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“Friendly staff and excellent food”

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Zanzibar Retreat Hotel
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Matemwe
Certificate of Excellence
Arusha, Tanzania
1 review
“Friendly staff and excellent food”
Reviewed 18 July 2012

We have had the privilege to stay four weeks at Zanzibar Retreat Hotel in June and July. We are a family of six, children at ages of 16,14 and 11. We have all enjoyed the stay at the hotel; the top-hole standard of the rooms, the friendly staff, always having time for a chat, the excellent food and the flexible management always ready to assist with arrangements of a trip around the exciting island or having time for an evenings chat in the new resting area, "the blue corner". Every evening you just want to finish up the dinner with a relaxing time in the comfortable sofa enjoying a soft drink, the sound of the sea, the palms and the warm winds.
Especially we will remember the paradise like snorkelling at nearby Mnemba Island. Hard to top that!
Our kids could never have enough of the pasta, the homemade burgers or the perfectly fried fries. We could night after night enjoy well prepared, delicious seafood.
The stay at the hotel is, for us, a great starting point for a one year long period in Tanzania. We look forward to return to Matemwe beach and Zanzibar Retreat Hotel during the year, again and again, and again...

Room Tip: The upstairs seaview rooms are excellent.
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank MatsLevander
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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423 reviews from our community

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Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2012

Our group (5 people) thoroughly enjoyed the Zanzibar Retreat Hotel. The service was good and the food was fantastic. The beach is nice for swimming during high tide and nice for looking at sea life when it's low tide. If I ever get back to Zanzibar, I will definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: The best rooms are on the main floor by the pool.
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Georgia H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nicosia, Cyprus
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2012

Zanzibar Retreat is not a luxury 5 star hotel but it is exactly the type of hotel you want to be to relax and completely unwind after a Safari. It is a small quiet place, right on one of the best beaches in Zanzibar and its attention to detail lets you experience the true African culture. A few key points which might help you:

Food: Very nice breakfast with fresh fruits and choice of hot plate. The dinner was always amazing! traditional three course meal of high quality

Beach: we haven't been to other beaches in Zanzibar to compare, but Matemwe beach was definitely one of the best beaches we have ever been at! There is a lot of sewage but that is the case for most Zanzibar as I understand. Also we loved the tidal current as we could walk all the way to the reef and also get nice pictures

Activities: the hotel can arrange a variety of activities with low cost. One of our most memorable experiences in Africa was the visit organised by the hotel manager to Matemwe's hospital and school. There are many more activities from which you can choose from and they can be flexibly arranged to fit your schedule.

People: the manager patiently helped us with any questions we had and also very generously offered to help us with our return trip back to Dar Es Salaam (he even called a driver to pick us up from the Dar Es Salaam airport!). Also the hotel driver from Zanzibar airport was very flexible to his way back to the hotel - he even dropped us for a 1hr tour in Stone Town with no extra cost!

All in all we highly recommend this hotel to anyone who wants a quiet place on the beach with great food and nothing to worry about! just the fact that you wished to have booked extra days there :)

Room Tip: Pool Side rooms are right outside of the pool
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Alex1307
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newton Abbot, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2012

My husband and I have just returned from 6 glorious days at Janne and Bjorn's hotel in paradise. We had a completely relaxing time. It was very difficult to leave! The small retreat offers a real get-away and a place in which to completely unwind. The staff are all very professional, warm and friendly. The food is excellent. The spaces created for relaxation could not be more perfect. We both felt so completely rested - we would return tomorrow! The beach is a stone throw's away, and we enjoyed our early morning walks along the edge of the warm sea each morning and evening, watching the locals carrying out their business of collecting sea-weed, passing by us with a 'jambo' and a smile. Nothing is 'pushed' or forced here. Beautiful. Go check it out :-)

Room Tip: You can request a pool side room, or a room around the back. All are quiet.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Lisa G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vermont
Level Contributor
34 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2012

Gorgeous wide beaches, with constant breezes. Small hotel with outstanding food cooked to order with fresh ingredients. Lovely veranda, swimming pool, and plenty of comfy hammocks and chaises to while away the day. Would return in a heartbeat. Owner Jan and his staff team are the best.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mama71Vermont
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2012

My family (2A + 3C (16/15/13)) and I booked this hotel sight unseen on the recommendation of TripAdvisor.
We were certainly impressed. The owner and staff went out of their way to assist in every way possible, without "pushing" anything.
Whilst price may be on the high side for Tanzania, the 4 nights we spent at the Zanzibar were priceless.
Idiosyncrasies of unreliable power supply were soon forgotten with a relaxing (warm) pool, long stretches of sandy beach and a restaurant with a view.
My wife and daughter enjoyed lobster on the last night for a small additional fee on our dinner bed and breakfast rate. Also the staff struggled for the first night to find a really cold beer, but after that decided to put some in the freezer for a few hours for me the next night to make sure they were cold. (that's service).
Jan (the owner) arranged a magical day trip with a driver at the northern end of the island. My son's swimming with the turtles (an unexpected highlight) made his trip. This was arranged with a short discussion over dinner on the previous evening.
After we left, we realised we had left a medical kit behind in the room. I contacted Jan by email and he posted the kit to our next location (Nairobi) without fuss.

In short, the ZRH has a few dags around the edges, but makes up for all of these with a great location and good staff.
Thanks Jan, and we hope to be back sometime.
PS
Be careful walking over the reef....sea urchins have large spikes.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Australian-on-Bus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2012

My boyfriend, a friend who lives in Dar Es Salaam, and I stayed at this hotel for 2 nights in December. We immidiately fell in love with the hotel and services offered by a friendly owner and staff. Our friend, who has been to Zanzibar so many times and has stayed in different hotels, was amazed by the services and especially food. She asked how I found this place. I guess I was lucky! The owner was also so patient to accomodate our ever changing travel schedules at the time of reservation. Their food was great considering how it must take so much time and effort to make small things such as german bread that was served at the dinner on the 2nd night and I could not stop eating it! Please...you are not in NY or Tokyo where you can easily get any ingredients from all over the world. I was simply impressed by it. Our room had an AC, and it was working kind of too well that I had to turn it off in the middle of night. I thought price was definitely on the cheap side considering all that is mentioned above. Even my friend said it was such a great deal that she will stay there next time. For diver's info, it takes 15 min by walk on the beach to the diving shop in Matamwe, and the hotel can accomodate you if you want to have an earlier breakfast for a diving/snorkeling trip. Trust me, choose Zanzibar Retreat Hotel and you won't regret it!

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Minori-and-Kei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Zanzibar Retreat Hotel

Property: Zanzibar Retreat Hotel
Address: Matemwe Beach | Zanzibar, Matemwe, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Matemwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Matemwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Zanzibar Retreat Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The hotel is situated directly on the beach. Its a peaceful and tranquil setting with plenty of shady places for you to relax. There is a 16x8 meter pool perfect for a refreshing swim when the tide is out. The hotel serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and there is a well-stocked bar to accompany. We are proud to have a good reputation regarding food. We work consequently with proper waist management, and support education in the village. Most of our suppliers are from the village, and we try our best to have a good relation with the whole village. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zanzibar Retreat Matemwe
Zanzibar Retreat Hotel Matemwe, Zanzibar Island

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