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“Bliss in Zanzibar”

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Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Bliss in Zanzibar”
Reviewed 1 April 2013

We went to Matemwe at the tail end of a safari in Tanzania. It was one of a number of Asilia properties we stayed in and we were not disappointed.
The bungalows are incredibly spacious, nicely decorated and the bathroom is fantastic. My only criticism is that if you choose to sleep on the upper level, it can get a little hot and uncomfortable.
Other than that, we loved the location of the lodge, the incredible views and the lovely meals. We relaxed by the pool (it is smaller than you may expect but perfectly fine), drank at the bar during happy hour, indulged in a massage (fantastic), went walking on the beach, snoozed on the day beds on the verandah of our bungalow, took a dip in the Indian Ocean, took a day trip to Stone Town and generally spent the few days we were there relaxing and enjoying the down time. This was such a pleasurable experience and I would recommend it highly!
And the free wi-fi was a welcome addition.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank dodgybro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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331 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (82)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2013

The rooms, food and setting were excellent- I will echo another reviewers comment that available photos haven't done justice to this resort. On that note I came across a photographer during my stay hired by Asilia to presumably improve on this.

Will briefly relate an anecdote from my trip which has greatly influenced my impression of this resort. I was travelling from Serengeti to Zanzibar via plane with stopover in Arusha. My flight number was cancelled, had to transfer airports to Kilimanjaro, new flight delayed many many hours meaning my 3pm arrival didn't happen until after midnight which would violate the one piece of consistent advice I'd been given prior to coming to Africa- don't drive at night.

Managed to get WiFi for just long enough to contact Asilia's booking agent to notify them of my delay but then it stopped working.

When I arrived at the Zanzibar airport (8+ hours late) the driver from Island Transport was there waiting despite not knowing my flight number/delay and when I arrived at the Lodge was greeted by no fewer than 6 employees that got me settled. Most incredibly they insisted that I eat dinner knowing I was stuck in an airport for the previous 11 hours- and promptly sat me down for a 3 course meal despite the restaurant having closed for the last meal over 3 hours prior.

Everything else was truly fantastic as others will relay but am extremely grateful for the hospitality provided to me at the end of a horrible travelling day. Thank you all.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank oslerscodes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Haven, Connecticut
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2013 via mobile

This could not have been a more perfect place to relax after being on safari. The staff are fantastic, friendly, warm, helpful and do everything possible to make you feel welcome. I did not want to leave! Moses is a wonderful host, and Marco makes sure every meal is exactly what you want. The rooms are gorgeous, right on the water (but on a rocky cliff so no stepping from your room into the water). Watching the fishermen sail by in the early morning became one of my favorite rituals. The pool is relaxing, the bar (and bartenders, Rama and Ezekiel!) is chill and inviting, and the beach is lovely. Keep in mind that when you are here, you are HERE; there isn't another place for dining or beach alternatives, but you won't want for anything during your stay here.

Stayed February 2013, travelled solo
Helpful?
3 Thank Eileen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rome, Italy
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2013

...if you want to avoid the mass Italian turism, if you are looking for an exclusive, small resort.
Tasting a very good food, sailing in a dhow, snorkelling near by the mnemba island, walking on a stunning desert beach, enjoing a day to the local village school, feeling a romantic atmospher, relaxing on your amaca, drinking fabolous dawa at the resort bar......
A negative issue? the music play of the restaurant (Elton john almost all the time!) :-)

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank daniela769
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwich
Level Contributor
49 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2013

