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“Fabulous food, friendly staff, beautiful setting - perfect spot to relax”

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Matemwe Beach Village
Ranked #5 of 10 Matemwe B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 18, 2013

We spent a couple of nights here following a safari and it's the perfect place to relax and unwind. We had a small cottage/duplex right near the beach (there is shrubbery between the cottage and the beach so you can't see the water but you can hear it) that was very comfortable. Each day, the bed was decorated beautifully with flowers from the property and the staff sprayed the room, lit mosquito coils, and lowered the mosquito net while we dined at dinner. We never heard any of the other guests nearby.

The food was definitely the best part, aside from the friendly staff. We enjoyed the food so much, we decided to have lunch there too. Sunrise coffee on the beach with hot milk and biscuits, Eggs Benedict with avocado for breakfast (lots of other options too), sandwiches/salad/etc. for lunch, and a 4 course dinner with amazing fish and steak. One evening they had an African buffet poolside (the pool area is really pretty & gets great breezes) featuring food from north, east, and south Africa. We fell in love with the Urojo (potato) soup they served that evening and they graciously provided the recipe upon request.

There is a very relaxed feeling about this place and you easily unwind while there. We snoozed under one of several cabanas beach-side, walked along the beach, and waded into the ocean. The lodge works with a local villager for laundry service; ours came back fresh and clean. There are 2 small friendly dogs & a cat that live on the property, which is quite large and nicely landscaped.

A negative was the lack of breezes during part of our stay. When the breezes stop, it is very hot and humid. Our cottage had a ceiling fan, but no air conditioning. Ceiling fans in the dining area would be a very nice addition to this property. The lodge is eco-friendly, which we also admired. There were a few people on the beach - mostly young men - who tried to solicit donations from us, but they were not too close to the lodge's beach. Interestingly, the lodge staff rakes and buries the excess seaweed each morning so the beach will be clean and attractive for the guests.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Joy-traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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128 - 134 of 370 reviews

Reviewed March 17, 2013

Matemwe Beach is a beautiful and relaxing oasis where you feel close to the authentic daily live of the villagers. Fantastic to experience the women attending their see weed, funny trying to talk with the young giggling girls collecting shells and octopus. Take a stroll to the reef with captain Hassan and sail in the boats. No hassle, No noisy sport activities or desperate touts. You can actually walk along the beach without much disturbance. The staff is so sweet and you sense its a good place to work. We loved the buildings, the materials, the little stories.

Please keep this place as it is!

Only sore spot was a bunch of arrogant english men (2 or 3 families) who apparently had not discovered they had lost the colonial power. But as a hotel you don't choose your guests.

Room Tip: Family of 3 or 4: The shamba suites offers privacy for the parents
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Marianne F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2013

This is one of my favourite places to stay. The rooms are very simple, but put together with love and attention to detail with well mended mosquito netting and lots of personal touches. The location is fantastic, it is on a really long and open beach of soft white sand and swaying palm trees. I is really nice here as although you can have privacy in the little bandas along the beach, you can watch life and the fishermen going about thier day. The food is really excellent and it is nice to have group dining a couple of times during our stay. But what really made me love this hotel is the staff. It is cool, relaxed, unpretentious and everyone makes you feel so welcome.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LittleMissMaud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2013

We stayed here in December and had a great time. The setting is lovely: right on an amazing empty beach, picturesque pool area, ambient dining rooms. The service was excellent and included nice touches such as different, special dining experiences. The food was fantastic, really the highlight of the stay (though I personally would have prefered a touch more choice but assume it is limited as based on what is fresh that day so perhaps understandable) and as good as many top restaurants in London. We snorkled with the dive shop and yes it wasn't cheap but it was a well run and managed trip, felt very safe in their hands. The accomodation itself is good and includes nice touches such as sarongs, but there is some disparity between the standards (size & location) of the non-suite rooms. Some are very well located for the beach but others are quite far back - this disparity should be reflected in the price but oddly all the non-suite rooms are the same price. I would expect the smaller rooms located at the back of the resort be priced marginally cheaper to compensate for the disaprity.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms at the back (13 and also maybe 12)
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank hcb81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2013

