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“This is our 4th visit to Mnaran” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mnarani Beach Cottages

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Mnarani Beach Cottages
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   North Coast | P O Box 3361, Nungwi, Tanzania   |  
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'Stay 6 pay 5'
Ranked #12 of 18 Hotels in Nungwi
Basel, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“This is our 4th visit to Mnaran”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2012

This is our 4th visit to Mnarani, and it seems to get better every time. Nassor, the owner, is constantly improving his place, upgrading the rooms and facilities and thinking of new ways to offer his guests an ever better holiday experience.
The bungalows are surrounded by a beautiful, well tended garden atop a cliff, but with easy access to the beach. There are swings, beach beds and hammocks everywhere, and friendly, smiling staff is doing their best to make us feel welcome and comfortable.
Being set in its own small bay, the place has a private, cozy feel to it, but a 10 minute walk along the beach at low tide takes you right to where the action is (and the loud music, and the beach boys and peddlers, too).
The crowd at Mnarani is very mixed, families, couples and small groups from all parts of the world, so we meet interesting people every time.
All in all, clearly recommended!
We will come back again!

  • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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315 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (70)
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English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Top Contributor
164 reviews 164 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

What a wonderful place to stay! I couldn't believe the setting when we arrived - it looked like a film set with hammocks & loungers on a wooden deck above the bluest sea I had ever seen; dhows sailing to the reef; palm trees & golden sand! We had a 'superior' room overlooking the sea which was split level with a double 4 poster bed upstairs & a single bed below in a large living area with fridge & kettle & 2 outside sitting areas. The food was good with a large buffet being offered most nights. Mnarani is in the quiet bit of Nungwi but it was only 10 mins walk along the beach (at low tide - inacessable at high tide) to the main drag of hotels & restaurants on the western side of the point. We loved the aquarium, which is just opposite Mnarani, where one could swim with the turtles & tropical fish. We also enjoyed a day trip to Mnemba island with snorkelling & a fish lunch on the beach & were lucky to see dolphins close by!

Room Tip: The standard rooms were very small. It is worth the bit extra to get a sea view superior room
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 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.
Baltimore, Maryland
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2012

My husband and I just returned from our 2 week "Bush and Beach" honeymoon, starting with a budget safari in the Maasai Mara and ending with a wonderful stay in Zanzibar at Mnarani Beach Cottages.

Let me tell you that I obsessively researched different resorts/hotels in Zanzibar, using Trip Advisor most of the time. We settled on Nungwi (the northern tip of the island where Mnarani is located) because it is not as quiet as the east coast (which I have been to before and loved, but my husband and I were looking for a little more adventure and goings-on). We settled on Mnarani because, while located in Nungwi, near Kendwa (the more populated. "party" areas), it is about a 20 minute walk from the most populated areas. For us, this was PERFECT. Close enough that we could be in on the action if we wanted to, far enough away for us to feel that we were the only resort on the island. For a honeymoon, we definitely wanted a little bit of that secluded feel, which we certainly got at Mnarani. We also liked that Mnarani was mostly couples and families, not a lot of young backpackers. We ourselves are usually the young backpackers (if you want to be with that crowd, hit up Kendwa for sure), but again, for our honeymoon we wanted a little something different!

The beach front at Mnarani is exotic, stunningly gorgeous and definitely swimmable! We swam every day! If you are looking for a place to lay out on the sand for hours with plenty of tourists and zero rocks and seaweed, maybe head to Kendwa for the "golden mile" of beaches. But again, this is more populated, and full of "beach boys" and fake Maasai trying to sell you things. We went by this area on a friend's boat and the beach was littered with young people laying out and loud music thumping from the beach bar. VERY cool, if that what you are looking for (aside from the aforementioned beach boys and fake Maasai). We loved feeling like the only people in Zanzibar while at Mnarani. :)

We loved Mnarani and would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, romantic, adventurous get-away. The staff was SO friendly, warm and welcoming. We met Nassor, the owner, and he was walking around and getting to know the guests. The manager, Sula, was also getting to know people and was just lovely. Coco, another staff member there, was warm and funny and enjoyable to be around. Even the housekeeping staff always had a smile on their face as they greeted you daily with a warm, "Jambo!" The food was delicious and wonderfully presented, with pride and wonderful ambiance. They even decorated our bed for us with flowers, and gave us a private table right over the beach for our honeymoon dinner.

