Our Rating
8.4
Overall

Matemwe Lodge

Zanzibar & Tanzania, Zanzibar

from $ 360 per person sharing

Our Rating
8.4
Overall

Matemwe Lodge

Zanzibar & Tanzania, Zanzibar

from $ 360 per person sharing

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Our Verdict

Intimate, stylish and simply oozing romance - Matemwe is quite simply one of the finest lodges we've stayed at! In fact, it was whilst staying here on a holiday in 2005 that we were inspired to start Barefoot Breaks!

Our Ratings

8.4
Overall
8.0
Luxury & Style
8.5
Setting
7.5
Activities
9.0
Chill-Out Factor

Our Ratings

8.4
Overall
8.0
Luxury & Style
8.5
Setting
7.5
Activities
9.0
Chill-Out Factor

What's Hot

  • Some of the nicest rooms and most authentically styled rooms on the island - lovely to be able to throw the shutters wide open and look out over the sea just beyond your deck
  • Great choice of pool areas - the top pool boasts stunning views out over Mnemba island whilst if the wind gets up then the sheltered pool tucked away next to the bar is perfect
  • Delicious seafood served in a restaurant which boasts a hugely romantic ambience - the lighting and music were just perfect for creating the right atmosphere when we stayed there
  • Wake up to a flask of fresh coffee and biscuits delivered to your room's deck before chilling in the hammock on your private veranda - life doesn't get much better than this!
  • Take a guided walk out to the reef at low tide, then watch the haggling at the nearby village’s fish market

What's Not

  • If you're a really light sleeper the sound of the water against the cliff outside your room could disturb
  • No air-con could be an issue for some people in the heat of mid-summer
  • Bar fridge in room would be nice (but we probably would never have surfaced then!)
  • Cliff top position makes it unsuitable for small kids
Matemwe Lodge

Matemwe Lodgethe lodge does just about everything perfectly to create an almost unbearably romantic experience for guests

Lodge Profile

Intimate, stylish and simply oozing romance - Matemwe is quite simply one of the finest lodges we've stayed at! In fact, it was whilst staying here on a holiday in 2005 that we were inspired to start Barefoot Breaks!

Quick Overview

Rooms
12 Deluxe Suites
Distance to Beach
50 m
Air Conditioning
No
Pool
Yes
Recommended Stay
3 - 7 Nights

Matemwe stands out as an all too rare example of a place where the reality is so much better than the brochure or website portrays it (all too often we’ve ended up totally under-whelmed by a property that looked absolutely sensational in its promotional pics) Photographs often also aren't able to capture the atmosphere or ambience of a place - and Matemwe has these attributes in abundance! We first came here on holiday in 2005 (in a great combination with Chumbe Island) and loved the experience so much that we were inspired to set up a business specialising in selling holidays to uncommercial and unspoiled beach lodges like Matemwe. In the years since Barefoot Breaks started we've seen plenty of other lodges, but Matemwe remains perhaps our favourite lodge on Zanzibar!!

“Why so?” I hear you asking. The answer is that the lodge does just about everything perfectly to create an almost unbearably romantic experience for guests. Take the standard rooms for example – just 12 huge spaces that are simply yet oh-so stylishly decorated and generously spaced out for a real feeling of privacy. Each bungalow is situated a discrete distance from the next and screened by plants, heightening the feeling of cosy privacy. Inside the rooms are wonderfully cool and simply but stylishly furnished. Bathrooms are particularly roomy, with double vanities, showers and a frankly enormous bath perfect for wallowing by candlelight. Talking of enormous – the huge mosquito-netted double bed boasts fine linen and feels big enough to get lost in. Perhaps the highlight though, are the private verandas – each with its own hammock big enough for two as well as a mass of cushions perfect for sprawling in as you enjoy your morning cup of coffee and delicious biscuits (delivered at dawn by a gently padding waiter and left on your veranda to be enjoyed at your leisure)

Watching the flotilla of dhows making their way out on the tide whilst we sipped early-morning coffee sprawled on a hammock on our veranda, literally within a stone’s throw of the chatting fisherman, was an unforgettable highlight. It’s in the little touches – like the flower petals strewn prettily around the double vanity in the spacious bathroom. Or the restaurant’s wonderfully atmospheric hurricane lamp lighting and evocative music that made for quite the most romantic eating experience we’ve had in ages! The fact that the lodge is perched alongside one of the most picturesque beaches on the island doesn’t hurt either.

Lie around the pool or take a dip in the sea, then enjoy a delicious buffet lunch accompanied by dazzling views of the aquamarine waters alongside the restaurant whose open sides also invite in a cooling breeze. Adjoining the restaurant is a cosy lounge area that is the epitome of cool – a series of cosy alcoves littered with comfy cushions that just begs out for you to crash and chill, play a game of bao or chat with fellow guests. If you get peckish during the long hot afternoon, freshly baked cakes and goodies are left for you to nibble on. Sundowners are best enjoyed around the ingenious bar fashioned from an old dhow next to the pool.

From there it’s just a short stroll across to the restaurant where suspended paraffin lamps cast a romantic glow over the tables – quite a few of your dinner companions are likely to be love-struck honeymooners gazing lovingly into each others eyes, but you’re sure to be able to join some like-minded travellers if you just want to shoot the breeze. You’ll have a choice of imaginatively put together main courses and a better wine selection than is the norm on the island. Another nice feature is the open braai situated next to the restaurant that is regularly used to barbeque fresh seafood.

Some great new changes have been made over the last few years since we first stayed at Matemwe, but they haven't affected the unpretentious feeling that prevails at the lodge. Chief amongst those is the superb split-level swimming pools - one with great views over Mnemba Island and another giving easy access to the bar - featuring brilliantly executed sculptures of a crab and an octopus. There's also a wonderful new chill zone and massage deck alongside the pool whose ochre walls and soft cushions are hugely inviting.

Last and certainly not least in adding to Matemwe's reputation, are 4 new huge and decadently luxurious honeymoon suites just north of the main lodge boasting plunge pools on their private roof terraces, air-conditioned bedrooms and their own private butler - this piece of paradise is called Matemwe Retreat!

Pricing

per person sharing

More Information

Booking Notes

  • Note that Matemwe is closed 3rd April - 31st May

  • Please note that this website displays 2 different versions of pricing based on where you are viewing it:
  • SOUTH AFRICANS: the package prices you see including flights from Johannesburg, accommodation and transfers are INDICATIVE prices based on mid-season airfares and mid-season room rates - these fluctuate throughout the year as do exchange rates, so please enquire with us for an accurate price based on your specific dates of travel
  • INTERNATIONAL CLIENTS: the prices you see are per person per night prices for accommodation only based on the normal public prices for the property in question - note that in many instances we are able to provide better prices to our clients, so please enquire with us

Child Policy

  • No children under the age of 6 allowed