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“Too Short of a Stay!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge & Spa

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Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge & Spa
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Bububu
Certificate of Excellence
DC
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Too Short of a Stay!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2011

After several days in a bumpy car in the Seregeti for safari drives, we had a great stay at Hakuna Matata. At first when you drive off the road towards the resort, we were nervous because you have drive through some slums, but the resort ended up being beautiful and very private. The food was delicious and the staff was very friendly. We are not German, but the resort is very popular with Germans, but they spoke English perfectly and we did not feel out of place.

As other reviews indicate, the views are great, but the swimming options are limited. The resort is not located on the famous beach portion of the island - so we did not get to experience the white sands and beautiful beaches that Zanzibar is famous for. We did have an opportunity to check out the market downtown, which was disappointing for tourists because they only sell practical goods for locals.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 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
Helpful?
1 Thank aquaguy6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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459 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Utrecht
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2011

We started our 4 weeks of Tanzania with a few days at the Hakuna Matata lodge to lose the stress of work a bit. We arrived very late and were picked up from the airport and arrived in a nice and comfortable room. The beach looks very nice, but isn't a very good swimming spot (we knew this and don't care too much about swimming). The pool is good and clean and the grounds in general are a beautiful surrounding. There are several cosy, exotic spots where you can retreat to read or just sit and look around. The staff was friendly and the food was good.

The lodge is situated at about 2km from the main road. This road is quite bad and it takes about 20 minutes walking through Bububu to the main road. There, you can easily hop on a local bus to Stone Town (which can be crowded). This is all safe during daytime. Taxis will take you back from Stone Town to the lodge. So while Hakuna Matata is a good basecamp for visiting Stone Town, it will either be through the hotels tour operator (rather expensive) or involve some walking.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TeunD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2011

For our Zanzibar honeymoon, we decided for our first few nights to be at the Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge. I really wanted to impress her with a room in their honeymoon suite that looked over the water. Our trip for October was booked in March with confirmation for the honeymoon suite. You can only understand our surprise when they put us in a "regular suite." They had no record of our booking the Honeymoon suite and luckily I had saved the email from 6 months ago telling me of our booking.

Rath, the manager had felt so bad over this mishap and compensated us very well. In truth, it was not about the money as much as we flew halfway across the globe for our honeymoon to stay as "2nd class" guests at such a wonderful hotel. We were very grateful for Rath giving us his personal attention for our three nights that we stayed there. However, our last night there, Rose, the owner stops by our table for dinner and without introducing herself or apologizing, she states that she just got back in and confirmed our departure the next day. My wife and I had never felt so alienated. Then she proceeded to come back over and talk to us in German the next morning(as it wasn't already obvious that we were the only Americans at the place).

Truth be told, we just did not want to spend a honeymoon day driving around Zanzibar trying to find a new place. I have a feeling that had Rose been present on the day of our arrival and mishap, she would not have compensated us any. Rath and the rest of the staff were so nice to us, that it was no point in being upset and we were happy just making the best of the situation. Beware, just because Hakuna Matata says that you have a particular room, does not neccessarily mean you have that room booked.

Room Tip: It helps to speak German. The people who ended up getting the Honeymoon suite that we booked were f...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Incorporeal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heidelberg, Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2011

This hotel (which is pretty close to Stone Town) and it's staff were fantastic, friendly, and very helpful! What made this place even more outstanding was the food - we read it was the best on the island, and my wife and I can confirm this (we had the pleasure to eat here for 10 days - far too little time)! Literally everything was made fresh - and you could really taste the quality! While the beaches on the other side of the island are a bit prettier (because of the finer, white sand), this place is by far more relaxing, quiet, not over-run by the many hotels on the other beaches, has a nice pool and private beach, and the food!! They also had a really nice spa and great cocktails! We found visiting other parts of the island with a driver and coming back here was ideal. We can also really recommend the private sandbank trip - this was a great experience (both for the snorkeling and the decadence)! Thanks for the amazing honeymoon - Rose, Fritz, and Rath - you've got an amazing place (and great staff - please say hi to them from us too!) and we'll never forget the time we spent here! We really appreciated all the conversations and stories we had with you all. We could not have wished a more perfect, private holiday beach lodge!

