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“Beach holiday life at its best”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Ras Mbisi Lodge

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Ras Mbisi Lodge
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Level Contributor
126 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Beach holiday life at its best”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2013

Stayed for only a couple of nights to get away from the hustle and bustle of Dar es Salaam. Well worth the short trip from Dar (only 30 minutes flight). Abu greeted us as we exited the tiny arrivals building at Mafia airport. He loaded up our bags and 30 minutes later we arrived at the quiet side of the island: Ras Mbisi Lodge.
A total of 8 bandas were constructed on a former coconut plantation. Black monkeys and the most amazing birds can be spotted from your porch. We were traveling with a family with teenagers. The youngest thought it was too quiet, the oldest loved it. We took a day trip out on the dhow to look for whale sharks. Gentle giant plankton eating fish that are common in Mafia Channel at certain times of the year. Our crew spotted a giant specimen and we jumped in and could swim along using the snorkel gear the Lodge had provided. After all that excitement our captain sailed to a secluded and picture perfect beach where the crew cooked a delicious seafood meal for us. Lobster picnic in the tropics.
My wife enjoyed a massage at the wellness centre, all good. It was a shame we had to leave to go back to work so soon. We will definitely return.
Further positives: staff is fantastic, very friendly and accommodating. Our banda furniture: bed, lounge chairs, writing desk was comfortable. In case you don't know: a banda is a thatched roof, wooden construction, open to the elements ... the gentle rolling of the waves will rock you to sleep at night. Beach is wonderful, you can walk for hours. Perfectly secure too.
We enjoyed full board food service: highly recommended, the food is fantastic. So, if you are in need of some essential R&R and are comfortable living a little closer to nature for while, this is the place for you.

Room Tip: All bandas are facing the ocean. However, some are set back a little further and as a result have le...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank 0rtelius
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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107 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
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English first
Hong Kong, China
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2013

We stayed here for a week as part of our honeymoon in September 2011 (sorry for the late review!). Simply put, this place is fantastic. The team are friendly, the location is unbelievable (you have about ten kilometres of untouched beach all to yourself) and the food was delicious. We stayed in our own beach villa which whilst traditional and relatively basic compared to a five star city hotel was the perfect set up for a lazy beach location.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank petertewilkinson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2013

We spend a wonderful 6 nights at Ras Mbisi in July 2013. This was our second visit and it was even better than our first! The huts were perfect for us (all very comfortable and spacious), the food was excellent, and as always the staff could not have been friendly or helpful (they are a huge part of why we love Mafia!), it is also a spectacularly beautiful place. We felt welcome in Mafia and at Ras Mbisis. The beach was perfect and we also enjoyed a few afternoons by the small pool.

One addition that we really enjoyed on our second trip to Ras Mbisi was the activity center that is now run by Laura. Laura is friendly and knowledgeable about Mafia and the area. We enjoyed the addition of the activities on offer (bike riding, sailing, kayaking, diving, etc) and took advantage of massages in the new wellness center built this year. We had been diving in the marine park before, and this year we went out diving with Laura on the Ras Mbisi side of the island on a day with perfect conditions (much sun and little wind). We loved our dive, as Laura had found a large unspoiled reef which we thought matched diving in the marine park. We also had a nice visit to the sandbar, along with a picnic lunch. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable/unique diving experience which we hope to do again on our next visit to Mafia.

Overall Ras Mbisi is one of our favorite places to visit for a beach vacation, it is really a special place and we look forward to planning our 3rd visit to the Island!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lissa38076
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 14, 2013

We had such a good time at Ras Mbisi, firstly the place is beautiful, great beach, beautiful gardens, the rooms are comfortable and stylish the staff are very kind and helpful. The food was some of the best we've ever eaten. The most amazing thing? The price. When we booked we thought it looked ok, and the price was great, having been we say, the owners have no idea what they have created it is very under priced for what is offered, or maybe other lodges are just over priced?

Room Tip: Banda 2 is closest to the ocean
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Bananarama191
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2013

We chose one week at Ras Mbisi and one week at Kinassi Lodge to do very little except relax and recharge. The wind at this time of year blows straight into the beach and ranged from a gale to flat calm. Thus when the tide was in the best time to swim was in the early morning when it was calmer. The sea did go out a long way on a big spring tide and when it came back in the water was extremely warm. The wildlife was good too, an evening stroll often found Sykes monkies, bushbabies at night and some good birds as well. The butterflies were spectacular. The staff were very friendly and good. However the outstanding thing about Ras Mbisi was the food. Dont get me wrong I am not a foodie, but the food here was simple, fresh and perfectly cooked. However, the meals would not of course suit some nationalities, as the portions may seem small to some but just right for me. Also, you have to like fresh fish, as we had fish every day and it was simply delicious. Yes there were a few typical problems, somebody turned off the water supply by mistake and the generator sometimes went off too early but I would certainly go again.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank bertiebonefish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2013

We chose Ras Mbisi as our second port of call on our honeymoon, and our place to stay on Mafia Island. It was such a lovely resort and the staff were so welcoming. John, the owner and Lara his activities chief, were great company in the evenings and took really good care of us. The huts were quite amazing to look at and very cool to sleep in, despite it being the hottest month of the year, and they all look out to sea over the beach through palm trees - very beautiful.

We had heard Mafia was the place to go for What shark swimming and we were not disappointed, seeing five in total! Lara also recommended we take a day trip to one of the local islands which was stunning and felt it was our own private island for the day.

A lovely destination and one we would highly recommend and hope to go back to one day.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Alistair81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lusaka
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 17, 2013

A lovely lodge to relax and chill... white sand and palm trees,,,, accommodation is simple and very comfortable nice staff and John the owner always close on hand for and very helpful...good food and lovely pool to dip in .....

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank AJLTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ras Mbisi Lodge

Property: Ras Mbisi Lodge
Address: Mafia Island, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Pwani Region > Mafia Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Mafia Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Ras Mbisi Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ras Mbisi is a small remote ‘beach meets bush’ lodge on the ‘secret’ island of Mafia, just off the southern coast of Tanzania. Ras Mbisi offers simple, elegant, barefoot luxury for discerning travellers. With white sandy beaches, dazzling aquamarine waters and refreshingly few tourists, Mafia is the way Zanzibar was 30 years ago, the cool laid-back eco-alternative. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ras Mbisi Hotel Mafia Island

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