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“Beautiful Escape” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Matemwe Beach Village

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Matemwe Beach Village
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Matemwe, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 6 Matemwe B&B and Inns
Richmond Hill, Canada
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Beautiful Escape”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2013

We spent 4 nights at Matemwe Beach Village and simply loved this resort. It is quaint and isloated and the perfect place for relaxation and enoying time with friends. The staff were very helpful and seemed to have a lot of fun working together which adds a great tone to the atmopshere of this resort.

The resort was cozy and all of the experiences put a smile on our faces -- from the lounge and pool areas to the awesome food -- the chef has incredible talent and we loved eating here!

The resort had many special touches -- each room had sun hats and beack wraps that you could use during your stay and each evening we received a special story/parable to read. They also decorated our beds with flowers everyday with unique arrangements which was delightful!

We also got to see a birthday celebration for one of the staff at the pool area. It was wonderful to see everyone celebrating together ..they did not stop singing until she had cut the cake and fed everyone that was signing a piece of cake. Just a happy experience and we then got to wish her a happy birthday too :)

I also really appreciated the owners philosphy - employ locals, use locally grown food and promote experiences and shopping that brings to life what is special about this area and this also provides local revenue.

  • Stayed November 2013, 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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290 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Gloucester, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

I came here on 13th November for 2 nights with my boyfriend as it was my birthday. I had amazing time here i could complain about a thing. The pool area was my favorite part and i spent most of my time there. The staff were very friendly and helpful the location was brilliant and the food was great on my second night there was a buffet which has local food as well as Weston which was great had the best time ever and will defiantly be coming back. Thank you to all the staff that made us feel so welcome

  • Stayed November 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friday Harbor, Washington
Top Contributor
285 reviews 285 reviews
157 hotel reviews
Reviews in 159 cities Reviews in 159 cities
205 helpful votes 205 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2013

It is an OK place but we had very high expectations given the Certificate of Excellence. awarded by Trip Advisor. The public areas are big but not particularly comfortable. The rooms are OK but non descript. The pool area is great. Overall the place seemed "dark and gloomy" to us. Plus beyond diving and the pool there is not much to do beyond walk on the beach - which was fun The food was fairly good but not outstanding. I do not know if this is one of the best beach resorts on Zanzibar but if it is I am surprised. Like I said it was OK and there were no problems.

Room Tip: We got a beach bungalow but our freinds got "upgraded" to a suite. Our room faced the bea...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013

I stayed here with my teenaged daughter for 3 nights in October 2013. Loved the layout of the property - there were lots of little hideaways if you wanted peace and privacy, the beach was mostly empty, the pool was lovely, common areas filled with oversized cushions where you can curl up and read a book, and everywhere was blissfully quiet.

Our room was nothing fancy, but clean and attractive. The temperature was manageable (no air-con, just fans) although I imagine it could get pretty warm in the Nov-Mar hot summer period. Still, I'd be willing to risk it!

The food was excellent overall. We appreciated being able to order breakfast from a menu. Lunches (not included in the half-board price) were the best meals of all. The one a la carte dinner we had was delicious.We were somewhat less enthusiastic about the buffet dinners (3 times per week Tues/Thurs/Sat) - nothing wrong with them, we're just not buffet fans. Service was friendly and strikingly high quality for Tanzania (as residents here, we have much to compare it to).

The beach is lovely - though visitors must remember that Indian Ocean tides are dramatic, so during low-tide, swimming in the sea is impossible. The tide tables are posted in the reception area so you can plan your ocean swimming accordingly.
The on-site dive operation was well-organized, and we enjoyed our double dive in Mnemba Atoll (apart from the 50 minute time limit).

Found it a little pricey (though not for Tanzania where everything is expensive). Still, we wish we could have stayed longer and hope to return next year.

Room Tip: One of the end rooms in the bungalows located closest to the beach - for cross-ventilation, and the...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013

I stayed in Matemwe Beach Village in Oct 2013 when I went to Zanzibar and Pemba Islands on a diving trip.
It was an excellent stay with good food and very friendly staff.
My room was basic but clean, showers didn't seem to be working full force though, but that didn't bother me.
There was always morning & afternoon tea on the beach, hearty breakfast, and lunch and dinner delicacies.
The staff were always cheerful and smiling.

