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“Amazing service and a perfect Honeymoon treat!!!”

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Zanzibar Retreat Hotel
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Matemwe
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 21, 2011

We decided to have 3 weeks of various adventures for our honeymoon which began with a safari in the Serengeti and ended in Mombasa.

In the middle of this we spent an amazing week in Zanzibar, 5 nights of which were spent at the Zanzibar Retreat.

This little haven of tranquility is one to really be adored, with spectacular white coral sand beaches backing onto the hotel it really was a taste of paradise. The property has just finished a refurbishment and had only been open one week prior to our stay. There are 12 rooms at the hotel most of which are ground level, ours opening out on to the swimming pool.

We were greated in reception with a welcome drink and shown to our room by Saloma, newly appointed "guest relations manager" (apologies if the spelling is wrong) and Siti one of the house keeping staff, fruit basket flowers and a stunning air conditioned room awaited us. We couldn't have asked for more.

We were privaleged enough to have the hotel to ourselves as it was still low season during our visit and we were spoiled rotten!

The food at the hotel is devine, everything is fresh and there is a lovely selection of meals over the week. There is roughly 6 or 7 options for breakfast and numerous lunch options. In the evenings there was a choice of 2 options for main dish which followed 2 starters, bread and then there was dessert. Every mouthful which we ate was delightful it really was a pleasure to eat there.

The staff at the hotel can not be praised highly enough, they are truely an asset to Jan, the hotel owner. From the house keeping staff and gardeners to chefs and waiters not forgetting their very own Tom Cruise .... the King cocktail maker David and the always smiling Lucicero (sorry for the spelling) every one of them worked their socks off and nothing was too much trouble for them. They made note of which table we liked and set this for breakfast, lunch and dinner all apart for the last night ......

We were surprised on our final evening by having a stunningly romantic candle lit meal in the beach hut. Our own cabana seeing the sun set, the tide come in and being treated like a King and Queen.

We would recommend this hotel to EVERYONE we know, as long as they are looking for total relaxation in paradise. There is little to do around the area however we tried our hand at diving and even snorkled with dolphins. For the keen diver there is a really good company based about 10 minutes walk along the beach.

Go to the Zanzibar Retreat hotel ..... IT WAS FANTASTIC !!!

We can't thank you enough for making our honeymoon perfect. THANK YOU !!!!!

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank sallyanne82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 21, 2011

Travelling around Zanzibar for our honeymoon we found the Zanzibar Retreat the perfect place to stay for 4 nights as our base for doing some diving (we went with One Ocean just a short walk up the beach). We were lucky enough to have the place to ourselves so it was lovely... quiet and relaxing (perfect for us) but I can imagine that in a busier season, more people would actually make this place even better as you can sit and chat at the bar in the evenings. We sat chatting to the friendly staff and Yhan (the owner from Finland) who was really lovely, and couldn't have been more helpful or accomodating. As soon as Yhan realised we were on honeymoon he got us some champagne straight away and sorted out a complimentary massage for us... what a lovely treat!

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank AlexMorley28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2011

Short reviews are good reviews, so:
1. Beautiful clean hotel with cosy restaurant and good swimming pool (pool is a must if you like to spend a lot of time in a water).
2. Fine Finnish owner who has hopefully forgiven us that we forgot to return the key from the room, and unobtrusive staff - except for one waiter who probably listened to hip-hop too much, and so he behaved.
3. Location is beautiful but low tide and sea urchins may be a problem when you stay for too long. We didn't, and so we enjoyed Matemwe village and the life in the lagoon during low tide with all the fishermen and mussel & oyster gatherers. But the fact that you may only swim in the sea about two hours a day and watch carefully when the high tide is coming is a little bit annoying. However beach has a white sand of a world class quality. If you stay longer, take a boat, go snorkeling, go fishing, go sightseeing and don't get stuck on the beach only.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank drumbun09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2011

We had a wonderful stay at the Zanzibar Retreat Hotel. Jan (the owner) has assembled a fabulous team that really made the vacation even better. The hotel is situated directly on a beatiful, secluded area of beach in the northeast corner of Zanzibar. There are currently very few other hotels in the area, so the beach is very quiet and relaxing. One of the things we most enjoyed was watching the local women tending to their seaweed farms every morning at low tide. The hotel also had a wonderful pool which was nice and calm to sit around during the days. The food at the hotel was exceptional. We selected the full board option because we did not have any interest in leaving the hotel property during our stay. We were not disappointed. Every meal was outstanding.
The hotel only has 9 rooms which creates a quiet, intimate environment. The rooms are small, but nicely decorated in Swahili style. All rooms have a ceiling fan and air conditioning which made the nights much more comfortable. This place was truly remarkable and the perfect place to relax after safari.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank ontheroad30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2011

My husband and I stayed at this hotel for 6 days after our safari. The hotel grounds are very pretty and clean with beautiful hardwood walkways leading to the rooms and around the common areas. The gardens on the property are lovely. The hotel manager, Janne, is often around - we found him charming, funny and helpful.

