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“Complete paradise”
Review of Fundu Lagoon

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Fundu Lagoon
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Pemba Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 November 2013

From the moment we were picked up from Pemba airport we got the feeling we were going to be well looked after, the boat trip to Fundu with Farki was entertaining, he is such a happy chappy. Arriving and walking down the long jetty was like being on the red carpet at a film premiere, you instantly felt very special. We were greeted by Hamas and Lizzy, they gave us a brief tour around and then we were shown to our room on the beach front.

The accommodation was as per the website description, glamping in style, our bed was very comfortable, the bathroom albeit a bit small was very nice and well stocked with goodies, there was a very spacious deck area with a hammock and sun loungers.

The resort its self is very spacious and beautifully designed in a sympathetic way to the surroundings, the wooden and sandy walk ways, along with hand made wooden and thatched structures that cover each tent give it a real Robinson Crusoe feel. The term 'barefoot resort' is completely true, the only time we wore anything on our feet was on the village visit.

The beach is gorgeous soft white sand, the sea was lovely, clean and warm and if you snorkel to the end of the jetty you will see all manor of beautiful fish. Each room has its own authentic hand made parasol situated on the beach with 2 sun loungers, and because Fundu is so spacious we were never overlooked.

Within the main areas of the resort most of the furniture and soft furnishings we were told, are locally made on site, and I can believe it as the resort employs approximately 110 staff! Although you would never know it, they seem to get everything done around the resort without being seen by the guests. The owners heavily utilise the local people in all aspects, from management through to house keeping and the reward for this is happy staff who genuinely seem to enjoy their jobs, which intern makes Fundu a great place to stay.

The majority of the food is locally sourced and of good quality, because everything is so fresh it makes the restaurant menu fairly short on choice but it does change every day. The change of location for evening meals every day works really well, it could be the restaurant, or by the pool, on the beach for a BBQ or the bar on the jetty. We found all the food to be very good through out our 7 night stay with the exception of the beef, this was a bit tough and over flavoured with chilli. It was only at the pool did we have the same lunch choice twice and that was because it was so nice.

While we were there we did quite a few of the activities on offer, snorkelling over the coral reef on Misali Island was very exciting, just make sure you use plenty of sun cream as you will be in the water for over an hour. The dolphin safari is a fantastic, the sight of dozens of dolphin jumping in and out of the sea was amazing. The spa is pretty small but the Balinese massages were very good. The village tour is enlightening too, but be prepared to feel very humbled at the simplicity of living conditions.

After the rigours of a safari, Fundu is the perfect location to wind down and completely relax, we absolutely loved the time we spent there and would love to go back, which says it all.

Room Tip: Beach front rooms are best
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Tony J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ellis f, Creative Director at Fundu Lagoon, responded to this reviewResponded 16 December 2013

Thank you so much for your really wonderful review of your recent stay at Fundu Lagoon. 'Glamping in style' is, I think, a first for being included in a review and I love it! I'm so pleased that you got the Robinson Crusoe barefoot resort vibe from the resort - that is so rewarding for me to read as the concept and all the design aspects of the hotel are my particular passion.

I was happy to read that you enjoyed our assorted dinner locations (I'll have a word with the chefs about the 'over-chillied' beef, so sorry about that) - we have so many wonderful views from different areas of the hotel that it's a good opportunity for our guests to make the most of all the vistas available.

I am very proud of the fact that we employ the vast majority of our staff from the surrounding indigenous population. Hannes continues to be be exemplary in his patience and understanding in teaching everyone the standards of what is expected in all areas of every department. The end of season staff party is always great fun as you can imagine!

We would love to have the opportunity to welcome you back to Fundu Lagoon one day too, so feel free to get in touch whenever it suits you. Thank you very much again for your lovely review - with all good wishes for Christmas and a healthy and happy 2014.

