Dear Claudia, we are glad to have had a chance to combine both islands, since they are so different. Pemba really unspoiled, wild, extremely friendly. Whereas on Sansibar you can already feel negative impacts that tourism has brought along over the years.
The Aiyana was lovely. An oasis of peace and luxury in this wild strip of land. We enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere a lot. The food also was fabulous and we liked the idea of alternating dining places. The concept of sustainable tourism and envolvement of the local community creates an almost family-like atmosphere. Any lack of profesionalism (e.g. semi-skilled service staff) is made up for with great friendliness. Also we were able to get in touch with local fisherman which was nice for a “real Pemba experience”. Only thing that we missed a bit was snorkeling right from the beach. There is not much around in terms of corals and soever, so that was not possible. Anyway the wide stretch of beach is lovely to talk long walks or just relax. Room for improvement is terms of complimentary drinks. It was not transparent as when we´d have to pay for coffee and certain soft drinks although they seemed to be imcluded. So sometimes on the beach or in the main area they´d charge us whereas sometimes they didn´t.
So we heard that Constance Group now took over and are curious to see what will change. We are lucky to have made very good experience with Constance on an Island Resort on Madagaskar two years ago. I believe they will be able to make it even more outstanding by keeping its distinct charme.
Kilindi was just breathtaking – I can now understand what you meant by special atmosphere. I had tears in my eyes and goose-bumps when entering our pavillion. We had a very warm welcome from all the staff including chef Lukas and his crew. Everything we desired, we were offered and even more. Special food wishes were met, I was even invited to do an African cooking class with the chef. The food is really delicious!
The pavillion itself with the views, the pools and being close to nature (we had monkeys and bush babies visiting us several times) was immediately our second home. We have seen a lot of wonderful places already, but Kilindi is definetely among the most outstanding.
It was the little thing such as hand-written notes by the cleaning staff, flowers in the room, surprise drinks and snacks etc. etc. that made the stay special. Also the butler service, everything we wished for was already anticipated, still in a very discreet way.
Management also did a good job, always present and accesible to see how guests were doing. Even at the times when I was not doing well, everybody was really concerned and asked to support. A small downturn in our mind is, as beautiful as the refuge is itself, the surrounding is very noisy. Due to the close village and dhow construction site, we were up at 5 o clock every day. The world outside is a brutal contrast. Going for a stroll towards Nungwi, we were surrounded by local people, especially children who would not let go. Even trying to steal from us and spitting at us when we wouldn´t give something.
Booking via Zanzibar Retreats was a pleasure and should we decide for another holiday in the area, we will for sure contact you again. We well appreciated the personal service. The fact that you have been most of the resorts yourself, you are able to tell from experience is important for us. I liked that you took time to answer all qestions in details, even offering the skype call and the nicely accumulated information beforehand in the travel itinary. We were not disappointed about anything that we had heard of the two resorts before from your side, no bad surprises, everything was as described. 🙂 Everything went quite smooth (for Africa). Our domestic flights were canceled both ways without telling us and moved to different times. However we could manage with the given information to reschedule the flights as well as the transfers. Also the experience with Island Express was very pleasant.
Thanks again for making our stay – althoug shorter than expected – memorable and special!
For my honeymoon, I have always wanted to plan a surprise trip. Claudia was my perfect partner in crime in providing me all the right advice and support for making sure my dream became a reality. For my trip to Tanzania (safari + beach) in June, I started to plan as early as Feb to get the best possible places. I am pretty detailed in my planning and also had no clue about travelling in Africa. Claudia provided me with a few great options to choose from based on my requirements and budget. She answered every question I had (trust me there was a lot of mail exchange) with utmost professionalism and in a very timely manner. Everything from the very first mail till the end of my honeymoon was perfect. She provided the best possible price. I had spoken to a couple other agents as well and the price difference was huge. Through her conversation it was very clear that this was her passion and she wanted to ensure we had an amazing honeymoon no matter what. In fact, to prove this was the fact that our flights got delayed from London and thus could not make it to the local transfer flights she had us booked on. Once I informed her, she had already informed and taken care of alternate arrangements. By the time we landed, all was good and flowed through very smoothly. I cannot thank or appreciate Claudia enough for having made this trip a super memorable one. Thanks again Claudia!
Rufiji River Camp
This was our first stop and due to our delay we missed the evening activity. However, they were on time to pick us up from the local air strip and also had planned a romantic alfresco dinner by the river bank in the company of lots of hippos.It is a very beautifully located camp and also well decorated and built. They had a few options for activities too. The bush lunch and breakfast was amazing too. However, the food was below average. I also believe that the Selous game reserve is probably suited only for those who want to be more private and not for those who actually want to spot herds of animals.
This literally is paradise on Earth. I have travelled to over 35 countries in Asia, America and Europe and nothing comes close to this. Absolutely picturesque, very well built and maintained property, so very close to the beach, amazing views, and absolutely delicious food. Most important of all though is the whole team of Matemwe right from Ross and Gina (who also was our photographer for a couple of hours) who manage the property, the amazing George -our private butler, our private chef John, the F&B manager Rama (who sings really well too), the head concierge Martin, the sports guide Mubarak and of course the bartender. The team ensured a perfect honeymoon, be it their amazing sand bank tour, snorkelling trips, amazing beach dinners and many more surprises to add to the great service they provided. The team’s reply to anything we asked was ‘Hakuna Matata’ (meaning ‘no problem’ for those who do not know). Truly the spirit of Africa. Undoubtedly the best stay in our lives so far and it is almost impossible to probably think that there could be any place in the future that will match up to this.
Do let me know if you need any specific details. Thanks a ton!
the welcome and care that we have spent has been spectacular.
The villa Zam Zam (Matemwe Retreat) is treated in detail and the materials used are integrated very well
into the landscape. So we note you the professional chef John abd the butler Ndaki.
I also asked to visit Matemwe Lodge and bungalows 1 to 6 and 7 to 12 and are very beautiful. We are sure that will retourn again there
with some of our friends that we already talked about Matemwe.
Olivers Camp was a very special place I could not recommend it more to any one else. The staff, FOOD and accommodation were great and we loved having the same driver from start to finish as he got to know us and our driving limits! The night safari which was extra was also great fun. It was nice not to be pushed with the kids to do long day safaris as we had extra time at the camp.
Manta Resort was very laid back, a magical spot and fresh local food. Anyone with special dietary needs (we were fine!) might find it hard. Fantastic diving (which we did not intend to do!) and snorkeling. The beach and sea were amazing too. We did find the room a little too “buggy” and basic as between the roof and wall it is open. The flight was very convenient and I would recommend KLM to any other clients coming from Europe.
We have very special memories to cherish forever, thank you for all your help putting our itinerary together!
In terms of specific feedback:
Matemwe Beach House was absolute luxury. Though the accommodation is simple, the separate plunge pool was wonderful for the hot hours of the day. The food was outstanding – we loved the selection – and the staff was helpful and friendly. I came down with an upset stomach two days in and the managers came up to see if there was anything they could do and provided some sachets of rehydrate to get me through while the chef cooked separate simple meals for me until I was back to 100%. The boys got to go snorkeling with dolphins and Darren says it was the best reef experience of the trip with the diversity of coral and fish that they saw. All of the facilities of Matemwe were easily available to us as well and the reef walk is a MUST.
Chapwani as an island is beautiful. We loved exploring and saw many bats, birds, hermit crabs and even the dik dik. Unfortunately, our experience of the staff and meals was very disappointing. We did not feel at all welcomed or oriented to the place on arrival. Power for the fans was erratic and unpredictable. On two nights there was blaring music from the restaurant area until the early hours of the morning which really spoilt the tranquil atmosphere for us. The equipment that was supposed to be available for snorkeling etc. had been taken by guests who had arrived a few days prior to us and not returned yet we were reprimanded for using the kayaks without “booking” them when no booking procedures had been relayed to us at all. The lack of choice at dinner time was also problematic despite my children not being fussy eaters. The price of drinks and water especially when there is no water available was exorbitant. I really would hesitate to recommend it to others for these reasons – despite its beauty and solitude.
