We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Simply a fantastic retreat!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Zanzibar Retreat Hotel

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 3 more sites!
Save
You added Zanzibar Retreat Hotel to your Saves list
Zanzibar Retreat Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Matemwe Beach | Zanzibar, Matemwe, Tanzania   |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Matemwe
Lund, Sweden
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Simply a fantastic retreat!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

Big thanks to Jan and his staff at the hotel for our wonderful stay. It was a cozy and relaxing hotel on a lovely quiet beach. The food is just amazing! I would recommend opting in for the weekly BBQ they have. Simply delicious!
This is really the perfect place to relax and enjoy the hakuna matata life. We were also able to go on dive and snorkelling trips to the nearby mnemba atoll which was amazing.
Would highly recommend this place!!

  • Stayed March 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

229 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    182
    40
    6
    1
    0
See reviews for
49
120
8
1
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (34)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Vantaa, Finland
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

The room was quite small, but there was everything you needed (you don't need TV in this retreat). The atmosphere was very relaxing. Beach was very quiet and beautiful. This part of the island is even more laid back than Nungwi. Would recommend this to couples, who need a total relaxation from the fuss. Unfortunately the food was disappointment. There are couple of good restaurants near by - just bury your feet into the sand and follow the smell, as it's is so dark in the evening that you can't see your way...

Room Tip: Wouldn't take a room near the restaurant.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I stayed for 2 nights with my sister and her family. If you only want a quiet place for lounging around, this is the place. There is nothing to do but lounge or swim in the pool or the beach. Unfortunately we didn't realize how small this place was, so I felt trapped and extremely bored. The rooms were small, and the bathrooms were in poor condition - toilet seat didn't fit the toilet, shower was tiny, very dim lighting. Food was very good, but service is extremely slow. I suppose that is the pace that the Retreat sets - slow and leisurely. I ordered a cocktail from the bar (no one else was there), and it took the bartender 15 minutes to get around to making the drink. He chatted with another worker, gazed out at the ocean, and puttered around. At one point I thought he forgot about my order! So if you like slow, laid back, and casual, this is a good place. But if you like a bit more activity and nicer rooms, then you should look elsewhere.

Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GoZanzibar, General Manager at Zanzibar Retreat Hotel, responded to this review, March 24, 2013
Dear guest and readers of Tripadvisor.

First of all, thanks for your comments regarding your stay with us. Despite your feelings for the small shower (90x120 cm) and not perfectly matching toilet seat, I do hope you were comfortable staying with us as a part of you vacation here in Tanzania. We will try correct these errors immidiately.
The electricity on Zanzibar is not so stable right now, which effects not only the lights in the rooms, but also other equipment and machines. This is widely known to be the case, not only on Zanzibar, but in the whole country. We do hope the level of voltage will improve to next season. On behalf of Tanzanian Electricity Board, Sorry for the inconvenience caused.
Im happy to hear that the food was enjoyable but again not to pleased to hear about your drink been served after 15 minutes of waiting. We have responded to this and hope it will not happen again.
The issue of our relaxed and tranquile location, I cannot promise any improvements Im afraid, as this is our profile as hotel, to be a quite, relaxed retreat without disturbance of a discoteque or a noisy bar. Matemwe is a peaceful place, and I will emphasise this to the tour operators even more, so the guest know where they are going, avoiding in the future people getting bored as they have choosen the wrong place on the island.
These issues could have been taken up with the management during the stay and we could have responded rapidly and made your stay better with us. However, we hope the rest of your journey went well, and you still can remember your trip to east africa with a good spirit.
best regards
Jan
owner/manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, Ile-de-France, France
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Many thanks to Jan and all the staff for our wonderful time in Zanzibar!
We were 12 people: outstanding food in such a place, very smiling and trustworthy staff, beautiful white beach, nice swimming pool.
The owner, Jan, very friendly, was always present listening to everyone and doing his best to organize whatever you need (bus transport to visit places...)
I highly recommand that place for relaxing and ressourcing!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helsinki, Finland
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

We really enjoyed our stay at Zanzibar Retreat Hotel. If you are looking for a secluded place with a calm, friendly atmosphere, this is the perfect place. Food was amazing! The beach was beautiful. The serene daily activities of the nearby community; the women working on their seeweed-plantation, the fishermen, the children coming home from school, etc, only added an authentic element to the African experience. Jan, one of the owners, was present most of the time giving attention the every possible detail to keep you comfortable and in a good mood. We stayed in one of the honeymoon-suites, which we highly recommend. Waking up to a beautiful sunrise over the Indian Ocean and the the waves splashing on the beach really helped to remove the stress of the european winter. The peak of our experience was the snorkeling-trip to the nearby island when we had the opportunity to swim with wild dolphins! We counted over 40 of them all around us! Absolutely an all-time-high. The only negative thing was the frequent interruptions in power- and water-supply - but I´ve travelled a great deal in Africa and that´s just something you have to expect.

Room Tip: The extra pay for the honeymoon-suite is money well spent. If you plan to go snorkeling/on a dolphin...
See more room tips
  • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

Jan was a great host on this beautiful property. The pool was nice, the beach access great, and the food was amazing. I highly suggest paying an extra $15 per person to have the fresh seafood addition to the meal...best lobster and prawn I have ever had! The Honeymoon suite upstairs had the best view of the ocean from a huge balcony, the bathroom had a stone-like finish, and the room was spacious. Only negatives were the power outages and the A/C working sporadically. Otherwise, it was a fabulous stay.

Room Tip: Pay extra for the suites on the second floor...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Stone Town
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

We had a wonderful time at Zanzibar retreat! It was just what the doctor ordered after hectic traveling in Kenya. The resort is cozy with a smaller number of rooms, very well maintained, on a quiet stretch of beach and the food was absolutely amazing. The owner was very friendly, always asking how we were enjoying our food or stay and open to input for any ways to improve our experience. We have been to about 5 different resorts on Zanzibar on different beaches, including Matemwe, Kendwa, Paje, Jambiani and Nungwe and we are still convinced that Zanzibar retreat is the best resort hands´down. If you come to Zanzibar you have to give it a go.

  • Stayed November 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Zanzibar Retreat Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Small beach Retreat. Good food and drinks. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity and Odigeo so you can book your Zanzibar Retreat Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Zanzibar Retreat Matemwe
Zanzibar Retreat Hotel Matemwe

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Zanzibar Retreat Hotel, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.