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“Idyllic!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Matemwe Retreat, Zanzibar, Asilia Africa

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Matemwe Retreat, Zanzibar, Asilia Africa
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Matemwe, Zanzibar, Matemwe, Tanzania   |  
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up to 40% off | $400 pppn
Oxford
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Idyllic!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2010

My wife and I have just returned from Zanzibar where we finished a great trip to the Masai Mari on Safari with 5 nights at Matemwe Retreat. We stayed in ZamZam and Daniel was our butler for the stay, both were perfect. The Retreats are large and very well equipped with everything from a double hammock on the large terrace (great for shade from the hot sun), a massive comofrtable bed, a huge bathroom with bath over looking the Ocean, through to the secluded sun terrace with plunge pool on the roof.

When we were in Zanzibar, the Island was still suffering from no mains electric supply which had been out of service for about 4 months. Despite this, we had full electric supply as a result of the generators Matemwe had installed.

All of the staff at Matemwe (the Lodge and the Retreat) were friendly, helpful and fun. Nothing was too much trouble and we had some great times. Snorkling off Mnemba Atoll was magnificent, which included diving into the Ocean and swimming with a passing team of dolphins.

We have no hesitation in recommending Matemwe Retreat as a perfect location for a relaxed, intimate, luxury holiday away from it all.

  • Stayed February 2010, 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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85 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 (25)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, UK
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2009

We had 4 incredible days in our private villa, complete with sun-deck and plunge pool over looking the indian ocean, being totally pampered by the fantastic staff.
The villa itself was superb, the view from the bed was sensational and then there were little touches everywhere that showed that genuine care had been shown in the design. The bathroom was huge, with the bath looking out across the sea; the sun-deck was perfect for lazing around with a book and the fridge was never short of beers and wine.
But the highlight was Simon our butler who was so attentive and willing to help that it really made the holiday. He served us some incredible food - try the rock lobster - but was happy to bring us anything we could want for.
I would also highly recommend the snorkelling trip which was better than some of the diving I have done. We did a day diving and were lucky enough to swim with dolphins which are common around the area.
The feeling of remoteness was brilliant and as a getaway resort this place absolutely fitted the bill. The location is enough but the friendliness of the staff made this an unforgettable holiday.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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hamburg
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2009

We spent a wonderful week in Matemwe Bungalows. The Retreat was overwhelming. Plenty of space, natural cosy furniture, such a perfect service (asante sana to Simon) and fabulous food.
The manager couple Ingo & Sabine anticipate every wish. Their professionalism mixed with humour and cordiality could be perceived all over the place. Keep it up!
An absolutely amazing experience was the Sandbank trip… snorkelling in the ocean aquarium, swimming with dolphins, picnic on a Sandbank and all day long surrounded from the azure-blue ocean… when dreams come true….

We will never ever forget this holiday
Kwa heri!

Max & Carolin

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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UK
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2009

We endorse all the superlatives in the other reviews. A truly fantastic experience. We unwound completely over five days and were very well looked after by John in Zam Zam.
For the reviewer who says "if you like rats", you are completely mistaken. They are bush babies i.e. primates like you and me. One even came onto the deck to eat some nuts as we had dinner, a memorable experience. This is Africa and they have wildlife. Please do not malign a place because you are misinformed.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Watford
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2009

My husband and I have just returned from a truely magical stay at the Matemwe Retreat. The drive there is a real roller coaster ride as there are no proper roads into the village and the resort so if you suffer from back problems, take plenty of painkillers! We arrived hot and tired and were greeted with cold face towels and a refreshing fresh cocounut drink. All the staff were warm and welcoming from the gardener to the owners. We were taken to our villa by John our Butler who was wonderful througout our stay. After being shown around we were allowed to take in the spectacular view from our veranda. The location of the bedroom and bathroom meant that you looked out over the ocean when you wake up and when having a bath. A dining table for 2 in the corner meant that we enjoyed the same view for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We had our own private bar and fridge which was constantly kept stocked with wine, spirits, beer and soft drinks by John (all included in the price). The rooms were large and airy, furnished with antiques and reclaimed timber and inkeeping with the island. We had to pinch our selves throughout the holiday to how lucky we were. You even get your own private bit of beach. The sand was like white powder and the clear aqua water and reef meant we had great snorkelling and could walk right out - but be aware of the sea urchins - there were thousands. Dodging them was the best aqua aerobics workout we ever had! But don't let this put you off, the fish were beautiful. The food was of excellent quality both in our villa and at the BBQ and last night when we ventured to the main part of the hotel to mix with the other guests. You really don't need to see a sole as all meals can be taken in your villa. The walk to the Retreats takes time and you have to negotiate a staircase so not the best if you suffer from bad knees but this is the price you pay for seclusion. The owners Sabine and Igor bent over backwards to ensure we had a truley amazing stay, even to the point of getting supplies of my favourite Tomato and Chilli jam and the chef cooking me up a batch of his delicious chiili sauce to take home in a large jar. We went on 2 trips - Spice Tour and Jozani Forest. Both private tours organised by the hotel and we had the most amazing guide from Island Tours called Khasim. We were given the history of Zanzibar and on the spice tour he could even tell us the medicinal uses of all the fruit and spices we saw. The man was truley a font of knowledge. You also get Bush Babies, which if you leave friut and cakes for them come onto your veranda. The hotel also takes an active part in the community, with proceeds from certain things going to maintain the local school etc. If you are looking for night life this is not the place for you. There is intermittent wi fi access, no radios or tv's in the villa's. My husband has a stressfull job and he said it was the first time in 12 years that he had felt truely relaxed. We will definately be going back again, we can't recommend it highly enough.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bulgaria
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2009