Chumbe Island was the highlight of our stay though the composting toilets are not for the faint-hearted. But the pride and joy with which the staff engaged with us on walking and trips was apparent. Meals were delicious (we had to come home with their cookbook) and the hospitality was warm. Sailing, snorkeling, swimming were all excellent experiences. We were very sad to leave and would wholeheartedly recommend the experience to others – especially those who are keen on authentic ecotourism.
I will post a couple of pictures on Facebook during the week but we are very grateful for how smoothly the trip went. Thank you!
This is definitely a place we will recommend to our friends and we will not miss to share with them your contacts!
The whole experience was wonderful from the welcome to the accommodation to the facilities, excursions right down to the menu choices and drinks. We had such a memorable time and we will definitely be back!
I really appreciate the kind help of Zanzibar Retreats in organizing our vacation. Everything went smooth and we had never problem during our 10-days visit. The offer was correct, the payment went fine, the schedule was very helpful.
The organization of our pick-up and drop-off was very good. They waited for us at the airport. Even if we agreed before on pick-up time and we intended to change our schedule they had no problem with it and were available and understanding, they did what we wanted. Thank you so much again.
The whole snow-white complex including the dining area is stamped by a well thought out architecture. Great are the large and very tastfully furnished rooms and the „oceanic“ indoor/outdoor bathrooms. Last but not least the beautiful garden shows that the owner is an landscape architect who developed his favourite project. We felt there was an enjoyable spirit everywhere and by everyone in the Aiyana including the owner and the staff. Hopefully this could be preserved in the future an even when the complex is fully booked. Our wishes were anticipated in an naturally and undemonstrativ way. The food was also great with a lot of fresh fish. Don´t miss the sand bank lunch! A real hide away and a perfect finish for our trip.
Everything from booking through you to our stay at The Residence was wonderful!
Zanzibar was such a treat to finish our honeymoon on. Thanks again for all the help you gave us in booking. We will definitely use your services again when we go back.
The resort itself is beautiful. The layout was a bit more consolidated as I expected as I thought the villas would have a bit more privacy. You could clearly see into other villas and their outdoor areas. Regardless, the resort was beautifully constructed. By far, the best part of White Sands was the staff. Their service and attention to detail was spectacular. The managers, Tony and Olivia, were really welcoming and have done a great job establishing a high standard for customer service. We would love to go back someday and will definitely recommend White Sands to our friends and family.
Mashariki Palace was wonderful as well. I became a bit nervous as our driver was dropping us off because the hotel is hidden behind some older buildings, but once we stepped into Mashariki I was immediately enchanted with the property’s beauty, history and uniqueness. This hotel is really in the heart of Stone Town and perfect for exploring and experiencing everyday life. Our wonderful room was one of a kind, as they all are, and overlooked the city. We were really thrilled with the service and enjoyed getting to know the friendly hotel managers (husband and wife couple, can’t remember their names). Overall, we were very pleased to try this boutique hotel that is not as flashy as a couple of the other more mainstream options.
Hopefully this is helpful!
In the end we organised with the local taxi association for a lift from the Ferry to the Residence and it was a lot cheaper than the airport transfer quoted by the Residence, otherwise all were good and we enjoyed every minute of it.
Matemwe Lodge is such a lovely place situated looking over the Indian Ocean.
The food was superb, although we probably ate too much, as it was so good. The room was great, very spacious, comfortable and luxurious with an amazing view.
The one critisim we had, although it didn’t effect how much we enjoyed our stay, was the location of the bar. Being hidden away down below was not really a place where we wanted to sit and drink, especially as the mosquitos did like the location. The new area of decking between the top pool and spa is perfect and was exactly where we wanted to sit and relax in the evening enjoying the view across the reef and ocean. if the bar was moved up there then it would be just be idyllic and really put the finishing touches to the resort, although i understand it would be a large job.
The service from everyone was superb and very friendly, from the airport transfer to all of the staff and waiters
Thank you so much for all of your help booking and organising the trip, it really was the best way to end our honeymoon adventure and it was a trip of a lifetime.
A complete surprise to us – they organised a beautiful beach dinner for us on the second night where we had a private table set up on the beach and a 5 star meal, which was absolutely amazing. In fact, the food was impeccable, we ended up only staying for 3 nights due to a late arrival, so we were very happy with the variety and the quality of the food at every meal. Very full bellies and smiles on our faces.
I loved the African night as the dancers were very engaging. The music throughout the whole stay was a good. At breakfast, the selection was the best I have ever seen in a 5 star resort. Nick made an effort to try everything. Coming from Australia where we have a huge cafe culture, the coffee on Zanzibar was sub-standard, we tried espresso, americanos and lattes, but had to settle for tea. Not a big deal for us, but something that could be improved.
The rooms were impeccable, absolutely no faults with the rooms. They were spacious, luxurious and very well polished. Turn down each day was cute, they made a different floral arrangement on the bed which was exciting to come back to after breakfast. The evenings the mosquito nets were pulled and waters placed on the bedside tables which was a great touch. Aircon was a little noisy in our villa but well worth the sweet cool air.
Getting bikes to ride around the resort was a great idea. we enjoyed the experience. We didn’t get a chance to play tennis, but the court looked fairly well looked after. We did use the gym which had a huge range of equipment which was all very new and clean.
My husband and I had a fantastic stay. We would have loved to stay a little longer to experience the water sports and activities available, but we ran out of time. I would recommend the Residence to anyone visiting Zanzibar. We did the spice tour and a Stone town tour which were interesting, but we were happy to relax by our villa pool in the end.
Thank you so much for your help with booking The Residence Zanzibar.
It was a very special honeymoon and an experience we will never forget. We are already planning another trip!
We travel quite extensively and have stayed at some really nice places over the last few years but we would honestly say nothing compares to Kilindi.
Thank you for your help in finding our perfect honeymoon your service was first class and your recommendation was spot on. If we are ever going to the region again we will certainly contact you.
Let me start with Zanzibar Retreats – I cannot over-emphasize how wonderful it was to be able to speak to someone with intimate knowledge about Zanzibar to guide us to the part of the island most suitable to our needs. Picking the right area and the right accommodation was becoming quite an overwhelming and stressful experience, which you rectified in one phone call! We were so grateful to have someone put together an incredible package for us – organizing our accommodation, booking our transfers (both of which were perfectly on time) and sorting out the invoicing and payments. There is absolutely no doubt that we saved a bundle of cash by booking through Zanzibar Retreats – so much so that we were able to stay on an additional night!
Matemwe Lodge exceeded our expectations in all respects. The scenery and views, the spacious bungalow, the friendly and attentive staff, and the incredible three-course meals (I could go on, and on, and on). The snorkelling trip to Mnemba Island was definitely a highlight, as was the reef walk and the Swahili cooking class. We also loved watching the bushbabies by the bar in the evenings, and were lucky enough to see an elephant shrew in the shrubbery. With the incredible views of the aqua ocean, this is definitely the place to go to unwind.
Thank you so much for taking all the stress out of booking our holiday, and for organizing such a smooth, enjoyable and wallet-friendly trip.
We will definitely be back, and will definitely be booking through Zanzibar Retreats. All the best!
At the very beginning after some search on internet we opted for Mafia mainly because of diving, multiple search and nice traveler reviews took us to Zanzibar retreat website. We did send a quick email to their web page and received a very fast answer. We exchanged few emails and agree very quickly on the booking including conditions and payments. Zanzibar retreat took care of all the logistic with a very high reactivity and very good prices. Ideal to organize your trips. Claudia was in touch with us for about two weeks and sorted out all the accommodation and even more the flights booking. Everything was very well organized and had a range of choices as per your need. Perfect journey all along through.
Our bungalow had a view overlooking the sea and surrounded by palm trees. The food was divine, with some Italian touches in each plate and a daily recommendation. They asked us every day what we wished to eat and was flexible in each lunch/diner, whatever you desired to have. The hotel organized for us every day and asked us what we wanted to do. Great trips arranged with their dive shop partner and nice walks around the mangrove with their recommendation. Marina and Paola the two Italian managers took care of us each day with such a high quality of treatment ! Thanks to all of them and hope to see you soon I just recommend this place to everyone who wish to have incredible moment in his life. It was fantastic moments that will stay in our mind forever!
