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“Quiet, realxed place just by the ocean” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Zanzibar Retreat Hotel

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Zanzibar Retreat Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Matemwe Beach | Zanzibar, Matemwe, Tanzania   |  
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Ranked #1 of 5 hotels in Matemwe
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Quiet, realxed place just by the ocean”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

Had realy nice stay here for a few nights. Food is great (portions are quit big, but that is the only complaint I have) rooms have all you need, its quiet you only hear the ocean and the personal are very friendly. You couldnt ask for more.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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191 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
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UK
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

Wow! We stayed here for 6 nights in September 2012 and it was simply superb. We were upgraded to the main suite which overlooked the beautiful Indian Ocean. There was no TV or music blaring out in the bar, and was everything you could wish for on a honeymoon. When we arrived we were treated to a lovely bottle of bubbly and fresh fruit to enjoy on our balcony and in our massive room! The owner Jan was so accommodating, always around for a chat if anything was wrong (which it never was) and even throwing in a free massage for my wife. The food was freshly prepared and presented beautifully. I could go on but all i will say is thank you to Jan and highly recommend this beautiful retreat.

  • Stayed September 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012 via mobile

We had an amazing time at Zanzibar retreat. Great food, great staff, terrific location and great pool ! We loved the decoration of the room upon arrival. It was really peaceful, relaxing and they got the perfect staff (from the waiters to amazing cook!)

I snorkelled for the first time there and swam with dolphins ! It was an amazing experience (despite the sea sickness). My partner took a refresher course for diving and dived there. Unfortunately he didn't react very well with the anti malaria medication so we would advice not taking it if you want to dive and are only going to Zanzibar !

Small point:
- frequent power cut but nothing unmanageable and we did understand why !
- slow service -> they will usually ask you a couple of hours beforehand what would like to order for lunch or dinner: take the opportunity and constantly do it ! It is very worth it tho !

  • Stayed September 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
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Stockholm, Sweden
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

Me and my family (children 17 and 23) had a pleasant stay at the hotel for a week in july 2012.
The hotel is located right on the beautiful beach.
The rooms were very good, clean and everything worked alright.
The staff is great and very helpful with booking activities outside the hotel..We tried, snorkeling, swimming with turtles, diving and deep sea fishing.
The food at the hotell was amazing and enjoyable.
As the hotel is really a retreat hotell you will not find any night life in it or in the surroundings.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Vancouver
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2012

This a small, 12 room, hotel. It's in a great location. Right on the beach. Miles of beautiful beach for walking or beach combing. Lazing by the pool is also peaceful, pleasant and in great surroundings. The room was great although I would have prefered a blanket rather than simply a top sheet. Air conditioning and fan worked great. Bathroom and water pressure good.

However, it is fairly isolated with few hotels in its vicinity. We were lookin for R&R and it suited us perfectly. But, if you are looking for lots of activity and night life best to stay elsewhere. We opted for full board and were not disappointed. The food was amazing. Coincidentally, there was a seafood barbeque on our last night which was a wonderful ending to our stay.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2012 via mobile

My family and I ( 'children' 18, 20, 23) stayed for just over a week with very varied expectations. It was probably the most enjoyable and successful family holiday we have had! It is not an activities hotel but almost anything available to do on the island can be arranged with enough notice and planning. Nothing is too much trouble for the owner and staff. It is important to read up about the location because although it is on a glorious beach, it is well known that at low tide swimming is not really practical especially if you don't appreciate sea urchins. It is called a retreat hotel for obvious reasons, it is calm and quiet there is no loud evening entertainment thank goodness if you don't appreciate it and disappointing if that's what you like on holiday. Please make sure that you understand as much as possible about this fantastic hotel so that you will avoid being disappointed and it will not be necessary to review it unfavourably.

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Bernardsville, NJ
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Zanzibar Retreat Hotel in Matemwe (North East Coast of Zanzibar- 1 hour from Stone Town) for three nights in July 2012. In all honesty, two nights is more than enough.

It is truly a retreat, in the sense that there is nothing to do on the property but relax. There is a pool restaurtant, and bar. There is no vollebally net, communal television, or even music playing on the property. The hotel does have Wi-Fi. If you are looking for something to do during the day other than reading and sitting by the pool, you can go to one of the beach stands to book excursions- Stone Town tour (NOTE: stay in Stone Town, don't do an excursion), Jozani Forest (NOTE: Skip it- $130 for ride out to forest and tour- if you are going on safari, you will be disappointed), snorkeling, or Vespa rental.

My husband and I are runners- so, you can take great runs on the beach. The sand is firm closer to the water. It's nice to run or walk down the long beach.

On to the room...we stayed in Room 7 (I think?- no one could get our room # right). It was recently completed. It has a view of the "garden". Not really- more like the garage where they keep things for the hotel. The room felt cramped. There is one window that has very heavy curtains on them (poorly suited to a beach resort). The bathroom was very adobe like- red clay with one very small window. The room was clean, but even for two people- it was small. RECOMMENDATION: Make sure you have a room on the first floor (preferably facing the pool), they have more light and a little table on the patio outside your room to sit. Don't get one of the upstairs room like we had.

The staff was nice, but not overly attentive or prompt. If you ordered a drink at the pool, there is no rush to get it to you. We went to breakfast one morning and it took 10 minutes for someone to walk over and even take our coffee request- the staff saw us sitting there (true story). Now, I am an East Coaster and am used to a fast pace, but this was the only place in Tanzania that we experienced this.

Being that the room was new, the outlets both failed in the room. One stopped working one day and then the next day the other side of the room stopped working. We did tell one of the owners and he had it immediately fixed.

We had half board there- breakfast and dinner. The food was good and plentiful. No complaints there.

If you are a big water drinker (you'll need it to brush your teeth), save money and don't buy it from the hotel. There is a little store in the village of Matemwe that sells it to you for cheap.

Room Tip: First floor a must- pool view
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 Zanzibar Retreat Hotel

Address: Matemwe Beach | Zanzibar, Matemwe, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Matemwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 hotels in Matemwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Zanzibar Retreat Hotel 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Small beach Retreat. Good food and drinks. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zanzibar Retreat Matemwe
Zanzibar Retreat Hotel Matemwe

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