Room Tip: We think all of the lodges would be nice, but we really enjoyed having the space in the 'superio...
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  • Stayed June 2011, 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
Helpful?
1 Thank Michael K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2011

Came to Hakuna Mata after a bad experience at a hotel on the east coast of the island. I was picked up by their driver promptly at my hotel. The driver was friendly and full of great stories. Was greeted at the hotel by the General Manager, Rath, treated to a welcome drink and given a detailed orientation to the hotel, meals and possible tours.
The grounds are beautiful, the staff is friendly. I was greeted by name and asked how everything was going each and every time I saw Rath or the owners, Fritz and Rose. You are given a cell phone with the important hotel numbers programmed in, in case you need to contact the hotel at anytime, for a ride, etc while you are out exploring the island. What a great feeling of security!
The rooms are beautiful, each with a private veranda. Airconditioning. The pillows were really lumpy though!
The food was delicious. Keep in mind there is no choices for dinner. There is just one entree.Enjoyed one dinner of traditional Swahili food which was served for all the hotel guests at one large table. Very fun to talk and get to know everyone, even though I was the only non-German staying at the hotel that night.
Also, they want payment in cash - U.S. dollars, Euros or Tanzanian schillings. Since I was not prepared for this I was told the driver would stop at an ATM for me on the way back from my tour of Stone Town. I was not able to withdraw enough cash in one transaction to pay my bill. I was a little worried, but I was assured by Rath that this was not a problem - I could stop again at the ATM on my way to the airport and give the payment to the driver. That is trust you don't see in the U.S!
It was like staying with family. Thanks for the wonderful stay!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • 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
Helpful?
1 Thank ph0enix4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leipzig, Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2011

Thank you for this nice trip. the Lodge is very quiet, clean and beautiful. Although a cute donkey family live on it. The Food was every time a special experience which we never have before. It was awesome & wonderful. Thanks you !

  • Stayed July 2011, 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
Helpful?
2 Thank Steffanie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2011

We spent 3 nights here after our Kili climb and safari. We were tired and excited to relax on the beach and eat some good food. Rath, Rose, Fritz and the whole HM team were absolutely amazing and we LOVED this place. The rooms are wonderful, the environment extremely relaxing, and the beach is beautiful. Really nice pool as well. The snorkeling isn't very good right there, but still great swimming and they will set up a snorkeling trip for you to get to some good stuff. Seriously, well worth the money and a highlight of our time in Tanzania.

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 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
Helpful?
2 Thank Bittle74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge & Spa

Property: Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge & Spa
Address: Chuini Ruins, Bububu, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Bububu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Bububu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge & Spa. Located on the west coast of the exotic island Zanzibar under shady age-old mango trees, bordered by a secret private bay you will find our 4 star hotel Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge & Spa. Our beach hotel offers 13 comfortable bungalows - all with a spectacular view to of Indian Ocean. The new Villa Zanzibar is the highlight of all bungalows. Weddings and honeymoons - are you are looking for a romantic place to get married under palm trees, on the beach or next to historical palace ruins? Here, your dreams will come true. In our unique Day Spa you may revitalize your body and soul. Enjoy the breathtaking African sunsets. Let your eyes wander to the south, see the skyline of Stone Town, the small Chapwani and Prison Island, and just ahead the silhouette of the African continent. You will feel enchanted. The hotel is managed by the German owners Rose and Fritz. We are looking forward to welcoming you soon. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hakuna Matata Beach Hotel Bububu
Hakuna Matata Beach Bububu
Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge & Spa Zanzibar Island/Bububu

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