Emmerson on Hurumzi in Stone town was gorgeous. I felt like I was a character in the childrens movie Aladdin:). I loved the quirky colours and suitable decor. The bed was so comfy we nearly slept through breakfast! The staff were friendly, helpful and always smiling making one feel happy, relaxed and welcome. We also had the set menu at the sister hotel (Emmerson spice) and the food was to due for. Yum! The sunset view was gorgeous and the drinks went down too east.
Fumba beach lodge was everything we wanted, quiet, secluded, a bit rustic/natural but not too much to be uncomfortable. The suite was very comfortable, most amazing massive bed. Plenty of free water everyday. Cleaned and spotless every day. Nestled in the baobab tree was the perfect setting. We could sit in our deck listening and watching the ocean or watch the monkeys play in the tree above us.
I loved that the lodge had all these little tucked away spots were you could relax and read a book. The views and sights were all around us we loved it. The staff were again friendly, helpful and always smiling. The food was again also excellent. One night they had local food and music, which we thoroughly enjoyed.
Transfers/taxis were always on time and lovely, smiley, friendly guys, who delighted in telling us about their island.
All round excellent holiday and experience!
Thank you so much.
Zi Villa really surpassed all our expectations. We have been on holidays where the accommodation is a lot worse than the pictures we’ve seen beforehand, but Zi Villa is much nicer in real life. Everything about Zi Villa was amazing, the accommodation, the location, the views, the service, the meals, the friendly and efficient staff.
Kisiwa on the Beach was a beautiful resort and the Bahari Grand Villa was magnificent. The reception was willing to help you and arranged for a good price a driver to bring us to restaurant The Rock. The swimming pool was very nice and clean, and they cleaned also the marvelous beach. The restaurant was nice, and the waiters were also friendly but not skilled. They offered me a red chardonnay! Overall a very good place to be.
The transfers to the hotels and airport were good.
The Residence: Awesome place to relax and unwind. The staff are extremely helpful and nothing was ever a problem for them. After the first day they knew our kids by name and our preferences in the dining room (drinks, baby chair requirements, etc.) Dinner was also arranged for the kids in the room at 5.00pm with no hassles. The last night they had a mishap with the food order but the way they responded to correct this made all the difference, we were sent a bottle of wine to apologize and the manager personally came to apologize the next day. They even packed lunch for the kids on our departure as we were travelling over lunch time and they were concerned about the kids not having food. The kids also had loads of fun on the bicycles and were totally amused that mommy and daddy could still ride a bike! All and all we had an AMAZING time and will definitely return.
Once again thank you for all the arrangements, we will definitely be in contact next Easter!
We had a wonderful experience at The Residence, the villas were stunning as was the outside environment. staff provided brilliant care and very professional- we would definitely recommend to all family and friends.
Also thanks to Zanzibar Retreats for making the booking – you were very helpful.
You and Zanzibar-retreats were very helpful, patient and prompt.
We are so glad to find ZiVilla and will be returning as often as we can. Thanks so much for making our holiday special,
Everyone was very attentive to or needs (we had none really), or wishes or desires (mainly in terms of food). And for the departure day, the island not being full, they let us stay in our bungalow and we could leave at 5pm with no problem whatsoever.
Anna of Zanzibar has only 5 bungalows, so you are guaranteed a private and peaceful experience. With only 3 bungalows occupied, we felt as if we were “at home”. The bungalows are spacious and nicely decorated. The bathrooms are huge – recently refurbished and increased in size, we learned from the owner. The location is beautiful, right on the beach. We walked bare-footed for the whole duration of the stay – except when exploring the reef, of course. We found a local fisherman who showed us around on the reef. That was a good experience, can be recommended. The food is very good, the wine choices (we only had white) that were proposed by the staff were very good, as well.
Chumbe Island is a truly unique place. Barefoot luxury with fantastic snorkelling possibilities. Chumbe is a Marine Protection Area with a 7 bungalow resort facility. We spent two nights and wished we could have stayer longer. It is the deserted island you don’t want to be rescued from!
Matemwe Bandas was also lovely. The best thing about it is the staff, who are so helpful without being intrusive. Also loved being in the huts on the beach, which other hotels along that beach don’t have.
It was a great holiday, and your help and advice was much appreciated… Many thanks!
Thanks for arranging the trip. Your service was great.
Zanzibar was a very beautiful and interesting place. Matemwe Lodge was lovely.
The staff were friendly, service was helpful, the food was good, the rooms were beautiful and very spacious.
We had a great time.
I am pleased with your efficient service Claudia, and how you answered all my many questions. Sometimes it can be difficult when dealing only with someone through emails. Thank you once again!
Can’t really complain about anything. Staff friendly and helpful, food delicious and a total break for our families.
We would definitely consider returning!
Thank you Hannes and Lizzie for being such wonderful hosts – and for upgrading us to the superior suite, that was a wonderful surprise and we made use of the space that’s for sure 🙂 and will try to save up for that the next time. We sipping Pemba honey and wishing that the little bottle won’t end, thinking of you all. Give greetings to Mike the drink mechanic and Bakari (sp?) who served our dinner on the beach with such skill, and of course the amazing Chef – but as you know the pleasure of Fundu is also heightened by your no-tip policy, meaning that there is an all for one and one for all attitude amongst all the staff and such a pleasure it was to drop something in the group tip box on departure. |t was sad that we had a bit of a problem at the airport on the way out but thanks Lizzie for being on the end of the phone and sorting it all out so adroitly!
And by the way, she said yes !!
Thank you for your help with the booking process as well, everything went very smoothly. The car hire also worked out well. Looking forward to booking with you again!
Fundu Lagoon was fantastic in all respects bar one: At this time of year the prevailing winds bring in lots of reeds, leaves and debris on to the beach and it was not possible to swim in front of the lodge. (We swam a few times off the jetty, but nobody else did.) This meant that we had to pay $40 each to be taken to Masiwa Island (which was calm and clear) to swim and snorkel. We did this on 3 occasions. Fundu need to disclose this to guests in advance and, in my opinion, should offer free trips to Masiwa. In every other respect it was outstanding
Regarding the experience of booking through Zanzibar Retreats, it was a pleasure dealing with you!
All in all, a very nice resort and I thank you for your efforts in making this such a memorable holiday!
Very hot and humid and I am pleased we opted for a sea-front villa, if anything for the aircon! There is absolutely nothing to do there but read, eat, snorkel and unwind which is exactly what we wanted.
The staff were great and management were as well (they had to be, being SA).
I cannot fault your company and yourself. My dealings were handled professionally and with care.
Thank you for all you did!
Che Che Vule was great. We did not expect much and got everything – the house was spacious, pool was ok (water could have been more clear), beach access perfect and service was wonderful.
As we had the whole place we could really relax and spread our things 🙂 Kids enjoyed ordering fresh juices and shakes and we all enjoyed the simple yet very fresh and well prepared food we were served. Didn’t feel a need to order any special food items and my wife’s allergies were well taken care of. We did walk to coral reef, morning runs on the beach, village walks, snorkling trip, spice & stonetown tour and a trip to turtle pond and beach in the northwest. Also managed to buy a football at the village – not an easy feat. Gave a bunch of pens to the children but no money or candy they also begged for – had no real issue with the locals as they were quite friendly.
In all, thanks for the good service, Claudia, and I wish we or some of our friends can do more arrangements with you in the future!
Our own private getaway, with attentive, helpful and friendly staff. We are already planning our next trip in a few months!
Many thanks for helping us book a super holiday!
- The Manta Resort is in the middle of nowhere and nature. The local people are very nice and friendly.
- The Seafront Villa is great and a ‘must have’ because the Superior garden room isn’t that superior
- The food is good, but after a week it repeats itself
- The diving experience is good but not exceptional
Anyway … thanks to the ‘Africa time’ and the lovely and friendly people it was one of our best and most relaxing holidays! And Claudia, thank you very much for your support!
a) Fly with Etiopian excellent, Airport Addis Abeba not the best.
b) Transfer was ok and correct. No problems
c) Hotel Kilindi: Absolutly ok. We have a really nice Bungalows with absolutely privacy! The service and the butler absolutely correct . Beach and Spa was fantastic.
I can tell you only “good” News. Really you give as very good information, and we thanks you very much. I send you our best wsh for 2014 and I rest in contact.
