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“Peaceful with great service” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Emerald Bay Resort

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Emerald Bay Resort
Ranked #2 of 9 Pemba Island B&B and Inns
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Peaceful with great service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

We got a booking with Emerald Bay on the day of our arrival in Pemba. We were picked up from the airport and driven through villages and plantations to the resort. After a warm welcome we were shown to a simple but otherwise nice and spotless room. Meals are served on the roof, with a view (through the mangroves) of the bay.
If you are after expanses of white beach and opulence, this is not the place for you. Instead, come for the peace and great service in this fairly new resort. The beds are comfy and everything in the bathroom was clean and in working order. The food is Western-style, copious, and often overly salty. The vegetarian offerings are limited. There is a bar. There is no internet or WiFi.

We took a day trip to Misali island, which was beautiful, and almost deserted. On the island are lounges and thatched umbrellas, and the snorkelling is quite good. The boat used for outings is fairly old. We found out afterwards that there were life jackets aboard, but these were not offered, despite quite a rough trip home, and some of our fellow passengers were poor swimmers (and one of them was 5 years old).

There is no beach in front of the resort, just a clearing in the mangroves where the locals launch their boats. You can get a free daily trip to a sandbank for a swim, but there is no shelter there. The resort is planning to install a pool soon.

On our second night we decided we would like to leave for Zanzibar the next day. The staff organised plane tickets for us for the following morning and nothing was too much trouble. We had an easy transfer back to the airport.

Overall, a lovely escape from the mainland, although perhaps a little pricey.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Alby S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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42 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    29
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    4
    3
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Cordoba, Argentina
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

We met Ahmed at Pemba port. He took us to this wonderful place, in a little village, Chokocho...The sunset was coming into us, and the full moon could be seen on the sky. Excellent dinner on the top roof, under the sky full of stars. The three of us, were delighted by the staff politeness and excellent service.
Nobody should miss the opportunity to visit this cosy hotel. Clean, tidy, greatly decorated. A place to feel yourself safe and cared for.
Go, and relax there. You will never regret it!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank VictoriaF194
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
raffaele s, Proprietario at Emerald Bay Resort, responded to this review, April 18, 2014
Sincerely thank you for your stay at our resort!
We hope to spend many other unforgettable days together
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

Right from being picked up from the airport by Ahmed who works at Emerald Bay, our stay here was simply unforgettable. Ahmed's constant smile and good humour instantly helped us feel welcome - he helpfully answered our questions about Pemba, it's culture, history and politics, and gave us an impromptu mini spice tour of our own on the way to Emerald Bay.

The resort is small (a good thing) and beautifully designed. It is incredibly peaceful - surrounded by fertile farmland, you can feel close to nature here and when darkness falls, it almost feels like you are the only people on the whole island - there is literally nothing all around. Again, a very good thing!

The food was fantastic - beautiful, freshly baked bread everyday, and fresh seafood and sometimes meats. The staff are all so helpful, speak good English, and always smiling. The resident manager, Mohamed, is a beautiful, gentle being and again, always there to help or answer any questions. They are also great at helping to decide what trips to make (to closeby islands for snorkelling for example) and helping you plan your day the evening before. There is a complimentary boat trip included each day to the sandback - only at lowtide can this incredible natural spectacle be experienced. The seas around Emerald Bay, and also around the other islands we visited (Misali and Shamiani Islands) are the most stunning seas I have ever seen in my life. Simply breathtaking.

We had been on Nungwi Beach for two weeks in Zanzibar and then came to Emerald Bay for a week. The difference between the two is massive - whereas Zanzibar is used to tourism and Westerners, Pemba is not. To me, Pemba is a place to be peaceful, still and quiet. If you are looking for bars, clubs, and all western mod-cons, best stick to Zanzibar.

My request to anyone going is to please respect the local culture there - it is important for women to cover their bodies when going anywhere outside of Emerald Bay such as towns or to and from day trips. It is important to understand that tourism is a relatively new concept in Pemba and that you can't go into town wearing a bikini top or showing your belly (as I saw one tourist doing). The locals are fearful of change to their peaceful island and whatever our views of their culture, we must remember that we are guests on their island and must respect their ways.

I would definitely go back to Emerald Bay and recommend it to others.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bobu-san
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milan
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

A different way to think about a sea holiday and not only a sea experience.
The island is beautiful and the time spent was definitely exciting.
Emerald Bay Resort is the best place to melt nature, relax and the unbelievable colours of the Indian Ocean.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Francesca R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Emerald Bay Resort

Property: Emerald Bay Resort
Address: Chokocho Village, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Pemba Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 B&Bs / Inns in Pemba Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 7
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