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“Piece of paradise indeed!”

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Boutique Hotel Matlai
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Pingwe
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 20, 2013

Small hotel (only 4 bedrooms in the villa), beautifully decorated, in an amazing location, and with incredible amenities, service and food. Once you arrive, the staff handles you a mobile phone so you can be easily in touch with them while allowing you to enjoy the privacy of the retreat. When ordering the first meal, we asked: What do you guys have? The answer we got was: What do you guys want? Since I was the one organizing the trip to Zanzibar in our group, the only complaint I heard was from one of my friends: Why didn't we booked this place for longer? Thanks, Matlai Team, we had amazing vacations thanks to you!

Room Tip: All the rooms are perfect, however, the ones on the ground floor have a especial bath tube setting...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank ThaisBassinello
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IngeBB, Inhaber at Boutique Hotel Matlai, responded to this reviewResponded September 17, 2013

Dear Thais and family,
Thanks a lot for your great recommendation. The rest of the group was right, you should have planned a longer stay with us. Maybe next time when you come back?
Kind regards
Inge

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (185)
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83 - 89 of 185 reviews

Reviewed July 30, 2013

Well, as many others here we came to Matlai after a few weeks in Safaris, and what we can say is that this was one of the best service we had in our lifes. Every single detail as the design, the big rooms, service, the food, and the butlers were magnific.
If you need a place with not many rooms, amazing views, an the best possible service you can have, this is the place. For honeymooners or couples, your 24/7 satisfaction or your money back :c)

Room Tip: top rooms have better views
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Fernando C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2013

After extensive research my partner and I decided to spend a night at Matlai - and what a glorious night it was! We had been staying in much cheaper accommodation for a few days to save up and were keen for some luxury. On arrival we received a lovely fresh coconut and a cold towel and were shown to our lovely suite by a hotel intern. Our room 'Dunia' was made in white and earth tones and opened gloriously onto a sizable patio directly over the sand of Pingwe Beach. Tastefully decorated the room was spacious, had everything we needed and more and made us instantly feel at home (if only my home was that beautiful). The room included an IPod player, robes and slippers, beach towels and candles. Then we stepped into the bathroom and were blown away. I am a bathroom girl, living in Tanzania, I miss having a bath. And there it was - a beautiful clawfoot bath sprinkled with flowers and waiting for me. Almost in the open air it was surrounded by local sticks and flowing curtains and the Zanzibar breeze just floated through the room. I was in heaven. Everything in this hotel was done to a high standard using local materials where appropriate and beautiful European addins where required. The finishes on the rooms were first rate and it was very clear they had used good tradesman. very important to the overall look and feel of a place.
I judge a hotel strongly by its mattress and I just think there is no excuse for a poor mattress even in a $30 a night place. Matlai well and truly measured up and once i got to bed I slept like a princess (and felt like one too). THe sheets were crisp, white and there were all sorts of pillows to choose from. From our bed we gazed directly onto the ocean and the beautiful moon. Heavenly.
The food was good and solid and the desserts were really very excellent. We bought a nice bottle of sauvignon blanc for $16 a very reasonable prince considering most even chepaer hotels in Tz charge 30,000 to 40,000 Tsh per bottle ($20-30) Our food was served by Ramadan the butler and he did a great job and was not intrusive on our special time.
Matlai almost overhangs the beach and we happened to be there on a full moon, so as the night moved along we watched an orange moon rise and reflect a beautiful image onto the sea.
We also managed to squeeze in a swim in their lovely pool which was partly shaded and nice and deep. The shade is very necessary in Zanzibar in summer. One comment I would make about the pool is that it could have a little ledge for sitting on the area closest to the ocean. But that is just a minor detail. In the back of the property is a beautiful garden, where you can eat your meals, relax on hammocks and generally chill out. They also offer movies under the stars - and although we did not take advantage - I know it would be wonderful.
If Matlai can manage to keep the property as polished and as well maintained as it is, then they will continue to be a success. With only 4 rooms, that was what we loved - the intimacy, the personal touches and feeling like it was our own home. My partner and I have both worked in luxury lodges in Tanzania and Zanzibar and we think this one is one of the best small hotels on Zanzibar. It feels luxurious but doesnt have the price tag attached.
We have already talked about having our wedding in this beautiful setting and I couldnt think of a better place.
TRY IT! (But book early!)

