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“Fundu Lagoon is Gorgeous”
Review of Fundu Lagoon

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Fundu Lagoon
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Pemba Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 19, 2007

Fundu lagoon is absolutely gorgeous. It has amazing white sand that drops down into the most amazing blue water you will ever see. Unfortunately this hotel is not in Fundu lagoon but on Wambaa beach, a very poor substitute.(we visited the real Fundu Lagoon on a dive trip).

When we visited there was no swimming pool, which I am sure now makes a difference. The gradient of the beach is so slight that realistically you can only go into the water an hour either side of high tide, and then only up to your hips.

As a qualified Divemaster as I was really looking forward to the diving. The instructors were very good and the diving equipment was good. However the engines on the boats kept breaking down and there were no spares and one day there was no diving at all. The diving itself was poor, a result I understand of commercial fishing some five years ago. Some of the corals are nice but there was very little sea life.

As for the hotel itself my wife and I found it disappointing. We had been led to expect a five star shabby chic resort, with a five star price tag to match. Having spent the prior week on safari we had no problems with the varied wild-life though the mildew infested tent and no electricity for three nights was a bit too shabby for my liking. One small thing that summed up the hotel perfectly for me was seeing staff at breakfast put instant coffee into a cafetiere and try and pass it off as filtered.

For those looking for a five star experince, shabby or otherwise, this is not the place. It is at best three star and I can think of a great many three star resorts I would rather visit.

  • Stayed: December 2005, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank Harry_Hindsight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fundu, Manager at Fundu Lagoon, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2007

This review is from December 2004 (not 2005 as written - I remember this couple well). It's true supplies were more tricky then, especially spare parts and machinery (and sometimes coffee!)

Although always challenging in our remote location, our logistics have improved a great deal, so supply issues are thankfully -and hopefully!- a thing of the past.

We've now got 24 hour electricity, and 7 boats including a sailing catamaran - plus 3 bars, 2 reataurants and a new spa. We are also now a PADI 5*Gold Palm dive resort, and the whole west coast of Pemba is a newly designated marine conservation area.

The sea is lovely for swimming but the tide does go out twice a day which is worth bearing in mind if you are not expecting tidal conditions, although there's still a choice of the jetty, Misali island or our own infinity pool for swimming.

To clear up this person's location confusion - Fundo Island is further north in Pemba, and is one of our many dive sites. The hotel itself would never have been built there for practical reasons.

We are sorry that these people's expectations were not met in 2004. We have had another great season this year and have made friends with lots of lovely guests from all over the world who tell us their expectations are exceeded at Fundu Lagoon.

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262 - 268 of 327 reviews

Reviewed February 17, 2007

On reading some of the negative reviews on this site, we decided to write in our thoughts. We stayed at Fundu last March for a week as second leg of our honeymoon and absolutely loved it!

We've traveled pretty much all over, from London, Paris, Tokyo to Accra, Lhasa, Cairo, etc and stayed in everything from the best five-stars to mountainside huts. Fundu really stands out as one of our most favorite places, not least because it is absolutely in tune with its environment. Sure, it doesn't have wireless internet in every tent but then again we don't think its really a place one would want to check email every five minutes.

The staff is great, very helpful and professional. The accomodations and food are excellent and the atmosphere is of complete peace and solitude. Unlike some places where the moment you step into the lobby you could be in any hotel in any city, at Fundu you feel always feel as though you are in a place that is very special and remote. That is the luxury that Fundu offers, not the luxury of marble sinks and gold taps.

We're looking forward to heading back one day soon and highly recommend Fundu.

  • Stayed: March 2006, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Rally24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2006

We just got back from Tanzania. We spent the last four days at Fundu Lagoon and had an amazing time.

Fundu Lagoon is remote and quiet. If you are looking to be entertained by organized trips, bands, and activities, this is not the place for you. If you are looking for a beautiful, peaceful place to chill, then this is the place.

