We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A very peaceful, quiet place- exactly as advertised”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 1 more site!
Zanzibar Retreat Hotel
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Matemwe
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 9, 2013

I returned from the the Zanzibar Retreat Hotel about a week and half ago. I must say, it was the perfect end to a fantastic trip to Tanzania involving a couple of treks and safaris. Right when we were picked up at the airport by our cab driver (arranged by Jan, one of the managers of the Retreat), I had the sense that it was going to be a very relaxing and carefree 3 days.

The Retreat came exactly as advertised. It is located in a cozy and quiet corner of the island, in the sleepy village of Matemwe. Make no mistake about it, it is quiet. There are no discos or loud bars in the area. Anyone expecting otherwise will be disappointed. The coziness and quietness carries on into the Retreat. There is no tv or radio in the rooms, just the sounds of waves washing onto the beach. Given the small size of the Retreat, noise from other hotel guests are minimal and they're there likely for the same reasons you are- the peace and quiet.

The service staff was great- from the wait and housekeeping staff to the two owners Jan and Bjorn. Very attentive to our questions. A special shout out to our bartender (who really fulfilled a number of responsibilities)... he was extremely attentive.

We had one of the two upstairs rooms. The washroom, and particularly the shower area, was spacious. The bed was very comfortable and the view (particularly of the sunset and sunrise) was second to none. We had issues with temperature of the water in the shower but given that this is Tanzania, not unexpected.

Lastly, because it is low season, there's not a lot to eat along the beach- this is ok as the Retreat had delicious food, particularly for dinner. Usually included seafood from the local fisherman. Given that we were there over Easter weekend, Jan and Bjorn hosted a fantastic and special Easter Bar-B-Q. It was a pleasant surprise and a prime example of how the Retreat goes the extra mile to ensure its guests are taken care of.

I would highly recommend this Hotel if you are looking to relax. I would have given it five stars were it not for a minor issue with the billing.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Alex C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (456)
There are newer reviews for Zanzibar Retreat Hotel
See the most recent reviews
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

224 - 230 of 456 reviews

Reviewed March 29, 2013

Three of us (my husband, myself, and adult daughter) spent three restful nights at the Zanzibar Retreat Hotel in two rooms with connecting bathroom. This hotel was just what we were looking for, a place for relaxation with nearby access for our daughter to scuba dive and my husband to snorkel. They were more than happy with Scuba Fish Diving located north of the hotel. They found very professional, safe, courteous service. A local had solicited for a snorkeling outing at a better price, but after an accident caused by one of the unlicensed boaters, they were so glad they had chosen Scuba Fish.
Me, I just wanted to “veg.” with a good book in a quiet place. The beach had weeds, but there was no smell and it was interesting seeing the local women gather the weeds for drying. My daughter read that the seaweed was sold to the Orient. We enjoyed walking along the beach, as well as sitting on the covered verandas and covered area by the pool.
Food was good, service was good, everything was very clean. We bought water at a local place, had a drink at another hotel, but otherwise ate all our meals at the hotel--very satisfied. Jan arranged a guide to go with us (via taxi) to Stone Town for a tour before we needed to catch our flight. This was well worth doing, and we felt we saw everything we wanted to see in Stone Town without cutting too much into our time at Matemwe.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank asenior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

Big thanks to Jan and his staff at the hotel for our wonderful stay. It was a cozy and relaxing hotel on a lovely quiet beach. The food is just amazing! I would recommend opting in for the weekly BBQ they have. Simply delicious!
This is really the perfect place to relax and enjoy the hakuna matata life. We were also able to go on dive and snorkelling trips to the nearby mnemba atoll which was amazing.
Would highly recommend this place!!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank monikaro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

The room was quite small, but there was everything you needed (you don't need TV in this retreat). The atmosphere was very relaxing. Beach was very quiet and beautiful. This part of the island is even more laid back than Nungwi. Would recommend this to couples, who need a total relaxation from the fuss. Unfortunately the food was disappointment. There are couple of good restaurants near by - just bury your feet into the sand and follow the smell, as it's is so dark in the evening that you can't see your way...

