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“Only one problem...Did not stay long enough!”

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Mnarani Beach Cottages
Ranked #13 of 17 Hotels in Nungwi
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Only one problem...Did not stay long enough!”
Reviewed 23 September 2008

We stayed at Mnarani on Sept 19, 2008 for one night. We were meeting up with some friends from home after their safari. Everything about our experience with Mnarani was excellent. Before we even arrived I had contacted the resort to see about arranging transportation to and from there as we were flying in. Promptly we received a reply by e-mail from a gentleman by the name of Yussaf, providing details and asking if there was anything else that he could do for us.

Upon arriving at the airport we were greeted by the driver who whisked us away for the approx 1 hour drive north. As we pulled up to the entrance of the place we were greeted with smiling faces by not only the staff at the reception desk but by any of the staff who happened to be walking by.

After heading to our room (the Huba Family Room) we unpacked and headed to the restaurant to get some lunch. Again as we were walking the 100ft or so to the seating area we were pleasantly greeted by all the staff on our way. Lunch was nice as we looked out over the water.

After lunch we decided to all walk along the beach, past the lighthouse and check our the village Nungwi. About 20 minutes later we arrived and checked out aqll the shops, restaurants and such and had a small refreshment before heading back to Mnarani. *Note: we found most of the restaurants closed during the day due to the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan. If you are planning to visit, maybe check when this is so that you will have more choices. It did not bother us though.

Then in the evening we had dinner (buffet) style at the resort. The food was very good. After retiring to our room we sat out on the second floor balcony to enjoy the sounds of the crashing waves and watching the brilliant stars in the clear sky.

Sadly we had to leave the next morning back to Dar es Salaam. Once again the transportation was prompt. In fact we arrived about 15 minutes before we had arranged to leave. The reception staff apologized for the driver not being there yet (again we were early). Not 5 minutes later the driver showed up and off we went.

We have nothing negative to report and we look forward to returning again with more family. Next time we plan on staying longer and enjoying more of this little piece of paradise.

  • Liked — Warm friendly staff. Very accommodating.
  • Disliked — That we did not stay long enough
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled with friends
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Surfwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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495 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (113)
Date | Rating
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English first
Warwick, England
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2008

We spent 2 nights of our Honeymoon here as we travelled throughout Africa (Kenya down to Zambia on an Overland Truck!). On arrival they upgraded us at a discounted rate because we were on Honeymoon and the staff were friendly and polite throughout our stay there. We stayed in the 'Pemba' room in Zanzibar House, a more deluxe version of the standard accomodation. The room was clean, spacious and with it's own veranda. The views were amazing and the resort felt very private because of the limited cottages/ rooms available. Although it doesn't have a traditional beach we loved the fact you were able to watch the sea battering the rocks just a few feet below us and it was easy (and safe) to simply walk down some steps and into the sea for a swim. When the tide went out we were able to walk along the beach to other resorts where some friends were staying (it only took approx 15 mins). Overall a great place for couples looking to unwind.

  • Liked — Amazing Views, Private Location
  • Disliked — Food quite ordinary
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank AlfaFella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2008

While in Africa my fiance and I decided we wanted to get married there. We called Mnarani 2 days before we wanted to get married and they arranged EVERYTHING!! My husband and I got massages on the beach the morning of the wedding, and my hair done as I looked out at the ocean (I was even able to get traditional wedding henna done!!) We stayed in the beautiful Mahaba cottage and had an amazing sunset ceremony on the beach (with a hand-woven arch, and beautiful flowers) . Followed by an group Dhow cruise with drummers and African punch. We we returned from our cruise there was a beautiful BBQ and buffet dinner prepared for us and our 20 guests (even a chocolate wedding cake!!) and candlelight seating for all 20 of our travel friends on the beach. We finished the night with dancing and a performance by local acrobats! The staff at Mnarani planned and executed our entire wedding and it COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE PERFECT! They are the reason I had the picture perfect wedding!
I whole heartedly suggest that EVERYONE go to the Mnarani Bungalows - you will never forget your experience there!!

  • Liked — The lodgings are beautiful, and the staff are magnificent!
  • Disliked — Absolutely nothing!
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Cryslyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
233 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2008

This was simply one of the best places I've ever stayed! The dinners were amazing with fresh seafood and fish cooked Swahili style dominating the menu. The breakfasts were ok..nothing special but filling. Lunchs, including their great seafood pizzas were amazing!

I stayed in a garden cottage and it was great! Occasionally the A/C went down, but it was not long and th hot showers after working throughout Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda in orphanages etc were a welcome relief.

