First off a warning ... Traveling into Zanzibar, while painless, can be a shock to some people as its a very poor and basic country but please don't let that put you off, the people are simply fabulous and friendly and happy to have any and all tourists and the resorts and staff really go all out and try to make peoples stays as wonderful as possible.
Now onto Matemwe which was beautiful and the villa was divine, we couldn’t have been happier with our choice. The space and lazing areas are wonderful and while we could see that it was coming to the end of the season and some cushions etc need repairs and replacing – they were already busy with all that and were changed days into our stay.
They also spoilt us completely with our Butler Martin, he was really just brilliant and wonderful in everyway – bringing us fruit treats on our snorkel and making up baths for me without me even having to ask or mention it. My advice is don't be shy with your butlers, on the first day we told him what we liked to have in the mini bar etc and he made sure to cater to our needs and kept everything just so for the rest of our stay. Also we often changed our minds about what we wanted for breakfast and he would smile and arrange it in minutes so they do anything really to keep you happy. Please do note that your butler looks after everything, no one else really enters the Villas at all - they do all cleaning etc so I would definitely recommend you bring extra cash for a nice tip as they certainly earn it.
He just looked after us so very well that when I went on to another resort in Zanzibar I have to admit that their service there just did not live up to the same standards! When we left Martin gave both of us a big hug and it was just the sweetest. Not that the other staff around weren't great too – they were, and even more so when they knew we were in a villa and always happy to do anything with a big smile. Food wise I was very impressed considering where they were, cant say I had a bad meal. Thought the deserts were not really great, but I don’t eat much sweets so wasn’t bothered.
This is a remote Island though so hiccups do happen, just be prepared and go with the flow and you will still enjoy your stay. Like when we first arrived they had no water (or any of the places around them) which considering how hot and icky we were was not the best but a “bath” in the pool as we are after all used to Africa travel sorted us out and after about a day and a half the pumps were up and running again and we could get a proper shower which was great. The only two main niggles we had, one which was a small one was that the pillows are just flat and not comfy and the main one which was that the aircon just did not work and you could not get cool so we ended up not sleeping very well at all. We tried all things – two fans, leaving all the slates in the doors open (as we were told not to leave the actual doors open), sleeping without the nets etc – but it was just to hot and humid to ever get comfortable in bed. But since we spent 90% of our time lazing, we really didn’t stress about this and it was also maybe the time of year with such high humidity making it worse as well.
But all in we adored Matemwe and our stay and would 100% recommend it to people, though only the villas – we looked at some of the rooms and were much happier with our luxury and AI as though you may think the bungalows cheaper you end up having to pay for all extras, drinks etc - so go on spoil yourself and choose a villa you wont be sorry. Another tip - go down to the main bar for sundowners and take them to the upper pool, they have a swing chair right on the edge of the cliff and its just the best spot (attached pic)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Enjoy your own private tropical escape at Matemwe Retreat. The four elegant villas that make up the retreat are set high in the palm trees with uninterrupted Indian Ocean views. With its secluded location and dedicated private butler, the retreat is considered one of the most exclusive choices of accommodation on Zanzibar Island. If you are looking for pure escapism, these villas - which combine the spirit of Zanzibar with the highest standards of comfort - were designed for you. The private plunge pool, personal bar and spacious roof terrace with day bed and loungers are so appealing that we would not blame you if you relaxed in your hidden sanctuary for your entire holiday. Echoing the white sand beaches and the changing turquoise hues of the tropical waters, the fully air-conditioned Matemwe Retreat villas are a reflection of their tranquil island surroundings, filled with locally produced materials and furnishings. The ground floor of each villa features a private bar area, cool and airy double bedroom with king-sized bed and en-suite bathroom with double basins, shower and a sunken bathtub with impressive views of the sparkling ocean. Outdoors, impressively comfortable and very private lounge areas invite you to make the most of the tropical climate.The rooftop deck with sparkling blue plunge pool offers panoramic Indian Ocean views. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Matemwe Retreat, Asilia Africa Hotel Matemwe
- Matemwe Retreat, Asilia Africa Zanzibar Island