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“Beautiful place with fantastic food!”
Review of Butiama Beach

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Butiama Beach
Ranked #1 of 9 Mafia Island B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Wellington, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Beautiful place with fantastic food!”
Reviewed 4 March 2013

We stayed here for 3 days as Shamba Kilole Lodge in the marine reserve was booked out. We wish we had stayed at Butiama the whole week! The rooms are gorgeous, as is the bar and pool area. The food is beautiful! The beach is nice white sand, but a bit seaweedy and close to the port. Lovely manager and staff. We went to swim with the whale sharks but didn't manage to find one long enough to swim with :-(. They did offer us a free trip the next day though to try again. It's only a 1/2 hr car ride to the other side of the island with the marine reserve. I recommend you stay at Butiama Beach and travel to the reserve for diving/snorkelling, rather than staying on the marine reserve side as there are lots of mangroves so beaches are not great and have a muddy substrate. Also you have to pay $20 US a day per person to stay at any lodge in the marine reserve area. The snorkelling/diving in the reserve is fabulous - better than the Great Barrier Reef in Australia in my opinion.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Briony D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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221 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Arusha, Tanzania
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2013

Everything was done brilliantly during our stay at Butiama, it's very hard to find any fault whatsoever with the place. The bungalows are decorated very nicely and well appointed, with the breeze rustling in the palm trees the only thing audible at night time. The food is wonderful - as mentioned several times there is no menu for dinner, but this doesn't matter as the food is so good - local ingredients with a Mediterranean twist. The snorkeling trip to Chole Bay followed by a walk across the island of Chole, through villages and among the ruins was a particular highlight. You can do as little or as much as you want, with Moez happy to arrange excursions which are very reasonably priced, or you can just relax by the pool overlooking the ocean. A special mention must be made of the staff here - Ali, "Supertall" and all of the others that helped make our stay unforgettable as well as being patient Swahili teachers! The delightful Maura's experience of running two of the other lodges on the island has helped her and Moez create a really fantasic destination which we hope to return to again and again.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Thomas N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2013

Butiama is a little slice of the way life should be - no tv, radio or phone. Just you and the sun, sea and sky. If you want a real getaway and do nothing - this is the place. However, there is snorkelling, fishing and scuba diving with Moez, the owner of Butiama. Visit the Marine Park - there are the massive whale sharks to swim with. One couple saw five in one day there. And I walked around a couple of villages - one on Mafia island and one on Chole Island, where the local ambulance is a motor bike and side car. Very interesting! The bungalows are basic but beautifully clean with local kikois used as curtaining and decor, and crisp white linen. No aircon or ceiling fans, but leave your windows and double front doors open to the elements and sleep naked under your mosquito net. A very comfortable verandah with couch, table and chairs and a hammock to rest in. Leave your things out at night - all safe. The bar area is beautifully simple and the colours are just lovely - blues and purples. Read there, drink there, play bao (we got hooked) and lie around the beautiful blue newly built pool. Just the place for reading (i read three books in the five days we spent there). There were mostly young couples there but, as oldies, my husband and I had time to reconnect after busy schedules during the year. Maura's three course dinners are geat - well balanced and decided on the day. Like the place, Maura and Moez are very laid back and nothing is too much trouble. The staff also are extremely friendly and not too intrusive. On a day when I wasn't well, they insisted on bringing simple food to me so i didn't have to go to the restaurant. So we had a wonderful, restful and peaceful time with the gentle folk at Butiama and surrounds. Would I go back? Even with so many places still to see, I would. My husband's advice - make sure you a bring a book or two!

Room Tip: Ask for a room at the front with undisturbed view.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Sue C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bucharest, Romania
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2013

I wasn't sure if I reviewed this place already, but it can't hurt to review it again since it rocks! The staff are great, the food is awesome, the facilities are simply done with style and well maintained. All the little touches, such as having activities offered for the following day after dinner, the room prepared for the evening and beach bags with towels for the pool/beach are lovely. The whale sharks were AMAZING. All in all this place is the best out of anywhere I stayed in Dar, South Beach or Zanzibar. I would choose this place during whale season over any other place to chill out with my family any day.

Room Tip: The double family rooms were a bonus. Both rooms had a sea view, a towel rack and hammocks/seating.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank kittygolightly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maastricht, The Netherlands
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2013

After our safari to Selous we spent the second part of our holiday at Butiama Beach. Main goal was to relax, and perhaps some activities. We already had contact with Maura before arriving, so we knew we had a front row room (nr2). With that we had an excellent view on the garden and the sea during our 7 night stay.
We liked the "female touch" at the resort: the colours, the food, the attention to detail, etc. The staff always goes out of their way to assure you feel welcome and at home.
As it was Whale Shark season we joined the morning safaris to snorkel with them (3x). Man, what fun. And how beautiful it is to swim with these huge fish.
We also spend one day diving with Big Blu. Moez, Maura's husband, was our dive guide. The amount and size of fish we saw, especially on the dive outside Chole Bay, was increadible: Grouper, Stingray, Moray Eel, Napoleon, Etc. Pity there wasn't enough wind to sail the Dhow back, but on the other hand, nothing wrong with a calm sea :-) And if you go there, don't forget the massage.
Conclusion: we hope to be back some day ....

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Duikertje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lusaka
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2013

I did not stay here,but dropped in for lunch as i was waiting for a plane.All staff where very helpful and welcoming.The place looks great and nice views of the sea ,my only complaint was that the prawn and calamari salad while been a large portion was made from imported frozen prepack fish .....with all the fresh fish around.......... ?????

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank AJLTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berlin
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2013

Actually we did not stay at Butiama Beach - we just went there twice: once just to hang out and enjoy the good food and the 2nd time to go on a whale shark trip.
why I am still writing this review?
because I just wanted to let you all know how cool, friendly and helpful Maura, the owner, is. Even though we weren´t guests she helped us with tips for our flight and how we could handle the booking problem, she gave us names and ideas, even when we bought a really really (too) heavy Bao game in the store, she arranged a drop off at the airport and it was no problem for her to have the deal that we could leave the game at the airport if we should have had any problems with our luggage weight (but also here she was right: nooo problems) :)
Maura, thanx again for your refreshing help and I am sure we will see you again ...
Stefan

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Stefan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Butiama Beach

Property: Butiama Beach
Address: Msufini, Kilindoni | PO Box 47, Mafia Island 0202020, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Pwani Region > Mafia Island
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 B&Bs / Inns in Mafia Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Come and experience true relaxation with us at Butiama Beach. Our unspoiled location in a tropical palm grove on the beach has everything you need to unwind, let go, and be yourself. Watch the whale sharks come to feed as the morning sun glints on the turquoise surface of the Indian Ocean. Sail to a pristine sandbank in a traditional dhow, snorkel and dive at some of the richest reefs in the world. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Butiama Beach Hotel Mafia Island

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