of fish (without much current for children) and you'll be the only boat on the horizon. For accomplished divers, there are dozens of fantastic dives to do as well. (see photos)

The Manta Resort is a very relaxing yet luxurious lodge. The views from the restaurant, bars and pool over Pemba Sound are amazing. The food is delicious. Mostly locally-caught fish and seafood. The beach is one of the nicest I've ever seen and on a bad day there will be 10 people sharing it with you....the service is very friendly and low key....no nightclub but you can enjoy watching the star-filled skies......( a few photos attached)

We enjoyed a special local cultural treat one night where the villagers came to the beach for a traditional Pembian "Voodoo Dance" near the sacred caves......now this isn't some Club Med show for the white folk but a tradition on Pemba Island and some of the hotel guests and most of the employees joined in....the rythmic sound of the drums and local Swahili chanting and dancing had an exorcism effect on some people and several of the dancers started to thrive on the ground and speak in tongues to release the spirits and devils ( it wasn't evident they were all evil) in them. Even one apparently beleaguered and frustrated French banker was taken in by the spell and sunk into a trance-like state and started to dance uncontrollably and screamed as if he was being burnt on the stake....so much so that he scared the locals and me too !! (He is probably a derivatives trader who lost a fortune ??...)......Anyway, it was quite a scene and completely unrehearsed. Thisthe stuff Life and travel should be made of ! Maybe you will be lucky enough to experience the same ?? I highly recommend Pemba Island and the Manta Resort.

Room Tip: The rooms on the sea front are higher-end and more expensive but they all have an amazing view of th...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
MattManta, Manager at The Manta Resort, responded to this review, March 13, 2013
Dear guest,
Thank you very much for your time in writing this review. You really did connect with Pemba and we are just happy to have been part of that. We hope to have you back for a fourth time.
Warm regards from The Manta Family
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 The Manta Resort

Address: Box 32 | Wete, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Pemba Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 hotels in Pemba Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Manta Resort 4*
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 
Also Known As:
The Manta Hotel Pemba Island
Manta Hotel Pemba Island

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