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“Home away from home” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mnarani Beach Cottages

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Mnarani Beach Cottages
Ranked #11 of 17 Hotels in Nungwi
Certificate of Excellence
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
1 review
“Home away from home”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2013

Apart from Mnarani being at an excellent location the plus is it is so very comfortable being there that it feels like being at home, but with a different view. The staff are nice and friendly, the food is good and the rooms are nice an clean. There is also a sauna :). The views from Mnarani and the setting on the decking is gorgeous. Nothing made my day like a few hours in the hammock reading a book and listening to the ocean, a swim in between and finally a nice candlelight dinner. Definitely home away from home.

Room Tip: Definitely the beach front bangalows
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Farry D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nassor_Maharouky, Owner at Mnarani Beach Cottages, responded to this review, July 3, 2013
Thank you for your review, being in Dar Es Salaam I hope you will visit us again soon. Your description of home away from home is the atmosphere we are trying to achieve and it seems we managed to do this for you. Thank you again for staying at the hotel and we look forward to seeing you again sometime.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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489 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (111)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2013

My husband and I are currently staying at the Mnarani Beach Cottages. We are very impressed by the resort overall. The pool and beach are beautiful; the staff is extremely friendly and helpful. The food is excellent, especially our 3-course dinner by candlelight. The area is very quiet right now and the cottages are secluded at high tide. At low tide, we were able to walk for miles along the beach, passing several restaurants, shops, and hotels along the way. The ocean is excellent for swimming! We met the manager today, who was very pleasant. Overall, we highly recommend the Mnarani Beach Cottages for a beach vacation in Zanzibar, though we also suggest visiting Stone Town for 1-2 days.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Katie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nassor_Maharouky, General Manager at Mnarani Beach Cottages, responded to this review, June 20, 2013
Thank you for your gracious review, I am so glad you enjoyed your stay here, we are always trying to improve our service and your experience and from your review I think we are going in the right direction. Thank you again from all the staff.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2013

We stayed at Mnarani last week and overall had a wonderful time there. The room (superior room) was big and clean, with air conditioning and fans. The location is wonderful - it's within easy walking distance to the restaurants and a great swimming beach but far enough away to avoid the noise and party centre. The staff was lovely and accommodating to us and our 2 year old. We could watch the sunrise from our balcony and the sunset from the rooftop lounge.

BUT, and it's a big but, the food is terrible. Apparently this is under review, so they are obviously aware this is an issue, but we were really disappointed with the food especially considering the cost of the rooms. If we were staying at a backpackers we would have accepted the quality but for the price of staying there the food was appalling. We were on half board so had paid for breakfast and dinner, but 2 out of the 5 nights we ate out because we couldn't bear to have another sub standard dinner. The lunch menu was worse than the dinner one! You pay more for an unenjoyable burger and chips at Mnarani than for a delicious freshly caught whole fish with rice and salad at a restaurant a short walk away.

It is a shame that the food was so bad, because everything else about our time at Mnarani was wonderful, and it has the potential to be a really fantastic, friendly, relaxing and beautiful holiday spot.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank viola85745
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nassor_Maharouky, Owner at Mnarani Beach Cottages, responded to this review, May 21, 2013
I am sorry to read that your only disappointment was the overall standard and pricing of the food.

This subject is a priority for the hotel. We are in the process of redesigning our kitchen along with the menu and pricing, we are also employing new staff and producing a new menu and service system. We hope to raise the standards significantly to a give our guests a great culinary experience when ever and whatever they eat at the hotel.

On the other hand I am pleased to read that at the cottages was a pleasant and enjoyable experience and thank you for the review.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 10, 2013

Nungwi is better known for its pretty white sandy beaches and a place to sit back and relax, compared to the more bustling "stonetown" at the heart of the island. My friend and I decided to spend a couple of days unwinding here after our safari tours, and enjoyed our time here.

Nice ocean-facing rooms with lounge chairs out front, air conditioned and equipped with mosquito nets. There is no sandy white beach here, but you can see gorgeous turquoise waters and walk along it to reach a pier. When there is low-tide, you can venture down and take a walk, as many locals do.

The best part is the pool, and the numerous swing sets, lounge chairs and hammocks all scattered in the area. Be outside and relax. Have a drink from the bar. Dinner was great that was set right alongside the pier; however, it did get pretty breezy and our candle kept on extinguishing. Nevertheless, it was fun to eat in the dark.

There was internet WIFI at least poolside. Good reception and staff and a computer room and a library for you to use.

