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“Marvelous resort making a serious effort to support the local community + unique scuba diving experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Manta Resort

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The Manta Resort
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Box 32 | Wete, Tanzania   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Pemba Island
Stockholm, Sweden
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Marvelous resort making a serious effort to support the local community + unique scuba diving experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

Being a family with three adult children (age 17-22) we spent a week at Manta over Christmas. A main activity for us was scuba diving, which we did almost every day.
A lasting impression of this stay is one of uniqueness and exclusivity. Pemba itself is a fairly large island but has almost no private cars, very few tourists and only a handful resorts. Except for at the tiny airport, we didn't see any signs at all for hotels or restaurants and we never came across any other tourists outside of the resort. The uniqueness and exclusivity also applied to the diving. There are only two dive operators on the entire east coast (Manta being one of them) and at every site we visited, we were the only dive boat in sight.
The resort itself also provides a very pleasant experience. In addition to the great service other reviews have described, it is superbly relaxing not having to touch your wallet during the stay. Positive features are indeed a setting where the locals still come to play football in the afternoon at one end of the beach (and you're welcome to join in) and the local fishing boats still are being pulled up on the beach at the other end. You are also welcome to try sailing with the local sail trimaran, ungalawa.
All this fits well with the serious effort the resort is making to the community development and being a good community citizen in general. This includes a priority for providing local employment opportunities, buying local products, establishing a community based organic farm right next to the resort, supporting local schools, a no-fishing zone at the reef in front of the hotel, etc. Thus, while you often can question whether tourism in exotic locations is a positive influence for the local community, here's an opportunity to have a very pleasant stay at a place that truly cares and makes a very serious effort both to the tourists and the local community.
With regards to the diving, how does it rate? Well, it doesn't beat places like Egypt in terms of corals, visibility and large fish or Indonesia in terms of abundance of tiny creatures and visibility. However, it does clearly beat places like Bonaire, Oman and anywhere in the Mediterranean and is probably at par with what you'll get in Thailand and the Maldives. What you will get is nice corals and huge numbers of the typical smaller tropical fish of the Indian Ocean. In addition, we saw plenty of somewhat less common stuff such as colorful slugs and flatworms, garden eels, large numbers of leaf fish and scorpion fish and an orange giant anglerfish (frogfish). Thus, plenty of things to see combined with having the entire reef for yourselves at each and every dive makes for a unique dive experience. Moreover, we didn't see any signs at all of plastic pollution in the water, which unfortunately is widespread at many other great dive sites.
All in all, Pemba and Manta is probably as far off the beaten track you can get and still be able to enjoy the comfort of a well managed resort. And you can leave hoping that you'll actually have contributed to making a positive local impact.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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226 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (53)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Arusha, Tanzania
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2013

We spent two nights at the underwater and it was amazing. Though the room is quite small, being able to have real marine life swimming around you was magical. We even made pet names for the odd fish like the trumpet fish or Nemo. When you got tired you could go on the deck upstairs, read a book and be surrounded by 180 degrees of sea and sky. When that got boring, you just jumped in the water and could snorkel endlessly for hours and see the most amazing coral reefs with their own marine world within them. It truly was a very satisfying experience and the perfect place for a honeymoon. The only word of caution is the stairs going down in to the room. They are very steep and completely vertical, not suitable for anyone with bad knees, back problem or phobia of heights. Also not suitable for children under 8, you miss a step and its a long way down. Also if you are not a strong swimmer i suggest wearing life jackets while in the water.

Room Tip: there is only one underwater room.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pordenone, Italy
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2013

What made our honeymoon at Manta so special was surely the perfect white sand beach, the green paradise island, the wonderful coral reef, amazing sunsets but it would never be a whole without the warmness of the staff, welcoming and friendly approach of the manager Matthew, diving instructor David whom u can tell that loves his job, our waiter Idi who has been also a friend with his joyful smile, and all the other staff. I and my husband Michele had a unique vacation. It was very relaxing after the safari. Feels like you re in a very special spot of the world, far away, with few people. No hassle. During the day, we dived around the island, had massages in the spa, and enjoyed the beach under the shadow of the pines leaning over the beach or palm umbrellas, drank the cocktails served by Lukas. You might wanna organize your day considering the tides as it changes like 3 times a day. The food was delicious, fresh with local ingredients and following local recipes , just might a bit cut down on the spices?;) at the end of ten wonderful days, the driver took us to Pemba airport, where just one European man was waiting to be grabbed by our driver to go to Manta. As our luggage was unloaded he asked, how was our holiday, we replied in enthusiasm that it was wonderful and that he would like it very much, then he replied that he is the owner. This was surely another sympathetic anecdote that we will remember of Pemba. Thanks to everyone for their work.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2013

I have been traveling quite some and I must say there is nothing like the Manta Resort. I can honestly say you won’t find a more relaxed atmosphere.

From day one you will be assigned a "service-fundi" who will be you waiter, barman etc during your stay. One of the service-fundis took us to his village and his English class (which he is teaching in his free time). An absolutely incredible experience.

You will have a free spa treatment everyday, the food is well made and feels fresh and you can grab as many signature drinks as you’d like.

Don’t go here if you want fine dining, Four Seasons-like service (impersonal), marble floors etc.

Go here if you want fresh well-made food, extremely friendly service, a secluded white beach that will make you develop snow blindness, amazing sunsets, awesome diving opportunities and a resort that feels in place with the island of Pemba.

Thank you to all of the staff for making our stay unforgettable!

