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“Sets the Standard for Luxury Boutique” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Matemwe Bandas Boutique Hotel, Zanzibar

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Matemwe Bandas Boutique Hotel, Zanzibar
Matemwe Mnazi Mrefu, Matemwe Mnazi Mrefu, Tanzania   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Earth
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Sets the Standard for Luxury Boutique”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

We had the pleasure and privilege of staying with Tom and ChiChi at Matemwe Bandas. It's really not really a hotel as much as a private bungalow. And with only three of them on the property, the entire place basically feels like it's all yours.

The staff was incredible and they made the best food we had during our stay on the beach. The private pool area is incredible, with comfy chairs and hammocks to lounge in. The front of the bungalows open up directly onto a beautiful stretch of white sand beach where you can walk for a mile before seeing another tourist. The bungalows themselves couldn't be more perfect. They were designed to facilitate natural flow of outside air, while still being netted off from any bugs. The shower in our room was built around a living tree. The bed was as comfortable as it gets, with nice linens and soft pillows.

In our short time here, I quickly realized that Matemwe Bandas is the nicest beach accommodation I've ever stayed in. For the remainder of our 7 month trip around the world, it will continue to set the standard for luxury beach accommodation.

  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tom H, Owner at Matemwe Bandas Boutique Hotel, Zanzibar, responded to this review, April 1, 2013
Thank you again Brendan for your high praise of Matemwe Bandas. We were delighted to have you and Brittni with us. We hope that you have both had a wonderful world tour and hope to see you again in the future.

Very best,
Tom & the team
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61 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    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 (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

We stayed at Matemwe Bandas for three nights in September. The 'hotel' itself consists of three beach bungalows situated a few paces away from the beach itself. The bungalows are beautifully decorated inside with a large double bed with a mosquito net, his and hers sinks (with 'The White Company' toiletries), a beautiful shower area where the shower head is afixed to the trunk of a palm tree which grows through the bungalow itself and a toilet.

The hotel also offers a private swimming pool with two large hammocks capable of fitting two people in at once. The pool area is peaceful and relaxing. There is a bar area and a few tables which serve as a retsaurant. The food served here is the best we had in Matemwe. We had lunch here each day (the chicken and avocado sandwiches are delicious) and for dinner we had the burger and the arrabiata pasta which were both superb. The wine on offer is well priced and prety good.

The hotel itself is co-owned by Chichi, a native of Tanzania who also acts as hotel manager and an English gentleman who we didn't meet. Chichi is an excellent host who looks after his guests in any way he can. He organised a snorkelling trip to Mnemba Island and a taxi to Nungwi for us - both at very reasonable rates.

Overall, our stay at Matemwe Beach Bandas was excellent. We enjoyed sitting on the terrace outside our bungalow, relaxing in the hammocks and eating some excellent food. It was a very relaxing stay and a perfect place to unwind. Thank you to Chichi, Amour and all the staff at Matemwe Beach Bandas for making our stay so enjoyable.

  • Stayed September 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tom H, Owner at Matemwe Bandas Boutique Hotel, Zanzibar, responded to this review, April 11, 2013
We really appreciate your taking the time Adam to note your very positive thoughts about your stay at Matemwe Bandas. We were particularly pleased to learn that you enjoyed our food so much and that you found the perfect place to unwind and relax.

All the very best and hope to see you again in the future,
Tom, Chichi & the team
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Brussels, Belgium
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

We spent two nights at Bandas Boutique hotel and that turned out to be our favorite place in Zanzibar. The Bungalows are perfect, made of coconut wood and with a stunning view on the beach. Chichi gave us Kite surf lessons and I could enjoy a wonderful massage by the pool. Definitively a very good address in Matemwe!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

Matemwe Bandas was the perfect place for our honeymoon - we spent a week here in September and were looked after wonderfully by Chichi and Amore both of whom took an enormous amount care to make our stay really wonderful. Apart from just being a lovely hotel on one of Zanzibar's most beautiful beaches, it is the service and attention to detail by the staff and managers that really sets this place apart: we were looked after impeccably throughout our stay.

Our banda, set right on Matemwe beach was blissfully comfortable and a beautiful space from which we could watch the world go by on Matemwe beach. The food was delicious and Amore is a first class cocktail maker as well! On our final night here we found ourselves imagining many future holidays in this very special hotel - we would definitely recommend a stay here.

  • Stayed September 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vilnius, Lithuania
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

We stayed here in September. The place is wonderful, cute and very quiet, everything is in a good taste. There are only three huts and all of them stand on the beach. So you have beautiful view of the ocean. The hut itself is nice, clean and comfortable. Everything is new. The territory is well maintained. The service is fantastic, if you need any help you always receive it. Food is also very good (perhaps the best we had in Tanzania in two weeks) and nicely served. Chichi and his brother care about you and make your stay unforgettable. We would highly recommend this place for vacations in Matemwe where we would like to return.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Madrid, Spain
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

We had the good fortune of staying here recently (the place just opened a month ago) and had an unforgettable time. Tom and his associate Chichi, were genuinely interested in making our stay truly comfortable... and they did. We planned to stay 2 nights and ended up staying 5. Small hotel but full of detail. Excellent food (some of the best we tried in Matemwe). Highly recommendable.

  • Stayed August 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

my girlfriend and I stayed here in mid August and were super impressed. The bungalow we stayed in was directly on the beach and had a large king size bed and an incredible view of the ocean. It reminded me of a place we stayed at in Pemba fundu lagoon. Simple but very zanzibarian in style and top finishes.

The food was top rate and was one of the best we had on our 3 week vacation on the island. You get the feeling here like your family and the owners Tom and chi chi give the place an inviting atmosphere with both local and western influences. There is also a large brand new pool and awesome lounge area to chill in.

Another nice element is that this part of matemwe is very peaceful and quite. We felt like we could actually relax here on the beach with out being constantly harassed by beach boys and fake Masai.

All in all this was one of our favorite places and would highly recommend this small hotel to anyone seeking something quite with world class service and an inviting atmosphere.

  • Stayed August 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
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 Matemwe Bandas Boutique Hotel, Zanzibar

Address: Matemwe Mnazi Mrefu, Matemwe Mnazi Mrefu, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Matemwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Matemwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Matemwe Bandas is as faithful to its natural surroundings and to the highest levels of luxury as we are to millennia old traditions of local master craftsmanship. We are also a fair trade business that is substantially locally owned, while every member of our team (including our four young apprentices) hails from the village of Matemwe around our property.With private direct access from your verandah, Matemwe’s breathtaking beach is only a step away. You can walk along its majestic palmed-lined breadth on dazzlingly white, super fine sand basking in the brilliant tropical sunshine for miles in both directions, only occasionally coming across other people. Nestling on the beach's edge in rustic exclusivity, our luxury coco wood and palm thatch bungalows share an elegant 11m x 5m swimming fresh water pool and sandy, decked and canopy-covered communal areas. We offer butler service and a la carte local & international fusion cuisine. We also provide high speed Wi-Fi Internet access, laundry service and mineral water in the bandas for free to all residents. ... more   less 
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