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“Roomy & private accommodations”

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Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 26, 2014

Stayed here 3 nights after a night in Stone Town. Spent two days SCUBA diving. Although there is no dive shop at the resort, they met us timely for orientation and pick-up. Was an "adventuresome" drive to get to the dive shop and then to the dive site. This is definitely not the easiest or best place to stay for avid divers as it was a bit inconvenient relative to other places I've stayed to dive. Otherwise though the place was beautiful. Grounds were spectacular - clean, gorgeous flora & fauna, peaceful. The hut was huge!! Bathroom was bigger than some rooms I've stayed at in Europe. I took the bed in the loft and felt like a little kid up there. I was scared to death one night when a bush baby jumped on the roof and sounded like he was in the house (he wasn't so all was good). Loved the privacy, the view, and the options of outdoor lounging. My ONLY complaint was that the lighting in the hut was HORRIBLE!!! It was very, very dark even with every available light on. We had a lot of electronics and had enough outlets and converters to charge everything. Food at the restaurant was good - nothing too memorable, but nothing to complain about. I ended up getting sick the day we were leaving and the bartender was gracious to give me some bitters in Sprite, which ended up helping significantly. Definitely a great place for couples to come for a private & romantic getaway. I think 3 nights was sufficient given the remote location. I may have gotten a bit bored if we stayed there a full week. The pools were well-kept but I never used them as we spent our daytime diving instead at the resort. My friend received a massage and enjoyed it. Front desk was very helpful and kind.

Room Tip: bring some sort of light source if you want to try and do anything at night
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Monica L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 13, 2014

Matemwe is a long ride from Stone Town! The roads are single lane, and once you get to the other side of the island, you come off the main paved road onto dirt. That dirt road takes you through a shanty town and "road" (HAH!) full of potholes, chickens, and shoats (sheep/goats). But you finally pull up to the entrance of the lodge, and you are magically transformed into a paradise so beautiful there is a reason you never leave! We were greeted at the front gate by the front end manager and our luggage was whisked away to our hut. We were given wonderfully refreshing coconuts with straws in them, and drank fresh coconut water as we signed in. The management welcomes you with complimentary shoulder and neck massages, which were very welcome after the long bumpy ride from Stone Town. The premises are beautiful, with a lovely little gift shop that doesn't overcharge you for things. The huts are a nice size, with beautiful patios facing the Indian Ocean. We had a hammock and a sofa under the thatched patio cover, and a walkway to our own private plunge pool, with a cement deck that had 2 lounge chairs lying in the sun. Our plunge pool was very dirty when we first arrived, and only after the second day and we said something had it been cleaned. The rooms are comfortable and spacious, we had a second bed placed in the room, as we were 3 people staying in one hut. We never felt a lack of space, and the beds were very comfortable. The pillows could have used some updating, as ours were flat and not too fluffy. The drawback?? the rooms were VERY warm at night! The fans do a minimal job of circulating the already warm air. I realize we were there in December, which is the start of their summer, but it would have been nice to have had functional screens on the windows, and a way to keep the shutters partially open to allow for the ocean breezes to come through and cool things down. The bathrooms were nice and the shower and tub were beautiful. The lighting in the sink area left a little to be desired and could have been a little bit brighter. This is eco-tourism at it's finest, make no mistake. It is luxurious without being over the top, but there are little things that can be improved. There are no water bottles that waste plastic at Matemwe. They filter all the water and leave you carafes of water at the sink in the bathroom and in the bedroom for you to drink. They have reusable water bottles of glass at the restaurant and the bar, and if you order a bottle of water, they then bring you a big plastic bottle, which they then recycle. They leave big beach bags in the rooms for you to enjoy and use. The beach is small, and that part of the island has a problem with sea urchins, and a very large low to high tide ratio (low tide could be 1/4 mile out until you reach deep water), so this is not a swimming beach, but a small beautiful white powder beach none the less. The 2 pools are infinity edge swimming pools, both beautiful. One looks out over the ocean and is gorgeous. Large towels are provided for the cushioned chaise lounges. There is a small spa next to the pool, and the bar is nearby as well. There is complimentary coffee, tea, and cookies, from about 16:00 to 18:00. Everyday there are different drink specials. The restaurant is open on all side, and also looks out to the Indian Ocean. The food....well, the food is spectacular. There is no other way to say it. Delicious. Plentiful. Beautifully prepared. The service is gracious, and no detail is overlooked. There is a pillowed lounge area adjacent to the restaurant where you can just sit and enjoy the sea breezes and have a glass of wine. All food is included, but wine and alcohol were not. Prices were not too bad, considering it is an upscale resort on a tropical island off the coast of Tanzania.
Beware of leaving food open in your room....it does attract bugs, and as mentioned before, the screens are not necessarily in the best shape to keep out the bugs. Also, on our last day, as I was packing, I unzipped my bag to put some things in it, and a mouse came running out of my suitcase!!! It shocked me. It must have gotten in at some point. My clothing was all fine, and there were no mouse pellets in my bag, so it couldn't have been in there long, but still....not what I expected to have in my suitcase!

We were here for 3 nights after our Safari, and 1 night in Stone Town. It's a wonderful place to relax and unwind. Can be very humid and warm, so look at weather before you choose timing to go there. The water sports and activities were all fairly priced and well done. We snorkeled and kayaked (the kayaking is included in the price). We did a reef walk one morning and it was very interesting and fun. Sign up for all the free activities! They are knowledgable and nice. We also did a cooking demonstration with chef Rama. It was fantastic! We loved it. Very fun, and a nice private lunch.

