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“Really Enjoyable Stay”

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Mnarani Beach Cottages
Ranked #12 of 19 Hotels in Nungwi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 June 2011

I've just stayed at Mnarani for a week and had a great time. I was told the beach everyone says has disappeared is coming back and indeed you could actually see the sand in the tide when you swam! The staff were all friendly and helpful and especially as a 'solo traveller' this always makes me feel at ease. The food was fine and prices didn't seem too different from other hotels. My only bad comment would be that it was a little quiet for me on my own, but everywhere else seemed to be too, so I guess that's how it is at this time of year.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled solo
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3  Thank lizsross
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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359 - 365 of 527 reviews

Reviewed 10 June 2011

We stayed at Mnarani Beach Cottages for 4 days at the end of May 2011. We've stayed in Zanzibar quite a bit and we were very pleased with this resort. First, the infrastructure is amazing and the cottages are literally 15 yards from the waves at high tide. The set up includes eating, drinking, swimming (in the pool), and much more right on the beach. There's a great place to tan and play above the water and also room to walk the beach as long as it's not high tide. Our little girls loved it and it was very family friendly. Of the 150 plus hotels/resorts on Zanzibar this is probably the second highest level and most likely in the top 12 hotels on the entire island. The beach is amazing and although there are some rocks it's easy to walk in and swim. However, for a family, it's much better to bring water shoes just so kids enjoy it as well. There's lots los small wildlife that adds to the experience. Also, when you stay there breakfast and dinner are included which were very high quality. We loved how they either gave you an option of three different entrees or had a buffet. Another thing we loved was the secluded location. Another fun thing we did through the resort was use their boat to go snorkeling 30 minutes away. We felt safe on the dhow with our little girls and the captain did a good job. Mnarani also provided a snorkeling guide who was helpful in getting out to the boat and watching after the kids. We saw lots of fish and had a blast and a half day of snorkeling was only $40 for our family of 4 (2 small kids). This also included fruits and snacks. The staff was very friendly and helpful and attentive to our needs. They were willing to help with anything. They also had security guards who were always walking around and never just standing still. They also had a generator for when the electricity went out at night. The amenities offered were all amazing. We had a couple massages and they were only $25 for an amazing hour. The AC in the room was amazing. The upper level of our room had a fan with a walkout porch that we enjoyed for hanging wet clothes. We would definitely go back again. Also, our rooms had mosquito nets but we didn't even need them. We spoke to someone there and it seems they fumigate every 6 weeks which is why the mosquitos weren't as bad as other places in Zanz we'd been.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank pcain12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2011

Unfortunately for my wife and I overall Mnarani fell a little short on expectations and value.

On the positive side the staff were very friendly and helpful, in contrast to some comments prior. Especially Coco on reception who helped when we wanted to move rooms, but also the lead waiters in the restaurant and barmen were all OK. The pool is also nice and at the end of the day, with the sun going down, a beer in hand and a view of dhows sailing past on the Indian Ocean, all is good with the world.

On the flipside however the rooms did not smell very good at all (very damp and mildewy maybe due to wet season), and there were holes in mosquito netting. In fact the whole place had a dilapedated air. There is no beach to speak of (again due to season), and the restaurants/bars & beach of west nungwi are a good half hour away, and this isn't always clear in the website. The food is just not that good quality being of the OK home cooked variety, nothing special, though there is lots of it and Bar is pricey even for basics like water and coffee. Maybe a happy hour to encourage spending? No real energy to help us with our snorkelling trip so we sorted at a place round the corner for better price, but might just have been because low season and we were only two of 5 or 6 in the place at any one time. Whilst pool was good it was prob only cleaned once in a 6 day stay so was a bit dirty.