The Matemwe Retreat itself is amazing allround. Its definitely worth the trip from Australia. The area and resort are beautiful and very relaxing. The private villas themselves are truely spectacular. There are many great features like the view over the reef, the opulent decor and the amazing indoor and outdoor areas throughout, but the list could go on. The staff and service are of a high standard, extremely friendly and tended to our every need with a personnal touch. Its definitely the perfect spot for a honeymoon!
I would definitely recommend yourselves and the retreat to anyone I know considering a trip to Zanzibar. Thank you again for everything!
Matemwe Retreat was exactly what we were looking for. Its a perfect intimate and quiet location for a honeymoon. The food was excellent. We were very lucky to have a wedding dinner set up on our roof top and a surprise dinner on the beach before our departure. Well, what can i say, it was perfect!
As for Matemwe Lodge, we really enjoyed it and found it incredibly relaxing. The food was excellent and the ‘hands on’ service staff brilliant for the most part.
Finally, the logistics were excellent – from Coastal Safari’s flights to the transfers by Island Express, which were excellent throughout. I hope the above helps in some small way, and many thanks for organising the holiday for us.
Matemwe Retreat was exactly what we were looking for. Its a perfect intimate and quiet location for a honeymoon. The food was excellent. We were very lucky to have a wedding dinner set up on our roof top and a surprise dinner on the beach before our departure. Well, what can i say, it was perfect!
The hotel which we stayed at whilst in Zanzibar was the Mashariki Palace. It was an amazing venue to stay and a great recommendation provided by Claudia. The hotel is located conveniently in the heart of Stone Town, with all amenities at hand. The service and hospitality provided by the staff at Mashariki Palace was faultless and the staff should be highly commended on the efforts they went to, to make our stay a memorable one.
Mashariki Palace was a beautiful haven in all the crowds of stonetown – just lovely and rooms spacious and cool and again staff were great.
Thank you again for organising the hotels and transfers for us Claudia – next time i think we’ll try and stay at Mnemba Lodge – it looked incredible!
The price you got was incredible, and your correspondence was amazing too. Thanks again from Melody and I, if we should ever happen to bump into each other I will be sure to buy you a drink!!!
We found Zanzibar an interesting place! The differences in culture and practices were intriguing and we really enjoyed our stay at Baraza. The accommodation was lovely, the rooms spacious and comfortable, sometimes a little dark in the daytime but that just encouraged you to go outside and experience it all! The staff were extremely accommodating and helpful. The was staff available everywhere – there seemed to be so many people willing to help. They were attentive and yet not intrusive. We found the food to be excellent. My partner Bill found the food at Baraza the best out of everywhere we travelled in Africa. We liked the variety and like to try new things and be adventurous with food so the style of dining really suited us.
The beach was a little challenging at times as the tide was out (like 1km from the shore) most of the day and a little too rough in the mornings and evenings but that is the environment so there isn’t much that can be done about that! We were grateful for the plunge pool though, it was a nice refuge when the days were hot and the pool was well positioned so it was a good temperature without you frying in the sun while in there.
All in all it was a wonderful holiday and your assistance and recommendations were much appreciated. You were very responsive and attentive by answering all my questions and providing clarification and recommendations when needed.
Breezes was picture perfect and a perfect place to relax from safari – Thanks so much!
Matemwe Retreat was great. Very happy that you suggested it and that we went for the villa. The villa itself was amazing – the rooftop deck with plunge pool was the absolute best medicine for relaxation. Our butler was very sweet and it’s nice that they seem to be investing in young people, to work for them, continue their education (our butler is studying to be a tour guide), and working in 1 of 9 Asilia properties. The chef (yumi yumi) had great food, missing that and we really enjoyed the fresh fruit, fish and everything else he came up with. Really nothing negative to say (the French manageress was a bit odd, but we only saw her a few times).
The transfer service from Zanzibar Airport to the Mashariki Palace, from the Palace to the Retreat and back to the Airport also worked great. We had the same driver for all, who was nice, funny, punctual and well-organized (Benjamin).
The Mashariki Palace Hotel was good too – the owners have done a fantastic job renovating this building. Beautiful view from the top deck and our room, we had a great breakfast overlooking the rooftops of Stone Town. We didn’t see any other guests while we were there, so it seemed a bit empty, but maybe that was just our timing.
Anyway, in-all, excellent holiday. I can easily see us returning to Matemwe Retreat in the future and I’ll definitely highly recommend you to friends as well! Thanks, Claudia!
The staff were friendly and courteous, they looked after us really well. It was a memorable trip for our entire group!
We have had the most wonderful time ever at Matemwe Retreat!!! Booking trough you went well, the entire experience was excellent!!! A great place, a great butler and absolutely great food!!! And a very good rate! We really enjoyed and had a great time!! Only the last night we booked later was charged for us a little bit more than your first offer, but anyway…
Only really nice thoughts and memories and I will tell to whoever would like to hear!!! Thank you very much!!!!!
Love and greetings Hein & Esther from Holland!
Ps we will make a comment on tripadvisor as well!!
Impressions of Green & Blue: very sophisticated accommodation with all the luxury within reach: spa facilities, swimming pool; beautiful furnishing and lovely colorful flowers;
good kitchen (although their website seems to provide ‘better / more choice in wines’), fantastic breakfast (but large portions!);
lots of privacy
Impressions of Matemwe Lodge: good accommodation with same facilities as Green & Blue, but less sophisticated and private, but nevertheless a very nice accommodation; good kitchen, excellent BBQ
Thank you Claudia, we enjoyed our holiday!
Kilindi was stunning – we couldn’t have asked for a better location for what turned out to be a dream wedding. The staff were amazing and literally bent over backwards to look after us. We rarely had dinner in the same location, and always had a different bottle of wine, recommended by Mathias (our butler). Our guests were blown away and so were we, and not just on the day of the wedding. We felt truly spoilt for the 8 days we were there and one day hope to return.
We felt that Fundu Lagoon‘s strengths lay in the extra activities we were able to do when we were there (scuba diving, seeing dolfins, sunset cruises). It was surprising that, given the cost of rooms there, room service was not standard and the all inclusive menu was very limited.
Everything with the availability of accommodation, reservation and payment etc went smooth and fast and the service and standard at the house was simply amazing. The food was very good and the staff – particularly Jazu – were very helpful, smiling and nice.
Best overall experience ever. Thank you!
We defently come back and will take your service as well.
Overall rating 9 out of 10. Thanks!
Feedback on Zanzibar Retreats:
Excellent customer service by yourself; Prompt responses; Friendly service; No hassles with payment; All requests were relayed to hotel and everything was sorted out before we flew which really helps; Would recommend you (already have recommended you actually) to friends who want to go to Zanzibar.
Feedback on Matemwe Retreat (4 nights):
Awesome customer service levels (staff all went the extra mile – I got sick there and they were very helpful and always checking up on me, cooked me specific meals etc…); Very professional and helpful staff – Moses (the manager on duty there) and Salim (our awesome butler); Great food; Ultimate “African” luxury experience; Personal and intimate atmosphere … highly recommended for a honeymoon getaway spot; Amazing views.
Hope this helps. Thanks again for organizing a most memorable honeymoon Richard!
We can thoroughly recommend the Milele Villas as a lovely place to stay!
The house was a dream… huge, beautiful furnishings, great selection at the bar, with many different Wines, our butler Iddi was just great, low-key, friendly and helpful – we would have liked to take him with us! The food was great, well-tended gardens, the pools, theme evenings – all around great! Here I would love to come back to and we will certainly do so again in the next few years. Here the price-performance ratio is the best fit!
We would not hesitate to book again through you and will also recommend you. Keep up your good work!
ASANTE SANA from Germany
Booking via Zanzibar Retreats was also seamless and you were most helpful in sorting everything for us. In particular, I liked the detailed personal itinerary with descriptions of our bookings. Thank you for your role in organising things for us and please pass on our compliments to both Kisiwa and Z management and staff.
Booking via Zanzibar Retreats was also seamless and you were most helpful in sorting everything for us. In particular, I liked the detailed personal itinerary with descriptions of our bookings. Thank you for your role in organising things for us and please pass on our compliments to both Kisiwa and Z management and staff.
