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“Peace and Quiet”

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Pole Pole Bungalows
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Mafia Island
Certificate of Excellence
Southlake, Texas
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Peace and Quiet”
Reviewed September 27, 2013

Pole Pole was just what we needed after Kilimanjaro and safaris! Peaceful, relaxing setting, friendly and helpful staff, wonderful lodges with great views. We enjoyed snorkeling, and lovely dowh sailing to near by islands for a swim in the blue lagoon and a history lesson on slave trade. Don't miss seeing the hundreds of large fruit bats hanging in the trees of Chole Island just across Chole Bay. I enjoyed a walk with Hassan through the neighboring village, he showed me where and how the local people "make" salt.

Room Tip: We stayed and room #5 and thought we had one of the best views
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank WeiteWelt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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240 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2013 via mobile

Thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Pole Pole. Beautiful surroundings and great customer service. The lodges were private with open views onto the beach. Coffee in bed to the sound of the palm trees is my idea of heaven. Great food and excellent management. Met all our family needs, wish we could have stayed longer.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Melanie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 11, 2013

Pole Pole Bungalows far exceeded all my expectations (and these were very high): the location is beautiful and peaceful, with bungalows overlooking Chole Bay surrounded by palm and mangrove trees; the bungalows are comfortable and full of subtly elegant touches; the food was superb; and the staff are welcoming, friendly and professional. I was travelling alone and felt completely at ease straight away. Special thanks to Sarah and Lorenzo for their warm hospitality! I went to Mafia Island principally to dive and to unwind and got exactly what I came for - there's an excellent dive centre just 10 minutes down the beach; and Pole Pole is the perfect place to stay if you want peace and quiet. I hope to return one day soon and I would strongly recommend Pole Pole and Mafia Island to all travellers who appreciate understated style and luxury.

Room Tip: Bungalows 5, 6 and 7 are more private
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank MarianneBrun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, NC
Level Contributor
31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed April 4, 2013

This was my first trip to Mafia Island and I was traveling alone. I was overwhelmingly pleased with Pole Pole. The staff immediately put me at ease, greeting me with a festive coconut beverage and whisking my luggage to a beautiful bungalow. The bungalows are amazing! Each one thoughtfully designed, privately situated, and has a lovely view of the island foliage and water. The meals were AMAZING - fresh, healthy, and well presented with perfect service. The beach and pool areas are both lovely. The massages are absolutely amazing, the complementary morning in-room coffee service, and evening in-room drink service are divine. A short walk down the beautiful beach is a truly top shelf scuba diving facility, which Pole Pole can arrange for you. The small gift shop features locally made, fair trade crafts. I hope to return to Pole Pole again soon.

Room Tip: All bungalows are fantastic. It is impossible to choose a bad one. I stayed in bungalow 2 and was...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank LLZ_NC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed April 1, 2013

After a long, hard-working winter, we were looking for something that would take us out of ourselves, dispel the winter blues and allow us to completely relax. Mafia Island and Pole Pole gave us all that. It was a magical, away from it all, utterly enchanting place that allowed us to leave the daily grind behind and be taken over by the warm beauty of this special location. Pole Pole is a comfortable, sophisticated lodge which just lends itself to the area. The bungalows have lovely views over Chole Bay, as do the bar and restaurant areas.

The whole thing is presided over by Enrico, the charming manager, and Charlotte who must rank as one of the most welcoming and wonderful hosts ever. Full of infectious energy, enthusiasm and attention to detail, she went out of her way to make our stay there perfect. But all the staff at Pole Pole had an unusual gift of hospitality which all contributed to an exceptionally warm experience.

The lodge offers free excursions every day (though there are some that have to be paid for) – snorkelling and diving, nearby islands, turtle hatching, sunset boat trips in the bay, around the island, a guided tour of the local village, bird-watching, etc – which add a nice rhythm to the business of just unwinding and enjoying the warm sea and amazing views across the bay.

This was serious food for the soul.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Malcolm A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
1 review
Reviewed March 30, 2013

Our Pole Pole experience was wonderful, what a treat after a hectic Safari ( even if a little tedious to get there). It is unpretentious, understated hospitality at its best, located in a natural tropical environment; what a refreshing change these days.
The rooms are a delight, nestling in swaying coconut groves, with the sounds of the waves lapping below. They are spacious, comfortable, with delightful attention to details.
All of the Staff were professional, helpful, charming and friendly, particular thanks to Charlotte.
Food - excellent, a treat to have fresh food, and an interesting varity of dishes cooked for us daily. Freshing change to the preverbial 'Buffet' offerings.
The association with Seapoint ensured we enjoyed experiencing some local color.

Thank you for a lovely experience

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Fiona O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2013

7 days of pure pleasure and relaxation in a wonderful environment, with a team of great staff looking after us: simply marvelous. The personalized morning yoga sessions in front of the sea were definitely a must! We definitely recommend it, hoping we'll have the opportunity to enjoy it again once ourselves!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Elodie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pole Pole Bungalows

Property: Pole Pole Bungalows
Address: Plot 16 - Utende Beach, Mafia Island, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Pwani Region > Mafia Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Mafia Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Pole Pole Bungalows 4*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Seven bungalow suites overlook the infinite hues of blue of Chole Bay, the core of Mafia Island Marine Park. Pole Pole is an exclusive eco-resort, renowned for its great cuisine, unpretentious and laid-back atmosphere, warm but discrete hospitality. Balancing luxury and respect for local culture and environment it is the perfect place to relax after a safari and the ideal base for exploring the underwater wanders of Mafia Island. With a touch of style. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Pole Pole Bungalows Hotel Mafia Island

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