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“Must go back - wonderfully restful” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Manta Resort

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The Manta Resort
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Pemba Island
Certificate of Excellence
UK
Level Contributor
143 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Must go back - wonderfully restful”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 June 2014

We went to The Manta Resort on Pemba for two weeks in January 2014 and really regretfully have not had time until now to write a review.
Indeed, we did wonder whether to write a review at all as it was so wonderful that we definitely want to go back and would prefer not to give the secret away!
This is the perfect low key relaxing, get away from it all holiday destination - after an enjoyable "adventure" to get there.
Do not expect the last word in unnecessary glitzy luxury - you can relax here more quickly and easily without.
The Manta Resort is an incredible amalgam of beauty in the resort, surroundings and sea with reliable, helpful and pleasant staff and an excellent eco approach to the physical environment and locals.
It is an all inclusive which removes all the complications of signatures, costs etc. and includes a choice of types of massage on a daily basis.
The menu is short but the food is good. We had an amazing candlelit seafood beach dinner.
The local fishermen have handmade boats on the beach (we think made from mango wood, similar to Balsa but stronger) and we had a wonderful sunset sailing cruise in one.
The resort has a fascinating relationship with the local community:
1) we very much enjoyed a trip to the local school that it supports and took crayons etc. and afterwards sent white board marker pens that they needed.
2) the resort facilitates seaweed farming which then is an ingredient in the lovely locally produced soap.
3) another project is octopus farming replacing capture of small immature octopodes and allowing them to (rapidly) grow to a much more productive size - and being incredible to see as larger specimens on our final dive.
We had an amazing 24 hours in the underwater room which was at that point so new that it had some teething problems but with these now ironed out we recommend a day and a night in it if you are able to. The solitude, being on the sea (and yet having whatever supplies you want brought out as needed by boat) and the unbelievable underwater view in all directions - complete with underwater lights if you want them at night.
We overlapped with a couple that were multiply repeat guests - and we hope to emulate this.
We found all the staff friendly and helpful, our butler, in the restaurant and bars, at reception, in the spa and in the dive school.
Mike The Manager was always welcoming, friendly and helpful and willing to think outside the box.
Mike The Dive Instructor (yes, the same Mike although there are others in these roles but they were away while we were there) was a real joy to have leading us. He was very safety conscious, perceptive of divers competencies and rightly firm if people wanted to try things that were beyond them at that stage and could have endangered others. I really do not think anything preventable would go wrong with him as instructor - in contrast to Swahili Divers who we went with one day and were lovely but the boat ran out of fuel on the way back and they had been smoking around the fuel containers...........
Yes the last part of the journey is on unmade mud roads but in the provided 4X4 that is part of the adventure following progressively smaller planes (to Nairobi, to Zanzibar via Kilimanjaro and to Pemba).
I note that every single one of the (few) less than Very Good or Excellent reviews are old (2009-2011 mostly) except one that complained about the hotel not having arranged the weather.
We would very much like to go back and would recommend The Manta Resort at Pemba to anyone (and have to our friends and fellow divers).

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JoannaandMatthew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheMantaResort, General Manager at The Manta Resort, responded to this review, 1 July 2014
Dear Joanna and Matthew, We must firstly say that we really miss you both and your amazing outlook on life. Thank you so much for such a comprehensive review and for your time in writing it. Also, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on Kwanini (the way we fit into Pemba). Very much looking forward to your return, The Manta Family.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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388 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (101)
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English first
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 June 2014

My wife and i spent a wonderful week at this resort in June 2014 - a bit of a gamble because it was towards the end of the rainy/windy season. However we managed five days out of seven mostly sunny and wonderfully warm. Beaches are outstanding and the sea calm and comfortably warm. Snorkelling was very good and I am told the scuba divers saw a lot of impressive undersea life. The resort itself is great. Good food three times a day and, believe it or not, free drinks including beer, wine and spirits - all very good quality. Guests also get a free massage every day at the spa and these too are very professionally done. You also get your own personal "butler" who looks after you at the table and your every need and even accompanies guests on outings to beautiful forests, spice farms and other places of interest. Service from all staff is superb and friendly. Its a great place for kids, except there is no TV (which I found to be a blessing.) This is a pretty remote spot. After landing on the main island of Zanzibar you take a 35 minute flight to Pemba where the Manta Resort people meet you in a 4x4. It then takes an hour and a half for the journey North to the resort, starting on a good tar road, then onto a nice dirt road, then onto a smaller dirt road until eventually you are on a narrow track. If you have ever wondered where the "back of beyond" is, then the Manta Resort is just behind that ! And this is one of its attractions. In terms of value for money this was pretty good going.

Room Tip: It is worth paying a bit extra for the villas closest the beach. There is also an underwater room wh...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank NumoFox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheMantaResort, General Manager at The Manta Resort, responded to this review, 1 July 2014
Thank you both for finding us "just behind the back of beyond" and for sharing your time with us. We are so happy to hear how much you enjoyed our remote spot on Pemba and the peace and quiet it provides. Kind regards, The Manta Family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 June 2014

My wife and I were wrapping up our honeymoon and 10 day safari with what was supposed to be a 6 night stay at the end of January 2014. We had been to 5 other places on our east African journey and had a 5/5 experience at every place, and had similar expectations for Manta. Men were we wrong! From the start, the welcome REALLY turned us off. The staff was really cold and were not around to meet us.

