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“Lovely Mnarani”

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Mnarani Beach Cottages
Ranked #13 of 19 Hotels in Nungwi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 12, 2009

We stayed at the Mnarani Beach Cottages for just 2 nights after New Year. I have to agree with all other reviewers and say I did love this place - it is beautiful, relaxing and extremely friendly. We stayed in a family cottage although there were just two of us - although not a deluxe room it was spotlessly clean (despite a slight smell of damp) and very comfortable. I loved the fact we had our own balcony facing right onto the water.

The staff here are very friendly and do their utmost to help, which was fab. The place itself is beautifully landscaped (loved the gorgeous pool area), with hammocks and beds right on the water front. The beach itself right in front of the hotel isn't the best but just walk round the corner to a stunning stretch of sand.

Only downside that we only realised after going on to other hotels on Zanzibar - the food, although inventive and varied is not the best (I think the buffet style lets it down), and the atmosphere in the evening is very quiet - lots of couples and familys, and not much of a buzz. If that suits you though this is a perfect place.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank KatyR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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390 - 396 of 520 reviews

Reviewed January 12, 2009

Our 4-night half-board stay was quite pleasant and relaxing. The breakfast and dinners were quite ample, and tastefully prepared. The Swahili dinners was special. We spent some very relaxing moments in the pool, or at the bar having a beer, or just sitting around doing nothing! The tide pulls out quite far, and the sea around the resort does not lend itself to snorkeling.

Additional expenses such as lunch, beers & drinks etc. can add up to make you spend more than you might have originally intended, however, this was not something which detracted from the overall holiday experience.

The chalets are quite small, and in our chalet the aircon seems to have given up the ghost. During most nights the power failed, but hey, this is Africa! :-)

Overall the holiday experience was great, and we'll seriously consider returning there one day!

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank EuroHiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2008

After a week long camping safari in Tanzania, my husband and I flew to Zanzibar to finish off our honeymoon. We had made no hotel reservations, thinking that we could find a comfortable and cheap local hotel once we were there. After staying 2 nights in Stone Town, we spent almost 3 hours searching for a beach hotel, from Pongwe up the coast to Nungwi, without finding a place with both a great hotel AND a great beach. Finally, we came to Mnarani Beach Cottages, and knew we found what we were looking for. We planned on staying for 3 nights, but ended up staying for over a week!

Mnarani has beautiful, well-kept grounds, situated right on a gorgeous white sand beach. There are hammocks, lounge chairs, and even swings all set up to maximize the views. There is a nice swimming pool, but we never used it, preferring to swim in the warm Indian Ocean every day instead. We stayed in the "Pemba" suite, which was huge, had mosquito nets, AC, and a sitting area, and faced the beach. Breakfast and dinner (both included in the price of our stay) were excellent and varied at every meal, and were served in an open-air veranda and were lit by candle light at night--very romantic! Other amenities include: a library, internet access, souvenir shop, sauna, and massage.

We took advantage of the on-site dive shop, and went on a full-day snorkeling trip to the Mnemba Atoll (where we were lucky enough to swim with dolphins!) and later in the week we rented kayaks. The hotel offers all the other tourist excursions (spice tours, Stone Town tours, fishing, etc) as well. However, I would recommend doing these excursions when and if you stay in Stone Town, since the price from Mnarani was double what was quoted at our hotel in Stone Town.

The best part of Mnarani was the staff, who were all very friendly, upbeat, and helpful. My husband's 30th birthday coincided with our trip, and the staff made him a cake and sang to him, and Nassor, the owner, even celebrated with us and our new friends at the bar!

The guests at the hotel were mostly couples, although there were a few families and groups of friends. I would say about half were in their 20's and 30's, and half a bit older. Everyone was friendly and most mingled in the bar area before and after dinner to play games and socialize. My husband and I made several friends during our stay whom we are keeping in contact with now that we're back home.

After checking out probably about half the hotels on the entire island of Zanzibar, we can definitely recommend Mnarani as the best hotel for the best price. We had roughed it during our safari, and wanted some western comforts to round out the trip, and that is exactly what we got. If we ever return to Zanzibar (which I hope we will!), this is where we will stay.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank GGCat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2008

I stayed here with 3 friends after climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. The rooms and views were gorgeous and the food was very good. Breakfast and dinner were buffets with a good selection to choose from. There were definitely a lot of couples on their honeymoons so the resort was not that lively in the evening, but that suited us just fine. A great place to relax and take in some sun.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with friends
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3  Thank janesegal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2008

We stayed at Mnarani on Sept 19, 2008 for one night. We were meeting up with some friends from home after their safari. Everything about our experience with Mnarani was excellent. Before we even arrived I had contacted the resort to see about arranging transportation to and from there as we were flying in. Promptly we received a reply by e-mail from a gentleman by the name of Yussaf, providing details and asking if there was anything else that he could do for us.

Upon arriving at the airport we were greeted by the driver who whisked us away for the approx 1 hour drive north. As we pulled up to the entrance of the place we were greeted with smiling faces by not only the staff at the reception desk but by any of the staff who happened to be walking by.

After heading to our room (the Huba Family Room) we unpacked and headed to the restaurant to get some lunch. Again as we were walking the 100ft or so to the seating area we were pleasantly greeted by all the staff on our way. Lunch was nice as we looked out over the water.

After lunch we decided to all walk along the beach, past the lighthouse and check our the village Nungwi. About 20 minutes later we arrived and checked out aqll the shops, restaurants and such and had a small refreshment before heading back to Mnarani. *Note: we found most of the restaurants closed during the day due to the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan. If you are planning to visit, maybe check when this is so that you will have more choices. It did not bother us though.

Then in the evening we had dinner (buffet) style at the resort. The food was very good. After retiring to our room we sat out on the second floor balcony to enjoy the sounds of the crashing waves and watching the brilliant stars in the clear sky.

Sadly we had to leave the next morning back to Dar es Salaam. Once again the transportation was prompt. In fact we arrived about 15 minutes before we had arranged to leave. The reception staff apologized for the driver not being there yet (again we were early). Not 5 minutes later the driver showed up and off we went.

We have nothing negative to report and we look forward to returning again with more family. Next time we plan on staying longer and enjoying more of this little piece of paradise.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Surfwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2008

We spent 2 nights of our Honeymoon here as we travelled throughout Africa (Kenya down to Zambia on an Overland Truck!). On arrival they upgraded us at a discounted rate because we were on Honeymoon and the staff were friendly and polite throughout our stay there. We stayed in the 'Pemba' room in Zanzibar House, a more deluxe version of the standard accomodation. The room was clean, spacious and with it's own veranda. The views were amazing and the resort felt very private because of the limited cottages/ rooms available. Although it doesn't have a traditional beach we loved the fact you were able to watch the sea battering the rocks just a few feet below us and it was easy (and safe) to simply walk down some steps and into the sea for a swim. When the tide went out we were able to walk along the beach to other resorts where some friends were staying (it only took approx 15 mins). Overall a great place for couples looking to unwind.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AlfaFella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2008

While in Africa my fiance and I decided we wanted to get married there. We called Mnarani 2 days before we wanted to get married and they arranged EVERYTHING!! My husband and I got massages on the beach the morning of the wedding, and my hair done as I looked out at the ocean (I was even able to get traditional wedding henna done!!) We stayed in the beautiful Mahaba cottage and had an amazing sunset ceremony on the beach (with a hand-woven arch, and beautiful flowers) . Followed by an group Dhow cruise with drummers and African punch. We we returned from our cruise there was a beautiful BBQ and buffet dinner prepared for us and our 20 guests (even a chocolate wedding cake!!) and candlelight seating for all 20 of our travel friends on the beach. We finished the night with dancing and a performance by local acrobats! The staff at Mnarani planned and executed our entire wedding and it COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE PERFECT! They are the reason I had the picture perfect wedding!
I whole heartedly suggest that EVERYONE go to the Mnarani Bungalows - you will never forget your experience there!!

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Cryslyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Nungwi
#10 Family Hotel in Nungwi
#11 Romantic Hotel in Nungwi
Price Range: $118 - $254 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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