Ellis Flyte (Creative Director)
c.c. Hannes Wolters (General Manager)

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118 - 124 of 325 reviews

Reviewed 26 November 2013

We had booked 4 nights in this lodge as an end to our journey through this part of tanzania. We arrived after a short flight (out of zanzibar), a car ride from the 'airport' to the 'harbor' and ending with a nice boat trip of 15 minutes.

The welcome of Lizzie was great, we could see her smile already from far away, before even arriving at the jetty ... Such a pleasure to be welcomed by her, she showed us immediately our beach suite, this one having a plunge pool (nice) and giving excellent privacy. For our last nights we were even upgraded to a superior suite, everything bigger and a nicer bathroom, really great..

There are so many things we loved about this lodge (next to our room and lizzie's smile) : the 'wild jungle' aspect of it and how all buildings are marvelously integrated into nature, the birds and bushbabies around, the cool dinners each night on a different location , our sundowners at the jetty bar or on the sandbank in front of our room, the laid back atmosphere, our plunge pool or the pool upstairs, the dolphins trip (not our first time to see them, but certainly the most memorable), and the snorkeling trip to misali. This place 'bites' you (even literary if you count the mosquitos) and will not let you loose anymore...

The beach is indeed not a really white sandy beach and has quite some tidal influence, but this didn't bother us one moment, and you can always take the boat/snorkeling trip to misali island (although 90$/couple/day).. the snorkeling there is some of the best we had in the world..

If to give although a little remark : the pool area upstairs could be made a little more attractive, ok the lodge was only half occupied, but leaving every day the covers on all seats during the full day is not really accomodating/welcoming ... And we found out that there was quite some difference in quality in between the lunches and the (very good) dinners during our stay (different chefs ?).

Did we enjoy it ? yes . Would we recommend it ? certainly ( go for a suite with plunge pool) but not sure we would to everyone, we're convinced that not everyone might appreciate the full beauty this exclusive part of the world offers, although .. It's like Africa, 'it gets under your skin...'

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank yvakat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ellis f, Creative Director at Fundu Lagoon, responded to this reviewResponded 30 November 2013

Thank you very much for your lovely review of your recent stay at Fundu Lagoon. I agree with you, Lizzie has the most wonderful smile and I am delighted that she looked after you both so well, and that you were given the opportunity to try out another of our beach suites apart from the one that you had originally booked.

I will certainly look into why the seats in the upstairs pool area were left covered. Our guests should always be able to sit wherever they want, and it would appear that there has been a temporary lapse in the supervision of our pool staff. I totally agree with you that covered up pool chairs are not a welcoming sight and I can only offer my apologies to you for this. I am flying back out to Fundu very shortly and I will certainly be talking to the relevant head of department about this; likewise I will look into any discrepancies in the standard of our food and beverage areas that might have occurred.

However, I am pleased to read that you nonetheless enjoyed your experience at Fundu Lagoon. Feedback from our clients is very important and helpful to us. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to write your review.


Ellis Flyte (Creative Director)
c.c. Hannes Wolters (General Manager)

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Reviewed 10 November 2013

We have had the great fortune to have visited many beautiful parts of the world and have always been of a mind that there are too many others, still to see, to return to the same place twice. Fundu Lagoon has just blown that little philosophy right out of the water. It was simply the best holiday we've ever had. It's like finding a secret piece of paradise.

We arrived, after a long and stressful journey (we chose the wrong carrier, the wrong route and had aircraft problems), to find lovely Lizzie with a big smile, a refreshing drink and just one question, "What do you need first?"

By the time we'd answered, "Swimming costumes and food", our bags were in our bungalow. After a quick change, we were off up to the gorgeous pool area for a swim, a late lunch with a couple of Fundu Coladas and a snooze. It was bliss! And that's just how it continued for the rest of the holiday.