We stayed in one of the superior suites which had a private plunge pool (read: small) and lots of outdoor lounging and reading space. It included a sleeping tent and bathroom, thatched upstairs and downstairs reading areas, and steps down to the beach. The accommodations are tents, but they don't have the feel of a tent. Ours was in great condition.

We went diving everyday we were there. The dive equipment is in good shape and the staff was very professional. The reef was in great shape with lots of coral. Fish were plentiful and varied.

Food was good but not outstanding. We ordered off the inclusive alcohol list which included a limited selection of wine and house liquor. Top shelf liquor and premium wine were extra. We were not charged for any mixers, so as long as you ordered a bloody mary with the house liquor there was no charge.

A note on the bugs and rats mentioned in some of the other reviews: We saw no rats. There are bush babies running around the camp. They are squirrel size primates that look a little like rodents and could be confused for rats. There are huge harmless millipedes all over. We never found one in our tent. The tent was sprayed for bugs every night. We found this true of everywhere we stayed in Africa, which were all high-end resorts (Greystoke Mahale and Selous Safari Camp).

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank SethC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2006

My wife and and I spent the second week of our honeymoon at Fundu and were generally disappointed with our experience. I'll start with the fine points since there are few...we stayed in one of the superior suites and found the accomodations to be just fine. The rooms are, as one of the other reviews mentions, canvas tents...but that doesn't really do them justice. We found them to be relatively clean and spacious. We had consistent hot water, but I heard from other guests that they used their icey showers as leverage at time of check out. Second highlight...I thought the food was great...well prepared with good service. Moving on..if you are serious about ANY one of the activites that Fundu offers, in other words...if you are an avid fisherman, diver, snorkeler, hiker, swimmer, kayaker, or sailor....do not even consider Fundu as your destination. My wife and I are both avid fisherman and although Fundu claims fishing as one of their activities...take our word for it...it is not. They have a couple of previously incorrectly rigged trolling rods that they troll off the back of the improperly rigged catamaran. If you have never fished in your life and never plan on going again...then fine...but otherwise..forget it. Also, despite the fact that Fundu is located 10 miles from the Pemba channel which is one of the best billfishing destinations in the world...there are no charters avail in Pemba. Without getting into it...the other activities are far from junior varsity level. A few other noteworthy points...we fortunately found out that the reason there were no bugs within our mosquito netting was because when they come in to turn down your bed....THEY COVER THE SHEETS and pillow cases you are about to lay your face on with....RAID. On the point of the centipedes...they are all over the place, but they are harmless and we never saw them in our tent. Lastly...with a few exceptions....i found that the staff, even the managerial staff, had miserable attitudes. One example: i asked the asst. manager on our second to last day if I could use their internet connection for 5 mins to check my flights and she told me that it was inconvenient for her at that time and as I turned around to leave, she gave me a nice big eye roll. My wife wants to add: the very first night, when we were walked to our room for the 1st time in fact, you asked the asst manager about the butler service or ability to have dinner/lunch etc in our room which is mentioned in the brochure and she looked at you like you had 3 heads. Anyway...I overheard one of the other guests refer to Fundu as a Hobby Hotel and in reflection...that's exactly what it is...the proprietors own and oversee the daily operations of this hotel as a hobby and are not experienced nor fully committed to making it as great as it can be.

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled as a couple
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18  Thank NYCJMS3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2006

My husband and I have just returned from a week at Fundu Lagoon and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It is indeed remote, and it did take a day to get there, but it's a beautiful and peaceful resort, and it's obvious that there's a real effort by the hotel management to support the local people and villages, and to put something back into the local community. Inevitably this closeness to the local population does mean that local people walk along the beach and use it to gather seafood, but this is indeed their island and we always found the local people to be very friendly - they'd smile and say hello (or 'jambo') but certainly wouldn't try to sell us anything or make us feel uncomfortable in any way. The beach outside the huts isn't the best I've ever been to, and it is tidal, but it's an interesting beach to explore - some rocks and mangroves and lots of sea life. Also, the hotel does free twice daily trips to Misali Island which does have a more traditional 'powder white' beach for sun lovers.

