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“Matemwe main lodge: superb location and staff” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa

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Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Matemwe Village, Matemwe 3275, Tanzania   |  
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up to 41% off | $200 pppn
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Utrecht
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Matemwe main lodge: superb location and staff”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2011

We spent a few days in Matemwe main lodge in October 2011.

The little house is really charming, all natural woods and nature tones. The bed linens are clean but stay damp troughout your stay. You can hear the ocean very well, as the houses do have an open roof. The natural airconditioning is great, but on the other hand: everything is moist. It feels rather secure to be in the bed, as their is a klamboo draped around the bed very well. The bed is comfortable, as is the bathroom. Do bring your own amenities -as the shampoo and conditioner are not of good quality (like cheap dishwashing soap and the conditoner is very dilluted). The shower and bath is excellent -and warm.
The house is very dimly lit, in the evenings you cannot read a book unless you are in the bed with the bedlights on.

The view is unbeatable. The porch is gorgeous, with reallly comfortable hammocks. In the evening, some big crabs (heremite) walk around the rooms, it might be charming but if you are afraid of crabs it can be a turn-off.

The food is simply excellent. The staff goes out of their way to make this an experience for you, placing candles on a sweeped beach, doing barbeques and cooking traditional food, really superb.
There is free internet computer access, but not WIFI. The computer is rather fast though, much better than in other lodges we'd stayed in (Serena chain).

The beach was full of weed. You REALLY cannot swim nor snorkel in the lagoon. The tide is simply too low, and there is no coral at all. So if you do want snorkelling from the beach, this is not your place to stay.

We took a private tour to a 'deserted sandbank' to have a little paradise experience. It is quite pricey, but the photo's were that nice and we couldn't do snorkelling from the beach that we decided to take the tour.

The tour in the dhow boat was lovely, I snorkelled with dolphins, fish are plentiful but corals are not vivid. When arriving on the sandbank, much to our regret, no privacy at all. About 18 people with strollers and buggy's!!
When we reported this back to our management, they were as surprised as we were, and they did not charge us for the trip -very very courteous indeed and much appreciated !!

The swimming pool is small but gorgeous.

So if you like some total relaxation, the sound of the ocean, appreciate 'nature's luxury', do not want to snorkel right from the beach and you want your catering to be excellent: this is your place in Zanzibar.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AsiliaAfrica, Marketing Manager at Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa, responded to this review, November 17, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your stay at Matemwe Main Lodge. We are very pleased to hear you have enjoyed your stay with us.

Regarding the beach weed; the beach - like all beaches on Zanzibar - is public. But for comfort and convenience, we do sweep a portion of the beach daily (closest to the hotel). Nevertheless, it is a fact across all Zanzibar beaches but we are dealing with it in the most appropriate way for our guests.

In the meantime, we have taken your comments to heart concerning the amenities provided and I am happy to report that we have replaced them with a different, much nicer shampoo and conditioner now for our current and future guests to enjoy.

Your comments are highly appreciated, we look forward welcoming you again to Matemwe!

Kind regards,
Marleen
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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195 reviews from our community

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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
    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 (44)
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VICTORIA
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2011

My husband and i stayed here Jan 2011 after Safari with Asilia properties through Tanzania (Sayari camp Olakira camp etc all fantastic with different things to offer) and although my review is late i would like to contribute because Matemwe is a beautiful peaceful place that truely deserves good reviews, the poverty and lack of education around this area is very sad so for the resort to be run so successfully without being too OTT is a testament that they are trying to respect the immediate surroundings, but cater to us who are lucky enough to go on expensive holidays. Yes there are the occasional power outings etc but if you come to Africa expecting first world luxuries every moment of the day then you shouldnt be here and you will miss what is truely special about this place. The beach is a public area but we loved that because you felt more immersed in the community as you would watch the fishermen head out every morning at dawn from your room on the cliffs, very special, and yes one reviewer put that there were fecies on the beach but that may have even been the local cows that wander around on the beachfront occasionally! It is Africa! The rooms are very down to earth, very clean but still have a very special vibe and at night the breeze flows through the rooms on the cliff top and its sooo peaceful. I would highly recommend this experience as it is in my heart always, we laid by the pool each day, ate great fresh food each day and just enjoyed the view. Matemwe contributes to the local community through differnt programmes to better the health and education of the people in the nearest villages and a portion of your stay does go to that charity, so even though some people think its expensive at the same time Asilia (who own Matemwe) is a company who gives back and tries to be as eco friendly as possible. There are no tv's, wifi is by the pool at the bar if you need but its truely an escape and makes you realise how lucky we all are. The staff are kind and accommodating they make the best Mojito's and you just may walk away from there a new and better person. :)

Room Tip: Do bring the bug repellent and stingo's there are creepy crawlys and bee's sometimes around...
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  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Kansas City, Missouri
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2011

Matemwe (some agents call it Matemwe Bungalows... this was confusing when searching on TA) for 4 nights- the first stop of our honeymoon.
Food - we are food geeks. All in all I was quite impressed relative to expectations. There was an abundance of produce and variety at each meal. At times the proteins were overcooked, and some items were bland but there were some real highlights...octopus stew, savory cheesecake and some dinners that were downright lovely. The view from the dining room is incomparable. The "Retreats" are also part of this resort... more expensive but removed from the ocean if you are worried about the wave noise.