Room Tip: All rooms are different and all are special. But we especially liked the downstairs room because the...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank RafikiGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 13, 2013

We spent two nights and booked the whole house. A very welcoming and warm Place. Everyone in our group had a great time from the youngest to the oldest. The place is beautifully decorated with furniture chosen with great taste. My kids also loved the outbags to lounge on.
The beach was beautiful and the pool was the perfect size. Food was always delicious, the table for our first dinner was decorated as if we were attending a wedding. we felt so special during the whole stay. the staff was outstanding and professional. We danced with all the staff as we had taarab musicians over. Unforgettable moments. The hotel arranged everything for us: the taxi, the dolphin safari, the musicians....
We will definitely come back and will recommend to all my friends who live in Dar.
Thank you very much Inge, Tim, Omar, Ramhadani, The chef, the cook, the housekeepers, Gardners, guards, ... You made our stay just perfect.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank kifarutwiga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2013

My husband and I just spent 7 nights in boutique hotel Matlai, and have been blown away by the service and quality from the moment we arrived. We hope to come back to this superb hotel very soon. We've been in some great hotels, but this is a very special place with high quality at a small and intimate scale, making you feel at home from the very first minute.
The house is right at the beach and looks brand-new, using high quality natural materials and eye for detail, making the experience feel very comfortable and luxurious. We had chosen an upstairs room (there are 4 rooms only, 2 downstairs and 2 upstairs, so a small-scale and relaxed atmosphere) with amazing sea views awaiting us from the room and whilst having breakfast or lounging on our balcony. We would recommend upstairs over downstairs because of the views. The room was huge, well designed, very bright, with a great bed that was decorated with flowers every day, and with an enormous bathroom that overlooks the beach. Although it was quite windy when we were there, this actually was no problem at all using the rather open bathroom, it more added to the beach-experience. By design of the house, the inside is always very cool and refreshing, which is welcoming because of the hot climate of Zanzibar.
The beach and garden surrounding the house offer several options for relaxing and sunbathing (there is always a sunny or shady spot to choose), and the pool is very refreshing. We went diving a couple of times through the next-door hotel (a short walk), made a dolphin tour (very recommended!), and also were able to have a great massage in the on-site little spa, where you overlook the beautiful beach. Tim (the manager) arranges the tours for you and has some great connections for that.
The personal butler service is something we had never experienced before, and this really makes the experience such a treat. Omar (the head butler) makes sure you get everything you can imagine, and the hotel has got an amazing chef who can make just about everything you want and very very delicious! The meals were a real pleasure every time, and the locations were different every evening. We especially loved the full-moon private beach dinner under the stars, surrounded by candles, the open air cinema dinner and the very romantic Swahili style dinner on our last day. Omar is incredibly creative, and we recommend to just let him surprise you...
All in all, this was an incredible week which seemed to last a lot longer because of all the great and varied experiences... very highly recommended.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank saskia o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2013

Very good location with perfect view from your room (bed). Boutique room interior with small details. Amazing looking outdoor bathroom, but shower was very unpractical and it is very windy in the evenings. Be informed that the outdoor pool contains salted sea water, so be ready to shower after each pool visit. Personal and kind attitude form the owners as they are on the spot all the time. Recommended.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank N N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2013

We stayed in the hotel for 2 Weeks before Xmas 2012. The owners are extremly friendly and helpful and the best is that they have service totally tailored to your needs. You tell them what you want to eat and the cook cooks it for you. The Butler "Omari" was really nice & helpful and made sure all our wishes were fulfilled.

Overall a really amazing experience. The internet is quite good too for African standards!

Room Tip: I would recommend the upper rooms!
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Chris k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Boutique Hotel Matlai

Address: Pingwe | Michamwi, Pingwe, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Pingwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Pingwe
Price Range: $306 - $491 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Boutique Hotel Matlai 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Matlai is designed as an exclusive villa resort for people seeking a high level of comfort and privacy in a relaxed atmosphere. The hotel contains of two villas, Asili House and Villa Kidosho. Both villas are directly on the beach, embedded in abounded blooming and scented plants. Asili House is designed with natural African and Swahili elements, Villa Kidosho in oriental style. Therefore the villas combine the typical african and arabic influences which have shaped the character of Zanzibar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Boutique Hotel Matlai Zanzibar Island/Pingwe

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