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“Relaxing getaway”

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Mchanga Beach Resort
Ranked #105 of 167 Hotels in Zanzibar Island
Certificate of Excellence
London, UK
Level Contributor
53 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Relaxing getaway”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2011

Mchanga is a lovely beach resort of just a few rooms in quite an isolated spot in NE Zanzibar.
Gloria and Thomas have got a great set-up and the rooms are comfortable with nice little touches like baskets for beach towels, sarongs to use on the beach and morning tea waiting outside your room when you wake up.

The drive through the fishing village next to the resort was an eye-opener for us as this was the first time we saw the basic living standards of the Zanzibaris. After seeing more of the island we realised that this is life for most of the islanders and although very different to Western standards, the children go to school and are well fed and the area is clean, people work the land or the ocean.

The beaches on this part of the island have beautiful powdery white sand - we'd never seen anything like it before. The coast here does have the reef nearby which means when the tide is out [for most of the day] the water is bathwater warm but only knee deep - it's just something you have to accept. We tried to snorkel when it was high tide but only saw seaweed and sea urchins. Not sure if others had more success and we could've booked a trip to the nearby reef if were desperate, which we weren't! It was very easy to do nothing all day and stay at the lodge - a great way to relax for a few days and forget about the world.

Mchanga's food is excellent - combining Zanzibar spicing and local produce with more Western ingredients. We thought the chefs did a great job. The staff were friendly although their English was limited so conversation was difficult but that was ok.

Everything was very clean and well-ordered. Service in the bar was unbelievably slow and some things seemed a bit random [e.g. we were given afternoon tea one day but then never again, unless we asked] but this is Africa after all and it didn't detract from the lodgings.

There are hardly any other resorts on this area of beach so once you're in Mchanga, you really have to eat there but trips to other parts of the island are easy to arrange via Gloria. We had a little hassle when we walked on the beach but if we went swimming there was no problem and if you retain a sense of humour and a firm tone - it's fine!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank cut2quick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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155 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    4
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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
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
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English first
twill56
Level Contributor
28 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 13, 2011

We stayed for four nights in early October and we cannot fault the lodge or the staff.
The rooms are lovely (we stayed in a garden room which is more spacious than a sea view room).The staff are very freindly and approachable but not in over the top.They are there when you need them.
The food is delicious and can be eaten either in the restauraunt ,on the beac or in your room (its your choice)
However if you like things to do then its not for you as it is in a very isolated location.
On the downside the sea is not really that good for swimming as it is full of seaweed and sea urchins (there are hundreds of them so you need reef shoes).
More importantly we would advise against walking up the beach as you are constantly harrased by beach boys (this is ok at first but then becomes tedious).
Worst of all the day before we were due to depart we decided to have a last stroll on the beach at midday and were robbed at knifepoint so if you do decide to go for a stroll make sure you do not carry anything with you.
We must say though that the lodge is fine - its just the location.
If you are going to Zanzibar look elsewhere on the island

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank twill56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mchangabeachlodge, Owner at Mchanga Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 16, 2011
The owners of Mchanga Beach Lodge are very sorry for the guests who got robbed again and this time on Zanzibar.
We understand the impact of such an experience and the desire to report it. But in fairness to all concerned the facts should be correct.
The incident did not occur at the door step of Mchanga Beach Lodge whilst strolling on the beach.
The guests were on a bicycle-tour several kilometers to the south in the big hotel and resort area.
They were not robbed at knife-point but whilst cycling, a boy cut the strap of the guests’ handbag and disappeared.
The bag contained amongst others:
100.000,00 TSH cash ( a monthly wage of a hotel-worker)
Jewelry (including wedding band)
Hotel key
Car keys (for car in the UK)
We were told that these are the facts the guests’ filed in the police report.
Other items of value had been locked into the hotel safe.
It is urged by the authorities and travel guide books over and over again to not prominently display items which might be of interest to the not so fortunate, and not to reward chancers by carrying valuable items which will encourage them to steal again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2011

You'd be hard pushed to find softer, whiter sand than at Mchanga Beach Lodge – the beach is simply stunning. You can kick off your shoes here and quite happily keep them off until it's time to leave. Though driving through the village to reach the lodge is rather sobering, the lodge itself is very charming in a chilled out, low-key way. The service was very friendly with all the staff introducing themselves by name, and the food was good and plentiful. After the luxury of our Selous safari camp the simplicity of the room here was a stark contrast. Given the setting and the service the room was actually a little disappointing – ours was dark (although this did help to keep it cool), the drains were a bit smelly and there was no hot water in the shower. In fact our toilet broke and started to leak, although it was fixed very promptly. Having said this, we really only used the room to sleep and shower – the beach is the star here. Overall this is a good, basic place for some post-safari relaxation.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Seagull70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cape town
Level Contributor
39 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2011

Stopped in Zanzibar on our way home from the Serengetti. After the most amazing bush holiday thought it was going to be impossible to match up, but it did. It was the most beautiful setting on the most magnificent stretch of white sand. Comfortable, clean rooms, fans & aircon in good working order. Incredibly friendly and helpful staff. Gloria is an amazing host and nothing was too much to ask of her. We loved the food. We loved the clove soap & the body cream provided in the bathrooms. We spent four nights and it just wasnt long enough. We will definately be back as soon as possible. Next time we would spend a night in Stone Town as well on the way home.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank gjonesCapeTown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, VA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2011