We had a great holiday. Our stay at Kilindi was magic. They were so nice and friendly. Very good service, excellent food, bungalows……
We were really more then satisfied !!!!
I was very happy with your website Zanzibar Retreats as it really gave me the opportunity to see what Zanzibar has to offer in terms of luxury accommodation and I was very impressed with the entire layout and user-friendly set up of it. I also enjoyed checking out the special packages section of each resort and I am sure I will be referring friends and family to it when they visit Tanzania next.
Thank you once again for your prompt and professional actions regarding our enquiries and booking at Baraza. I look forward to staying in touch with you for future bookings.
The Z Hotel was great! Staff super friendly, Rooms could have been cleaner. Mould growing in some of the showers. Food was not great, except for the sea food BBQ! That was AMAZING!!!!! But all in all was DIVINE!
Breezes was a very chilled, gorgeous resort! The food was Divine! But there was absolutely no other night life. No bar to go have a few drinks in after dinner, so it lacked atmosphere. Was good to come here and unwind tho. Rooms are gorgeous! Staff also super friendly. We had the best massages i have ever had! And iv had them all over the world!!!!!!
Now, Matemwe Retreat, WOW!!!!!!!!!!! Beyond our expectations! The pic with us in the pool is our private pool on our roof! Food was Divine, service amazing! View out of this world! 2 nights was not enough tho.
All in All was the best holiday either of us have ever had!
So thanks Again!
Anna of Zanzibar was a little piece of heaven. Michael and his staff were charming, attentive and made us feel so relaxed. They had a special honeymoon evening for us where we had a fantastic meal served in their ‘love shack’ which they decorated specially for us, right on the beach. I have already recommended Anna to some German friends of mine who will travel there later in the year. We had a look at a few other places near Anna on the East coast of the Island and they were not as intimate or well maintained.
As for the booking through Zanzibar Retreats, it went very smooth. Thanks to you and your colleagues. Thanks again for assisting us with the booking and with making our trip unforgettable. Please do extend our thanks to all the members of Kilindi family as well.
Thanks again for your assistance. I have passed your name on to a few folks and hope it brings more business to you, if you would like it.
Qambani Villa is wonderful, well located, peaceful, and the whole staff is just amazing such they are helpful, friendly, kind, pleasant, smiling! Many thanks to Axel and Ingrid and to all of the staff (even the staff that we didn’t see because they work hard for making our stay the best possible… and they achieved !)
I am sorry for my English, but I don’t have the correct vocabulary to explain our pleased we are, the words are weak as we use to say in French. Once again, many thanks to all of you, our stay was a dream ! We do not hesitate to book other holidays with you and we are just frustated that you don’t have others distinations in the world!
Too sad that we had to leave, but will have to make it again!
Booking through Zanzibar Retreats was amazingly simple and informative. I really appreciate the patience and guidance whilst I was trying to choose a resort and the advice was really helpful! The good deals certainly helped a lot too! Thank you so much!
Claudia, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Zanzibar Retreats for everything and specially yourself for your professionalism. You have made our honeymoon more special. Thank you once again and best regards,
The Palms is really an awesome hotel and the staff are truly top notch – it’s certainly raised the bar ! It was a fantastic experience. When we arrived we stayed at the Emerson Spice which was also lovely. Thanks for all your assistance in arranging our holiday!
Also, I will definitely contact you next time we plan to go to Zanzibar (which I hope is soon). In this age of electronic everything, it was refreshing to communicate with and receive advice from a human. I felt that you were able to provide me with information and offers that are not available through electronic services. Thanks again!
Kilindi is AMAZING!!! Villa 15 is AMAZING!!! Our butler Salum is AMAZING!!! Food is AMAZING!!!
Chaka Camp was AWESOME! Staff was AWESOME! Our own personal tour guide Kasimbo was AWESOME! We were so taken care of and looked after in a very special way!!!
We were very glad to have gone beach 1st and safari after! The safari requires a lot of energy and after our very long trip to Zanzibar, R&R was the perfect remedy and prepared us for the safari! Thank you for all your help!
We are already recommending Mafia and Pole Pole to all our friends J it was the perfect place to relax from our busy/intense days back home. Many thanks for your recommendation. I do look forward to come back in the future .
The two gentlemen that you sent to transfer us to Fumba were not what we were expecting at all. They were two wonderfully knowledgeable older gents, and they really made the journey. We asked if we could stop off at Stonetown and when we realized just how knowledgeable they were, we asked if they wouldn’t mind giving us a tour, which was just amazing!
I would definitely book with Zanzibar Retreats again and I would recommend to friends.
In Short: Both the hotels were what they promised. In Sand River Selous we had very lovely lodge managers which took our well being very seriously. The length of our stay (4 nights) was perfect to see all the different game and as we stayed in one lodge only we did not comprise any time on traveling which all of as appreciated a lot.
The journey to Fundu Lagoon was not the most comfortable one, as it was very long with many changes. However I was worth it. The resort was very nice we had great food lots of fun on our diving/snorkeling/fishing trips and could enjoy the the wonderful spa. Especially the sunsets were beautiful. Due to the time of the year the hotel was only filled with families which made the stay very pleasant.
We did have a fantastic time in Zanzibar and thank you for all your help with the booking of Emerson Spice, transfer and dinner reservations. WOW what an amazing hotel to stay in. One of our highlights of the holiday. Belle room was beautiful and with all the extra details that Russell and his team think of ie. Mobile phone, box of essentials, beautiful handmade soaps all the little details that go to make a very memorable stay. We arrived late into Zanzibar and it was lovely to be met by the arranged driver who was on time. Emerson Spice even left a dinner out for us as they thought we had a long journey which was so fantastic. Breakfast on the roof was beautiful.
The sister hotel Emerson on Hurumzi that we dined in on the second night was amazing too. Worth the walk up the many stairs for a very Memorable night on the roof sitting on cushions listening to the sounds of Zanzibar. Wonderful meal that night we really enjoyed the evening. Very romantic. We dined the second night on Emerson Spice 5 course seafood which was lovely too.
Thank you once again for your help we will certainly recommend you to our friends and family if they decide to visit the very enchanting Zanzibar!
Both hotels (Matemwe Retreat and Emerson Spice) were beyond amazing. The staff were so friendly and accommodating, and the rooms were spectacular.
Thanks to you and all of the hotel staff that made our honeymoon extra special with sparkling wine, massages, candlelit dinners on the beach, etc.
It was a trip we will never forget.
Thank you for coordinating such a wonderful week.
I will also recommend the Zanzibar Retreats: very good service from you – thanks.
I hope we will be able to go back there for some days soon. Regards and thanks again for your help and interest.
Kilindi was more than I expected. For us it was exactly what we needed. It enjoys an enviable spot. It has the feeling of staying in a family home, where all the staff are charming.
Certainly not suitable for children and one does need to be reasonably agile to stay there and get the most out of the place. Even getting in and out of the pools can be a challenge with dodgy knees!!!! It also has a feeling of ‘shabby chic’ about it, which I personally love. Not the usual sterile squeaky 5* one usually finds.
It also isn’t somewhere where you should expect to ‘dress’ for dinner or socialize in the bar. People keep themselves to themselves. Depends what you are wanting, but exactly right for us, though we did meet another 2 like-minded couples.
I would go back there tomorrow if I could afford it. Please keep me on your mailing list for another opportunity of the 2 for 1 offer.
The house itself was perfect : Location, swimming pool.
You can say that we had a very relaxing time at the House 🙂
Arrangements and booking via Zanzibar Retreats was trouble free and simple. Thank you!
Zi Villa was an absolute gem. We had a fantastic stay there, the food was delicious, the staff exceptionally friendly and forthcoming. We were all very sad to leave. It is however a place I would recommend to people that feel at home in Africa as you are often alone there and some people might find that daunting. It didn’t bother us in the slightest however. The villa itself is perfect however!!
I will definitely be back here one day!
The initial view of the ocean when you walk through the resort is breathtaking and when we walked down to the beach it was even better! I have been to various beaches in Zanzibar and Mafia but this beach was tops! Both rooms were very comfortable and the food including the service was always great. We loved to have the fish option at every meal, the portions during meals were generous and the boys did convince our fundi for seconds……
The people at Manta were very friendly, Mathew and his family made sure to include everyone for both Christmas and New Year so we came as strangers and left with additional friends! Mathew was supportive of all our needs, he helped organise fishing trips, sea food platters and even a visit to the local ENT!