In the morning when the tide was in we went swimming before breakfast and often went snorkeling in the clear blue waters. The staff are simply the best...super friendly and they all got to know you. Zena, the front office manager was wonderful and always eager to please.
We made tons of friends there, and after only eight days we were saddened to leave.
I would recommend the Mnarani Beach Cottages to anyone wanting a relaxing and casual holiday...you will leave guaranteed completely recharged...and will probably want to return!

  • Liked — Cleanliness and flowers on bed each day..great patios with each cottage
  • Disliked — A little small..
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank McGill_Tripper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
usa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 April 2008

I had just finished 3 weeks of volunteering in an orphanage in Arusha and wanted to see the Indian Ocean. I had heard of Mnarani through fellow volunteers, but had not made reservations before my trip to Zanzibar. I stayed a night in Stone Town (where I made the reservations from), but left my traveling companions behind and went to Mnarani for 3 nights. As a 21 female traveling alone, I was nervous, but once I arrived, I never had the slightest bit of fear nor felt unsafe.

The staff was WONDERFUL! They were expecting me when I got there and were very helpful when my mother would call from the States. The restaurant staff were also great. I had the same waiter ever night and he would help me practice my limited Swahili.

I enjoyed the traditional Tanzanian breakfast with lots of fruits. They also had donuts (which were delicious with a bit of butter and some sugar!), eggs, omelets, and chapati. The selection of fruit was the same each morning, but you will not find a better banana or pineapple than in Tanzania. My last dinner, we had fish, calamari, and chicken on the grill. Delicious! Even with half board, the one day I bought lunch, it was not expensive. They small gift shop sold Snickers and Pringles to get by for lunch. :)

The room was wonderful. Every afternoon when I'd return from the sun, there would be a little flower on my bed. The shower was small, but after 3 weeks of cold showers, it was wonderful to have hot water. The a/c was also great to have after a hot day in the sun. The bed was very clean, as well as the rest of the cottage.

I will be returning to Tanzania/Zanzibar in July 2008 and plan to stay at Mnarani again. Nothing beats having the beautiful crystal clear ocean a mere 10 yards from your front door every morning. Watching the sun rise is a must! The only thing I would have changed would have been to remember to pack my bug spray and not leave it in Arusha. The mosquitos got me at sundown everyday.

  • Liked — staff, accomodation, spa, food
  • Disliked — only one computer/internet access
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank amanitz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Holland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2008

date review: March 27, 2008
Tony & Ellen from Holland
We stayed at Mnarani the last two weeks of January. We had a perfect relaxed holliday! We had booked one of the beach cabins. These are rather small, but clean and tidy (airconditioned!) and with a very beautifull view on the sea. The restaurant serves a dayly menu and even has very nice piza's! The people of Manarani Beach Cottages are very friendly and helpful.
Tony did his kite surfing tricks in front of the hotel, which seemed to be a great spectacle for both the hotel and the villagers.
If you love the quite, nature and relaxing this is a very good place to stay. If you want shopping, disco's next to your hotel, don't go to the Mnarani.
Overall; we loved it and enjoyed our stay!

  • Liked — the very relaxed environment
  • Disliked — distance to the airport
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Waroo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denmark
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2008

We visited Mnarani after two nights in Stonetown. We were pleased to find the relaxation and the great hospitality among the staff. I tried to find out what could be the explanation why people complained about the resort but with no luck. The standard is pretty much what we're used to when we visit greek islands in July. This is not what one could mistake with luxury. We certainly don't look for luxury when we travel, but a clean place with friendly staff, and that was what we got at Mnarani. I think the mould-smell problem must be because of the wet and salty wind each night. It's almost impossible to stay dry when the sun sets. And the cottages are very close to the salty waves. I find it absolutely lovely and can only recommend this nice place for a reasonable price. We - a family of four (mom, dad + two daughters aged 10+14) were staying for 11 nights and were sad to leave... We visited Nungwi almost each day and became friends with a lot of nice people from this lovely and poor village. The only thing that mystifies me a bit is that you're unable to buy anything. We ran out of memory cards for the camera as well as sun lotion and we couldn't find any of that kind at all. Remember to bring plenty of sun lotion from home. B. Lundberg, Denmark

  • Liked — Nice staff and scenery
  • Disliked — Not being able to find other great restaurants close to the resort
  • Stayed February 2008
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Mercurys
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

Property: 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:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Nungwi
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Nungwi
#10 Family Hotel in Nungwi
#11 Romantic Hotel in Nungwi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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