Located on one of the most beautiful stretches of beach in Zanzibar. A very safe area with the addition of Masai guards. Each individual bungalow is just the right combination of rustic island hut and civilized conveniences. Our unit was clean, cool, and had a great view of the coconut palms, garden flowers, and Indian Ocean. Thomas (German) and his wife Gloria (American) are the owners and are warm and helpful hosts. They chose to make the lodge a truly beach experience with a sand floor in the restaurant and sand extending to the front door of each bungalow. We enjoyed this feature. Food in the restaurant was delicious and presented beautifully.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank Geauxdatigers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2011

Mchanga Beach was on a list of names sent to us by our travel agent. I reviewed each one on Trip Advisor and what struck me about Mchanga Beach was the consistency of the very positive reviews and so we chose Mchanga Beach.
We arrived with some trepidation - was it going to meet the expectations created? The answer is a resounding -Yes!
What to say next? Other recent reviewers have described this place as as “a peaceful haven”, “paradise” and “heaven” and these are all fitting descriptions.
This is a place where you kick off your sandals as you step out of your taxi onto the soft white sand and don’t put them back on until you reluctantly step back into a taxi to leave.

This is a place where you completely relax on one of the many comfortable day beds in full sun or in the shade of a palm tree.

This is a quiet place with only the background rumble of the ocean and the occasional splash in the pristine pool.

This is a place where your lunch, drinks and tea are brought to wherever you are relaxing.

The sea is amazingly warm. Yes , at low tide its some way off but twice a day it rolls back in over the soft white sand and its beautiful to swim in at that time. I noticed that the beach was being raked free of seaweed in front of Mchanga and whilst there were some strings of seaweed in the sea as we swam it did not spoil our enjoyment.

We stayed in one of the Garden rooms, No 7. It’s larger that the Sea view rooms and at one end has two daybeds in an L shape. The main 4 poster bed is over 6 ft wide with a mosquito net canopy with bedside lights inside. It was very comfortable.

The room has a user operated air conditioning unit and there are two large fans as well.

The room opens at the sea end onto a private covered sandy terrace with a bench seat and two chairs and also opens at the side to a cement floor terrace with two chairs and a table.

The shower enclosure is a plain plastered wall enclosure with plenty of hot water and good water pressure.

The room was plain but very clean with some rush mats on the varnished cement floor. Looking up you see the natural timber work supporting the palm frond roof.

Although its not called a Sea View room the sea is visible through the palm trees from the side terrace. We liked this room and would choose it again on a return visit.

Mchanga has been created with careful attention to retaining many of the tall palms and other trees and along with the colourful garden and white sand this contributes to the paradise feeling.

It is Gloria and Thomas’ attention to detail, management of their staff and obvious care for their guests that make this place so relaxing. The little things like a jug of water on your step to clean the sand off your feet and the thermos of hot water and biscuits left at your door in the morning for your tea or coffee. The two colourful sarongs and beach bag in the room. The staff are all friendly, smiling, courteous and efficient.

There is a book exchange and in the office there is internet access via a dial up service on a pay as you use it basis.

The food was good, with plenty of local fresh fruit and vegetables and a variety of local and European dishes.

Gloria plans to open a Spa facility soon.

Mchanga Beach is about an hour from the airport and if you arrange the taxi via Gloria its about USD55 each way which is somewhat cheaper than the USD86 ew as arranged by my agent!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NikiVeniVidi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Level Contributor
20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2011

Our third visit to Mchanga Beach..........as ever utter perfection, having stayed at other lodges on Zanzibar this was by far the best food all freshly cooked and nicely presented. Thomas and Gloria and there staff were utterly charming nothing was too much trouble for any of them . We very much look forward to returning.

Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Scottishholidaymaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mchanga Beach Resort

Property: Mchanga Beach Resort
Address: Between Pwani Mchangani and Matemwe, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#50 Spa Hotel in Zanzibar Island
#80 On the Beach Hotel in Zanzibar Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Karibu, Close your eyes, imagine silence interrupted only by the sea and the sound of coconut trees, white sandy beach and peace...welcome to Mchanga of Zanzibar. We are located 40 minutes from Stone Town on the north east of the island between the Matemwe and Pwani Mchangani villages where there is no presence of large hospitality establishments. Mchanga in swahili means sand, therefore our paths, the floor of our restaurant and bar is made with the same white sand of the beach....at your arrival you will be asked to remove your shoes and wear them again only at your departure. Our only purpouse is to make you feel comfortable and pamper you with the luxury of simplicity. Recharge your batteries by enjoying the tranquility of our location, the food of our restaurant, the selection of our cocktails and an extensive menu of treatments and massages. Every boungalow has been decorated with local patterns and motives made by locals; satellite tv, A/C, comfortable beds and all the amenities to make your stay even more enjoyable. We do provide a number of services such as private transportation from and to the airport, excursions to the various points of interest of the island...everything to make your stay hassle free. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mchanga Beach Hotel Zanzibar

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