The boys thoroughly enjoyed the dive centre and the dives were amazing. Almost every day you could snorkel out to the reef and I was impressed with the sightings, its like snorkelling in an aquarium. I don’t dive and all this is just off the beach! The underwater room seemed popular and we may have to go back to spend a night there….
We did not do take up offers for excursions as the boys mainly dived, the beach and pool kept us busy, besides we were laid back and naturally became lazy with all the good food and cocktails 🙂
All you have to do at Manta is just ask……..and if you are looking for a place to chill, gain a little colour and a little weight (at your own doing of course,) forget what day of the week and time of day it is, then this is just the place! Loved it and will go back.
Thank you Manta Resort with love from us all…….
First of all, Emerson Spice was everything we were expecting and more. Such delightful and helpful staff and our room, Toujours L’Amour was quite extraordinary. We loved the view in 3 directions, especially from the back balcony where we watched a family cooking large quantities of crisps and chapatties all day – it always kept us entertained! Stone Town was such fun but I was so disappointed in the night market. All the seafood was pre-cooked, expensive and not very tasty. There was definitely better value in the restaurants around it. We managed to get ourselves lost a few times but never had to resort to the cell phone provided by the hotel! We had the Roof top dinner on our final evening and it was really enjoyable – we were the only 2 non-Americans there.
Chumbe Island was really great and would have been even better had the weather been better. We had a couple of days of high winds and rain which curtailed outdoor activities somewhat. The huts are magical and we found the staff so friendly and helpful and the food delicious – lots of seafood and fresh produce. The snorkelling was spectacular and so close to the shore, but I think they must think carefully about how they handle day visitors to the island, and we made this clear when we filled in their comment form later. That was the only problem we encountered and apart from that it was an am amazing time.
We found Pemba Island such an interesting island and so different from the main island. The vegetation is so lush and fertile. We found the taxi ride fascinating as well as the boat trip to Fundu Lagoon. Colleen’s son had suggested a hillside room rather than one on the beach and this was such a good idea. We were right in the trees and loved the varied bird life and the odd nocturnal visit from the lemurs. Again the service and staff were of the highest standard and we would highly recommend it, particularly for anyone who is a serious diver, as opposed to someone wanting a beach holiday.
Altogether it was an amazing trip and we would both like to thank you for all that you did to make it so special. We both came back relaxed and with our batteries re-charged – exactly what we both needed!
We found booking our holiday through Zanzibar Retreats very easy. You took the time to answer our questions and we appreciated all the help you gave us. Booking was easy and once we had confirmed our booking we found the information you provided both helpful and reassuring and it really whetted our appetites. We hope to have the opportunity to use your services again.
Kilindi was absolutely fabulous. We travelled there having spent three nights in Stone Town, three on the east coast and three at Nungwi and the place was quite magical. We had to keep pinching ourselves that we were actually staying in our own pavilion with its own plunge pools, separate bathroom pavilion and terrace areas. Daudi, our butler, was a joy and he helped make our whole stay a real treat. The setting is perfect, the staff are wonderful, the food special. It was a real treat having cocktails specially created for us.
If our stay had just been to have a relaxing, pampering holiday the experience would have been one we would talk about for a long time but we also got married at Kilindi and Peter and his team went out of their way to make our wedding day and subsequent honeymoon very special. We can’t say enough about how they pulled the stops out for us and Daudi had put so much thought into how to make our day even more special. Our meal on the beach in the evening of our wedding day was like a dream and so so romantic. The cake Daudi had made for us and the song sung to us by some of the staff when they brought it to our table on the beach was a wonderful surprise.
Luisa and I plan to return to Zanzibar and hope our return trip can include some more days at Kilindi. It really does live up to every description of it.
Thank you for helping us have a trip of a lifetime and a stay of absolute joy, fun and romanticism.
I will write up a review on tripadvisor shortly as well. Thanks for your help in organizing the trip!
We were very relaxed there, as there is not much else to do but relax. No real shops – no hussle & bustle, so it’s the perfect place to put your feet up. The reef trips were incredible, both the reef walk and the snorkelling day out on the reef itself.
The few downsides for me was the getting used to the wind – 1st 2 days we hit the edge of a tropical storm and gale force winds, which hampered activities and poolside relaxation. We had many sleepless nights on account of the new surroundings, the scary wind, thoughts of the water pushing up, bush babies on the roof and new sounds in general, but it had more to do with us than the lodge. We were after all out in nature.
Thanks again for organising everything for us – we had a wonderful time away & it will be a holiday that will live on in our hearts forever more.
I was very happy with zanzibar retreats and would use them again. (The only problem I incurred was the issue with the online payment. It wouldn’t work on my iPad and was a bit of a hassle going to use another PC.)
Overall, I was very happy with the service and would recommend to others.
Everything from beginning to end was perfectly orchestrated: no single delay, hassle, …
Kigelia: Ruaha is fantastic for scenery and beauty; great staff and manager Ken; apparently Nomad just bought the camp last year and they already had made fixed roofs over the tents and dining area which is a big plus; elephants and hyena in the camp between tents; excellent food ! apero at the fire and dining under the open sky at a large table : *****; saw 2 cheetah; saw lions every day
Sand Rivers Selous: super; river is very nice, food is good; the bar is *****; more difficult to find the game but they are certainly there; walking safari is super; totally different scenery again, boattrips are nice as well as the fishing; nice ponds/lakes
Fundu Lagoon: you were 100% right for recommending fundu over Seychelles; it is so nice and you stay indeed in the ‘black’ ‘swahili’ ‘african’ ambience; it is just the right extension ! very good diving ( which I did after all , contrary to my doctor’s advice, ; staff is very nice; superior suite is fanatastic; we were just unlucky with the weather.
Perfect order and length for every segment of this trip ; 100% happy family to have booked with you.
Big kiss and thank you!
Zi Villa ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to a holiday with a large family. The staff were very accommodating and made great efforts when it came to Tony’s birthday celebration. Ample, ample food – the kilos piled on.
I was told that the owners had not visited for a couple of years and thats maybe why some areas are looking a little tired. I can expand on this if you need to know…
The services of Zanzibar Retreats were great. I really appreciated your husband helping us on Sunday before our departure. The Island Express taxi was prompt, nice and the taxi clean.
I am copying-in my wife so that we can save your e-mail address for our future trips!
Thanks again for everything!
Che Che Vule is a great house, great staff, very good service.
Often pictures on website are different of what we find. This was not the case!!!
One single misunderstanding about bottles of wine we brought. Finally we paid a corkage fee; But choice of alcohol limited. This has to be clarified. Kindly transfer pictures to Haji and Salum.
Matemwe Retreat had super food, nice management and staff. Shalum excellent so was Martin and the water sports man, Mubarak. Due to the tide it is difficult to swim a lot and its is lots of sea urgents. So great for snorkling and sailing (superb!), but missed swimming in the sea. Food was out of this world good! Thanks for arranging it all!
Maurizio at Konokono is a great manager and host. The resort is nice and rooms very clean and comfortable. Internet does not work very well. Space for wardrobe is non existent 😉
Food good and staff also.
Chumble island is very charming and unique. For older guests i think you need to prepare them better for the trip over there, and let people know that there is the possibility to leave more luggage at head office instead of bringing it all there.
But for rest we really enjoyed it.
Mashariki palace is a beautiful location and building and very kind staff. Was not very busy when we were there but did not matter.
It was a good selection that you proposed. We had the feeling to really see different parts of the island and I could imagine going back, maybe to Membe island next time.
Or anything else you would recommend.
I suppose one could get tired of the buffet food after a week, but my son became the buffet king and loved the assortment! Snorkeling was ok, not great with quite a few jelly fish, we didn’t go fishing as that was very expensive, about R6000. There is not a huge amount to do at the resort other than swim, read, beach, rest, sail, etc, but we wanted a chilled week, so it was.
