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“Superb diving and unforgettable snorkelling with whale sharks”
Review of Kinasi Lodge

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Kinasi Lodge
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Mafia Island
UK
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Superb diving and unforgettable snorkelling with whale sharks”
Reviewed March 12, 2011

We stayed at Kinasi Lodge for 4 nights at the end of a 3 week holiday in Kenya and Tanzania. The individual thatched rooms are spacious, clean and well appointed, although we did not find the bronze sinks to our taste. The bar/lounge area is comfy and relaxing, the pool is kept clean, and the food is very good with lots of fresh fish and seafood on the menu. The staff are very attentive and helpful. The transfer from the airport to the lodge takes only 15-20 minutes. There are quite a lot of mosquitos so take plenty of insect repellent with you - they turn up around 6pm each day, but the maid is very good and comes around to each room and sets up mosquito coils, the mosquito net around the bed, and sprays the room with insect repellent.

As keen scuba divers, we came here primarily for the diving and we were not disappointed. If I wasn't diving and able to see the underwater world I would probably be a little unhappy at paying USD20 per day just to stay within the marine park area. The dive times are dependent on the tides and you only dive at slack tide, so the dive times will vary during your stay. We only did one dive inside Chole Bay because the visibility and marine life is not as abundant as outside the Chole Bay. The Dindini Wall dives outside of the bay were fantastic. Lovely warm 29C water, good visibility, and lots to see - massive groupers, potato cod, turtles, stingrays, eagle rays and huge schools of sweetlips, snapper, trevally and other reef fish.

We sacrified 2 dives one morning to go snorkelling with whale sharks. The trip is organised by the lodge and costs USD50 per person, which is a bargain because it is worth every cent (and some!). The whale sharks congregate on the western coast (near the airport). We saw 6 whale sharks, up to 8-10m in length, and swimming alongside them was breathtaking, albeit hard work in the strong current plankton-rich water which the whale sharks were indulging on. A trip to Mafia Island is worth it for this alone.

I hope to go back to Mafia Island one day to do some more diving and I would definitely stay at Kinasi Lodge again.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Chris H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2011

Had a great stay here for 3 days on a recent trip around Tanzania and Zanzibar. Mafia Island is a really interesting place and quite different from other parts of Tanzania. You land on one of those really bumpy landing strips that you see in adventure films, and then go for about an hour's ride on an unmade road until you get to the National Park. You are made to feel very welcome at Kinasi which is owned and run by Peter and Antonella, and I had plenty of room in my bungalow for everything that I needed. The gold coloured sinks are really eye-catching too. Very nice pool area, a relaxed feeling at the resort and the staff are very willing.

If you go to Kinasi then you absolutely HAVE to go swimming with the whale sharks which you can arrange from the Lodge. It's amazing to see these massive but very gentle creatures swimming in the sea, and it's definitely a day that I'll never forget.

Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank damenaomineufeld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
edinburgh
Level 6 Contributor
174 reviews
86 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2011

I expected so much more from this resort. I thought it would be quite simple and rustic, instead it was dated ‘1970’s’ style. The beach area was beautiful, but if you wanted a drink you had to return all the way to the main hotel as there was no-one around offering this service. At the pool, the ‘Pool Bar and Grill’ was not open which again was an inconvenience. The food in general was of a very poor standard. Most of the time it was buffet style and things were always running out and you would have to wait 15/20 minutes for them to be replaced. In my opinion, having cold pasta in tomato sauce with salad for lunch on 2 days running does not warrant the £300 pricetag they charged us. The service was very slow in the restaurant, and the bar was only manned by 1 person, which in the evening was very frustrating. New Years Eve was a complete farce, dinner was to be served on the beach. This seemed like a nice idea, however when you have been sitting waiting from 7.30pm - 10.30pm when your main course is served cold, people just started leaving. They run out of clean wine glasses at 8pm. The management seemed to be having a nice time eating and drinking though, even although their guests were not. On 1 evening we were kept awake by very very loud music by a nearby village this went on till 4am and started again at 7am, we were advised that this is a regular occurance at the weekends. There appears to be no organisation to this hotel, which is a shame as it could be a lovely place. The only plus point of being here was the opportunity to swim with the Whale sharks, which was incredible and I would thoroughly recommend.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Fairmont123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Germany
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed December 27, 2010