We stayed in room 2, near the bar area and it was nice and quiet. The room was a good size and had a large bathroom with a water heater for showers. The bed was a bit firm for my preference, but it was comfortable and had a mosquito net. There are no phones or television in the rooms and this was perfect – we were on vacation, afterall, so we raided the lending library the hotel keeps. The hotel has wireless access and a computer available for use at the reception area if you need to get online.

There were plenty of comfy sitting areas around the pool and on the patio where we ate our meals. There’s a nice little sitting area outside each room as well. A big plus for us was the fact that there were covered lounges on the beach for us to use. For some reason, this was a rarity. Down the beach, we saw other beach loungers, but few of them were covered. This is a big deal if you want to hang out on the beach, but don’t want constant exposure to the sun.

The hotel is situated on a clean stretch of beach that you can walk right onto from the hotel pool area. The beach is peaceful and there aren’t tons of tourists or people trying to sell you souvenirs. During low tide, the water is very low, so all you can do is walk out into the water, about knee deep. During high tide, the water is swimmable. If one really needed/wanted to swim, the pool was great.

The food at this hotel was VERY good. We went with the full board option because we had read other reviews that said there wasn’t much else to choose from in the area. We were glad we purchased the full board. Breakfast was usually a choice of eggs, yogurt, pancakes or meats, with fresh juices and coffee or tea, and lots of fresh fruit. Lunches and dinners were a choice from two options that changed daily (one usually being a seafood option). Lunch and dinner always began with a started and dinner also included a desert. All the food was DELICIOUS, but the seafood was especially good (I think I asked for the sautéed squid at least 4 times at lunch). All the food is extremely fresh and flavorful.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Boobookittyfingers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2011

We were looking for a hotel to recover from our climb up Kilimanjaro... and can't imagine a more perfect choice!
The hotel is located on the Indian Ocean side of Zanzibar, directly opening out onto the shore with only the beach standing between you and the ocean. Aside from some small neighbouring hotels (which seemed quiet), there is little aside from boats, fishermen and sand to interrupt your views for miles north or south.
We were attracted to the hotel by the fact that it is small (8 bedrooms) and that the food had excellent reviews... the food was the highlight of our stay!
The breakfasts and dinners were prepared to a very high standard - it would be hard to find better in any London restaurant and I have eaten in many worse locations benefiting from Michelin stars. The dressings were memorable - must write to Jan for some of the recipes!
The bar was well stocked and prices were reasonable; the Bar staff were great!
The bedroom was everything that we needed... very comfortable bed - as you would expect in Zanzibar - clean and the linen always clean. The bathroom was a little tired, but after climbing Kilimanjaro and sleeping in tents the previous week it felt like luxury! They were very clean though. No TV in the room created welcome respite from the constant flow of "news" that travelers are typically subjected to.
The facilities at the hotel were perfect. The pool was great, the hammocks on the beach relaxing, and we always felt as though we had the place to ourselves even on the rare occasions that other guests were visible.
Zanzibar has challenges with its energy infrastructure; so there was no power for a few hours whilst we were there... however we felt so chilled that this didn't bother us at all.
The hotel is about one hour from the airport; the drive beautiful; make sure that you ask the hotel to arrange your transfers - saves money in the end!
We will go back!

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank ScotinLondon1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2011

My friend and I had a wonderful time at the Zanzibar Retreat. The location is idyllic, the staff is incredibly friendly and welcoming and it would be impossible not to relax here. The hotel is just a few steps away from the sea (although quite a bit longer when the tide is out!) and the beach was quiet and beautiful.
The rooms were clean and very comfortable and the pool was perfect to cool off on.
The food – especially the seafood –was delicious. We were not on full board but tried out the full evening menu on a couple of occasions and can definitely recommend it.
One tiny bugbear was that there was no wi-fi in the rooms as had been advertised on the website.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank stephDeB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Zanzibar Retreat Hotel

Address: Matemwe Beach, Matemwe, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Matemwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Matemwe
Price Range: $107 - $436 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The hotel is situated directly on the beach. Its a peaceful and tranquil setting with plenty of shady places for you to relax. There is a 16x8 meter pool perfect for a refreshing swim when the tide is out. The hotel serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and there is a well-stocked bar to accompany. We are proud to have a good reputation regarding food. We work consequently with proper waist management, and support education in the village. Most of our suppliers are from the village, and we try our best to have a good relation with the whole village. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zanzibar Retreat Matemwe
Zanzibar Retreat Hotel Matemwe, Zanzibar Island

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