Very few kids at the resort, but I know we went early, and my 11 year old entertained himself well with cycling and swimming. The drive from airport is actually more an hour and fifteen, not a great drive, and the last 25 minutes is really bumpy – apparently the GM told us they are resurfacing the road in March.
The pavilion was wonderful, the gardens and pool beautiful and the food the icing on the cake. In fact, the food was a real highlight. We also loved the beach and quickly slipped into a very relaxing routine.
One thing to mention as a possible piece of advice to offer to guests staying that far away from Stone Town: there’s no ATM in the near vicinity so, whilst you can pay on credit card at Kilindi for their services and excursions and transfers, if you need cash for anything else you should take plenty of shillings or USD. Other than that, our stay was great.
Our stay at Anna of Zanzibar was perfect for having just climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. The beach, spa, food, and villa were all fantastic. The staff and management were extremely helpful throughout the stay and even prepared a special seafood dinner for our celebration.
It would be very difficult to follow that experience, but Mnemba Island Lodge certainly exceeded our expectations. The beach was the best we’ve ever seen and the water was perfect for snorkeling. The staff was helpful and available at all hours and the service was impeccable. They arranged a sunset cruise for us as well as provided a romantic candlelit dinner for the honeymoon.
It was clear that you have a great grasp of Zanzibar and the surrounding areas and made it very smooth and easy to make arrangements. Should we ever venture back to Africa, we will certainly be giving you a call!
I also want to thank you particularly, as without you insisting about Kilindi (as opposed to the suite at Ras Nungwi), we experienced something absolutely amazing – so thank you very very much indeed Claudia! Looking forward to reaching out to you for our next beach holiday :o)
We only saw 1 Rhino and that was in the Ngorongoro crater and far away. We only missed sighting another at Serengeti Olakira Camp by 1 day, it never appeared again. I guess that was our only disappointment.
Finishing at Matemwe was perfect too, it gave us time to relax before the big journey home. They really need to do something about that road into Matemwe though, it is rough as rough.
Many thanks for organizing a wonderful holiday and helping us get through that difficult time last year of postponing. I will certainly recommend Zanzibar Retreats.
Booking with you was a true pleasure. We travel a lot and are familiar with the realted communication but with zanzibar retreats and especially claudia it was all smoooth and efficient; Thanks! Will for sure contact you for future travels.
Everything was arranged to suit our needs from transport to accommodation and more besides. It was great to have so little to think about or have to arrange whilst we were there.
Matemwe Bandas was an idyllic spot for our honeymoon. We loved the location, the intimacy of the hotel and the warmth and friendliness of the staff, who looked after us both superbly. The food was good, although given the limited daily menu perhaps we would recommend a half-board basis and chose to visit some of the other restaurants locally. The Bandas offered both comfort and a beautiful view of the beach and we would happily stay there again in the future.
Mashariki Palace Hotel was another beautiful hotel, which was ideally located in Stone Town close to the front. It is a beautifully refurbished building which offers plenty of character, with stunning and well furnished bedrooms, and a great restaurant which offered great views over the bay and the town itself. The staff were once again friendly and helpful and, again, we would be delighted to stay there in the future.
Thank you again for all of your help and for making our Honeymoon special. We hope to be in touch with you agin in the future!
I just wanted to let you know about our enthusiasm about our zanzibar trip. Villa Zi is just fabulous, the food was delicious and the stay memorable for all of us. the kids didn’t want to leave at all..
Huge thanks for all your support – it was a completely stress free experience!
Herewith my review for trip advisor:
I went for solitude, rest, spa and spoiling .. and I got it all and more. The service was absolutely fantastic and the staff friendly, yet subtle in their attendance. The spa is fantastic, Bertha and the girls know their stuff, situated on top of the cliff looking out to sea whilst having a massage, using the local treatments, is truly a spoiling treat! The food is excellent and the rooms so very spacious and beautifully created, leaving you feeling you are definitely in a very special place, where you can relax and retreat whilst also enjoy all the activities on offer. Attention to detail and personal attention is second to none. I found myself being upgraded to the ‘ retreat’ which is beyond words in its perfection. Nestling into the cliff and bush, it has an exquisite view of the ocean, the dhows passing by and fishing activity. With its own plunge pool, bar, butler and expansive space it is truly a magical place. The wonderful experience throughout however, rests largely with the staff, the management and all those who make it such a special place and attend to your every need but with such subtlety and grace. All the paradises in the world are only thus when you feel like you are at home and in your own space. Don’t come here if you want to sit on a secluded beach, come for all the above. I left feeling a different person. Thank you!
We cannot complain about anything and would recommend your services and Matemwe to everyone!
The setting at Milele Villas was lovely, rooms were perfect, the pool and facilities were fantastic and the food was excellent. The staff were all very friendly, accommodating and professional and Andrea was an excellent host – he also gave us star gazing lessons which was a good extra. Andrea organised a few activities for us and where the logistics were very well arranged we did feel what we got was not what we expected. This is by no means a complaint but for future reference we would recommend that more information be given about activities to avoid disappointment. The transfers he arranged were very good – great driver, reliable, etc.
Our transfers with Island Express were perfect – everything worked, they were very helpful and very accommodating, we had an excellent guide for the Spice Tour and all the drivers we had were friendly, helpful and professional. Thank you again for organising everything!
We had a wonderful time.
Unguja Lodge was like you promised us… A beautiful small lodge, very friendly, nice bungalow, very good food, good organisation for tours, just great!
Zansibar was a good experience for as, and the people are very friendly.
thanx again and warm regards
The rooms were lovely! The staff was great. The one thing I didn’t like as much was the food. Breakfast was great, but I wasn’t so impressed by dinner, and the second night there was a BBQ which was quite expensive for something I wasn’t so excited to eat. Anyway, it was great otherwise.
Thank you for being so efficient with emails and ensuring what we paid for is what we got when we arrived. Always a little worrying as we had not used you before and we are on the other side of the world but I would be happy recommending you to other people because of our experience.
Fumba is in a good location – the biggest advantage was being able to walk 5 minutes down the beach to join the Safari Blue excursion, as opposed to a long drive for everyone else. The garden setting is gorgeous, and actually every day we found new paths, plants, animals and lovely scenery. The lunches and dinners were of a very high standard and on 2 nights they did kindly show us to private locations for a secluded candle lit dinner. The room was very spacious and outdoor shower was nice. But there were a few downsides… Mostly, the place just lacks some attention to detail and a few things looked rather run-down.
In contrast, Matemwe Lodge epitomises everything one could dream of for a honeymoon location! 10 out of 10! Fabulous!
Our room 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 water each day, and loved having coffee on our veranda watching the fishing boats. The tidal variation was extreme, so at times 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. Gareth is an advanced open water diver so he went on a dive trip to the atoll, which he rated very highly. Even the logistics of getting there by boat and back by car were very well organised. It was great having 2 pools so they never got crowded, and the bar was also more aimed at relaxing secluded spots than communal vibe. Most people staying here were couples and would want to be private. The 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 in dollars. The restaurant setting is gorgeous, although on 2 nights there was a seafood barbecue (delicious!) – once it was all set up near the pool with live local musicians and on the last night we had a private table near the pool again, with attentive waiter and complimentary bubbly.
At every level, the service at Matemwe was outstanding, great receptionists, the waiters so friendly, even housekeeping were sweet. We would LOVE to return there one day.
Our transfers throughout the trip all worked like clockwork. The drivers were all there a few minutes ahead of schedule, very neat and tidy and polite. The vehicles were comfortable and clean. We actually enjoyed the transfers as a way of seeing the wilder and more rural parts of the island, which was so interesting.
Everything was very well-organised Claudia, and we have you to thank for that. It was good to work with someone who specialises in Zanzibar as a destination and we could trust to know the locations personally. Even though the Mango flights had mostly South Africans, we didn’t see them again til the return flight, so we really felt we were staying in premium accommodation and special locations.
To sum up, we had a great time in a perfect honeymoon location! Thank you very much Zanzibar Retreats!
Will recommend Kilindi and Zanzibar Retreats to anyone!
The only minus was the beach in front of the house, which wasn’t really swimmable at all. It was too shallow even at high tide and you walk on hard corall. However, it only takes about 10 minutes to drive to Kendwa with one of the most beautiful beaches we’ve seen.
