We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“disappointment”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Matemwe Retreat, Asilia Africa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 30, 2013

Spent 5 nights at the retreat.
The retreat and rooms are very quiet and exotically decorated.
Would not return as, there is no swimming beach. They may tell you there is one, but is a beach full of boats and you would have to swim out real far to have the water reach your knees.
The room was supposed to be air conditioned. It was broken the entire time. A repairman came out 2 days spending the time talking with our butler. Destroyed any privacy and unable to take a shower or sleep while they were there. They would say it was fixed but never worked.
Our butler was mildly hostile. Would walk in on us without knocking. Would give wrong information about massages and buffets. He seemed burned out and resentful. Actually he was pretty obnoxious. Rather than providing relaxation he prevented it.

Room Tip: I would go elsewhere for a nice beach and more caring staff. Stonetown was a great day trip.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank NewportBeach1952
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AsiliaAfrica, Manager at Matemwe Retreat, Asilia Africa, responded to this reviewResponded July 8, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. First and foremost, we are very sorry to hear your experience at Matemwe Retreat did not meet your expectations. From the Matemwe management we understand you did raise most of your concerns during your stay, and that compensation was offered by not charging you for your massages and the excursion to Stone Town. We understand that the aircon should work at all times and hope you appreciated our gesture towards compensation.

The Matemwe beach – as with most of Zanzibar’s beaches – is dependent on the tides; and therefore only allows for swimming and snorkelling during high tide. During low tide, we offer reef walks and encourage Retreat guests to make use of the two swimming pools in Main Lodge, or their private rooftop plunge pool.

We acknowledge your negative experience and have already taken proper actions to prevent a similar experience for any future travellers, and ensure we maintain our high service levels at all times. Should you wish to further discuss, please feel very free to contact me at marleen@asiliaafrica.com

Warm regards,
Marleen Haverkamp – Marketing Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (190)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

123 - 129 of 190 reviews

Reviewed June 26, 2013

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)

Room Tip: We didnt see the other retreats, but did look at the normal resort rooms - definitely book into the...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Feegee4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2013

My wife and I just spent 10 days in the incredible Matemwe Retreat. Really an outstanding property and Celine and her crew do just an excellent job. I was looking for a place to escape and the retreat was just the place. There are things to do, but we chose to do nothing and Ndaki ensured we were completely satiated with luxury. The upstairs plunge pool area was just extraordinary. Getting in the van to leave, we felt traumatized having to vacate our amazing retreat. Hats off to the all the staff and the sea creatures that graciously gave their lives for our dinner. Just can’t say enough good things.

Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank MTribble
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2013

We spent the last five nights of our honeymoon at Matemwe Retreat (ZamZam) and I cannot think of a more perfect setting. The accommodations were spectacular and included a private plunge pool and sun deck, wrap around terrace with hammock, spacious bathroom and romantic bed overlooking the ocean. The food was great and there are lots of nearby activities to keep you busy. I highly recommend going sorkelling with the dolphins and kyaking was fun too. Our butler Menlad was absolutely FANTASTIC!! Our time at Matemwe Retreat would really not have been the same without him. He was always professional and ensured that we were well looked after. Menlad always had the biggest smile on his face and we especially enjoyed our Swahili lesson! Habari yako Menlad?

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Carla P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2013

We stayed in one of the retreats at Matemwe in June after an 8 day trip through the Serengeti and Stone Town. We were ready for some relaxation - and boy did we get it! Private villa, phenomenal view, butler service (Abdi was awesome!), great food served in your villa, plunge pool, everything you could need for a romantic few days at the end of an action packed holiday. HAKUNA MATATA!!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Simon B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

this is the most faboulous place i have ever stayed at.the privaste villa(leila) that we stayed in was simply--gorgeous.....from the large bedroom and luxurious bathroom(with a huge bathtub),to the enormous veranda with the hammock,bar and couch....to the lovely view of the ocean..........just wow.our butler marco was great---organized,ontime and helpful--always.......also special mention to ndake......they made us lovely food and were able to make each meal special despite our requirements for kosher food(we brought a suitcase full of dishes and pots)kudos to the chef----also a big thank you to moses who was always abke to answer any questions we had.
both of us had massages in the spa(thanks cynthia)--a real pleasure.a totally relaxing and private vacation experience.loved the idea of a daily alcoholic drink.the reef walk was also fun.we had thoughts of going on the spice plantation tour and a variety of other things----we didn't move from Matemwe Retreat the entire time we were there
would suggest that the lighting on the veranda be improved since it is difficult to read there at night when you lie in the hammock or sit on the couch.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank karyn1241
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2012

Our stay in Matemwe Retreat has been absolutely brilliant!! To have such privacy in the villa with personal plunge pool, the most beautiful view, great bathroom, romantic bedroom really was breathtaking!
Our butler Menlad was excellent! He made sure we got everything we needed, always with a smile and Hakuna Matata, no problem!! Everything and anything was possible. When we came back from a tour there always was a surprise, like the bathtub filled up and flowers everywhere or when we came back another time, the table was set upstairs and lots of candles were lit. So very romantic!! His timing was always perfect and his service as well! What a great and lovely man to have working for you!
We also loved the very tasteful food, cooked by mister chef yummy yummy!!!
Thank all of you so much, especially Menlad for this very great experience!!! We will never forget you!!!
Best regards, Hein & Esther from Holland

Room Tip: Leila!! The very first villa, lots of privacy. Also wonderful for honeymooners!!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Esther P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Matemwe
7.7 mi away
Melia Zanzibar
Melia Zanzibar
#1 of 12 in Kiwengwa
1,754 reviews
0.5 mi away
Green and Blue Ocean Lodge
9.2 mi away
Essque Zalu Zanzibar
Essque Zalu Zanzibar
#5 of 19 in Nungwi
678 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.3 mi away
Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa
27 mi away
Baraza Resort & Spa
Baraza Resort & Spa
#2 of 10 in Bwejuu
853 reviews
32.7 mi away
Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa (Relais & Chateaux)
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Matemwe Retreat, Asilia Africa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Matemwe Retreat, Asilia Africa

Address: Matemwe Beach, Matemwe, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Matemwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 21 Specialty Lodging in Matemwe
Price Range: $770 - $1,402 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Matemwe Retreat, Asilia Africa 5*
Number of rooms: 4
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:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Priceline, Cheap Tickets and Hotwire so you can book your Matemwe Retreat, Asilia Africa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Matemwe Retreat, Asilia Africa Hotel Matemwe
Matemwe Retreat, Asilia Africa Zanzibar Island

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing