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“A lovely retreat on Zanzibar”

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Matemwe Beach Village
Ranked #3 of 10 Matemwe B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“A lovely retreat on Zanzibar”
Reviewed January 8, 2013

My wife and I stayed 4 nights in one of the Kijiji bungalows. Our room was fairly basic but clean and tidy with a couple of nice touches (eg. sarongs and hats provided). I read a couple of reviews on here that complained about the décor looking a little tired and grubby – I actually thought the same when we arrived, but my wife insists that is the intended rustic style so I stand corrected. We were in room number 17 and had a view straight out to the sea.

Along the beach there are a number of huts and hammocks which are nice and private for chilling out in the shade. It’s not really possible to swim in the sea because the tide reaches out so far, so cooling down was largely limited to the pool area which was nicely designed on two levels.

We did a refresher dive in the pool with One Ocean (the dive centre at the resort) before heading out to Mnemba for some excellent diving. One Ocean were knowledgeable, friendly and professional.

I can only echo other reviews here praising the chef – the food was absolutely superb. Same goes for all of the staff who were all very friendly, helpful and attentive.

The only downside was that we weren’t made aware of any potential security concerns - we decided to go for a late dip in the sea one evening around 11pm and were approached by 3 security guys who told us we should head back to our bungalow as the beach can be unsafe after dark. A similar incident happened when we were enjoying the stars at night on our veranda. Ah well, better safe than sorry, but we wished the hotel would have told us and that the security people could be identifiable by wearing a hotel uniform or something – it would have avoided us a bit of a scare. But this by no means soured the lovely time we had at Matemwe Beach Village.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank DaveGreener
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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368 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (71)
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English first
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2012

This hotel has a natural feel about it and you feel as though you are in a beach village, but still have life's luxuries of a swimming pool, bar and excellent food.
The food really was excellent; probably the best food I have consistently experienced whilst on holiday. The hotel staff, particularly the bar/restaurant staff were charming and very welcoming and you were made to feel as though you were home.

The lagoon is not ideal for swimming due to the locals farming seaweed, but this was part of the character as you got to experience how the tides rule how the locals work for very little reward. However, for the swimmers, you can simply go in the pool or take a scuba or snorkel trip.

Unfortunately the local marine reserve (Mnemba Atoll) has been and was (when we dived) being fished by locals so it was not an oasis for marine life. We were very disappointed with the lack of variety and quantity of fish we saw on each of the 4 dives, based on what we had read about the area. In addition to this, the One Ocean scuba providers on-site we surprisingly uninterested in providing assistance. It was one word answers most of the time and it was as though we were intruding upon their personal time and space; when they were in the premises. Sadly the poorest level of service I have experienced throughout my 80+ dives.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank Tim G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lier, Belgium
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed November 18, 2012

Exellent resort with nice bungalows, very friendly staff and superb kitchen.
Diving and snorkling from beach not possible, due to the seaweed culture and the dammaged coral reef. (Housereef)
For diving or snorkling you need at least to drive 30 minutes by boat or dala dala. One ocean does a great service providing this but is too expensive for what the sea can offer here.

Room Tip: Top addresse at the north east side of Zanzibar Diving much too expensive for what it is. Quite an...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Verhepa1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
marigo
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed November 16, 2012

Arriving on Zanzibar island, me and my girlfriend, move directly to the village of Matemwe and the lodge ‘’Matemwe Beach’’. Very professional welcome, beautiful lodge (we take a bizarre and surprizing Suite), Excellent restaurant (and when I mean excellent, It is well presented, smell good, and taste excellent and delicious), it was perfect. Thank you, and especially to the ‘’Chef’’, a great one.
Just be very careful with the diving center, they are very very expensive have antiquated and poorly functioning equipment.