As for our contact with Zanzibar Retreats we have nothing to complain of. The whole process, from our first contact with you to the final booking was very smooth and agreable. Thanks!
Just one suggestion on my part… it would be useful to know that when you order halfboard, you will still have to order lunch from the restaurant. On one hand, I like to cater for myself, but it should be noted that the prices charged for the extra food was very reasonable and it all turned out for the best.
Lovely place that we will recommend to others!
The impression of the guests here: What a wonderful place! Villa, food, drinks, spa, garden, shop, interiors, pools, service / staff – everthing is perfect! Probably, people would appreciate free wifi access in the villa or at least in the lobby (we didn t miss it). The beach was cleaned every day.
I have to say that I do not normally get such good reports from these customers! Keep the good work up and thank you very much for the cooperation and for providing this experience to our customers.
We enjoyed each minute and our butler Mary was very alert. The Resort is a dream and very private. We are sure, to come back and will book with Zanzibar Retreats again. Everything was perfekt. Thank you also for organising the transfer.
The food was very, very good…..both breakfast and dinner… The fish and seafood was always beautifully presented. The service was good all round, the staff in the dining area were particularly engaging and made us so welcome. We felt like family by the time we left! We are looking forward to the completion of the new family accommodation…..we would love to return with some of our family!
Thanks so much for everything….It was just the rest and situation that we required at the time.
Thanks again for all your help, we’ll be back for sure.
Serena Inn was beautiful, professional, had a nice pool for a last swim, a 4-5 star hotel like everywhere in the world, but a fine retreat after shopping in the hot steets of StoneTown.
Thanks a lot for the handling of our bookings, there is nothing to improve. We missed the flight from Arusha to Zanzibar and had one four hours later- hakuna matata, I just called the office and we were picked up as well. If we are going to plan another visit to Zanzibar- only with your company!
Best regards, Gerlinde
I would definitely book through Zanzibar Retreats again – you were very helpful and answered all my many questions as well as giving me a secure payment service which is always key!
Many thanks, Valerie
Milele Villas were clean, accommodating, comfortable, and peaceful. The Indian Ocean sunsets from our own private beach left us in amazement each night. The food was incredible, going above and beyond any other accommodation we had experienced during our trip. The customer service was paramount to anything we saw during our three weeks in Africa. Gustaf, Jasu, Christina, Luka, and the rest of the crew made us feel safe and at home. Nothing was too much and they did everything with a smile. Gustaf was ready in the morning to coordinate activities, Jasu was timely and friendly in serving up the delectable food selections coming from the kitchen, Christina was full of smiles and always remembered to say “Goodnight”, and Luka and crew made sure we felt safe during the evenings by their fires promptly made each evening at sunset. I WILL be back to Zanzibar, and I WILL be back to Milele Villas.
On the night of the bachelor party, a large tuna was sought out from Zanzibar by the team. While we were away they decorated the dining area and cooked the fish to perfection. It was a beautiful evening that made the groom’s experience in Africa.
A big thank you from all of us!!!
The resort itself exceeded our expectations. We had a very luxury, extremly spacious villa with a lot of privacy. The staff was also very nice and helpful, especially the Managers (Allan and Maike). They arranged everything you can imagine, for example a private beach dinner which was amazing! For us it was one of the best resorts we have ever been, but you have to be aware that everything (including the bathroom) is open and you shouldn´t be afraid of small animals, for example geccos.
We’ve felt like kings! It was an early “valentine surprise” for both of us 😉
Greetings from “cold Belgium”
Richard was able to help me in a very short time to find some very nice places (Fumba and Matemwe Lodge) which were spot on to what I was looking for. He was very responsive to all (!) my questions and providing a great service. Highly recommended!
We had quite a adventurous safari in Tanzania (broken-down jeep, storm in which our tent collapsed on our heads, cancelled flight to Zanzibar,…), so Anna was a fantastic place for a worry-free week. Niccy is like an angel in her little paradise, and she and her staff really spoiled us. We had also not the idea that we were staying in a hotel. It is more like a guesthouse of friends, but with the luxury and style of a 5-star plus hotel. If possible, we will definitely go back to Anna of Zanzibar, it was perfect!
Also, nothing than good words for Zanzibar Retreats, everything went very well, from information to payment to practical issues, it was all very smoothly arranged! Thank you very much for this great experience, we will not hesitate to recommend Zanzibar Retreats, and Anna of Zanzibar to all of our friends and family!
Great food, lovely staff and the snorkling was very good. It was the perfect way to end our holiday and come home feeling very relaxed.
Overall we found everything great!
We had a very positive experience with our booking with Zanzibar Retreats. Professional approach; Timely answers to our requests; Clear understanding of our needs; Positive feedback on discounts applied on standard rates. Only improvement comment is on the clear provision of relevant information on the hotels, e.g. payment methods and commissions at Matemwe Lodge.
Feedback on Matemwe Lodge and Matemwe Retreats (4/5)
Hotel structure/layout 4/5;
Diving service (Fishing Tour) 5/5;
Waiter service (Butler and waiters) 5/5;
Cleaning Matemwe Lodge 4/5;
Cleaning Matemwe Retreats 3/5;
Entertainment (Local Band) 4/5;
Customer Service (payment methods and commissions) 2/5.
The Matemwe Lodge and Retreats are two high level resorts with a number of very positive characteristics (Room, Waiter Services, Food), but with some gaps on other services (beach, drinks, customer service).
The booking process was straight forward and the website for arranging bookings is easy to use.
The Mashariki Palance Hotel was, to put it simply, one of the most elegant and charming places my wife and I have stayed. It is of course well located (close to the gardens and in the heart of Stone Town) and has awesome views from the restaurant and our room as it turned out. But it’s the whole experience of the place that impresses. The attention to detail in design and decor, perfectly blending a clean modern feel with all kinds of period accents including Mahogany furnishings that contrast the lighter shades elsewhere can be felt everywhere from the rooms, to the many common spaces, to the renovation itself and it makes the hotel a sheer pleasure to spend time in. The staff was excellent. And the manager, Peter, and his team were attentive and great to deal with.
Che Che Vule was very good. Actually much better than the pictures! The staff was excellent, organized everyting we was asking for. Very good food. Nice location. All over 110% satisfied:)
Everything at Breezes was fantastic, we were lucky in that our stay was just before the rainy season really started, so we had a great time. Breezes was awesome, we really enjoyed it and would certainly go back there again. We both needed the break and it was perfect for relaxation. They also pay so much attention to detail and the staff are so friendly and consistently deliver at a high level. I won’t even start on the food! There was so much of it! (and we were only on half board)
Thanks again, it was a wonderful holiday and you played a big part in making that happen.
Matemwe Retreat was a little piece of heaven. Our butler Martin was fantastic and the food was gorgeous. The accomodation was huge and the view was amazing. The only thing we would recommend would be a little more entertainment or activities. All staff were very friendly and the company used for the transfers were really professional and very helpful. We even used them for a tour of Stonetown and they were very good and even stayed with us till we were checked in at the airport as we did the tour on the way to the airport.
Kilindi really is a hidden gem… It was less than half full the whole time we were there, and it should be much more popular than that. I would be pushing it hard as one of your preferred properties as it really is a great place. The villas are excellent – so spacious and simple, yet luxurious. Fantastic privacy too. The daily use of a butler is awesome, and they are very helpful indeed. Certainly, our one, Edgar, was very professional and courteous. The food was generally very good quality, the spa treatments as well.
We were very happy with booking through Zanzibar Retreats and would not hesitate to recommend you, and Kilindi, to friends.
Breezes is an incredible resort. The staff are warm and friendly and cannot do enough for you. The food is also really good. Every night they have a different theme for dinner and they decorate the restaurant accordingly. Importantly for me, they always had vegetarian options at mealtimes. What was also very good was that right from the time that we were fetched from the airport and until we went through passport control on the way home, the hotel had someone looking after us which was very comforting.
Thank you once again for your expert assistance! Warm regards from “goldenbrown” Irene, freezing in cold Switzerland.
When all the logistics goes well it makes it so much easier to relax and enjoy the wonderful people and sights of Zanzibar. We would certainly use your services for any future travel to this wonderful island and happy to recommend to others who travel to Zanzibar to book with yourselves.