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The Manta Resort
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All reviewsunderwater roomservice fundimanta familyfishour honeymoonbeach barseafront villagarden roomonce in a lifetimedaily spa treatmentsspice farmscuba diveiced teasuperior gardenspent two nightslocal communitypemba airport
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Reviewed March 24, 2012

The Manta Resort is the tropical dream come true! After a long journey (20 hours to be excact from Norway) and a long pumby drive (feeling like we were reaching the end of the world), The Manta Resort reveals as a gift from the Gods.
This place is located at the most beautiful white sandy beach, with ringside seat to the most magical sunset. The atmosphere is laidback, yet stylish in a comfortable way.
With only 10 bungalows, the beach never feels crowded and you will meet interesting people from all over the world. Do not expect The Manta Resort to be a resort like Hilton, Marriott or Four Seasons. It is not a 5 star resort in the sense of hotel tourist machines. This is a place for people who seeks the genuine and a place far from the mass tourism.
The restaurant has super food and a very special atmosphere under the moon. The best during our stay was the service from our fantastic waiter Shabani.
The last night, you have seafood dinner at the beach - fantastic!!
We went to Zanzibar after Pemba, and it was a very different experience. We just wanted to go back to Pemba!

Room Tip: Beach villa no 6 where we stayed is the last villa. A footpath goes from the villa and directly to the beach. Great location!!
  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank harepus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2012

Well. The Manta Resort is different, for sure.
In a very, very good way.
No TV, no radio, no entertainment, no rush, no nothing...
It is “Pole, pole” in every way.
If you want the best of everything; beach, food, drink, relaxation, easyness, kindness, snorkelling, friendly people, football, and just lean back and enjoy, then all we can say is: Welcome to Manta Resort.
We’ve travelled all over the globe for more than 45 years, but this stay was so different.
“All inclusive” got another value.
No buffés, always at table service. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Spa treatments, free every day.
Clothes washed, free every day.
This is a place to just relax, or dive as hard as you can if you want to, but it is kind of magical.
Bask on the beach, or just relax in the lounch or the beach bar.
At Manta Resort, things are slowly (pole, pole), and we hope it will stay that way.
Extra thanks to Sandy, and to our fundi Hadji.

Room Tip: Seafront Villas are the best, if you want a sunset view.
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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10  Thank Hans55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2012

My wife and I went for a 2 week safari in northern Tanzania in late Jan 2012. It could not have gone any better. Sanjay, apparently the owner of Roy Safaris, was absolutely the most thorough travel agent with whom I have worked.

Some of these reviews of Manta are, quite simply unjustified. I was expecting much more meager accommodations based on what these other reviews say. Overall, I was quite surprised! Simply put, it’s a 3 star resort in a 5 star location. They have done incredible things at the resort with limited resources. Therefore, I give it 4/5 stars.

Sandy, the manager was super welcoming and made sure our stay was perfect. She even printed maps of Stone Town and gave us restaurant recommendation for when we went back to Zanzibar. She left during our stay to go on vacation herself, but it would have been nice to hang out with her more.

We stayed in a beach bungalow. Nicely appointed, large, great views, clean and air conditioned. But as other reviewers have stated, the toilet does not have a door. That is the only thing I can knock about the room.

The food was excellent. Each group gets the same server every day. He’s a local with whom you’ll develop a nice relationship. Quantity and quality of food were NOT a problem when we visited. Maybe they have fixed that problem, but the food was EXCELLENT, and pletiful. The chef did a great job with what must be limited resources on such a small island. We ate local fish, sausages, chicken, soups, and beef. I actually looked forward to each meal! On the last night they surprised us with a private beach seafood extravaganza dinner under the stars. My wife did cartwheels on the beach at night while I ate the lobster.

The beach was spectacular. Very fine white sand. The best I’ve seen. There are not many people at the resort, so don’t plan on a busy social lift while you are there. It’s a place to relax, read, sunbathe, and dive. Previous reviews stated the quality of the beach chairs were “tatty”. We did not see this. The quality was just fine and clean.

