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All reviewsday bedeach eveningmafia island divingchole islandseafooddive centreearly morning coffeesunset cruisehomemade breadthe restaurant bar areaeco luxurydifferent activitiesfree excursionnice balconypeaceful environmentcoffee deliveredlocal ingredients
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Reviewed September 23, 2012 via mobile

Pole Pole has a wonderful quiet natural environment.Rooms are superb as is the food.You can walk a little way at low tide along the beach but if you are looking for a long sandy beach it would be better to go else where.That said,Pole Pole is an excellent place to go for a few days and relax.The staff are extremely helpful...the only quibble we had was at times we felt that the Italian and British managers acted more as if they were there on holiday as well eating with friends and relatives in the restaurant rather than being a more subtle presence.

  • Stayed: August 2012
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Thank NorthumberlandDan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PolePoleMafiaIsland, Owner at Pole Pole Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded November 8, 2012

We'd like to express our heartfelt thanks to our clients for their great review that reflects the very favorable feedback they left at the hotel. In particular we are delighted they appreciated our cuisine and the friendliness of our staff, two things we take particular pride in.

We just wanted to take this opportunity to comment the impression they received of our managers.

At Pole Pole, we offer our clients a more intimate dining atmosphere at individual tables, compared to what they may experience in the bush where many camps only offer communal tables at meals.

Just to clarify, the management doesn't usually eat with clients except in particular cases. At time these clients stayed with us, we had the exceptional circumstance of a solo traveler who invited the Pole Pole family and other staff to dine with her on two occasions, and this probably accounts for the holiday-like atmosphere.

We are sorry if this put out our guests in any way, and we look forward to having them to stay again to enjoy their favourite home made ice creams!

With best wishes and thanks from the entire Pole Pole team.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2012

I simply loved the peace and quiet of Pole Pole. Great customer care and fantastic menu that changes every day. If you are a vegetarian or a meat lover - better specify this before your trip though (while you are booking), because the menu is mainly based on seafood and catch of the day. Home made cookies for my early morning tea time on the verandah overlooking the sea were truly special.

Room Tip: no A/C and no TV. this is an eco lodge. nights can be noisy because of bush-babies hopping around. Take mosquito repellents.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Amy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2012

I stayed for four nights at Pole Pole in August 2012 after a busy week of work in Dar. This place was just what I needed. Quiet and comfortable - I felt right at home.

The staff was on time to greet me at the airport and after a fun ride in an open truck we arrived at the hotel. I was again greeted by more friendly staff who, over delicious coconut water, told me about the hotel and asked me some of my preferences. My bungalow was clean and the picture of island life, in my opinion. The outsides and roof are covered in woven palm fronds while the inside is all open to the roof with screens to keep out any unwanted intruders. All the beds have mosquito nets that are put down every evening with the turn-down service and put up every morning. The porches all have day beds with nets as well so you can relax, read or take a nap. This is where I spent much of my time reading and listening to the small crashing waves.

The food was excellent for my taste. Mostly seafood. I tried a few things I had never had before. They were very aware of my likes/dislikes and were accommodating. Breakfast always started with fresh fruit which was fabulous. And their coconut sorbet one night was to die for. I asked for seconds and thankfully they had enough. I loved that water was always included as well as laundry service.

I didn't do many excursions as I just wanted to sit and relax, but I did get a cultural tour of the town with one of the staff who was also a local. It was a lot of fun to walk around the village with him and even got to meet his family. I ended by swinging by some of the local vendors and picking up some local art and a pair of sandals. I also walked up and down the beach during low tide and loved looking at the shells and marine life exposed during this time. Note that you need to wear water sandals for this as you can easily cut your foot on the things buried in the wet sand. The tide went in and out pretty quickly, on a six-hour cycle I believe. This made the time when they actually have sand on the beach short, but I was able to lay on the loungers in the shade and read after my walks. When the tide came in, I'd simply move to the pool and continue.

I also received a massage while I was there which was nice. The massage room was an open cabana with sheer drapes. It was wonderful to be outside but inside at the same time and feel the warm breeze during my massage.

Internet was sometimes hard to get at reception, but I was there to unplug (except needing to print boarding passes and check email a couple times) so I wasn't too concerned. The staff was all so friendly, warm and accommodating. Anything I needed help with they would take care of it right away. It was so nice.

My only wish is that I lived closer so I could visit Pole Pole more frequently. I do hope to make it back several times in my lifetime.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Lauren B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2012

Have just returned from a trip to Africa including a 3 night stay at Pole Pole - Mafia Island Tanzania - wow - what an experience! The Location, accommodation, staff and service are all excellent - we had a fabulous time - the diving was great and we would recomend it to anyone looking for an exceptional stay in a very friendly, quiet, unspoilt part of Tanzania with the perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy the real luxury of Africa and plenty of diving. Thanks to all at Pole Pole - we hope to return at some stage.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank J K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2012

We stayed 7 nights at Pole Pole in July 2012 and enjoyed every single minute. This place is extremely remote, away from the busy roads and resorts you tend to find in Zanzibar. It's indeed the real African atmosphere you find. Extremely friendly staff, very good kitchen, relax beach, great diving spots, turtle hatching, friendly and very African village nearby.
The few rooms makes you feel like you are on your own and have all the great service and activities for yourselves.
Lots of things to do, but no pressure. Well organised with focus on details. This is the place where you are treated as a guest, not as a 'tourist'.
Read the other reviews, and I can only agree with the positive reactions. Highly recommended. Thanks all at Pole Pole.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Pieter S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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