We had the small suite on the beach, which was perfect for us. But, then, everyone we spoke to found their bungalows and suites perfect for them. That's just how it is. Everything you need is there. There are lovely luxurious products in the bathroom, including after-sun lotion, and little things like cotton wool pads. In the bedroom, there are cotton robes, a beach-basket and sun-hats. The bed was so comfortable that the only thing which got me out of it was the wonderful day that I'd miss, if I didn't get up.

We'd packed quite lightly, for us, as we knew that there wasn't much stowage room on the cessna flights, but still took too much. All you really need at Fundu Lagoon are beach clothes and some nicer things for the evenings. You definitely don't need sandals!

Barefoot and completely relaxed, the most taxing thing we had to do all day was deciding where and what to eat at lunch-times. three courses in the dining room or something lighter at the pool. Actually, deciding what to eat was always difficult because everything really was so delicious.

In the evenings after a couple of sun-downers in the jetty bar, dinner was sometimes by the pool and sometimes in the restaurant. On Hallowe'en, it was Swahili night and all the tables were set on the jetty and on barbecue night, it was dinner on the beach. Usually followed by night-caps, chatting with fellow guests and Hannes and Lizzie. All wonderful, memorable evenings.

We found it to be truly idyllic. Beautiful location, fabulous facilities, food and drink, but what made it really special for us? The people. We have never before experienced such a warm welcome. And for this we would like to say some great big thank yous.

To Ellis for everything you have done and continue to do at Fundu Lagoon and for sharing your little corner of paradise with those of us who are lucky enough to get there.

To Hannes and Lizzie for absolutely everything you do to make Fundu Lagoon, and us, feel so special. And for your wonderful company...we miss you already!

To Kris and Filbert and everyone in the dive centre, whose enthusiasm is infectious, for the great diving trips.

To all the staff behind the scenes, in the kitchens, in the grounds, in housekeeping and anywhere else I might have left out.

To the girls in the spa with their magic fingers.

And to all the boys and girls who saw to our every need, with beaming smiles, and tried to teach us Swahili. There are so many of you, I'm afraid to name names in case I, accidentally, miss someone out. You all know who you are and you're all fantastic.

Asante sana kila mtu!

Hope to see you all again soon
Karen and Nigel

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank KarenFrance16210
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ellis f, Creative Director at Fundu Lagoon, responded to this reviewResponded 30 November 2013

On behalf of Hannes, Lizzie, Kris, Filbert, the spa girls, and each and every one of our staff, thank you so much for your lovely review of your recent stay at Fundu Lagoon. Well done on the Swahili too btw!

As the Creative Director of Fundu Lagoon all aspects of the resort’s design are my particular speciality, so I was particularly touched with your comments about our products in the bungalows and bathrooms. I’m delighted that you took full advantage of using the cotton robes, sun-hats and beach basket – that’s exactly what they are there for! Your tip to others who might visit us about going barefoot around the resort is definitely a good one. We do occasionally have guests arriving with all sorts of assorted footwear which they do their very best to wear in the sand, but they end up barefoot after 24 hours when they realise that they can just relax, not bother with shoes, and not be criticised for not wearing them either.

As you know, Fundu means the world to me, and it’s a place very close to my heart. What is so enriching is that you noticed that our staff also embrace that passion, so thank you for that too.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write your review, it really is appreciated – come back and stay with us again!

Ellis Flyte (Creative Director)
c.c. Hannes Wolters (General Manager)

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Reviewed 9 November 2013

We travelled to Fundu Lagoon with 2 friends after gorilla trekking in Rwanda and met 2 more friends at Fundu where we spent a wonderful 7 nights.
From the moment we arrived we could not have been better cared for by all the staff especially the manager Hannes. Make sure to ask him about all the hotel does for the local community and how it came into existence , so interesting.
The accommodation is 5 star beach chic and barefoot, beautifully done to compliment the setting. Do not expect Dubai 5 star bling, this is on the edge of the jungle, on a beach, on a remote island off the coast of Africa. I think what they do here is completely amazing. And the food is the best I have had in Africa. Go on all the trips, to the island to snorkel, the dolphin safari, the sunset cruise and the village walk.
One word of warning, take Deet insect repellant and apply liberally at all times, we did and were not bitten once but those who ignored this advice paid the consequences!!
I have never been more sad to leave at the end of a holiday , quite simply we all adored Fundu.
Thank you Hannes.
Tolly and Sarah x