Room Tip: The extraordinaire Suite
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank anneswco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrogate, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2012

Spent 2 nights at Matemwe beach village at end of trip to Tanzania. Location was lovely on a beautiful beach. We had a double and triple room with direct access to beach, they were simply but comfortably furnished with lovely touches like sun hat, sarongs and bag for beach. The bare feet theme was nice and we liked the relaxed approach of sandy paths and open access to dining area. The staff were so friendly and helpful, the food choices were tasty and good selection of drinks and service throughout was great. Everyone staying felt really relaxed and there was lots of areas for relaxing in or out of sun. Pool was a big hit with our daughters. Our flight was late on our last day and the manager happily let us keep our room at no cost. We just didn't want to leave...would definitely recommend - the fellow gusts were mixture of families / couples and groups and it seemed worked for all.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank carwads
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
76 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

We can only echo the sentiments and comments of previous travellers that have praised this slice of paradise.
The first couple of nights accommodation in Zanzibar was in Stone Town, so we arranged to take the $10 shuttle from town (pick up at the Dive Centre). The $10 pp shuttle price is very good value as it's a long drive out to Matemwe, giving you an opportunity to see the countryside and way of life outside of Stone Town. After some 40minutes or so, we arrived at Matemwe and it's spectacular coastline.
The staff at Matemwe Beach Village are all very friendly and helpful. One of the staff even taught us the classic African board game of "Bao" using one of the boards in the reception area.
Due to heavy bookings when we arrived, we stayed one night in one of the kijiji rooms and then moved to an Asali suite for the rest of our stay. The Kijiji room was fairly basic but very comfortable and clean. The fans were adequate but it would have been nice to have had a little more lighting.
The Asali suite was fabulous. It was very spacious - more rooms than we actually used, and came complete with mini bar and tea/coffee making and wine glasses.
The meals were interesting and delicious, the beer and cold drinks were served almost icy cold (a delight to have in the heat of the day).
The beach is quite spectacular - blinding white sand and the local women busy at work farming seaweed. There are also a few friendly local Masai men who regularly walk up and down the beach selling cloth.
We went out one day on one of the “ngalawa” - a local outrigger canoe carved from a single mango tree - this can be arranged at reception.
Wifi is available here, but like the power, it sometimes goes off for a while.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Matemwe Beach Village - we felt totally relaxed and liked the locally themed decor and ambience that this place offered. The one and only thing that we wished for was better lighting for reading once the sun had set.
We have no hesitation in recommending Matemwe Beach Village and am sure that value for money, this place is second to none!

Room Tip: Spend a little bit more and book an Asali room - you won't be disappointed.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank intrepidkiwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 5, 2012

After a terrible experience in Nungwi, a friend and I decided to up our budget a bit and head for Matemwe. We were so glad we did. From the moment we arrived we felt pampered and spoiled, and Matemwe was everything we hoped to find in Zanzibar. No hassle and total relaxation.
The rooms here were beautiful, with great attention to detail, from the fresh flowers on the bed to the bed-time stories left on our pillows.
The food was fresh and tasty, and the chocolate and chilli cocktails were fabulous.
The dive centre (One Ocean) was really professional and the diving at Mnemba was some of the prettiest I've ever done, with incredibly clear water.
My only reservation was that if I had been travelling alone, I might have felt a little isolated as almost everybody else seemed to be couples. The hotel organises two nights a week of communal dining, around the pool or in the boma, but I would still only come to a resort like this on my own if I really wanted some time alone, as there didn't seem much chance of socialising.
But overall, a wonderful relaxing hotel in a beautiful location.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the beach front
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Vanessa_V73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Matemwe Beach Village

Property: Matemwe Beach Village
Address: | 45 minutes away from Stone Town, Matemwe, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Matemwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 10 B&Bs / Inns in Matemwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Matemwe Beach Village is a local Zanzibari Guest house – not a hotel and not a resort. No shoes No news. We do not have television or air conditioning in the rooms but we do have wifi and a lovely swimming pool. We are very proud of our gourmet food, romantic beach dinner settings and boma evenings under the stars. Situated on the Matemwe Beach on the North East coast of Zanzibar which boasts a beautiful long white sandy beach. At low tide one can explore the reef which stretches all the way down the East coast of the island. We are proud to have One Ocean diving center on our property where diving and snorkeling trips can be arranged. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Matemwe Beach Village Hotel Matemwe
Matemwe Beach Village Zanzibar Island

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