I want to stress the fact that we’re very easy going people and had a good idea of what to expect in Pemba – I by all means wasn’t expecting the Ritz however I was expecting a staff that was welcoming, glad to have us and happy to help. That wasn’t the case and as in most businesses, it comes from the top. The GM, Mike, who I didn’t even realize he was the GM until after came around one night and said he “helps around here, but mostly with scuba” sat in the back with the other manager and could have cared less about his guests. The servers were good, but could have been better with some training that they clearly didn’t have.

Overall, the place was beautiful. The underwater room was amazing. This is simply an ownership / management problem that could easily be fixed as there is potential with the fantastic location but that only goes so far when the staff has no direction. We left a day early as we were so disappointed. I’m giving this place 3 starts as again, there is potential, but with the same ownership in place I would never even consider going back. Wish the experience would have been better as it was not to most memorable way to end our Honeymoon. Not to mention I had left a pair of new swim trunks on the beach as I changed in the underwater room and they were "in the wash" when we were leaving and they were going to send them to us - 5 months later I'm yet to see them....

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank pilsen18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheMantaResort, General Manager at The Manta Resort, responded to this review, 25 June 2014
Dear Ryan and Phillipina,

We were deeply saddened to receive your review and to read how disappointed you were with our care of you and the special time you planned with us. In the first instance, we offer you the most sincere of apologies. It cannot be overstated enough that we in no way meant for you to feel anything but welcome into the Manta family. The fact that your honeymoon wasn’t perfect is unforgivable and for that we are truly sorry. Please know that we are extremely proud of being part of Pemba Island and the wonderful people on it and so finding us cold and uncaring is a devastating shock to us all. Thank you for sharing your feelings with us, please be assured that we have taken your words to heart.

As a side note: We did in fact send your shorts by mail from Wete post office which should still make it to you (we have received christmas cards in June before so it does happen that post gets delayed).

The Manta Family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stockholm, Sweden
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 June 2014

Very kind and helpful staff showing genuine hospitality which also was apparent when visiting the neighbourhood and villages on Pemba. Me and my wife spent a fabulous week in March at the resort and it was just perfect. Stunning views from the villa and restaurant. Several social areas but also plenty of space for privacy. A very relaxing pool area. The beach was of course fantastic - even during low tide. The seafront villa was spacious and clean with a very comfortable bed. We got strong impressions from arranged and tailor-made excursions to the rain forest, fish market and the flying fox "residence". This gave us some extraordinary memories. We will certainly return to the Manta Resort and Pemba.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Håkan E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 June 2014

Me and my wife spend a week at Manta Resort. Everything was perfect starting from pick up from airport to the last minute. Very nice beach & sea and house reef. I had wonderful dives. Meals were also superb, fresh from sea everyday. Free spa and whatever you drink system works flawless.
So why "almost perfect", because of the rooms. Rooms are open in every side so all the bugs are patrolling inside all the time. There are no windows so you can close, its just wooden brackets that not fully close. Even if you close it the sealing is not fixed on the walls there is a big gap all around and covered with bamboo like leafs so wide open for all insects. If you think you are in tropical area :) There is a mosquitoe net on the bed but it is not good enough for rest of the room, or stepping creatures when you wake up in the middle of the night. Or they drop you while you are in shower. I must add that they give you free repellent sprey and they insecticide while you are at dinner. Anyhow, I do not want to give very bad idea who plan to visit Manta. As I said if you can shrug off this all was perfect. We stayed garden room. Maybe higher level ones have better protection. Although we saw all sealing system almost the same. My advise to Manta is to improve little more rooms and all will be perfect.

Room Tip: Garden rooms have no aircondition but fan so book your room accordingly.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
2 Thank Pasha_Kerem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tervald, Public Relations Manager at The Manta Resort, responded to this review, 5 June 2014
Hi Pasha, and thank you for taking your time to share your experience! Patrolling bugs is something that is hard to escape from when in Africa. Fortunately our small friends on the island are harmless little creatures - I hope they didn’t scare you too much! We have actually just started with improving the rooms. Hopefully we can have you back another time and get the chance to strike out the “almost” in your next review :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arusha, Tanzania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 June 2014

From start to finish an incredible stay at The Manta Resort. We went in March ( low season ) the weather was not great, a little bit cloudy, but the atmosphere and friendly staff made up for it. So the slightly cloudy weather did not stop us from enjoying all that there is to offer at Manta. We stayed in a Seafront Villa - Absolutely incredible, so spacious and beautifully put together. The rooms are equipped with everything one should need ( Aircon/Fans ). The rooms have lovely decks looking out onto the beach and ocean, so you can lie in bed and enjoy the views. Our Second night was spent in the Underwater Room. We had the most delicious meal on the deck, a full on seafood platter. Even though the weather was not great, the underwater felt totally safe and the sunset was breathtaking. All in all a magical trip on a magical island.

Room Tip: Obviously.... The Underwater Room !!!!!!!!!
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KellyDeKock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2014

The staff, food and view are just excellent !!!
During my stay, I had a chance to visit one of the staff's local house in Pemba and gladly found that they led a simple and happy life there, though they told me that the stuff in the island were quite expensive. This experience really adds a highlight of my journey.

Room Tip: A magnificent experience to sleep under the sea. A must that one has to try once in a life time.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Derek C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Manta Resort

Property: The Manta Resort
Address: Box 32, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Pemba Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Pemba Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Manta Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Elevated and crafted along an idyllic island beach, The Manta Resort offers privacy, romance, adventure, and diving on East Africa's finest island sanctuary. Pemba Island for real. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Manta Hotel Pemba Island
Manta Hotel Pemba Island

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