Room Tip: Go for anything on the beach or the Jungle suite. All fantastic.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Sarah S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ellis f, Creative Director at Fundu Lagoon, responded to this reviewResponded 30 November 2013

Thank you both so much for your great review of Fundu Lagoon. Hannes is actually flying back to Fundu as I write this, having been on leave from the resort for a short break. Whilst he was over here in London he and I had a good opportunity to spend time together discussing all aspects of the hotel, and one of the things we did chat about was saying how lucky we’d been in having such wonderful guests to stay with us at Fundu such as yourselves.

I’m so glad that you both had such a good time at Fundu and the Deet tip is a good one. Our chefs will be beaming with delight when they are told that a guest has said that their food is ‘the best in Africa’; it means a lot to them and indeed to all of us, particularly as we’re hardly in a position to be able to run down to the local supermarket to pick up any daily supplies!

Should you ever consider it, we’d love to be able to have the opportunity to welcome you back to Fundu at some time in the future. Thank you again for your review.


Ellis Flyte (Creative Director)
c.c. Hannes Wolters (General Manager)

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Reviewed 22 September 2013

My wife and I spent 5 nights at Fundu Lagoon after a week of safari in the Serengeti and it was the perfect ending to our August honeymoon. It’s a bit like Ewok Village meets Robinson Crusoe – extremely remote and ideal for unwinding. To get here requires another short flight from Zanzibar, a 45 minute cab ride and a 10-15 minute boat ride, but it was well worth it.

The service was terrific and the food was amazing. There’s fresh fruit, vegetables and fish at just about every meal. We spent most of our time in the spa and at the infinity pool, which was never crowded, most likely due to the fact that there are only 18 rooms, which seemed to be filled half by honeymooners and half by families with older children. Chris & Phil in the dive center were great and offer a number of activities. We opted for the sunset cruise in a dhow boat and a day at Misali Island, (which is an even more remote island ideal for snorkeling and picnic lunches) both of which were fantastic. Dinners seem to get moved around the resort, which is a great way to keep things fresh; we ate on the jetty, in the main dining area, and had a private dinner for two on the beach.

There’s a very cool story on the history of the resort and its relationship with the local villages, which I won’t ruin in this review. A big thank you to Hannes, Ellis, and Kris for making our stay in paradise so memorable.

Room Tip: Go with a beach front room
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Tom H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ellis f, Creative Director at Fundu Lagoon, responded to this reviewResponded 6 October 2013

How wonderful to read your lovely review of your recent stay at Fundu Lagoon. I love the analogy of Ewok and Robinson Crusoe! We are indeed a little bit off the beaten track which usually involves 3 different types of transport to reach us, but I’m glad that you both felt that it was nonetheless worth the effort.

Our chefs will be thrilled to learn that you enjoyed the variety of food and beverages that we have on offer at Fundu. As you say, there is fresh fruit and vegetables (much of which is grown on site) and locally caught fish served wherever possible. I was also pleased to read that you appreciated the change of dinner venues at Fundu – we have fun arranging this, and I would agree with you that it keeps things fresh. How wonderful also that you had a private candle lit dinner for two on the beach.

Kris and Filbert will be so pleased to read that you enjoyed meeting them, and that you had fun at Misali Island and on the sunset cruise.

All of us are delighted that you chose to spend the end of your honeymoon at Fundu Lagoon and that you had such a ‘memorable stay in paradise’. Our congratulations on your recent marriage, and we wish you a long and happy life together.