All in all, Matemwe is a lovely paradise in the middle of nowhere for you to relax and unwind and just have everything you need in one place.

Room Tip: all of the huts face the ocean. We were in hut 10....farther away from the main resort area, so ver...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank koala46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2014

We spent 7 nights here after a 10 day safari across tanzania. The plus points are fantastic staff, really good and everpresent management, great views and a wonderful sense of relaxation. The beach is not perfect as low tides and a large shallow area inside the reef make swimming tricky and not that attractive, on the other hand the hotel runs trips out to the small island opposite for terrific snorkeling. The beach is however very long and pretty clean and makes for great walks, we walked for hours!!The rooms are spacious and clean with all facilities and the restaurant excellent with wonderful staff.We would strongly recommend this hotel just recognise the beach is part of a working fishing village and not some desert island idyll. The staff will make your stay delightful and nothing will be too much trouble for them,

Room Tip: All rooms have great views, 2 have plunge pools, the higher the number the greater the peace and qui...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Alan750
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2014

We came to Matemwe for 4 days 'recovery' - before heading off on Safari and it was a great decision. We were pampered and so well fed on fresh local produce, offered excellent advice and received that wonderful Tanzanian 'welcome' everywhere we went.
After dinner, we took to the hammock slung in the porch of our lodge to chill out and to watch the brilliant display of stars and fireflies - magic!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SB3Sailor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2014

We spent 4 nights here following an 7 day safari and had a wonderful time. Our bungalow was #3 and had an upstairs loft with another bed and as all of them do faced the ocean. We did not have a plunge pool as some of the other untis did. It was really wonderful to watch the local fishermen go out each day on their dhows, and see the octupus and squid fishermen at night alogn the reef. I was really amazed that the resort is really built right atop the coral - not sure if this will erode or not in 10 years, but it makes it nice to be so close to the sea. An unusal note - one night we heard sounds right outside our room and it turned out to be a herd of 10-12 cows strolling alogh the narrow path between our verandah and the cliff!

The reef itself is quite fun. At low tide you can walk out to the reef shelf, about 100-150 years or so without ever getting any deeper than your waist. Watch out for the sea urchins tough! Once at the shelf, which sits out of hte water at low tide it is about 40 years wide and as long as I could see with numerous tide pools with starfish, more urchins and fiewworms.

The Pros:
--seaside views adn breezed
--Food!!! The food here was amazing, lots of fresh fish and local flavors. they also do theme nights and barbeques
--the staff, very attentive and accomodating, took the time to get to know us and were never hesitant to talk.
--management Russ and Maggie were very open friendly and helpful to us, always wanting ot hear about our stay and offer advice. they also were able to give us a late checkout at no charge so we could enjoy our stay that much longer (they do also have a day room you can use if they need to turn over your toom for another guest)
--The beach - adjacent to the property was really quite nice to walk at low tide. It did go past town and there were occasionally some children and the off person selling souveniers but mostly quite peaceful
--Special dinner - my husband told them it was my birthday and they brought me a cake big enough for all the guests on our first night, and arranged for a private poolside dinner on our last night, very nice!

The Cons:
--Very hot and humid! I know this is nothing the hotel can control but there is no climate control in the bungalows other than fans and it got quite stifling at times. The only saving grace was a steady breeze coming off the ocean in the evenings, but it never quite was able to penetrate into our suite unless we had the patio doors wide open (which of course I didn't want to do at night, especially with the cows and ...
--Mosquitos! I remember reading that they were rare in this part of the island and even during our briefing we were told that they were small and their bites didn't hurt. Ha! Even with liberal application of insect repellant my ankles were chewed up completely as were some of the other guests,I noticed.
--Instant coffee--this must be an Africa thing because we had it in a few lodges, just in the rooms and at the bar, I think what we got in the restaurant was brewed

Overall the pros waaaayyy outweighed the cons and we had a wonderful time. i would be interested to return for another great relaxing experience but also to see if thier community efforts were paying off.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank PatnJenCaveCreek_AZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2014

We recently stayed at the Matemwe Lodge after an African Safari in Tanzania. I can not say enough about what a wonderful time we had there. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The room was spacious and clean. We had a plunge pool next to our room, and alternated between the hammock, chaise lounges, and the pool. After that we had scrumptious meals, expertly prepared by their chefs, with fresh fish and vegetables every night. The grounds are beautiful as well. We went snorkeling at the Mnemba Atoll, which I recommend highly. Also had a massage-can't get any better than this!

Room Tip: Ask for room 9 or 10-they have plunge pools. Room #1 may be a bit noisy, as it is next to the bar
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank tenniseyeguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2014

We had been traveling for over 12 days on safari before we arrived to Matemwe Lodge for the last leg of our honeymoon trip in East Africa. The staff was superb in ensuring our stay was relaxing and enjoyable. The staff knew our names and checked in on us every day to see if we needed anything. When we returned from our day activities we were greeted with warm smiles and inquiries on how our day was. The food was excellent. All bungalows faced the ocean and the rooms were spacious. The staff was very accomodating. We wanted to spend a day shopping and exploring Stone Town and the package tour was 3 hours. We spoke to Sandy, who said it was no problem and arrange a car and guide to stay with us for as long as we wanted in Stone Town. We were able to stay for a sundowner in Stone Town before heading back to the Lodge. Wonderful staff, wonderful location, wonderful property. Highly reccomended.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
2  Thank Anna L
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

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 21 Specialty Lodging in Matemwe
Price Range: $399 - $900 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa 4.5*
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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