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“Wow! Spectacular! Should be #1”

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Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
97 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Wow! Spectacular! Should be #1”
Reviewed January 7, 2013

We are just finishing our stay here, spending 3 nights after climbing Kilimanjaro. I have stayed in some amazing hotels all around the world, and this ranks up with the best. This is probably the only hotel I have ever stayed in where their website doesn't do justice to the reality. First of all - the bungalows are super private and beautiful. Authentic, relaxing, beautiful and every need is taken care of. The double hammock is so relaxing that we have barely moved from it apart from meals. The bed is super comfortable and the bathroom is simply spectacular - larger than some hotel rooms. It is VERY romantic for a couple or a honeymoon.

Then there is the staff - the two managers can't do enough for you. Sandy has arranged transportation for us in Dar Es Salaam after our stay, they welcome you with genuine hospitality and NOTHING is too much trouble. But the great thing is that this extends to ALL of the staff. I have never been treated with such friendliness so consistently in every interaction. You only have to walk past a staff member for them to inquire if you are enjoying your stay. It is clear that hospitality is a core value of this property.

The food in the restaurant is amazing - the executive chef makes incredible, fresh meals. As other reviewers have said - if you are hungry here it is not from a lack of selection.

The spa is beautiful with skilled and friendly professionals. The massages were perhaps some of the best we have ever had - including in New York. My girlfriend and I are going back for second treatments today and feel so good after our first.

While we have not used them, they also make snorkeling equipment, kayaks etc available at no charge and have a full water sports center including an affiliated scuba company. There are plenty of trip options in you want them.

Finally, they also have a green, ethical approach including supporting local village community projects, buying local supplies and ensuring there is minimal impact on the beautiful Zanzibar environment.

My only regret is that we are not staying longer. Would definitely come back again and would recommend to my closest friend.

Room Tip: Stayed in Room 7, which was away from the bar etc and had a perfect view. Watch the fishermen trave...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank raverusa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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334 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (83)
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English first
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2012

This hotel is really great. There are 12 very nice rooms with good beds, great bathrooms en super nice seaviews. Staff is very attentive and will help you with anything you asked. There is a nice bar with all sorts of cocktails and the food is very good.
We really enjoyed laying by the nice pool, but there is also a pretty beach. Tides and seaweed however do make it a little less attractive to swim. Activities such as snorkeling around mnemba island however truly make up for this.

Room Tip: Room nr 1 is closest to the bar, which might bring in some noise in high season. The higher the room...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank LoveTraveling00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed November 16, 2012

Set close to the water, the bungalows offered great views, with a hammock or couch on which to lounge, read a book, or watch the many boats pass by. Our family of four stayed in bungalows 1 and 2, although we could have easily fit into just one unit, given that each also contained a second story sleeping loft with a double bed.

The food was good, with plenty of variety, particularly the buffet lunch.

The grounds offered many nooks and crannies in which to relax, ensuring the place never seemed crowded.

Service was good, friendly, and efficient throughout our stay, with the management team particularly helpful.

The drive in was a bit bumpy - heading through the middle of town. But arrival through the front gate, with the great views made it worthwhile. Ocean swimming is difficult/limited, but we knew that ahead of time and found the pools and the snorkeling trip sufficient for our aquatic needs.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank kbsNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2012

We spent a week at matemwe for our honeymoon and it was idyllic. The staff were so friendly and genuinely welcoming, the food was great, one of us didn't eat meat and never tired of the fish or vegetarian options. The seafood barbecue nights were particularly tasty. The room and view were lovely and a short stint at matemwe retreat was out of this world thanks to menlad. Scuba diving and snorkelling with dolphins at nearby mnemba island was the icing on the cake. Great honeymoon destination! Thanks to sandy, celine and all for such hospitality...

Room Tip: Room one is closest to the restaurants and pool, 12 furthest away but only five mins walk...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank citykent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 2, 2012

We had a wonderful 5 nights at Matemwe. The staff an setting are all fabulous and the management really made us feel at home. The food is great and there's loads of it! We went during 'seaweed season' apparently but the beaches are still great, not pure white sand but still nice. If you look around there are also some little beach alcoves that can be deserted. The rooms were very well kept and the bathroom was stunning. We'd go back except for Asilia Africa who run the lodge....