While the roads to Matemwe retreat may be a bit scary for what may come, the actual retreat truly puts you in another place in the world. Upon arrival at Matemwe Retreat we were greeted by the butler Paul who was professional and took care of all our wishes. We had a quick look at the Bungalow area and truly I would recommend the Retreat only. The villa at the retreat is truly unique and we enjoyed it thoroughly during our two night stay. The service provided by Paul was top notch. As your private butler he truly takes care of all your needs and is the only staff member you deal with during your stay. He provides all your food and beverage needs and keeps “his” room in top shape. We truly noticed that he considered it his own in the way he was keeping the unit up to standards. As a value for money this location deserves the highest rating in my opinion. This location truly is a great “retreat” and I highly recommend it as a truly Romantic stop.
Dont go to this location for the beach though. You have a great view on Mnemba and the ocean from your second floor, while enjoying a drink in your own private pool. In the evening we saw the stars from the top level in a way never enjoyed before. Enjoy it!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Belgium
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2008

We booked the Retreat for a long weekend romantic getaway and we totally loved it.

We had seen quite some of the lodges on Zanzibar before but this was absolutely the perfect place.

The villa we stayed in, Zam Zam, has a perfect view of the ocean and the island of Mnemba. The beautiful palm trees, white sand and the blue sea give you the feeling of absolute tropical remoteness. We could just sit for hours looking at the sea, enjoying the cool breeze through our hairs (and a bottle of white wine).

Our private butler provided us with just everything we were feeling hungry for: full english breakfasts, delicious sea-food for lunch and excellent afternoon snacks. There is no menu at the Retreat: just order what you like and they will prepare it! On the last night we felt like a bit of everything - so we got a big plate of fish, soft chicken and tender beef!

Our waiter made us feel like absolute royalties - we were served very discretely and always very quickly. At various hotels and lodges we have witnessed great customer care but at Matemwe Retreat it was of another level.

The room, or actually the small villa, has two stories. On the ground floor, there is the terrace with a private refridgerator and the beautiful bedroom. Also there is a huge bathroom with an open shower and bathtub overlooking the ocean (when we came back from a stroll along the beach, the bathtub was filled with hot water, bath salts and some flowers). On the top floor, you have your own private plungepool with great views and a lounge-area to chill or have an afternoon nap.

Also at Matemwe they offer a whole range of activities like canoeing, village walks, diving etc. However, we only managed to get out of our villa once to do a small walk - we just did not want to leave the place! Absolutely fabulous.

  • Liked — Service, peace and food
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Matemwe Retreat, Zanzibar, Asilia Africa

Address: Matemwe, Zanzibar, Matemwe, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Matemwe
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Matemwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Matemwe Retreat, Zanzibar, Asilia Africa 5*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Matemwe Retreat's rooms are extremely spacious and beautifully decorated. A private deck and plunge pool allows for uninterrupted relaxation, with only the palm trees for company. Service at the Retreat is organized in such a way that guests need never leave their room. A private butler caters to every whim and the chef stops by every morning to discuss the meal choices for the day, which are served on the large verandas overlooking the Indian Ocean. Guests are free to wander down to the main lodge, enjoy the delicious cuisine or join fellow patrons for sundowner cocktails. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Matemwe Retreat, Asilia Africa Hotel Matemwe
Matemwe Retreat, Zanzibar, Asilia Africa

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