We stayed in one of the new superior suites, (so can't comment on the older tents), and had a huge tent plus large plunge pool and decking area, as well as a separate area to sit during the day. The new swimming pool is spectacular and pretty empty most of the day so you've got your pick of the sunbeds and a wonderful view of the lagoon from the infinity pool. Yes, there are bugs, (mostly large ants and millipedes outside the tent, neither of which species seemed remotely interested in us), though we did find a couple of spiders and other bugs inside the tent. However, tents were sprayed for insects every evening and we saw very few mosquitos (and certainly no rats!). We were also very impressed with the food - three choices for every meal, and fresh, light and healthy ingredients with an emphasis on fish and vegetables. All of the restaurant staff were charming and friendly.

We also did some diving whilst we were there - we were the only divers that week so had the dive boat, dive guides, and dive sites all to ourselves - a rare treat. We were very impressed with the safety standards and quality of the equipment we borrowed, and both dive guides were very accommodating in taking us to the kind of sites that we were interested in. The coral was in very good condition and we saw lots of reef fish - Wowowo dive site with Filbert was a particular highlight.

There were some very minor things that could be improved - there are frequent power cuts so a good torch should be provided for each tent, a hairdryer would also have been nice, (though of course I did survive very well without one), 'private' as well as 'group' tables should be available at every meal to give guests a choice, (though they were at most to be fair). However, these are very minor points for improvement and overall we had a thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing week - diving, eating, reading, talking - all those simple and relaxing things. We were made to feel very welcome by everyone, and have lots of good memories of our time there, watching the sun go down from the beach bar and eating roasted cashew nuts! Hope this is helpful to those considering Fundu Lagoon.

Stayed: October 2006
8  Thank MGMidget
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2006

I'm a bit bemused by some of the other reviews on this site. Sure, fundu lagoon isn't the kind of five star luxury with polished marble reception areas or gold plated lavatory fittings, but then who in their right mind would want that in a place of such outstanding natural beauty? I felt that fundu achieved exactly the right balance of getting you close to the vibrant nature that surrounds you with the creature comforts you'd expect from a luxury resort situated in such a remote part of the world. It's probably the most relaxing part of the word i've been to - it felt a million miles away from anywhere. But i was never bored, in fact i came home exhausted! Up at dawn to go fishing, diving at lunchtime and sunset cruise in the evening. i imagine if you were bored and listless at fundu then you're probably better off at disneyland.

  • Stayed: March 2005, traveled with friends
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2  Thank gastrocuz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2006

This place could have been the set for survivor. If its isolation you are looking for then this is heavan....We booked 5 nights at Fundu as part of our honeymoon.....and to be honest we made a mistake....2 nights would have been fine. The resort lacks atmosphere, character and charm.....this may have something to do with the fact that many of the guests are on honeymoon and dont wish to interact with other people or something to do with the way the resort is organised. There is zero entertainment....no phones, no computers, no TV, no live music, a few boardgames and outdated books. The accomodation is barefoot luxury with a few thorns.....if you dont like jungle noises, sight of lizards, crabs, then this place is not for you. The food was bland and not very interesting....all in all...for the price and the difficulty getting there....its just not worth it - there are plenty of other high end resorts that offer much better value for money.

  • Stayed: August 2006, traveled as a couple
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15  Thank LuxuryTraveller1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fundu Lagoon

Address: Wambaa Peninsula, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Pemba Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Pemba Island
Price Range: $731 - $956 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Fundu Lagoon 5*
Number of rooms: 18
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Also Known As:
Fundu Lagoon Pemba Island
Fundu Lagoon Hotel Pemba Island

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