Room Tip: Wouldn't take a room near the restaurant.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank MiaFin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2013

My husband and I stayed for 2 nights with my sister and her family. If you only want a quiet place for lounging around, this is the place. There is nothing to do but lounge or swim in the pool or the beach. Unfortunately we didn't realize how small this place was, so I felt trapped and extremely bored. The rooms were small, and the bathrooms were in poor condition - toilet seat didn't fit the toilet, shower was tiny, very dim lighting. Food was very good, but service is extremely slow. I suppose that is the pace that the Retreat sets - slow and leisurely. I ordered a cocktail from the bar (no one else was there), and it took the bartender 15 minutes to get around to making the drink. He chatted with another worker, gazed out at the ocean, and puttered around. At one point I thought he forgot about my order! So if you like slow, laid back, and casual, this is a good place. But if you like a bit more activity and nicer rooms, then you should look elsewhere.

Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
Thank Joan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GoZanzibar, General Manager at Zanzibar Retreat Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 24, 2013

Dear guest and readers of Tripadvisor.

First of all, thanks for your comments regarding your stay with us. Despite your feelings for the small shower (90x120 cm) and not perfectly matching toilet seat, I do hope you were comfortable staying with us as a part of you vacation here in Tanzania. We will try correct these errors immidiately.
The electricity on Zanzibar is not so stable right now, which effects not only the lights in the rooms, but also other equipment and machines. This is widely known to be the case, not only on Zanzibar, but in the whole country. We do hope the level of voltage will improve to next season. On behalf of Tanzanian Electricity Board, Sorry for the inconvenience caused.
Im happy to hear that the food was enjoyable but again not to pleased to hear about your drink been served after 15 minutes of waiting. We have responded to this and hope it will not happen again.
The issue of our relaxed and tranquile location, I cannot promise any improvements Im afraid, as this is our profile as hotel, to be a quite, relaxed retreat without disturbance of a discoteque or a noisy bar. Matemwe is a peaceful place, and I will emphasise this to the tour operators even more, so the guest know where they are going, avoiding in the future people getting bored as they have choosen the wrong place on the island.
These issues could have been taken up with the management during the stay and we could have responded rapidly and made your stay better with us. However, we hope the rest of your journey went well, and you still can remember your trip to east africa with a good spirit.
best regards
Jan
owner/manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Many thanks to Jan and all the staff for our wonderful time in Zanzibar!
We were 12 people: outstanding food in such a place, very smiling and trustworthy staff, beautiful white beach, nice swimming pool.
The owner, Jan, very friendly, was always present listening to everyone and doing his best to organize whatever you need (bus transport to visit places...)
I highly recommand that place for relaxing and ressourcing!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Karine B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2013

We really enjoyed our stay at Zanzibar Retreat Hotel. If you are looking for a secluded place with a calm, friendly atmosphere, this is the perfect place. Food was amazing! The beach was beautiful. The serene daily activities of the nearby community; the women working on their seeweed-plantation, the fishermen, the children coming home from school, etc, only added an authentic element to the African experience. Jan, one of the owners, was present most of the time giving attention the every possible detail to keep you comfortable and in a good mood. We stayed in one of the honeymoon-suites, which we highly recommend. Waking up to a beautiful sunrise over the Indian Ocean and the the waves splashing on the beach really helped to remove the stress of the european winter. The peak of our experience was the snorkeling-trip to the nearby island when we had the opportunity to swim with wild dolphins! We counted over 40 of them all around us! Absolutely an all-time-high. The only negative thing was the frequent interruptions in power- and water-supply - but I´ve travelled a great deal in Africa and that´s just something you have to expect.

Room Tip: The extra pay for the honeymoon-suite is money well spent. If you plan to go snorkeling/on a dolphin...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank stefanvikstrom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Matemwe
15.7 mi away
Zanzi Resort
Zanzi Resort
#2 of 170 in Zanzibar Island
501 reviews
5.4 mi away
Melia Zanzibar
Melia Zanzibar
#1 of 12 in Kiwengwa
1,598 reviews
11.3 mi away
DoubleTree by Hilton Resort Zanzibar - Nungwi
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
11.5 mi away
Pongwe Beach Hotel
Pongwe Beach Hotel
#1 of 6 in Pongwe
890 reviews
11.3 mi away
Essque Zalu Zanzibar
Essque Zalu Zanzibar
#2 of 17 in Nungwi
632 reviews
3.3 mi away
Next Paradise Boutique Resort
Next Paradise Boutique Resort
#1 of 6 in Pwani Mchangani
562 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Zanzibar Retreat Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Zanzibar Retreat Hotel

Address: Matemwe Beach | Zanzibar, Matemwe, Tanzania
Phone Number:
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: $67 - $332 (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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Priceline and getaroom.com so you can book your Zanzibar Retreat Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Zanzibar Retreat Matemwe
Zanzibar Retreat Hotel Matemwe, Zanzibar Island

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing