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“Sheer bliss”

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Matemwe Lodge, Asilia Africa
Certificate of Excellence
Clovelly, Australia
Level Contributor
238 reviews
114 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“Sheer bliss”
Reviewed 4 September 2013

What a great place to stay after the relative rigours of safari.

Here we were in a completely private chalet overlooking the Indian Ocean with most friendly and helpful staff and great food.

The beauty of no television cannot be described, although it was somewhat mitigated by having reasonably effective Wi-Fi in the chalet. If we thought that we wouldn't get any exercise during our stay we could not have been further from the truth. Our chalet was some 350 metres from the main part of the resort where meals were served. So that was 2.1 km before any other odd trips.

From the resort one can see a reef that runs the length of the island of Zanzibar. This reef is only about 200 metres off shore and one can easily walk there at low tide. The only problem is that one needs special shoes because of the Sea Urchins, so one walks very carefully.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank handr40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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330 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (82)
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English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
70 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2013

Great place to stay with superb food and friendly staff. We stayed in one of the bungalows, which had its own plunge pool and very comfortable accommodation.

The location, right on the shore means that, both from your room and from the restaurant, you can sit and watch the life of the locals revolve around the tides, whether it's fishermen in dhows or women collecting seaweed and shells.

The food was really excellent - a changing menu every day, with the barbecue being a highlight.

We did the reef walk, which we'd thoroughly recommend. It was really informative. We also did the snorkelling trip, also worthwhile.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank ColintonTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
31 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2013

Matemwe epitomises everything one could dream of for a honeymoon location! 10 out of 10.

Our room (actually a whole villa) was so spacious, we loved the double hammock outside, and gorgeous bathroom with big fluffy towels, lots of nice little touches like local-style gowns and bath products. We got plenty of fresh drinking water each day, and loved having coffee on our veranda watching the fishing boats. The tidal variation was extreme, so at high tide it was a bit noisy with the wind and sea pounding the cliff right outside, but it added to the atmosphere.

At low tide there was so much to see and we really enjoyed the reef walk. We went kayaking and had gorgeous long walks on the beach. My husband went on a dive trip to the atoll, which he rated very highly, for viewing and the logistics of his outing - organised by the dive shop on-site.

It was great having 2 pools at Matemwe so they never got crowded, and the bar was also more aimed at provided relaxing secluded spots than a communal vibe. Most people staying here were couples and would want to be private. This is a very chilled and relaxing sort of place, not a social club - which suited us perfectly.

The lush gardens are beautiful and meticulously maintained.

The food was all absolutely phenomenal, we loved it all being included, never having to carry cash or do the maths. The restaurant setting on the water's edge is gorgeous, although on 2 nights there was a seafood barbecue (delicious!) - once it was all set up near the pool on a little sandy beach area with live local musicians and on the last night we had a private table near the pool again, with attentive waiter and complimentary bubbly. Every meal seemed very fresh and we loved that they used lots of local produce and seafood.

At every level, the service at Matemwe was outstanding - great receptionists, friendly waiters, even housekeeping were sweet.

We would LOVE to return there one day!

Room Tip: Room 1 is closest to the pool and bar but would still be quite private, while room 12 is rather a lo...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank GlobalGirl78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2013

We spent 5 nights at Natemwe with our 15 year old daughter and it was an exquisite stay. Everything was perfect
From the wonderful greeting that left one feeling like a minor celebrity :-) to our departure the friendly staff were helpful, attentive, genuine and professional at all times without ever being obsequious.The rooms and facilities are exactly what we like-- stylish yet simple, luxurious without being ostentatious. The lodge is in harmony with it's surroundings and the relationship with the local community respectful and engaged. Meals were excellent. We were very active and made good use of the surrounding beaches and sea from dawn till dusk to snorkel frequently swim, walk, sail and generally justify the delicious 3 meals a day.

Room Tip: I would not want hear the bar (nor did we) and those further away allow for a wonderful walk throug...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Silke L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
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
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
    • Value
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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
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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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