We spent three nights at Sunshine Marine Lodge in July 2013. The location is truly spectacular, private and separated from other lodges, overlooking the ivory-sand beaches of Mnemba Island and the surrounding turquoise and aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean. As you walk through the reception, the vista alone is immediately calming and intoxicating, set to a soundscape of waves gently lapping on the shore and reef beyond. The resort comprises a series of two-storey (four-room) cream-coloured, grass-roof lodges set in intricately landscaped gardens with stone walls, benches and hammocks. Our room (#15) was extremely comfortable, attractively designed and well finished, with a fabulous sea view from the spacious balcony. The management and wait staff are very competent, attentive and friendly. The team of chefs produced consistently high quality fare, with a strong local accent (we dined almost exclusively on the local caught seafood, served in many guises, from simple char-grilled to complex fusions characteristic of Zanzibar’s diverse culinary influences). The restaurant and bar are really pleasant, relaxing places to be, overlooking two swimming pools and the quintessential tropical island-ocean view beyond. Low tide exposes unbelievably powdery white sand below the lodge, and allows you to walk the 700m north to a kilometre long stretch of white-sand, palm-backed beach. At high tide, the lodge provides free transport (5 minutes) in one of its vehicles to the beach, which offers superb swimming, and the chance to witness the local fishing dhows going about their daily business (you can see your meal come ashore). We took a four hour trip out to the Mnemba Atoll (an extensive coral reef system) with the Dive Point Zanzibar facility, co-located with Sunshine Marine Lodge, the closest of the Zanzibar mainland lodges to the atoll. It is a short (20 minute) boat ride to the atoll, which supports a mesmerising diversity of tropical fish, and, during our stay, boasted daily encounters with Bottlenose Dolphins that come into the boats and engage with snorkelers and divers, to the rich delight of everyone involved. The Dive Point leaders and boat skipper did a solid and thorough job of supporting, informing, feeding and watering snorkelers/divers, and behaving respectfully toward the dolphins.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Lodge is situated 20min. far away from Matemwe, just in front of the beautiful Mnemba Atoll and near the unspoiled Muyuni Beach. Surrounded by a wild bush (local flora), Sunshine Marine Lodge is the ideal location to relax, enjoy the pure nature and the Dive Point diving center's activities (diving, snorkeling, dive courses), far away from the mass tourism and huge properties "all inclusive". The Lodge disposes of 3 outdoor pools overlooking the Ocean and Mnemba Atoll as well the Restaurant and Bar. Guests can choose from "a' la carte menu" tasty dishes from local and international cuisine, different all the days and cooked only with fresh ingredients and lovely care. Half or Full board are provided on request. As located on a rocky cliff, the wooden jetty gives the chance to reach the sea and swim or, on the low tide, do a nice promenade in the sea bottom and discover creeks, wild fauna or reach Muyuni Beach (700mt on foot or 15 minutes by bike). Our diving center provide for special reef shoes and mountain bikes are available at the reception, for free. All the bungalows are within a lush and colored garden. Bedrooms have an African modern design, with sea view, from the private garden with veranda or the terrace, all equipped with outdoor furniture to chilling out in privacy. King size bed with mosquito net, desk, stone bench, bathroom with shower, safe, 3 fans (no a/c and TV), are the main features in all the categories. Family, friends or little groups are welcome thanks to the huge Panorama Suites, suitable up to 4 people or extra/twin beds available in most of the other rooms. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sunshine Marine Lodge Matemwe, Zanzibar Island