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“Fell in love with Mamamapambo” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mamamapambo Boutique Hotel

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Mamamapambo Boutique Hotel
P.O.Box 695, Jambiani, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Jambiani
Budapest, Hungary
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Fell in love with Mamamapambo”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

Having spent one week at Mamamapambo, we fell in love with this wonderful boutique hotel.
The place itself is already immaculate, but when you add the hospitality of Fabio and Stefania and the atmosphere they create - it's simply the best.
You wake up in a beautiful, stylish room, have a perfect breakfast with fresh, home-made pastries and then whatever you feel up to: Fabio will explain with his wonderful Italian accent what he suggests to do.
Sometimes we went out for lunch and dinner but the food at the hotel was so much better. Whenever back in Zanzibar, we wouldn't go anywhere else.
Tip: Don't miss out the sand bank in the middle of the Ocean just 15 minutes walk from the hotel in low tide!

Room Tip: All of them are great, we had the one in the first floor with private sitting area and a nice view o...
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  • Stayed January 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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158 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (40)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I stayed here for a week of relaxation following our self-drive safari in Tanzania. We absolutely loved our stay at Mamamapambo. It's a beautiful guest house with really spacious and tastefully decorated rooms. We didn't have a beach front room, but we had a decking area which overlooked the village which was interesting in itself. The rooms are not brightly lit but they are spotlessly clean so you need not worry about any bugs in dark corners! The rooms are cleaned daily. The bathroom is massive and you also get a little walk-in wardrobe with enough coat hangers! So you can completely unpack and get on with the business of relaxing.

A lot has already been said about Fabio & Stephania who are indeed great hosts and deserve every bit of credit. They built the place from scratch and have put a lot of love into it. However in addition to this they have trained an excellent team of staff who work tirelessly and discretely to ensure you are well looked after. Every single person is charming and takes great pride in his/her work and this attention to detail is what makes Mamamapambo such a fantastic place to stay.

Take time to investigate the surroundings and meet the locals. They are all very friendly, we even got chatting to a seaweed farmer who ended up showing us his farm and let us try a bit of seaweed farming! Don't be uptight with the beach sellers, they are just doing their thing and won't take offence if you don't buy/book something. Just enjoy the banter! The local children are always up for a game of football or volleyball or English/Swahili conversation practice. They soon abandon the "Jambo pen?" "Jambo pencil?" "Jambo 1 dollar?" mantra when you actually engage and play with them!

Do visit the resort down by the jetty to use their beautiful pool, you only need to order a drink and can stay as long as you like. The service there is also great.

Fabio arranged for us to go snorkelling with local fishermen on a traditional boat, they took us to a lovely reef not far from the guest house where we saw lots of interesting marine life.

We really enjoyed our stay in Jambiani, it's a very special place for warming your soul. It's not as commercially sanitised for tourism as other parts of the island. I hope it stays that way as that's what makes it so incredibly charming.

(One thing is be careful of your feet on the beach, it's tidal and sometimes glass or metal gets washed ashore so just look where you're going).

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 4 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reykjavik
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

My husband and I just spent two weeks at Mamamapambo and to be completely honest, this is a wonderful place! All the good reviews here on tripadvisor are very true. We have been backpacking around Africa for a few months and decided to treat our selfs by staying at a nice place around Christmas. We chose Mamamapambo because of the good reviews here and we do not regret it. Fabio and Stefania are the best hosts, warm and welcoming, and very helpful. We miss them already! The place is so beautifully decorated, the rooms are huge and comfortable and every little detail is thought of. We also thought the price was very fair for the quality. The food is delicious and breakfast (which is included) is very good and filling. We have nothing negative to say about Mamamapambo.
Thank you Fabio and Stefania!

Room Tip: Rooms facing the beach are a bit quieter and have a lovely porch.
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  • Stayed December 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Région De Bruxelles-Capitale, Belgium
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2012

We stayed in this place for a week in August 2012. We did some research beforehand and decided to stay on Jambiani beach. We then came across this little boutique hotel. I can only say that we were so lucky to have found this place and to have been able to stay there. The place is just amazing. It's no ordinary place. The rooms are all special and nicely designed, each piece of furniture and decoration in the room is well thought through and tasteful. The rooms are big and very comfortable. The food they offer is of superb quality. We travelled quite a bit in Tanzania and we can honestly say that the quality of the rooms, the food and the price is a good value for money. It's not the cheapest, but it's fair for what you get in return. We did not stay in a room with a sea view, but it didn't matter at all because the beach is just there as you step out of the room and there's a little terrace area just facing the sea where you can relax and enjoy the sun without even leaving the hotel premises. Lastly, we would like to mention that the hosts were super welcoming and helpful throughout our stay. They really made us feel welcomed and like part of their life there :-) We wish to go back there someday. So anyone thinking of where to stay in Zanzibar, we recommend first of all to stay away from parts of the island that are filled with big tourist resorts and to go with something a lot more special and closer to local life like the Jambiani beach, and secondly to stay in Mamamapambo. You won't regret it!

  • Stayed August 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.
Munich, Germany
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

What a treat to stay here! The Mamamapambo in Jambiani is a lovely little hotel, artfully designed by the owner Stefania. Both Italian owners, Fabio and Stefania, make you feel like staying with friends and help you out with anything you need. We spent almost a week there and enjoyed every single day, either on the patio, in the garden or in the beautiful little restaurant. The rooms are spatious, with great views, big brand-new bathrooms and that certain something. If you go to Jambiani, Mamamapambo is first choice!