Recommend for relaxation and soaking up the sun.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jinnng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nassor_Maharouky, Owner at Mnarani Beach Cottages, responded to this review, May 20, 2013
We are glad that you decided to do your unwinding and enjoyed your stay at the cottages.

It is nice that you managed to explore some of the local beaches and make good use of our pool. I will pass on your kind comments to all of the staff and thank you for the review.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sisters, Oregon
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2013

This is a great spot if you are looking to just hang-out. We had a very pleasant trip and particularly enjoyed the excellent snorkeling. The rooms are comfortable, though small. Only a couple of down-sides. One was that the food was marginal and two, the beach is apparently seasonal. The sand comes in at certain times of the year and is gone others. If this is important to you, you'd better check which months. Best for adults as there are not a ton of activities.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Marlys U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nassor_Maharouky, Owner at Mnarani Beach Cottages, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
Thank you for your kind comments regarding your recent stay with us.

The seasonal movement of sand on our beach is unfortunately beyond our control, but within the next month it should begin to return again and it will be returned to its former glory.

Our food and beverage operation is currently under review and we do appreciate your feed back regarding this; it is with the critque of our clients that we are able to improve the quality of the product we offer.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2013

I give this place a 3. I really liked some things about this place and I really hated other things about it. The first impression was amazing, you come in and walk through the gardens, past the pool and see the ocean and you're thinking this is going to be amazing. Then you open the door to your room and it's barely bigger then the bed inside it. The bed is pressed against the wall and you have to jump over your partner to get in/out. With 2 bags on the floor there's no room to more around. The bathroom is also very small but then again, how much time are you really going to spend in your room anyway. The people coming in/out of the rooms to clean/change towels know very little english and came across as rude a few times but i'd chalk that up to a language barrier and probably my fault as I'm making them speak English in their country. The pool area is amazing and we absolutely loved all the hammocks and lounge chairs everywhere on the resort both in the sun and shade. Where Mnarani really lost us was the food. The breakfasts were actually very good. It's buffet style with coffee, tea, juices, fresh fruits, fresh baked bread, eggs to order, potatoes, sausages, crepes. Actually probably our favorite breakfasts in Tazania. It got worse from here though. The lunch was ok. We had a pizza and club sandwich and was nothing to write home about but we ate it. The dinners here are terrible. our breakfasts and dinners were included with our booking. The dinner included the choice of soup/salad, choice of 3 entrees, and a buffet style dessert. It was absolutely terrible every dinner - probably the worst food I have EVER had. the one night I didn't even eat because it was that gross. If you stay here, I wouldn't get the dinners included and i'd take a taxi into Nungwi for dinner. The hotel really needs to address this issue because if the food were good, this hotel easily goes from average to excellent.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Robyn M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tivon
2 reviews
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2013

The hotel seems very nice BUT:
no double beds in the standard rooms - not mentioned when one books a room (with booking.com) then when we got there and found out about it, the only "solution" the could offer was upgrading the room for an extre charge of 40$ a day.
local animals just came in the room and a very nice creature called "bush baby" paid us a visit, under the "upgraded" bed in the superior room.
the toilet sit was broken.
then when we wanted to do an early chek out, they charged us again becuse of some comission they had to pay booking.com
the booking site was not informed by the hotel and sent us a payment confirmation for almost
200$ less then what we actually paid.

In other words - DO NOT GO THERE.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Amitayfarkash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nassor_Maharouky, Owner at Mnarani Beach Cottages, responded to this review, March 10, 2013
Dear Amitayfarkash

Thank you for your comments, however, it was not clear to me that your complain it was about our service or about the payment, as you mentioned that your booking came through booking.com maybe you did not mentioned you want a double bed as we have double bed rooms in all of our mode of accommodation additional to that we have our cancelation policy which clearly mentioned in booking.com.

Iam glad to hear you had a visitor ‘bush baby’ you are very lucky because they normally are very shy animal.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mnarani Beach Cottages

Property: Mnarani Beach Cottages
Address: North Coast, Nungwi, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Nungwi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Nungwi
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Nungwi
#10 Family Hotel in Nungwi
#11 Romantic Hotel in Nungwi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Mnarani Beach Cottages 3.5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mnarani Beach Cottages is a beach resort hotel, located on the northernmost tip of Zanzibar Island in the village of Nungwi, next to the old lighthouse.Mnarani has been independently recommended by The Lonely Planet Guide, The Bradt Guide to Zanzibar and many other East African travel guidebooks. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mnarani Beach Cottages Hotel Nungwi
Mnarani Beach Hotel
Mnarani Beach Resort
Mnarani Beach Cottages Zanzibar Island/Nungwi

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