  • 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
    • 4 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.
Boyertown, PA
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2013

After much consideration we chose The Manta Resort. We are avid divers and wanted a place to unwind after 10 days in the bush. It was also our 25th wedding anniversary! Upon our arrival the tropical breezes, baby powder sand, and the rhythm of solitude entered our souls. Truly paradise found. It is a small resort with big appeal. The stretch of beach is truly one of the prettiest we have seen. It was almost secluded with very few guests. The rooms are tucked up on a slight hillside which gives the ultimate in privacy. The rooms are very spacious. Your balcony overlooks onto the sea. The dive operator on premise, David, introduce himself to us on arrival to inquire about our diving preferences. He accommodated all our needs in a professional manner. He was incredibly knowledgeable and would go out of his way to make the experience special to your needs. Well, the crowning touch had to do with the most spectacular part of Manta Resort...THE UNDERWATER ROOM! Matthew (designer, owner, overall guru) answered our questions about this fabulous opportunity and we decided to stay the night in this once in a life time opportunity. Needless to say...AWESOME! The room is situated for the ultimate in privacy. The upper deck for star gazing will knock your socks off! A perfectly clear night to lay up and ponder the universe. A special dinner was brought out to have by boat in the main lounge area with Swahili wraps provided for each of us. Upon retiring....if you can sleep....a 360 degree show awaits. An amazing array of fish wander through entertaining you at every turn. Squid by the hundreds were feeding on smaller schools of fish...flashing their silvery coats. There were so many fish that continually changed throughout the night. The experience was beyond words....In the morning we awakened to an incredible sun rise. Breakfast again arriving by boat. We snorkeled right off the deck, dozed, read, and RELAXED. I now know the seven deadly sin of SLOTH does exist! Do not miss this opportunity...! Have to include that the spa treatments (included) were also incredible. After diving in the afternoon we would indulge in a couples massage. I can't say enough about Manta and everything that they provided. Top notch, family owned, Eco friendly, ....offers employment to all the local community residents...a very special place.

  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bloemfontein, South Africa
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2013

I don't use the title of the review lightly... I searched for almost 5 months for the perfect honeymoon destination and finally found Manta... And I made the perfect choice.

I wanted a destination that was not a busy hotel, one that had nice rooms and a perfect beach and found this and soooo much more at Manta.

Everything was just absolutely perfect. The "safari" from the airport to the resort, the warm welcome, the daily treatments at the spa, the food, the drinks, the service, the hospitality, the rooms and the absolutely ridiculously perfect beach with the softest sand you could EVER imagine, everything was just absolutely perfect. We could not have asked for more.

Unfortunately we visited before the underwater room was finished, but judging from my experience, this will probably also be awesome.

We were treated exceptionally well. We enjoyed two amazingly romantic candlelit dinners on the beach, lazy days on the beach, relaxing times in the spa and just great all-round service. From the moment you arrive, you are treated as family, which makes leaving really, really hard, so be warned!

Go for the sea front villas, remember your sunscreen and mosquito spray (just in case), don't be surprised by the tides (we spent our mornings in the spa and the rest of the day, after lunch, on the beach) and get ready to enjoy an amazing, relaxing holiday.

Thank you so much to everyone at the Manta Resort for an unforgettable honeymoon. We will definitely be back!!

  • Stayed February 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 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

Unforgettable ‘Smile Wide’ Manta Resort, Pemba.

From the moment you touch down in Pemba (30 minute flight from Zanzibar), you are collected by your Manta Resort driver and transported on a mini ‘safari’ to the northern tip of the island through many bustling small villages, past Coconut Groves, Banana plantations, Clove plantations and picturesque Tropical surroundings. The locals playing football, cows and chickens everywhere… The final stretch before you reach Manta Resort as the sun begins to set, leads through the Ngezi Vumawimbi Nature Reserve Forest, everything shiny and green.

From the moment you arrive at Manta, you are taken care of. Your bags are taken to your room as you are invited to the terrace to take in the amazing view and enjoy a fresh local cold fruity iced tea. Your 'service fundi' is introduced to you and takes care of you from that moment on. (Enough time to freshen up before returning to the communal eating area where you get to choose your table and the relaxing holiday begins… taking in the environment and sounds (DON'T FORGET MOSQUITO SPRAY!!).

The food is incredible! It was great to taste local flavours from exotic spices to tropical fruits! Each meal is three course and FRESH! Service is always with a genuine smile!

The views are breathtaking, the beach is dotted with sun beds under palm-frond umbrella’s. The bar on the beach is a great place to chill and read your book while enjoying one of the famous cocktails (Also a great place to hide when the clouds burst and the short rains fall in November). The water is warm and perfect for snorkelling through the coral reef. DON’T FORGET FACTOR 50 SUNSCREEN, Sunnies and a cap/hat. - Did I mention the daily massage included!

There is enough to do, with optional extra’s which include the Ngezi Rain Forest Tour, Local Village Tour, Diving with the dive centre, Sunset cruise in an Ngalawa traditional sailing vessel (MUST EXPERIENCE THIS), Pemba Spice Farm and Lighthouse walk to name a few. Snorkelling around the new Underwater Room was fun and kayaking was a good way to see the island coastline with unlimited opportunities for the perfect photo!

I envy the management and locals who get to experience this type of paradise everyday! You can never take enough photos of the perfect ‘African Sunset’. Just after the sun goes down, the laughing Bushbabies and flying foxes appear. Keep your camera handy as you stake-out the sugar bowl that the Bushbabies raid religiously at 7pm (cheeky!).

This is a hidden gem that you will return to annually if you have the ways and means! Truly unforgettable… that Smile Wide Pemba Holiday! Hakuna Matata (“no worries”).

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE AT MANTA RESORT, PEMBA ISLAND, TANZANIA

Room Tip: Seafront Villa's with incredible ocean views, sun sets, sun rises and the sound of waves to rela...
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  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Pemba Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Manta Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 20
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

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