You have to pay up front to an offshore account in Mauritius (fair enough) but then when there are bank charges at their end for the transaciton they pass this on to you the customer, even though this isn't in the original invoice amount. Then 8 weeks after we'd returned they send us another invoice for a taxi charge that we'd paid at the resort. If the trolls who work in the office at Asilia were half as good as the people at the resort this place would get 5 stars.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank mwuzaji
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AsiliaAfrica, Manager at Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa, responded to this review, November 20, 2012
We are terribly sorry to hear about the invoice that was sent to you mistakenly after you came home from your trip and I wish to thank you for this feedback.

I therefore cannot agree more with you, that this should have been picked up and settled between our Finance department and the Matemwe management team, as there was no outstanding payment to settle anymore. I have reiterated the importance of this again within our teams and have discussed the matter with the personnel involved. I also hope that you understand that this was a communication error on our behalf that does not regularly occur. The person actually just started and made a mistake that we discussed with him in detail.

On the bank charges: our payment terms state that bank charges are for the account of the client. On large bookings this is minimal normally, on smaller bookings this can be significant unfortunately, bank charges are however not under our control.

I hope you will accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience this caused. I can be reached on +27 7 116 119 97 (douwe@asiliaafrica.com) should you have any further questions / comments on this.

Kind regards,
Douwe Snel | Asilia Group Finance Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westport, Connecticut
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2012

We stayed here in July 2012. It was such an amazing place. Every room had a view overlooking the ocean and you could sit on the hammocks while you rested your eyes on the beautiful scenery in front of you. The food was delicious. The staff was incredibly friendly. The sand on the beach was some of the finest I've ever seen. The lodges were quite large with a nice soak-in tub. The only complaint I have was that there were quite a few sea urchins in the water, so it made it hard to wade around. Nothing to do with the hotel, though! There were plenty of other activities to keep you entertained anyways. Loved it and want to take our two teenagers there the next time.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank LoveTravelingWorld74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
newbury
Level Contributor
87 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed October 15, 2012

Rashid, Marco and the team did a great job in food and watering department. The service was attentive and the food varied and delicious at breakfast lunch and dinner. Rashid, the chef, has a passion for his cooking. He talks to the clients, is happy to prepare special meals for those with special dietary needs.

Elsewhere, front of house was efficient. Celine, the manager, was about and visible and is a really great personality. The rooms were big, comfortable and clean. We had a good time. This a place where you can really relax.

Room Tip: They all face the sea and they all have wonderful views.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank kingtutt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa

Property: Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa
Address: | Matemwe Beach, Matemwe 10000, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Matemwe
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Matemwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa 5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vibrant yet relaxed Matemwe, one of the first lodges in Zanzibar, has perfected the tropical island experience. Perched on an outcrop overlooking a shallow coral fringed lagoon on the quieter northeast coast of Zanzibar, Matemwe’s peaceful location and famed relaxed atmosphere, makes it the ideal place to unwind. Guests quickly ease into the laid-back rhythm of island life, planning their day around the tides and their mood. The relaxed daily routines of Matemwe’s guests include enjoying fresh seafood, poolside cocktails, massages or simply hanging out in a hammock. The lodge has plenty on offer for the more active with superb diving and snorkeling off the renowned Mnembe Atoll; a highlight for many. Built from local materials and surrounded by beautiful lush gardens, each of the 12 spacious suites has a private veranda with a hammock and sofa and expansive views of the Indian Ocean with its constantly changing hues of blue. Here you can watch the fishermen head out every morning at dawn or listen to the songs of the village women as they harvest seaweed. The large bathrooms have both a deep bathtub and walk-in shower and all beds are enclosed by mosquito nets. The open-air restaurant sits just above the sea and has a tranquil lounge area with beautiful views of the palm fringed beach and gently rocking dhows. Seafood is the specialty of the house, with all produce bought daily from the local markets. Lunch is a buffet offering a delicious mix of African and European flavours. Dinner offers a choice of main courses with fish, meat and vegetarian options. Matemwe has a multi-level swimming pool surrounded with lounge chairs overlooking the ocean. Freshly mixed cocktails are served at the poolside bar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Matemwe Main Lodge, Asilia Africa Hotel Matemwe
Matemwe Bungalows
Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa Zanzibar Island

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