Accommodations - as one other reviewer noted, the waves can be noisy and the bungalow always felt the impact of being in the midst of the salty ocean air... this is not the Maui Ritz with fancy sheets and air conditioning, BUT it was rustically charming. The view is amazing, watching sunsets from your private hammock, but bring ear plugs to dampen the sound of the crashing waves.

Activities- this is great for place to have a lazy/relaxing time. If you want to be more active, you are at the mercy of the tides. Check in early with the staff and find out the best time if you have your heart set on using the kayaks or reef walking or swimming. We did the "sand bar" excursion and it was one of the TOP highlights of our trip.

Staff- I found the staff to be quite attentive. The bartenders are slow everywhere in africa but you're on holiday... there is no rush. We ended up staying at 3 Asilia properties and would highly recommend them.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AsiliaAfrica, Direct Marketing Manager at Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa, responded to this review, October 14, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to write this review.

Matemwe Bungalows actually used to be our former name, but has changed to Matemwe Main Lodge not too long ago. This might have caused the confusion for you to find us. We are happy to hear you have enjoyed your stay with us and look forward welcoming you again another time!

Kind regards,
Marleen
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zanzibar, Tanzania
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2011

What a lovely place, no noise, no cars, no touts.
The beach is extraordinary with it's old fashion sailings boats and totally safe for the kids.
A very nice stay for discernings visitors.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2011

We were booked by a travel agent here for our honeymoon. The biggest problem is that, even though they market themselves as a beach resort, you can't go to the beach. The water is choppy, it's incredibly windy, and you have to swim around fishing boats. And you can't leave your stuff unattended on the beach and there's human feces on the beach so the water's not clean. Another big problem is that the waves crashed into the cliff adjacent to the bungalow at night so loudly we couldn't sleep. Another problem: the staff, with the exception of a couple people, was unattentive. We told them it was our honeymoon and they literally did nothing. Every other hotel we stayed in in Tanzania was amazing in that regard. We got special treatment from them in honor of our honeymoon. Not Matemwe. The pool is small and cold and it's so windy it's no fun to sit by it. And the food's mediocre. Don't stay here.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AsiliaAfrica, Marketing Manager at Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa, responded to this review, September 13, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to write this review. We are always striving to improve our levels of service & offerings, so we appreciate any review, whether positive or negative as it helps us grow.

Just on three points:

• The beach is public, like all beaches in Zanzibar. But for comfort and convenience, we sweep a portion of the beach daily (closest to the hotel) to reduce chances such as that you encountered. What you encountered was unfortunate, but it is the exception and not the rule. Our staff are have been made aware of this aspect and will be more vigilant to try and avoid this happening again.
• Thank you for the feedback on our staff attitude and food. We have been receiving positive feedback on this of late (see other reviews on Tripadvisor), but appreciate your perspective. We have taken your comments to heart and will endeavour to improve on it.
• Due to you checking out early with little warning we were unable to provide something special that we had planned for you.

A last point for potential guests who may be looking to visit us and are reading this review and response, is that sometimes a hotel and a particular guest just are not suited for whatever reason. Please feel free to direct questions or queries regarding this review, or any other, we will gladly answer it. We wish the guest who wrote this review well with their future travels and we hope to see new readers soon.

Best Regards,

Gordie Owles
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aldershot, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2011

Just back from a fantastic week in Matemwe after safari for our honeymoon. Truly excellent experience with a back to nature/ eco friendly feel. Resort features an exclusive feel (most days we only saw a couple of other guests) and beautiful gardens, pool area's and lagoon. Food and wine (mostly from S.Africa) were an unexpected highlight of the holiday and we looked forward to every meal which would not be out of place in a top city restaurant. Service and Staff were very friendly and helpful. Only drawback was the wind (we believe this is only relevant at this time of year) which was relatively strong when the tide was coming in, unfortunately due to the nature of the rooms you couldn't escape this even with shutters down - but please don't be put off by this, the positives out way this minor negative!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
cork
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2011

stayed here for a few nights recently and had a great time in the matemwe bungalows. the staff were all extremely friendly and helpful. the bungalow we stayed in was gorgeous and was cleaned thoroughly every night. there were lots of activities planned during the day, some free some you had to pay for. i really enjoyed the food, the changing menu and fantastic choice meant we looked forward to eating there every day!! the only thing negative we found about the stay was at night there wasn't much to do. we stayed in another lodge like this in fiji and there were different things to do most nights and it just meant that you didn't have only the bar as the only option at night. but other than that we really enjoyed it and would recommend it to our friends.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa

Address: Matemwe Village, Matemwe 3275, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Matemwe
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Matemwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa 5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Matemwe Main Lodge has twelve spacious, tastefully decorated and newly refurbished (May 2012) chalets, each featuring large verandas overlooking the Indian Ocean. Matemwe embodies the quintessential beach experience: a relaxing atmosphere, friendly and personable staff, massages, cocktails, swimming pools, lush tropical gardens and sumptuous cuisine – fresh seafood being the specialty. This gem on Zanzibar's main island offers privacy and seclusion and is the perfect destination to simply relax and unwind. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Matemwe Main Lodge, Asilia Africa Hotel Matemwe
Matemwe Bungalows
Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa Zanzibar

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