Kinasi Lodge is an excellent place for a couple that is satisfied with spending a few relaxing days in a beautiful lodge with lots of trees, flowers, birds and squirrels (and even some bats). The bungalows are very nice (although they could be a bit larger), verandas are stunning with hammocks and nice views, bathrooms very good as well. We were pleased with the service, everyone was very forthcoming and helpful. The pool area is very beautiful as well. We booked a snorkelling trip through the lodge for a reasonable price ($30 for a half day trip including 'tented' lunch on a sand bank) and were impressed by the excellent guide and the effort undertaken to exceed our expectations. Generally the area is great for snorkelling. The lodge also rented out bikes and kayaks for free.

Overall all is well, just two qualifications:
(1) The hotel's own beach is not too nice; good enough to hang out for a while but not a dream beach that you would expect from an expensive hotel on a remote island. The otherwise much less appealing Mafia Island Lodge has a much nicer beach;
(2) The hotel is definitely not cheap; we were lucky to get a comparatively good deal as Tanzanian residents but the normal rack rate of >$400 per night seems a bit exaggerated to me. Of course the price is not unusual for Tanzania/Zanzibar upmarket tourist destinations and I think it is somehow justifiable by Mafia's remoteness and the resulting cost of providing 'Western' standards and food...

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Weltwohnen10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sedgefield, South Africa
1 review
Reviewed November 8, 2010

Kinasi is a wonderful getaway away from the crowds and mass-tourist destinations- beautiful setting and rooms (website photo's are truthful) lovely manager and staff, great location, privacy, slow relaxed atmoshere and pace and most importantly for the scuba divers - FANTASTIC diving and great dive team. We had a wonderful time and recommend it to any person who needs a break-away wanting to take life slowly (pole-pole) and likes outdoor activities. Thank you to all at Kinasi working so hard to make this possible.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank UteR8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 5, 2010

I spent several days in Kinasi Lodge and they were great, everything was perfect.
I really suggest Mafia Island and Kinasi hotel.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank PaoloMaff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barcelona, Spain
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 30, 2010

we had no idea it would be this good !! ... I'm a big fan of onlineresearch every time I travel and to be honest I was not impact by thephotos on the website however when we arrive there : oh my god what aplace!!! (was the first reaction)the athmosphere is relaxing, the rooms are perfect and the staffservice is the best we had in our 2 months during our safari inafrica.endless list of activities and the best beach I ever seen in my life(north Mafia Island)...I hope Kinasi and Mafia remains as it is and do not get ruined bymassive tourism like zanzibar nowadays.special mention to the chef Ali's: I used to wake up in the morningthinking about how was he going to surprise us : amazing, from thebreakfast until dinner (lobster catalana and swahili tinga tinga are amust)congratulations to all the staff and I will come back next februarywith my family.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank ASmallWorldTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kinasi Lodge

Property: Kinasi Lodge
Address: Kilindoni Road, Mafia Island EAT, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Pwani Region > Mafia Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Mafia Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kinasi Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kinasi Lodge is a boutique hotel on Mafia Island, approximately 100 km south of Dar es Salaam. A short ride across the island from the airport and the main town of Kilindoni, the lodge overlooks Chole Bay in Mafia Island Marine Park. This intimate and lovely resort, situated in an old cashew and coconut plantation, provides a luxury stay amidst stylish décor and magnificent natural surroundings of the protected marine park. The swimming pool is surrounded by verdant gardens with sunbeds and alfresco lunchtime seating on the pool terrace. To add refinement there is a wine cellar with a signature wine list and an outdoor pergola cocktail bar, a spa with expert Thai personnel providing aromatherapy, Thai massage and hydrotherapy and a host of leisure time options for those after-work periods. Everything about this elegant hotel - from design and furnishing to our food & beverage and staff service - is done with a passion for perfection. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kinasi Hotel Mafia Island

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