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“Excellent Getaway”

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Pole Pole Bungalows
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Mafia Island
Certificate of Excellence
Wokingham, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Excellent Getaway”
Reviewed November 5, 2013

i stayed at PolePole for a weekend. the location is magical, beautiful beach and view. bungalows were private and comfortable. i went fishing and swimming with whale sharks. PolePole provided an excellent base to chill after these activities. the staff could not do enough for you!

so combining the tranquil environment and excellent customer services....it is heaven...

as they say...i will be back!

Peter

Room Tip: all bungalows are good!!!
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank PeterC168662
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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249 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
North Idaho
Level 5 Contributor
40 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2013

Although our plane arrived several hours earlier than expected, the manager was there at the airport to meet us even though we had not alerted him to our change in flights. There is about a half hour ride to the hotel on a bumpy road, but they are building a new road so the trip should be better in the future.

You have to pay a park entry fee before entering the marine park and going to the hotel. We were greeted by Sarah with coconuts to drink and damp towels, perfect for the hot dusty day. She went over the menu options (for allergies and food preferences) and then gave us a tour of the lovely property and then showed us to our room.

It was quite spacious with a lovely deck with a day bed (complete with mosquito net) and chairs and a table, as well as sun hats and kikoy/towels to use. We placed our order for drinks which were to be delivered at 6:30. Our friends stayed in a family room which had a lovely little gazebo where we sat and enjoyed the drinks before heading to dinner. Before dinner someone from the nearby dive center goes over the free trip for the next day (courtesy of the hotel), and paid options. Snorkeling was the free option, which 3 of us chose, and the other chose to go diving, for which there was a fee. He thought the diving was great, we enjoyed the snorkeling although the water was rough and the visibility not great where we were.

The other free excursions which we did was a tour of nearby Chole Island and a sundowner dhow cruise (you pay for your drinks). The gift shop at the hotel sold lovely little soaps, and we bought loads of these are they were the perfect gift to take back for friends and co-workers.You can walk down the beach to the neighbouring hotel where there are several reasonably priced souvenir shops nearby. Coming from 10 days of safari this was our first shopping experience and although we are not shoppers, it was nice to find things to take back home.

We didn't have time to use the pool or spa, but both looked very inviting.

Pole Pole is the perfect place to unwind after a safari. We only spent 3 nights there - I want to go back to spend at least a week. It really is paradise found!

Room Tip: We were in room 2 which is fine, room 1 is a bit exposed. Family room 7 has 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroo...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank samuels5731
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2013

This is my first review on Tripadvisor and I'm writing it because the team at Pole Pole deserve recognition for the wonderful stay they gave us, even though the selfish side of me wants to keep Pole Pole and Mafia Island mysterious and secretive.

Big thank you to Sarah and all the team, I can't recommend the experience highly enough. The people were friendly, the diving/snorkelling superb and the food great... We booked for a week and thought we'd get bored. How wrong we were, we could have easily stayed another week. We'll be back! The daily, complimentary excursions were very well organised and are highly recommended. Our favourites were the Fisherman's Island BBQ and the Marimbani Sandbank picnic. Sarah also organised for us a full-day's tour of the island which, if you have the time, you should do. Kanga Beach in the north is absolutely stunning.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Edmond H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southlake, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
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.
Level 3 Contributor
13 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 4 Contributor
31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 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
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LLZ_NC
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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