After our Safari trip headed to this beautiful hotel in north east Zanzibar. we took the upgrade room, the Asali Suite,(honeymoon) Wow we were over joyed at this choice, see pics, the staff were good and our room kept clean,although foot bath was dirty and the plunge pool not clean properly,but bedroom and rooms were kept very clean. dinnig food was good but not 5*, breakfast was full english with cerel if wanted, the hosts were also very good and helped if needed, beach is devine but the reef was a littl disappointing due human erosion and pilfering. felt safe there as guards on beach ever night. recommend trip to island to snorkel, saw range of fishes plus swam with dolhins. Bar area with pool very quiet and relaxing. Beach good to watch the ladies seaweed havesting, Also not too much seaweed to deter from swimming in the sea, but very shallow as it is an atol.

Room Tip: go for the upgrade Asali Suite it is well worth the privacy and morning view of sunrise from your be...
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank micky5311
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Our accommodations were quite close to the beach but separated by plants, thus giving it a sense of privacy. We liked the reality of the beach area in that locals were there harvesting and drying seaweed and heading out in dhows for fishing. Do be careful to ask permission to take pictures as Zanzibar is 95% Muslim and photos may not be appreciated. We had both OKs and No's and honored both.

The food was good. We got in very late and was offered a full meal even though the time for the evening meal was long past. They also had an evening outdoors where you would be placed at a table with strangers. For us, we had a delightful German family that had just climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, so the stories were good.

Check out the reef walk which is only at low tide and is with a guide from the facility. Do remember to tip him for his efforts.

We received a complimentary massage because of our arrival problems (even though Matemwe Beach Village had nothing to do with the delays). However, the massage was not all that relaxing, but was another experience to have.

The room interior was spacious and included a broom to sweep out your sand. We were there in July and expected mosquitoes and did not experience any problems. We have more mosquitoes at home (in Illinois) but do come prepared.

Snorkeling was OK. The water was quite choppy and getting to the snorkeling site was an adventure itself.

Should we return to Zanzibar, we would definitely consider this facility.

Room Tip: Ask for room near the beach. Village noise will be less and you will feel more like you are on the...
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Chris L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2013

We stayed at Matemwe for 4 nights in December 2012 and would definitely recommend the resort.
The communal areas, including the bar and restaurant, are nicely decorated. There is a lovely pool and decking area, with enough shade for the midday heat. Being December it was nice and quiet, which suited us fine, but I guess the pool area could get crowded in more popular months, but it wasn't a problem for us.
Overall the food was excellent - the starters each evening were exceptional; the main meals were slightly less varied but still very good quality. There is also a daily lunch menu, which isn't cheap, but the dishes are good. On our last night we were treated to dinner on the beach under the stars, which was a lovely surprise and very special. All of the staff were friendly, polite and chatty.
The resort is set on a gorgeous stretch of white-sandy beach, with local women picking seaweed to sell at markets and fisherman mooring their boats. We were advised not give money to the women or any children and we found that we were only bothered once by a local trying to sell a fishing trip, but we politely declined and there was no problem. It is advised for women to cover shoulders and knees when along the beach and outside of the resort, in respect of the local culture.
We booked a dive trip through the resort, which was very good. We saw dolphins from the boat but unfortunately not under the water. There was still a good array of amazing creatures and we were guided around at a leisurely pace in a mixed-ability group of 6, which suited us fine.
The only reason not to give the resort 5 stars is because we were slightly disappointed with our bungalow. We were set quite far back from the beach and the bungalow was a little tired and in need of a revamp, despite its rustic, almost north-African style.
Overall, Matemwe is a lovely place to stay for a relaxing, chilled beach break.

Room Tip: Try and opt for a beach-front room
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank CarlyRTWTraveler
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

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 #5 of 10 B&Bs / Inns in Matemwe
Price Range: $126 - $189 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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