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All reviews underwater room service fundi fish seafront villa our honeymoon beach bar garden room daily spa treatments spice farm once in a lifetime iced tea manta team scuba dive local community sea view pemba airport superior garden
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Reviewed 13 October 2009

My husband and I stayed for at The Manta Resort for one week in early September and thoroughly enjoyed our holiday. As we had been looking for a genuinely relaxing destination, the beautiful natural setting of Manta Reef met our needs.

The service was magnificent, attentive at all times, yet unobtrusive and no request seemed impossible for them. There isn't a very wide choice of food everyday (normally 2 starters, 2 main courses and a fixed dessert), but it was always of a high standard and so imaginative that we didn't come close to tiring of it.

September is low season on Pemba and during most of our stay there were only a few other guests to be spoiled by the whole Manta staff. We were given an upgrade from Garden Superior to Sea Front Villa, a complimentary dive the day before we left, double spa session to make up for the one we had missed due to it being fully booked when we first arrived, and were even given sandwiches for our journey to the airport. This is the kind of attention to detail that mede our stay so special. The superbly furnished Sea Front Villa and the spectacular surroundings helped, of course.

Regarding the diving, since the new management took up approximately 2 years ago, the Manta Reef has been made a marine park and is therefore protected by law. This means that the area, though not yet in full splendor, is in good process of recovery from the damage caused by the local fishermen. In spite of this, we got our Advanced Open Water there and saw an enormous Hawksbill turtle, leaf fish, clown fish and anemonae and evena manta ray. The staff at the dive centre were professional and competent.

I would whole-heartedly reccommend The Manta Resort to anyone looking to spend a tranquil, relaxing break away from the sound of car engines and mass tourism.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Olati
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2009

I just got back from a wonderful week long stay for my honeymoon and wanted to share some of my experience at the Manta Resort.

The hotel is isolated for sure - but that added to the mistique for me. Rarely these days do you feel like you've found a place in the world living without too much outside influence, much as they have lived for centuries, but Pemba has that feel.

My wife had commented on the ride to the resort after a whole day of flights from the Northern Serengetti and the hour plus long ride from the airport that she didn't the hotel would be worth the effort - immediately after stepping into the hotel's entryway/dining hall and being handed a cold drink to watch the sunset - she turned to me and said "I take it back - this is totally worth it!".

Laurens, Helga and their staff do a wonderful job with the resources available to them. They had two young chefs who served up huge meals everyday - yes the meals are seafood heavy - but you ARE on an island in the indian ocean - what can you expect?

Our "butler" Shabani and the entire service staff was really nice. He spend almost two hours one night setting up an amazing feast on the beach, complete with heart shaped flower arrangements and a bed to stargaze when we were done. As the service staff is all local, there can be significant language difficulties, but everyone there is working really hard to improve their english and i imagine they will improve greatly over the months to come. In any event, Laurens or the other managers are always around to help you out.

We really feel like the Manta went out of its way to ensure an awesome trip for us - they scheduled impromptu boat trips when a whale appeared off the house reef one morning during breakfast, and tailored the cultural excursions to our timeline.

I'd go back in a heartbeat if it wasn't on the other side of the world. Bottom line - you won't be disappointed if you go with the knowledge that you are isolated in a developing tropical country and you won't have ALL the comforts you are used to. That said - there is little that is left wanting - except for maybe more time!

Thanks Shabani, Laurens and crew for an awesome honeymoon!

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank MikeG12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2009

Pemba island is simply amazing.
He have read a lot of comments on tripadvisor, and personally feel a lot of comments are too long, so we will be short and sweet.

We arrived at the resort after an exhausting week on safari, and even though we were tired found the drive from the airport really interesting. We never expected such a good road, most of the way.
The package we booked was not cheap, so we did expect a good level of service, food, etc. We stayed in a new seafront villa. It was clean and with the balcony sliding doors open, we had the Pemba channel all to ourselves.

The week spent here was wonderful. We did a lot of cultural stuff; went to the fishmarket, walked in the ancient Ngezi Forest, kayak, went for a picnic lunch to a beach called vumawinbi, as well as a spice and flying fox tour. We even met the children at the private little English school which one of the resort staff teaches. This was all interesting for us, as we live in a very urban South African area.

The service was top class, and the food very creative and fresh. We loved seeing fresh seafood sold to the resort from local fishermen every morning. We even saw fresh lobster sold to the resort one morning, and had a delicous seafood platter for dinner!
My wife took advantage of the massages included in our rate, and told me Mary, the therapist, was very good.

In summary, we like the new rate which includes everything, you only need to pay a small supplement for diving, which we did not do, as we are not divers.
We would love to return to Manta Resort one day, luckily it's not as far from South Africa with the 1time flight to Zanzibar.
Back to work to save some money for our next adventure!!!!!

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank brucek370
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2009

We stayed at the Manta Resort at the beginning of April 2009 and we did not like the place. At Pemba Airport we were picked up by a local driver. The drive to the resort took about 1 1/4 hours and would have been nice if the driver hadn't been driving like Mad Max. On arrival at the resort we were met by Juma who offered us a drink on the deck and explained us all the things we needed to know about the place. The room we had booked was one of the newly built luxury seafront villas. It was spacious with a large veranda overlooking the sea but not very nicely decorated. Our first dinner was a nice seafood platter served on the main deck from where we enjoyed a lovely sunset. The breakfast the following morning was everything else but 5 star like. Besides some good small bananas we received a piece of unripe pineapple, two pieces of toast, a glass of marmelade with ants inside and some old expired greasy peanut butter.
The staff was very helpful and friendly but very unprofessional. The pool area overlooking the sea is furnished with old wooden beach chairs and there is hardly no vegetation around the pool such as a lovely palm tree. The shower close to the pool was out of order and the two toilets in the pool area were the most uninviting looking toilets we had ever seen in any so called 5 star hotel. The "newly" renovated pool/beach bar looked oldish with unconfortable chairs and the bar itself was never open. The beach looks nice at high tide but swimming is impossible at low tide. Our two dives were OK, we saw a lot of nice coral but very few fish.
As my wife and I did not like the place (it's maybe a 2 star hotel but never ever a 5 star place as they call it) we spoke to the managers Helga and Laurens that we wanted to leave as soon as possible - but unfortunately they said we wouldn't get any money back. This was the only reason we stayed for five nights.
We have both been working in the travel industry for many years and travelled to a lot of countries in the world and seen many nice places - but we have never stayed in such an overpriced place as the manta resort anywhere in the world. We could never recommend this place to anyone as the prices for what you get are just ridiculous.
Martin & Nicole, Switzerland

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Cervelat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2009

If you are looking for: a) Excellent and personal service; b) a place off the beaten track; c) wonderful snorkelling; d) interesting tours; e) rustic but very elegant accommodation - this is the place for you!!

Peet

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank peetvdyk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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