There was a bit of misunderstanding on our last night as MBV had double-booked our rooms, and we had to move to Matemwe Cloves B&B right next door. But it was all taken care of by MBV. Infact I was glad I got to meet Julie and Eddy at the b&b, really warm and friendly couple. We had a nice long chat with them, and even though the stay was just for a night at Matemwe Cloves, they did everything to ensure we were comfortable.
MBV made up for this misunderstanding by offering us a special dinner table that night and a nice bottle of red on the house, and a really nice breakfast set-up on the beach the next morning. Well appreciated guys, it was more than what we expected, and very overwhelming. :)

The dive centre at the resort, One Ocean Dive centre, is very good too. Julie and Sebastian were my dive guides, and I had an amazing 3 days of diving with them. They are really professional and helpful, and stick to details. The dive centre is well equipped too and very well organized. Zanzibari water was really clear with 25m+ visibility and some really cool marine life. I saw white-tip reef sharks on my very first dive, turtles, octopus, stingrays, nudibranches, lionfish, I could go on and on :) dolphins on the surface almost all the time. I was a happy camper as far as diving's concerned ! :) :)

Sunrises and sunsets on the pristine, uncrowded to the point of being almost-private beaches were pretty cool too, I would definitely go back to MBV.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 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.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2013

We stayed in thus hotel for 2 nights. It was amazing! the staff is so friendly and nice. I liked the food so much. The fish and seafood is delicious. The menu is not very big. U need to tick in the list what you will have for dinner out of 2 options. The serengeti beer is also cool. The beach is beautiful and not crowded.

Room Tip: I recommend to use spa.
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  • Stayed October 2013, 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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London, UK
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

We were initially looking to book Pongwe Beach hotel, which is regarded as one of the best in the region for 'barefoot luxury', but its brackish water supply didn't appeal, so we booked MBV instead.

Our flight was delayed so we arrived at 7.20pm. Turning off the main road into an unlit and unpaved village with nothing more than a few shacks was a bit disconcerting but the hotel itself is attractively laid out. We were checked in by a gentleman who I assume was the manager (slightly older, with reading glasses) who wasn't particularly friendly. He told us that, as dinner was at 7.30, there was no time now to give us a full welcome but we should go to our room then come back immediately for dinner and get more information tomorrow. We duly rushed to the restaurant at 7.35, worried we were late, to find no one usually turns up till 8 at the earliest. We could not understand the reason for the rush which denied us an orientation (and a shower after a day's travelling!)

Our room (#3) was clean but basic, making the $200 per night price poor value in my opinion. The shower was heavily blocked so only 5 dribbles of water came from the shower head (although they did come to fix this when we complained). The bed was appalling; after one night on it we asked to change rooms. The same manager didn't say much or apologise but said we could look at another room (#14) to try the mattress. The mattress wasn't much better but the room generally was lighter, bigger, and more nicely furnished so we decided to swap. The curtains were a very thin material so not long after sunrise the room was light, which isn't conducive to lie-ins. After 5 nights on the mattress we were both in serious pain (to put this in context: I suffer from chronic back pain and take prescription painkillers every night which usually prevent pain, regardless of mattress quality. Here, I was in agony every night despite the painkillers.)

The food was generally good, and I could see that they were aiming for higher than average quality and presentation in their meals. The lunch bar menu changed daily and had around 5 options, so always something you fancied. Breakfast was an epic affair with about 3 courses and a good selection of hot meals. Usually on beach holidays we rely on a big breakfast at 10.30ish to see us through to dinner with just a small snack, but our bad backs and sun-filled room meant we were always up by 8am, so we needed lunch too. Three times a week they do a buffet style meal in the boma which means sharing tables with other couples. We weren't against this and it was nicely done but it seemed a little odd in what is primarily a couples'/honeymoon destination.

The beach is very pretty, not entirely free from seaweed or debris but that doesn't affect the overall impression of turquoise sea and white sand. We did get chased by an aggressive hawker which the info book suggested shouldn't happen right outside the hotel. The pool was very pleasant although none of the sun shades moved so finding a lounger for the whole day that you could move in and out of the sun wasn't really an option.

The info book makes a big deal about the hotel's desire to involve the local community (which I totally applaud), so villagers (and cows and goats...) seemed to wander around the complex. However, the book had ominous phrases such as "do not leave anything outside your room as the villagers tend to regard it as a 'gift'", "do not leave towels or glasses on the beach as they have a habit of disappearing" and "we do not keep a main safe on the premises as we feel it attracts thieves so just try to hide your valuables". I'm paraphrasing slightly but with no room safe and no lockable cabinets, all this made us uneasy. Bear in mind that everyone there would have had passports and quite a lot of cash, and most likely camera equipment etc from safari, so a safe should be regarded as essential.

One thing I cannot fault is that the staff (with the exception of the disinterested manager) were unfailingly friendly and smiley. We were often served by a lovely lady called Irene who was full of warmth. The turn-down service also included a traditional African bedtime story, which was a nice touch, and the motto of 'no shoes, no news' was a nice way to sum up the ethos.

On the whole I think we got an unfortunate first impression which made us see the negatives rather than the positives throughout. I don't think MBV is a bad hotel but, based on our experience, I wouldn't rush to return.

Room Tip: Our initial room (#3) was dingy and dark (and #4 backed onto it so presumably the same). #14 (and p...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Matemwe Beach Village

Address: Matemwe, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Matemwe
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 B&Bs / Inns in Matemwe
Number of rooms: 17
Also Known As:
Matemwe Beach Village Hotel Matemwe
Matemwe Beach Village Zanzibar

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