Manta Resort occupies a remote stretch of coast on the northern tip of the Indian Ocean island of Pemba. The island receives very few visitors so if you want to get away from it all, then this could be the perfect choice for your island getaway.
It comes with a rather unique added extra. Manta Resort has an underwater room, yes, that's right! This is something rather different and not available in many places in the world, least of all in this little corner of paradise. Imagine spending the night below the surface of the ocean - superb!
In addition to the Underwater Room, there are 17 makuti thatched rooms for guests. These are made up of Seafront Villas, Superior Garden Rooms and Standard Garden Rooms on offer. Each room type has its own charm and design. They all feature a blend of traditional Pemba decor with added touches for your comfort.
The main areas of Manta Resort aren't short on charm either. The lounge and restaurant overlook the ocean, you can enjoy your meals with wonderful views of a turquoise sea. Sometimes meals are served on the pooldeck for a change of scene. Dishes focus on fresh local produce, locally caught seafood as well as beef, chicken and vegetarian options. These are lovingly prepared by the kitchen staff and flavoured with a distinct Pemba touch. The lounge has ample comfortable seating and also Wi-Fi, relax here with a book, chat with fellow travellers or just lose yourself in the beautiful vistas as you sip on a delicious cocktail at sunset.
This is the perfect place to do nothing and recharge your batteries, you can even book a free daily treatment of your choice at the spa. If you do want to get out and about, then there's plenty on offer from diving and snorkelling to spice tours, village visits and low tide sandbank walks to name a few.
Open: The Manta Resort is open all year round.
Location: The resort is situated at the northern tip of Pemba Island, about 70kms north of Zanzibar. The island’s airport is at Chake Chake and caters for charter and scheduled flights. The lodge arranges taxi transfers from the airport to the resort.
Rooms: Accommodation is in 18 rooms and villas. The star attraction is the underwater room. A three-storey structure anchored 250m from shore. It has a lounge are and bathroom, a sundeck and the underwater bedroom with windows all around. The water is spotlit at night so you can still see some of the marine life. You have your own kayak, snorkels and fins and meals will be served to you at pre-arranged times. The Seafront Villas are spacious with a balcony looking out over the ocean, a king size four-poster bed and an en-suite bathroom. The temperature is controlled by air-conditioning. Superior Garden rooms also have air-conditioning and a king-size four poster bed. There is a large outdoor covered lounge area that overlooks the landscaped gardens. Interconnecting doors make them ideal for families. The Standard Garden Rooms are smaller in size and have a fan rather than air-conditioning. There is an en-suite bathroom and an outdoor veranda where you can relax and enjoy the garden views.
Activities: Swimming and snorkelling are a prime pasttime, diving is also possible with PADI courses available. Manta Resort organises spice tours and excursions to places of interest, such as the ruins of the old capital Jambangone and Ngezi Forest, and you can explore the mangroves by kayak or head out to sea on a catch and release deep sea fishing trip. Included in your stay is a local village school visit and also low tide sandbank walks. At the resort you can relax with a complimentary daily spa treatment.
Facilities: Manta Resort has a restaurant serving local and international cuisine and a bars serving ice cold beers and delicious cocktails. There is a pool and a spa which offers massage, body scrubs, facials, manicure and pedicure. There's a diving and water sports centre and a swimming pool.
Dining: Meals are taken at individual tables, though occasional communal dinners are organised.
Children: Children aged 7 years and over are welcome.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is free Wi-Fi internet access in the lounge area.
The resort is involved with the Kwanini CSR Initiative which aims to help members of the local community improve their future prospects, through education and training, including working within the tourism industry.
The resort has helped build a school in the local village guests can visit to meet children who are benefiting from an education they would otherwise not be able to access.
The Manta Resort has donated land to farmers to grow fresh produce to supply the resort and, in time, the local market.
The hotel's gift shop sells items such as handwoven bags and carved ornamental dhows, made by local ladies who benefit from the extra income. Guests are welcome to meet these ladies should they wish
"A stunning venue in the north of the island. What a ride to get there too - an amazing 1.5 hr road journey from the airport through busy, colourful rural life culminating in an off road, rain-forest safari ride. At Manta everything was beautifully appointed, menus delicious, spa relaxing and all staff ever helpful, attentive and with a great sense of humour. We were blown away by the snorkelling and diving 7am trips to a magical, blue planet world. Although we didn't get there everyone who stayed at the underwater lodge room returned ecstatic. We went instead to visit a village where we met local children, another true highlight."