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Brussels
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2012

Excellent value small boutique hotel on a divine, unspoilt and 'local' beach on Zanzibar's East Coast . Great place to relax and unwind. I agree with the other favourable comments regarding the rooms - No 4 being one of the best. Owners and staff very friendly and helpful. Overall a very relaxed and informal ambience and excellent value. A couple of downsides for us - smoking is permitted and because the 'living/eating area is relatively compact, as non smokers, it was noticeable. Food is good but there is better a few minutes walk down the beach i.e The Sale and Pepe - is more than a wifi/internet cafe - great food and helpful staff.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Belgium
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
127 helpful votes 127 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

Great small scale hotel with with very good food, only 5 rooms and located in a very pleasant village where you can sit on your veranda and see the daily life go by.
Below my experience and view on our stay at Mamamapambo and Zanzibar ...
A bit of a list but hope you find it useful :)

- Rooms at Mamamapambo
I had the room on the first floor with sea view, a huge veranda to chill out and big bathroom with good working warm water and good water pressure. Decoration and style was absolutely charming. This room and the 2 sea view rooms on the ground floor are the best.
At low tide you can see daily life of the locals, the women harvesting sea weed, people hunting for octopus and kids playing soccer on the beach.

- The Food at Mamamapambo
Some unusual combinations but excellent. One day Fabio bought a fresh tuna and we had Tuna Carpaccio with fresh passion fruit for dinner; delicious!
Around noon the menu of the evening is written on the board and you can decide you eat in or go elsewhere. (We ate in many times :)
Breakfast was good with fresh fruit, pastries and eggs or pancakes of choice which the friendly staff will prepare for you.

- The Village
Long and stretched (about 6km). From the hotel you can walk south following the beach when it is hot and end afternoon when it is a bit cooler walk back via the village.
There weren't a lot of sellers on the beach in Jambiani and the few we saw were friendly and we had a nice chat (even we didn't buy anything).

There are some initiatives to clean the beach and village and I found Jambiani cleaner than some other villages we visited...
There is a school and clinic. We visited the school and the teacher gave us a tour. We donated some money and we brought school materials (pens, pencils, note blocks, etc) which really, really they can use....
Overall felt at ease in Jambiani.

- Changing Money
For excursions you can pay in USD or EUR. Restaurants & Cafe's mostly take Tanzanian Schilling (but you get a long way with dollar bills anywhere.)
Fabio can help out changing money if he has available and there is a supermarket in the next village Paje that changes money. There are no ATMs so bring some cash with you... Note that when we changed money at the supermarket they only had change for 80 USD.
Easiest is to change USD or EUR when you arrive at the airport.

TIP: in all currencies, make sure you have some small notes; useful for tipping and they may not have cash back from large dollar notes...

- Excursions & day trips
Fabio can arrange trips for you with help of a local tourist guide.
We choose to go snorkeling and see the mangrove forest (did the snorkeling twice!).

Duwa the guide picked us up around 9 am and drove us to the village of Matemwe. There a boat brought us to the Blue Lagoon; a coral reef which was absolutely amazing. As we did this trip twice, Duwa arranged a typical Dhow sailing boat the second time.
Then we headed off to see the Mangrove forest where they prepared a huge huge fruit lunch.
After we visited the Mangrove Forest, Duwa brought us to a place called Kae Funk, which was the coolest chilled rasta place ever along a beautiful remote beach. We went back here the next day for the sunset party which was a blast!
After Kae Funk we went back to Matemwe as we wanted to have a drink at the 'famous' Rock Cafe (see photo attached), bit pricy here but a good tick in the box.
We paid 30 Euro pp for this. (prices are a bit fluctuating.....)

- Please Do
Take a flashlight with you.... once it gets dark there is no street lighting. Plus in Zanzibar power outage is not uncommon. Our little flash lights were very helpful in many occasions

Wear a T-shirt when snorkeling! Even I am half Asian and put on factor 30, I got grilled...

Bring a straw hat to protect you for the sun... I didn't see any to buy in Jambiani...

If you have spare space in your suitcase, fill it up with useful stuff for the local school for example.


- What to Buy
The souvenirs are pretty much the same in the shops.
We did find that the souvenir shop in Paje (next to the supermarket) and on the beach at Dongwe (near the snorkeling place Blue Lagoon), started with much much better prices then the shops in Stone Town. In any case, always bargain...

We bought some wood statues and nice fabric with colorful prints (great for i.e. table cloths)
Also good African Instant coffee.

The last day of our holiday we stayed in Stone Town. Not only the prices were much higher than around Jambiani for souvenirs, but we were hassled every 5 minutes to buy something (souvenirs, boat trips, taxi, etc).
Jambiani and the south east coast is definitely more relaxed...

- Restaurants & Cafe's
Right Next to the hotel there is a nice chill cafe with decent cold white wine and a great terrace.
Great to chill in the evening if you want to change from the Hotel but don't want to go far.

Sea Horse restaurant
About 5-10 minutes south on the beach had great food and charming owner. Great coconut crusted fish. Walk by to order around 5pm to eat around 8pm.
They don't serve alcohol though.

Equinox
A bit further south on the beach you will see a fallen tree. Written on it Captain Cook's Equinox restaurant. The cook will often sit on this tree to explain you the dishes he serves.
The restaurant itself is in the village and super super basic, but def has its charms!
The cook will show you his guest book to convince you.

- Internet:
There is an internet cafe called Sale & Pepe in a few minutes walk from the hotel south.
My Iphone worked fine as well on 3G at the hotel.

Again... a bit of a list but hopefully some useful info :)
I fully agree with the positive feedback of the other reviewers.

As there are already many great photos of the hotel, I will attach some of the trips and area.

  • Stayed December 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mamamapambo Boutique Hotel

Address: P.O.Box 695, Jambiani, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Jambiani
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Jambiani
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 6
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Mamamapambo Boutique Hotel Zanzibar/Jambiani

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