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“Lovely , Secluded ,Beautiful Place” 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
Paris, France
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Lovely , Secluded ,Beautiful Place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

We just absolutely loved Zanzibar Retreat , The welcome , the food , Jan the owner is lovely and does everything so guests feel at home . The food is just amazing , the best we had on the island so far. Great Chef ! The Staff also very professional , The pool is definitely a big plus , it's fresh and clean , and big enough to swim properly ,
We were delighted of our visit , and will keep such great memories of the Zanzibar Retreat !!

  • Stayed January 2013, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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198 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    156
    36
    5
    1
    0
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41
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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 (29)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Bergen, Norway
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

This is one of our best hollidays ever. We wanted to have a calm and relaxing holliday after a very busy year. I we found this here. Reading books, eating amazing food and a drink(or two) in the Bar. No TV, no music only sound of the wawes and birds. Fantastic. Slept like a child. We stayed there for 13 nights.

Room Tip: We paid a littel extra and got the best room no. 10.
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  • Stayed November 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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Dallas, Texas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

I highly recommend this place. It is right on the beach. The building is beautiful and clean. The food was amazing. The owner, Janne, was very helpful and was available as needed. He always promptly answered my emails and worked with us on our accomodation needs. The staff was friendly. At night, there is a guard on duty, so we felt safe (even without the guard, we would have felt safe). There is a little bungalow right on the beach where you can get a massage. I took advantage of this ($40 for one hour) and was put into sleep coma by the masseuse and sound of the ocean. We stayed for three nights and didnt want to leave. If youre a diver, One Ocean Divers is located about a ten minute walk up the beach. Matemwe is a beautiful beach with a big reef. It is less touristy than other parts of the island. Again, i highly recommend this place. I would stay here again without a doubt.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 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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Gillingham, Kent, UK
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

My boyfriend and I visited Zanzibar Retreat and enjoyed a fabulous lunch. The food was first rate with the menu having a choice of authentic local recipes as well as catering for the Western palate. The staff were all friendly and provided excellent service. Although we only had a one course lunch and drinks we were not hurried over our meal and were able to enjoy the atmosphere of this charming beach fronted hideaway.

I would not think twice about recommending the Zanzibar Retreat as a venue to eat or drink and I very much hope that on our next visit to the village we will be able to stay in this idyllic boutique hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Göteborg, Västra Götaland, Sweden
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

We stayed in 5 diiferent places in Zanzivbar and this is by far our best experience. The local life on the beach is nice to watch and the snorkeling at Mnemba Atoll amazing - we saw lots of dolphins. The food was by far the best experienced in Zanzibar. Cross Europe/Africa food cooked by very skilled local chefs. The atmosphere is tranquill and harmonic and the beach is quiet. If you want to sociallise with the local people it is your choice, or you just stay in the noce premises of Zanzibar retreat. The water and electricity supply was excellent as well. If returning to Zanzibar this is the place I will choose to stay.

  • Stayed December 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
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Reykjavik, Iceland
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

Our second visit to Zanzibar brought us to the Zanzibar Retreat Hotel, a choice we did not regret. The friendly welcome by Jan the Manager, Salome and the rest of the staff gave the indication what we might expect. Everything that followed was just great. We had opted for a half board but ended with a full board as we just couldn’t imagine anything beating the food and the company at the ZR.
The Hotel is rather small with only 12 rooms but at the same time this is probably the best size for a real Retreat Hotel. The cosy atmosphere at the pool and the bar is perfect for a relaxed small talk with other guests and we made good friends with couple of the other guests. Early morning walk at the beach watching the women from the neighbouring villages harvest the see-weed and chat and laugh while working is a good start for any day. It is also very interesting to follow when the fishermen hurry in across the reef at high tide to beat it to the market.

And finally to top it all we were invited for a small private celebration organized by Salome where artist from the villages performed; very very nice surprise. Congratulation to Jan, Salome, Mini and all the other staff, you have created a very nice and welcoming place which we will recommend to all our friends.

Room Tip: The suites on the upper floor have a very nice view to the see. On the other hand the rooms at the p...
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  • Stayed November 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.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
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
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 ( Wi-Fi ) 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*
Number of rooms: 10
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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