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“Great food during a nice stay” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Matemwe Beach Village

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Matemwe Beach Village
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Matemwe, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 7 Matemwe B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Sweden
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Great food during a nice stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We, my husband and our 7-year old son, stayed here for 4 nights in the end of February 2015. We were upgraded to Shamba suite #1, which was good, as we travelled there straight from home in northern Europe (didn't do a mainland safari) and appreciated the AC. Only the master bedroom has AC, though. We really appreciated the open attic, where we would read in the afternoon.

The food was really, really good! Another Swedish family happened to stay there at the same time. One of their children have gluten intolerance. MBV really went out of their way to arrange for the girl!

I went on a half-day snorkelling trip to the Mnemba reef with the in-house One Ocean Dive center. A bit expensive, still worth it!

I can see that several others have written about the dirty pool. We were told that the pool cleaner was on vacation, but I don't know. You would think they would have some one else doing it, in the meantime. We still swam there, but this pulls down the grading.

One note about Matemwe beach. Any one who imagines themselves strolling along the beach, finding different small restaurants here, will be disappointed. It isn't set up in the same way at all, as on many beaches in Asia. One reason is probably the tide. It isn't possible to walk along the beach during high tide. Also, I guess, a lot of guests seem to stay at their respective hotel/privately rented villa.

Still, we would definitely considering returning there, if we would return to Zanzibar. We can recommend this place to families.

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
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310 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
Date | Rating
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English first
Tallinn, Estonia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The rooms vary in size and decor, we had a triple one at the back of the plot. The room was decent enough with an aircon (which would work better if all the windows were glazed...) but food was delicious. Though the pool was unusable when we were there and the tides really affect the swimming possibilities, it did not hinder our stay. The best part was going scuba diving with One Ocean.

  • Stayed March 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2015

We have just returned from an amazing 5 day stay at Matemwe Beach. It had a great atmosphere at the hotel, the staff looked after our every need and the food was the best we had in Zanzibar...really nice beach, lots of activities if you are feeling adventurous and very good value (compared to other hotels we have stayed at in Zanzibar). We would thoroughly recommend it and looking forward to coming back one day!

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Mill Valley, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

Matemwe Beach Village is a very sweet and lovely place. We had an experience that will not be common to most. We booked an economy room, and when we arrived they upgraded us to the honeymoon suite! Our second honeymoon after 30 years! What luxury! A pool in our living room. So refreshing! The ocean water was remarkable in its' temperature and color! The chef is very talented and creative. The spa was fabulous and very affordable! We loved that the management values the locals and does things like support the women's collective who made all the items in their gift shop. They employ and train local residents in the hotel industry and are able to provide a work atmosphere that allows their employees to be happy, challenged and very open and willing to make the guests stay as relaxing and as enjoyable as they can. We highly recommend this delightful place!

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Steninge, Sweden
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2015

Beautiful rooms/houses in a fantastic location. Good vibrations all the way. Friendly staff. Excellent food. Good dive shop and Excellent diving at Mnemba.
Thank you Gail and local management for a great stay in the one-of-a-kind Asali suite!

  • Stayed March 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2015

Thanks Ali and Mnizi, we had a great time! You guys have a piece of paradise there...
Good food, fast internet, beautiful beach, friendly staff. We enjoyed our Samba suite a lot, hakuna matata, see you soon

Room Tip: Samba suites has air conditioning, and is very spacious
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Denmark
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2015

The short version

Positive:
Good vibe/ feel
Excellent food and location
Good dive shop
Very nice beach

Negative:
Pool murky
Staff very relaxed
4 persons in suite, only aircondition for 2
Extras cost...extra

Who/why/what
2 adults (aged 43) and two children (11, 9) traveling to Zanzibar without doing a safari first (this seem to be the most common combo). We simply wanted some nice R&R and sunshine, combined with a bit of snorkeling/diving, and as little hassle as possible. We arranged all stays our self via direct mailing to the hotels.

The longer version
Located on the east coast of Zanzibar, like most of the beach hotels, Matemwe Beach Village, MBV, is an about one hour drive from Stonetown (ST).
The beach is tranquil and very beautiful, with very few tourists. Perfect for walking and viewing, less so for swimming.
Transfers can be arranged via MBV or in ST. We negotiated with a local mini bus and paid 43000 ts for the trip.
Arrival and check in was smooth.
We had booked a Shamba Suite (SS). The smaller rooms are located near the water but none of them directly facing the ocean. Thus individual difference in location is less important.
The SS, for 2-4 persons, is a large round structure, located a bit back from the beach. There are
5 SS in a circle. On the top floor there are two hammocks in a nice windy area, perfect for reading
When the sun is too hot outside. The lower floor has a master bedroom, a toilet and a shower area plus a living room/second bedroom, where our kids slept. As only the master bedroom had aircon our kids had to sleep with fans provided and though this worked out, it was not perfect.
There was an empty minibar that was filled one day before we left, though we did not miss it.
Decor is basic but white with small local touches like hats etc.
The pool area is nice and laid back but lacks shade and the pool was were dirty during our stay. Food is locally made, all from scratch by the very skilled chef. Half board however means that you will likely spend money on the daily lunch menu or the fixed snack menu. Lunch items run from 5-10$ pr dish, water 2$ and evening cocktails from 5-8$. This will add up during the days.
The on-site dive center is very good and friendly, though a bit expensive at 130$ for a two dive daytrip to near by Menemba.
In summary, MBV is a nice beach bungalow operation with good food, for the "up scale backpacker", it is in no way a resort. I would recommend it for families and couples looking for relaxation.

A few words on Zanzibar in general.
ST is on the west coast and in my view not worth staying more than a maximum of one night in! It is very similar to Essaouria in Morocco but less charming and dirtier.
The north is the more developed part with a party scene, the entire east coast a long stretch of different resorts. The south was our favorite, it seem less developed.
Zanzibar is expensive compared to Asia. A family room will run from 150 to over 500 us depending on quality and weather food is included. A typical transfer from Stonetown to south-east or north will be 40-60$ pr car
Currently, February 2015, there are quite few tourists! This seems to be caused by the Ebola outbreak (3000 km away!) and fear of Islamic terrorist attacks like Boko Haram in Kenya. However, the fewer visitors mean you should be able to negotiate a good price on hotels.
Be aware that you will to bring malaria medication and have a valid vaccine against yellow fever.
Visa can be bought for 50$ per person on arrival, bring cash !

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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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 #5 of 7 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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