Nine nights at Matemwe was simply fantastic with the winter sun that we craved, a glorious sea breeze, stunning sea views and excellent staff for whom nothing was too much trouble.
What were the best things about the place? Well, the bungalows were each very large, secluded and all with fabulous views over the sea. We were fortunate to stay in number one, near the bar, reception, dining room and access to the beach of white sand. Number 12 and the luxury villas were a bit more of a trek but through beautifully kept gardens. We did have a good look at the villas and they are unadulterated luxury, absolutely huge, complete with roof terrace, plunge pool and your own butler. We were definitely roughing it.
At night, bush babies come into the Lodge and food is put out for them by the restaurant. There is often wind and wave noise at night with the occasional screech from the bush babies.
The beach gives onto an inner lagoon surrounded by a reef, that is very shallow at low water and best swimming in the glorious 29 degree Indian Ocean is at high tide. The hotel is next to a village and one of the great pleasures was watching the fishing fleet exiting the lagoon to the north, quanting the fishing dhows out to the open sea (some even have outboard motors), then returning together in the afternoon and selling the day's catch at the fish market, a must-see event.
The standard of food was excellent and Rashid, the head chef, is a star who will happily discuss menus and spices. Wines are very reasonable and there are 4 local beers to choose from.
Activities include sailing in a dhow (actually a Ngalawa as it has outriggers), which was great in the lovely breeze together with enthusiastic crew, snorkelling with the likelihood of playing with dolphins, a daily reef walk and a daily village walk with trip to the school and tour round the village. Be prepared for poverty, goats, oxen and a very primitive water source. The school was an absolute joy and donations of a few dollars obviously encouraged. We also went on a half day Spice Tour which took place in the south-east of Zanzibar and that was really interesting and well worth while. Diving is also available and kite-surfing, but this is not fundamentally an activity holiday and the setting is rustic.
The staff were all very well trained and helpful to a fault. The guests whilst we were there were an amazingly eclectic mix of nationalities and the atmosphere lovely as a result. Most people had been on, or were going on a safari, but we just went for the sun. Learning some basic Kiswahili words is a must and the staff see it as their duty to teach.
Matemwe Lodge is a great place to stay and I would recommend it without hesitation. And yes, the last 15 minutes of the drive there is along the roughest dirt road in captivity but as the taxi driver said.....

Room Tip: Low room numbers best if you have any mobility problems.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank anthonylister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2013

After a 2 week safari in Tanzania this was the perfect place to kick back and relax. Secluded, great service, excellent food and lovely rooms. Small resort right on the beach with amazing views that we never tired of.
If you are looking for a place to totally relax this would be hard to beat.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Gavin J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milan
Level Contributor
23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2013

I am writing This review will sharing the amaca with my wife in front of the sea from our bungalow.
This is the place to stay if you want to relax and avoid large resorts. The bungalows are huge with Very large terrace and large bed with sea view. The lodge has a wonderful tropical garden and a restaurant with a view on the Matemwe beach. Staff is Very professional, nice bar, food is Very good.
There are 12 bungalows. All of the are Very quiet. Low numbers are those closet to the bar and lobby but do not worry about this. Wifi free available everywhere.
We will miss this paradise.

Room Tip: If you want to swim all day go to another place since at Matemwe there are low tides
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Marcyno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa

Property: Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa
Address: | Matemwe Beach, Matemwe 10000, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Matemwe
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 18 Speciality Lodging in Matemwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa 5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vibrant yet relaxed Matemwe, one of the first lodges in Zanzibar, has perfected the tropical island experience. Perched on an outcrop overlooking a shallow coral fringed lagoon on the quieter northeast coast of Zanzibar, Matemwe’s peaceful location and famed relaxed atmosphere, makes it the ideal place to unwind. Guests quickly ease into the laid-back rhythm of island life, planning their day around the tides and their mood. The relaxed daily routines of Matemwe’s guests include enjoying fresh seafood, poolside cocktails, massages or simply hanging out in a hammock. The lodge has plenty on offer for the more active with superb diving and snorkeling off the renowned Mnembe Atoll; a highlight for many. Built from local materials and surrounded by beautiful lush gardens, each of the 12 spacious suites has a private veranda with a hammock and sofa and expansive views of the Indian Ocean with its constantly changing hues of blue. Here you can watch the fishermen head out every morning at dawn or listen to the songs of the village women as they harvest seaweed. The large bathrooms have both a deep bathtub and walk-in shower and all beds are enclosed by mosquito nets. The open-air restaurant sits just above the sea and has a tranquil lounge area with beautiful views of the palm fringed beach and gently rocking dhows. Seafood is the specialty of the house, with all produce bought daily from the local markets. Lunch is a buffet offering a delicious mix of African and European flavours. Dinner offers a choice of main courses with fish, meat and vegetarian options. Matemwe has a multi-level swimming pool surrounded with lounge chairs overlooking the ocean. Freshly mixed cocktails are served at the poolside bar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Matemwe Main Lodge, Asilia Africa Hotel Matemwe
Matemwe Bungalows
Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa Zanzibar Island

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