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Matemwe Bandas Boutique Hotel, Zanzibar
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Reviews (102)
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58 - 63 of 102 reviews
Reviewed 17 September 2013

This was a last minute trip .. (from London) .. to a most idyllic spot on the north east coast of Zanzibar. The hotel was the perfect distillation of understated luxury .. completely in synch with its natural surroundings but with all the creature comforts one could ask for.

The bandas are directly on one of the most beautiful stretches of beach that I have visited .. and the service was attentive but discrete at the same time.

I loved the fact that the environment was intimate and cosy but with enough space to enjoy the freedom to do as one pleased. Where other hotels might have tried to squeeze as many rooms as possible into the space, Matemwe Bandas really placed the guest experience first.

It was well worth the trip. I couldn't recommend it enough!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Deok R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tom h, Owner at Matemwe Bandas Boutique Hotel, Zanzibar, responded to this reviewResponded 27 September 2013

Thank you so much for posting your very encouraging impressions of your time with us at Matemwe Bandas. We are delighted that you had such a good stay and we really hope to see you again soon when you are next in Zanzibar.

All the very best,

Tom, Chichi & the team

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Reviewed 15 September 2013

Remember those bungalow resorts from your 20s where some good-natured hippies offered a cluster of secluded beach huts right on the sand, and everyone was friendly and you didn't have to put on shoes for five days and it was so full of shiny, happy people and good vibes that you didn't even care that there wasn't hot water or the icky toilets were compost and the food was bland and there were no beach chairs to speak of?

Fast forward into your mid-30s...

Wouldn't it be stellar if a resort like that existed for actual grown-ups? Where the lovely cabanas were decked out in boutique design, and there were modern toilets, rain forest showers with plentiful hot water, designer bath products, cushy beach chairs, a sleek swimming pool, quality food, top-shelf service -- but you could still go barefoot for five days, and not have a care in the world and wake up every morning and walk out on your private veranda about 10 feet from the tide, staring into the sunrise?

Matemwe Bandas is that place -- the spot I've been trying to find for the better part of a decade in the developing world: A hideaway that's uber-casual but with a staff that caters to your every need (yet is never invasive or overcome by that weird, overly-servile manner that makes you feel more uncomfortable than accommodated ... the gang at the Bandas is just cool), and where everything works.

Chichi and his team are incredible. Want a kayak for the morning? He'll hook you up. Want to jump the wall for a change of scenery and have dinner somewhere else on the island? He'll personally drive you there. Want a glimpse of marine life? He'll take you on a guided reef walk.

There's a good reason for this level of hospitality beyond the fact that Chichi is a total professional. Matemwe Bandas is a joint venture between a fellow in the UK and Chichi, who was born and raised in Matemwe village. In other words, you're not only getting the best vacation of your life, but you're supporting an enterprise that's doing it the right way.

Not sure how much longer this place can remain a secret because it's only a matter of time before enough of us find out about the Bandas.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled solo
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2  Thank kfastuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tom h, Owner at Matemwe Bandas Boutique Hotel, Zanzibar, responded to this reviewResponded 7 November 2013

We were delighted to read your very positive impressions of your stay at Matemwe Bandas. Thank you so much for taking the time to write them up. We really feel that you have summed up particularly aptly our ethos and the way our property lives in harmony with the stunning natural environment of Matemwe.

We all hope that you make it back to Zanzibar soon!

All the very best,
Chichi, Tom & the team

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Reviewed 29 August 2013

I cannot begin to explain how amazing our trip to Zanzibar was - and how much Matemwe Bandas helped make that happen. First of all, the staff is amazing. The meals taste so good. Tom, the owner, is a true gentleman.

The bandas themselves are very comfortable and clean. The beach is gorgeous. I highly recommend staying here. It cannot be beat for the price either.

Room Tip: The rooms are all the same.
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Joseph C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tom H, Owner at Matemwe Bandas Boutique Hotel, Zanzibar, responded to this reviewResponded 12 September 2013

Thank you so much Joe for your very kind words about your honeymoon at Matemwe Bandas. It was a real pleasure to have you guys staying with us and we're so happy to learn that you both had such a good time. We hope you that Jen and you will make it back to our neck of the woods again in the not too distant future!

With warmest regards & best wishes to you both,

Tom, Chichi & the team

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Reviewed 20 August 2013

We have just returned from the most amazing honeymoon at Matemwe Bandas! The bandas are exquisitely built and full of character. We loved the location right on the beach which was perfect for sunbathing or leisurely walks. The food was flavoursome and plenty – we particularly enjoyed waking up to freshly made pancakes and coffee! But most of all, what made our stay was the excellent service provided by Tom, Chichi and the team. We would highly recommend a stay here and are already planning our return!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Sarahcollinsx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tom H, Owner at Matemwe Bandas Boutique Hotel, Zanzibar, responded to this reviewResponded 12 September 2013

Thank you so much Sarah for your very thoughtful and positive impressions of your honeymoon with us at Matemwe Bandas. We are delighted that you both had such an enjoyable time with us and really hope to see you again when you next return to Zanzibar.

With warmest wishes,

Tom, Chichi & the team

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Reviewed 10 August 2013

I haven't been to many top end places in my time but this was a special occasion with a very special new friend so it was important to get it right. The food, the service and the location were amazing. We both loved the fact that we didn't feel cut off from village life in Matemwe. The fact that the whole staff come are locals adds to the charm and the feeling of being welcomed by a community. Walking in the village and playing with the kids was a lot of fun. Thank you ChiChi for your understanding of the stress addled Muzungu mind and good luck with the new build. I have no doubt that 'the highest freestanding bandas on the island' will bring much joy to those who sleep in it. Need I say more. Awesome.

Room Tip: Our room on the beach was super quiet.
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Tom G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tom H, Owner at Matemwe Bandas Boutique Hotel, Zanzibar, responded to this reviewResponded 12 September 2013

Thank you for your very supportive feedback on your time with us at Matemwe Bandas. We are particularly happy to learn that you enjoyed so much our active involvement in the village community of Matemwe. We very much hope to see you again soon on your next East African tour.

All the very best,

Chichi & the team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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