Ellis Flyte (Creative Director)
c.c. Hannes Wolters (General Manager)

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Reviewed 20 September 2013

A big thank you to Hans the manager for making our holiday so special.
So pretty and peaceful along with fantastic food.
Our room was perfect and the staff could not do enough to make our stay amazing.
Thank you Hans and thank you Fundu Lagoon
Jane and Jon

Room Tip: we had a beach villa and worked well for us
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Jane P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ellis f, Creative Director at Fundu Lagoon, responded to this reviewResponded 6 October 2013

Thank you so much for your very kind review of your recent stay at Fundu Lagoon. I am so pleased that you enjoyed your time at the resort. Hannes and all of our staff will be delighted to read that you both had an amazing holiday with us. All our guests are special to us too.


Ellis Flyte (Creative Director)
c.c. Hannes Wolters (General Manager)

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Reviewed 15 September 2013

We stayed here for three nights to relax after the rigours of a 10 day safari. Our travel agent couldn't have chosen a better place for us to unwind and recuperate. Its remoteness and tranquility were the perfect restorative and the requirement to do nothing more than eat, sleep, swim and read was perfect.
Our lodge was fantastic - large, tastefully furnished and with its own private plunge pool on the very spacious verandah. It's position, right on the beach, was perfect and private. What a wonderful experience it was to wake up in the morning and walk straight into the Indian Ocean from the steps of our lodge, for an early morning swim!
The thoughtful provision of sunhats and bag was a nice touch as was the range of teas, coffee (including filter coffee), fresh milk, soft drinks, beer and wine. And water, of course. The stock of clean towels never seemed to diminish, no matter how often we swam and showered!
Staff were friendly, polite and helpful. Although English is very obviously a second language everyone was willing to engage in conversation and exchange pleasantries. Staff seemed very pleased that we had learned a little Swahili and enjoyed correcting our mis-pronunciations! We were very willing students!! We enjoyed the sunset cruise on a traditional fishing vessel and chatting with the captain, Simba.
The food was of a high standard and there was always a good variety to choose from. The cinnamon-coated French toast with Pemba honey was my favourite breakfast dish, although to be fair, I didn't try anything else because this was so good!
I enjoyed wonderful massages from the wonderful Balinese masseuse and felt as if I floated back to our lodge afterwards.
This was a perfect end to our holiday and well worth the two flights, bus journey and boat trip to get to such a wonderful destination. The seclusion and privacy, with no demands made on us at all, made for outstanding R&R. Thank you.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Linda H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ellis f, Creative Director at Fundu Lagoon, responded to this reviewResponded 6 October 2013

It was wonderful to read your fabulous review of your recent stay at Fundu Lagoon. I am so glad that everything fell into place for you both and that you enjoyed your time with us. I’m delighted that you felt relaxed and at home in your beach suite, and thank you also for your kind words about our standard of cuisine and spa treatments.

Any words of Swahili that our guests learn are always appreciated by our staff. As you correctly observed, English is their second language as 75% of our staff are employed from the 3 villages that surround us. I feel it is important to employ local people wherever possible as we are all guests in their country. Our staff are gradually becoming more confident with their English and really enjoy talking to Fundu’s guests. As you discovered, they are also highly entertained by any western mis-pronounciation of Swahili phrases and words!

The sunset cruise is a favourite of our guests – the view of the sun going down over Fundu from the hotel’s dhow boat is always so beautiful.

Feedback from our clients is always important to us, so thank you again for taking the time and trouble to write your review.


Ellis Flyte (Creative Director)
c.c. Hannes Wolters (General Manager)

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Additional Information about Fundu Lagoon

Address: Wambaa Peninsula, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Pemba Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Pemba Island
Hotel Class:5 star — Fundu Lagoon 5*
Number of rooms: 18
Also Known As:
Fundu Lagoon Pemba Island
Fundu Lagoon Hotel Pemba Island

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