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Matemwe Retreat

Zanzibar & the Coast

Rating: Ultimate    

Matemwe Retreat overview

Matemwe Retreat is located on a stretch of private palm fringed land, just north of Matemwe's main lodge and right opposite the Mnemba Atoll. The Retreat consists of 4 separate villas, each of which features a private cocktail bar, an air-conditioned bedroom, a bathroom with double basins, shower, and large romantic bathtub overlooking the Indian Ocean. Possibly the best part of each villa is the plunge pool on the private roof terrace, complete with sun and shade decks. Each villa overlooks its own area of private beach.

Meals are a highlight at the the Retreat. Breakfast is served on the villa's private veranda, while lunch and dinner can be served in the privacy of the villa's garden or roof terrace or at Matemwe's main lodge with other guests. Drinks can be served in the room or on the beach.

Matemwe is located in the north east of Zanzibar surrounded by some of the best beaches on the island and opposite the well known Mnemba Atoll, hotspot for scuba diving and snorkelling. Matemwe's exclusive location away from the big hotels gives the beaches a very private feeling.

Matemwe does not have a its own dive school but works with reliable operators who can pick up guests everyday. Snorkelling can be done from Matemwe's beach and on a trip with the lodges wooden dhow boats (extra charge for snorkelling and marine park entry).

The Retreat is built by local craftsmen, and where possible from local materials. Walls are of local stone and roofs are made of makuti (woven palm leaves). Most of the furniture is made from locally produced coconut wood. Soft furnishings are produced by Zanzibari women and the matting by the blind association in Stone Town.


Open: Matemwe Retreat is open from 1st June to 31st March

Location: Matemwe Retreat is on the north east coast of Zanzibar. It is approximately 1 hour’s drive from the airport in Stone Town.

Rooms: There are 4 2-storey villas: Nuru, Safina, Zam Zam and Leila. Each has a private terrace with sofas, day beds and a plunge pool. You’ll have your own butler and the chef will liaise with you to arrange menu choices. There’s a bar stocked with a selection of drinks. Rooms are air conditioned and have well equipped bathrooms with 24 hour hot water. Drinking water is provided daily. You’ll have a range of toiletries and slippers and bathrobes.

Activities: There is excellent diving and snorkelling at Mnemba Atoll just off the coast. Staff can arrange a variety of island tours. You can go on guided reef walk, visit the local village, go deep sea fishing, kayaking and take a ride in a traditional wooden fishing boat. Diving, tours and boat trips are payable locally. Cycling and horse riding are popular ways to explore.

Facilities: Your butler is on hand to arrange drinks, meals and activities including tours, dhow cruises, picnics and in-room massages can be arranged. You’ll have access to 2 beaches. There is a gift shop and a laundry service. You can use all the facilities at the man lodge which include a restaurant, living room, bar, verandas and spa. There’s also a swimming pool.

Dining: Meals and drinks are served on your own terrace in the covered dining area.

Children: Children aged 12 years and over are welcome.

Health: This is a malarial area.

Communication: There is free Wi-Fi internet access and an iPad can be borrowed on request.

Map for Matemwe Retreat

Lodge IconLodge Yacht IconVessel Tented Camp IconCamp Hotel IconHotel National Park IconNational Park Historic site IconHistoric site Place of Interest IconPlace of Interest UNESCO world heritage site IconUNESCO heritage site

Amanda Marks
Tracy Edwards
Sinead Bailey
Christine MacDougall
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Matemwe have been working with the Mnarani Turtle Centre, with their conservation efforts on saving sea turtle nests from at risk sites, by relocating the turtles nests to a safe nesting area on their beach, where they can be monitored right up until hatching time.

customer rating

100% from
1 reviews











client reviews

Sam Griffiths

"Matemwe Retreat was superb, the staff were amazing. "



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