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“Friendly, intimate hotel on a beautiful beach” 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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Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 5 hotels in Matemwe
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Friendly, intimate hotel on a beautiful beach”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

We stayed at Zanzibar Retreat in mid October. Our stay at Zanzibar Retreat really exceeded our expectations for the following reasons:

-the hotel is owned and operated by 2 Finnish Nationals. One of the owners, Jan, is the on site manager. Jan is a great guy - very welcoming and he's got a nice sense of humor. He's very competent and his leadership keeps the hotel very clean and orderly (as you'd expect from a place owned by Scandinavians!).

-The Pool is fantastic. It is 25 meters long and is footsteps from the beach. The bar and restaurant area is directly next to the pool also, so easy to order a nice drink and sit in one of the lounge chairs

-There is no pressure to eat at the on site restaurant, but we did eat there 2 of the 4 nights. The food is good - fresh and generous portions. They offer either a meat or a fish each night. Value is good and prices are in line and fair compared to the other restaurants on Matemwe Beach. Breakfast is good too with fresh fruit, eggs and choice of pancakes or other options.

-Lunch is excellent value. A nice, tasty hamburger can be had for around 5 or 6 euros.

-Drinks are well made, which based on our experience in Tanzania is not to be taken for granted. Jan has clearly provided his staff clear instruction on how to make a proper cocktail (we had the margarita and mojito). Prices are reasonable, especially during their happy hour.

-We went scuba diving around Mnemba Island and the diving company (One Ocean) is just a 10 minute walk from the Zanzibar Hotel.

-We stayed in a smaller room upstairs and it served our needs just fine. We didn't spend too much time in the room, but there is air con and wireless. There are some intermittent issues with both electricity and internet, but this is a function of Zanzibar versus flaws with the hotel. No tv in our room.

In terms of recommendations or feedback to the hotel, I don't have much. I would say that the beach is very nice although snorkeling was not good due to poor visibility (and lots of seaweed). However, I think this is generally the case up and down the Matemwe Beach. The advantage is that there is a reef about 500 meters off the beach and you can walk through the lagoon to the reef during low tide. Quite fun and you can see starfish, crabs and small fish.

Thanks again to Jan and his team,
Kevin and Lena

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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160 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 (20)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Djurmo
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

What is most important to experience an unforgettable holiday?
I guess there are several things and I think we found them all at Zanzibar Retreat.

Arriving after a fantastic safari week to this place was perfect for us.
- Relaxing with a book by the pool
- Eating superb food
- Walking by the beautiful beach
- Chatting with the friendly staff

We are happy to recommend this hotel if you looking for a quiet place to relax and enjoy.

Bosse & Kerstin Johansson, Sweden

Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

The week was a dream because of excellent food and a familiar atmosphere.Fresh fruit every morning and the owner made everything to make us feel at home. For a middleaged couple it was perfect. I would gladly go there again.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 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
1 review
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
1 review
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
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

Also Known As:
Zanzibar Retreat Matemwe
Zanzibar Retreat Hotel Matemwe
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 #3 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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