Final thought - I noticed someone complain that Mnarani was next door to a "local slum" - this could NOT be more far from the truth! Mnarani is located in the Nungwi village, where local people live and thrive. To hear someone call their village a "slum" is disheartening. Almost every man in this village is a fisherman, and without them Mnarani would not have the delicious seafood selection they do. They also get many of their staff from the village. It is obvious that the village locals help to support the hotels and resorts in Nungwi, and without them the Zanzibari charm would just not be there.

Room Tip: They honeymoon suite in the Zanzibar House was more private than the cottages - highly recommend it!
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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.
kilimandege, Owner at Mnarani Beach Cottages, responded to this review, August 31, 2012
Dear Jaime & Donovan,

thank you so much for your detailed and positive feedback both during your stay with us and here on Trip Advisor.
We are doing our very best for all our guests, and to see them enjoying their stay the way you did is both gratification and incentive for us.
It was a pleasure having you here!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012

I was here in July and stayed in Mnarani for two nights in a family room with sea view. The room was very spacious with two levels and due to that a veranda and a balcony! We slept on the first floor with the door open and could enjoy the sounds of the Indian Ocean.

The personnel in the hotel was very friendly and helpful and the food was great. Breakfast is a buffet and you can order eggs (omelette/fried/scrambled etc) and in the evenings also a buffet with enough choices. Try to book on Tuesdays because then it is Swahili night with great local food and after dinner a acrobatic show that is very entertaining.

The hotel has a nice pool and enough pool beds and even a few hammocks with view on the ocean where you can comfortably read a book or chill out. Due to the tide you either have a nice beach where you can walk towards the Lighthouse or the natural aquarium or you can dive into the Ocean with high tide for a nice swim. It is possible to rent a kayak.

The atmosphere in the hotel was very relaxed and I had a great time!

  • Stayed July 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Espergaerde, Denmark
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2012

Really nice place to stay. The rooms have great views and is very clean. It is not the best beach in front of the hotel but you can walk 15 minutes to a great beach. The food is pretty basic and after a few days you want something else. There are other options for eating around.

Remember to visit the aquarium next to Mnarani. There are lot's of turtles.

Coco at the reception is very nice, happy and always ready to help.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pretoria
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2012

Mnarani was the ideal place for lying in the sun, overlooking the ocean and walking on the beach. It is very well kept and we loved the food. Breakfasts are more or less the same each day, but dinners are really nice. We loved the evening they treated us with local food and local acrobatic entertainment. The staff is a wonderful group of people, always ready to help whether it was to arrange trips or teach bao. Mnarani is a little way from the 'party strip' but it is easy enough to walk to and the upside is that here we were not inundated with locals peddling trips, tours and trinkets. Our cottage was on the small side but very clean, mosquito netted, airconditioned and fanned. The only thing we would have liked would have been coffee and tea more readily available, although the staff always brought it when we asked. I can recommend Mnarani without any reservations. Thank you for a wonderful holiday.

  • Stayed July 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Top Contributor
157 reviews 157 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2012

The first time I stayed here was in March 2008 with friends and it was amazing. Then I came with my husband in March 2012 and stayed three weeks. Mnarani represents everything that we wanted. For a property that would normally have a 300+ room hotel on it, Mnarani has only about 30 or so rooms giving it a luxurious feel with lots of walkways etc. NO CROWDS! Lots of property without lots of crowds. If you want nightlife and or a full fledged beach, you can simply walk along the beach to Nungwi village or take a taxi for $5. When the tide is out, you can walk out and really enjoy the scenery. The staff and really friendly and helpful AND they take the time to know your names. This hotel literally has everything and I wouldn't stay anywhere else in Zanzibar!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mnarani Beach Cottages

Address: North Coast | P O Box 3361, Nungwi, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Nungwi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Nungwi
#9 Family Hotel in Nungwi
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Nungwi
#11 Romantic Hotel in Nungwi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Mnarani Beach Cottages 3.5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mnarani Beach Cottages is a beach resort hotel, located on the northernmost tip of Zanzibar Island in the village of Nungwi, next to the old lighthouse.Mnarani has been independently recommended by The Lonely Planet Guide, The Bradt Guide to Zanzibar and many other East African travel guidebooks. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mnarani Beach Cottages Hotel Nungwi
Mnarani Beach Hotel
Mnarani Beach Resort
Mnarani Beach Cottages Zanzibar/Nungwi

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