The diving was just OK. The boat was of poor quality and many of the dive sites are over-fished. The locals free dive all day taking most of the bigger game. But the water was warm, and clear. It still enjoyed the diving. Go to Fundu Gap. That was the best diving there.

One other concern is that you really can’t leave the property to walk around. There is no town nearby, and even if there was, I’m not sure how safe it would be in this very traditional, poor Muslim country. We essentially never left the property other than on the water. Certainly, you can get a guided tour of a local village by one of the hotel staff, but you dare not go out alone.

The bars/drinks are all inclusive and seem to be always open. Again, there isn’t a happening bar scene, but that was not what my wife and I were looking for.

Overall, we had an excellent experience. I highly recommend it for adventurous types who want to do some diving in a remote location. I think 4-5 days was just about right.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Douglas S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2012

We had a fantastic time at the Manta Resort. A few things to note.
1. The resort is about 1 to 1/2 hours by car from the Pemba airport. That was fine with us, but some did not expect it and were a bit annoyed. One of the appeals of Manta is how remote it is -- if it were easier to get to then it would be less quiet and relazing!

2. We were there in December. It is quite hot that time of year. We had booked one of the non air conditioned garden rooms. It was okay, but if we go again that time of year we would probably upgrade to an AC room. The room was fine. Mostly one room with bed, and small bathroom facility. The sink is small but serviceable. It was not a room one would just hang out in. But the common area is large, beautiful, and comfortable. This was no problem for us, but if you want a private space during the day, you might look into the larger fancier rooms.

3. The setting is spectacular. Beautiful, beautiful ocean -- water you can see through for meters and meters. The beach is fine white sand. And most importantly, there are few other people on the beach. The local fisherman are also on the beach. They do not solicit at all, but are open to conversation about their catch if you are interested. This is a great change for us from Kenya, where the minute we walk on the beach we are usually inundated by beach people trying to sell trinkets, or excursions, or camel rides. Yes, camel rides on the beach.

4. The dive center is fantastic. I had dived before -- but almost two decades ago. My partner had never dived. David at the dive center was fantastic -- staying close to her and answering all her questions. Jennifer was nervous during the first open water dive (we did some preliminary orientation in the pool), but then loved it so much that we did a total of four dives while there, and would have done more if we had had time. The message: great place for experienced divers but also for newbies.

5. The good is very good, not fantastic. But if we want really good food we go to London or New York. So this is not at all a criticism of the resort. The fish is excellent.

6. While you are away from everything, you can get internet (pretty slow, but useable) in the main lodge. We went to get away from electronic communication, so this was perfect for us.

In sum, this is a fantastic place to get away, either as a couple or family. (There was a very nice family staying while we were there -- couple with two teenage children. They all had a great time.) This is more of a place to rest, dive, snorkel, or swim. There is not too much to see in the area (there are some sites, though we did not go to any of them). The staff are incredibly helpful and pleasant. We will definitely plan a trip back.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Ronald S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2012

I'll start by saying that I'm a real fan of Tanzania and when I write this I'm comparing the Manta Resort to other stays in Zanzibar, Mafia and Chumbe islands as well as mainland Tanzania.

Starting with some positives - really great food, nice service, relaxed atmosphere, beach on your doorstep, spa is a treat as are the cocktails and of course a cold kilimanjaro.

However the superior garden room is definitely a dissapointment, very tired and in need of an urgent upgrade. If you can do without air-con then stick with the cheaper but actually nicer standard rooms.

The diving is good with helpful staff and dive masters, definitely recommended for divers.

All in all we really enjoyed our stay which for us combined relaxation with diving in a charming location however Manta really need to improve those superior rooms.

So if you want a laid back holiday and/or diving then Manta is for you.

Room Tip: Superior garden room not worth the upgrade
  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank daveandfi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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