Bottom line with long distance travel a very expensive business, even for so called 'rich' westerners, we had high expectations and were looking for exceptional value at the end of a great but tiring trip through central africa, and Mnarani didn't quite deliver. It was not bad just OK. There is plenty of competition in Nungwi and with an exceptional Hilton resort in a similar price band round the corner (where we had a great dinner and cheap happy hour drinks one night), you have to say there are better options out there.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ben101London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2011

I and my wife, we went Tanzania mainly for wild life, and later on we decide better to end up in relaxing lazy days. After safari of 7 days we had 4 days left, that was amazing and unforgettable. We booked to Mnarani beach cottages for 3 days expecting last day will stay in stone town.
The whole team at Mnarani I can say they are friendly, helpful and attitude. The food was great, but bar prices was a bit high. I like those cocktails, and they have special cocktail every day:-) Massage lady was so nice, we all done it. The swimming pool was wonderful, I cant finish to mention every thing, all in all our last 4 days was great. We even decided to stay all 4 days at Mnarani instead of living the last day to stone town.

I will always recommend Mnarani Beach Cottages for relaxing time. A TIP! If you are looking for party or night club, Mnarani is not a place for you, very quiet over there.

Room Tip: Always see front rooms are the best - Ask for del.
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  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank George_Michaels11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2011

We came here on honeymoon and hated it, the food was terrible it was
1/2hour walk away from the "golden mile" of beaches. The beach in front
Of hotel is fill with rocks and sea weed +coral. There was not hot water
When we arrived it had to be fixed! the waiter at the restaurant took our
Plates and knife+fork after starter and gave us back a dirty knife+fork back
And we were not sure if it was even ours! The electricity goes on and off all day
and night.I'm sorry to say this is not a place I would recommend to anyone

  • Stayed: April 2011
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Thank celynelliott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2011

We were made incredibly welcome by all the staff and they went out of their way to help us.
It is in a great location overlooking the beautiful beach, a lovely place to come and relax.
We would really recommend anyone to stay in this lovely hotel!

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Danielle012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2011

We arrived at Mnarani Beach Cottages after a GREAT safari in Serengeti National Park and was expecting a relaxing week at Zanzibar to finish our honey moon trip. I'm sorry to say we were disappointed not to get that. The service from the staff was in general very poor (except for from Coco, I think his name was, that was really service minded!). One example (out of several): the old AC in the room made such noice that we slept better at the Safari with animals right outside our tents/lodges. When complaining to the staff they said they had fixed it... but it was the same the next night as well, when complaining again they said once more that they had fixed it... but nothing changed. Finally they told us it couldn't be fixed and it was due to the shifting power levels and they couldn't offer us another cottage. So... there was no other way than give up the fight and start to use ear plugs (on out honey moon).
I agree with previous reviews about the dinner buffet not being good but I think all has been said about that already. And I also agree that it is an good idea to go somewhere else for lunch. We were served raw chicken and the kitchen didn't understand what our problem was when we tried to complain...
I haven't compared the prices of different places to stay in this part of Zanzibar but if I would definitely call Manarani a budget place... and if that's what you want that's what you get. But for the price we paid we definitely expected more than this.
To finish in a positive way ;-) the snorkeling trip they arrange is really well and so is the trip to the spice farm and Stone Town (even though the driver tried to charge us extra and stopped to talk to his friends, making us wait for him). I would only recommend this place as a budget alternative or to large families who would find the pool really good.

Room Tip: Ask for a cottage with an new AC
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  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank myminimi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mnarani Beach Cottages

Address: North Coast, Nungwi, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Nungwi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Nungwi
#7 Family Hotel in Nungwi
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Nungwi
#11 Romantic Hotel in Nungwi
Price Range: £90 - £282 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Mnarani Beach Cottages 3.5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mnarani Beach Cottages is a beach resort hotel, located on the northernmost tip of Zanzibar Island in the village of Nungwi, next to the old lighthouse.Mnarani has been independently recommended by The Lonely Planet Guide, The Bradt Guide to Zanzibar and many other East African travel guidebooks. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mnarani Beach Cottages Hotel Nungwi
Mnarani Beach Hotel
Mnarani Beach Resort
Mnarani Beach Cottages Zanzibar Island/Nungwi

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