Matemwe Retreat

romantic private villas


NB: Matemwe Retreat is currently closed for refurbishments…

Opening in May 2025





The romantic Matemwe Retreat is located on an amazing stretch of private land, just north of Matemwe Lodge and directly opposite Mnemba Island. Each villa boasts a personal butler service, an amazing roof deck (with private plunge pool) and a huge romantic bathtub overlooking the Indian Ocean.

Super stylish, romantic and very private… these villas are honeymoon heaven!

Property Type
luxury beach lodge
4 villas
adults only
dive centre offsite
in villa or spa

Matemwe Retreat consists of only 4 Villas, and is very small and exclusive.

Each villa has its own butler, who will take care of your every need.

It's all about privacy. Meals are all served in your villa, anytime that suits you.

The beautiful double story villas are a unique mix of rustic, elegant and romantic… and the rooftop is an amazing spot to hang out. It has great views over the ocean, a plunge pool and shower, and a stunning chill area.

If you feel like socializing, you’re welcome at the bar, restaurant and pools of Matemwe Lodge (the Retreat’s sister property) next door.

The beach directly at Matemwe Retreat consists of several small rocky coves, and swimming is only possible at high tide… but you have your own private plunge pool, and Matemwe’s long white beach is a short walk away!

Matemwe Retreat consists of 4 fabulous, separate and very private villas… full of atmosphere, inspiration and personal touches.

The ground floor of each villa (150 m2, including verandahs) features:

  • a private cocktail bar,
  • an air-conditioned bedroom,
  • WiFi,
  • a bathroom with double basins, shower and large romantic bathtub overlooking the Indian Ocean.

The best part of each villa is the plunge pool on the private roof terrace (60 m2)… complete with sun and shade decks!

Matemwe 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 at Matemwe Retreat is made from locally produced coconut wood. Soft furnishings are produced by Zanzibari women and the matting by the blind association in Stone Town.

The sun supplies hot water to the lodge through a solar system. Materials from outside Zanzibar have only been used if they could not be obtained locally or the quality was not good enough. Over 60% of the staff in the lodge are from the villages close to Matemwe.

The service at Matemwe Retreat is excellent, and your meals are served on the private veranda of your room, by your own personal butler.

Each day the manager or chef will stop by to discuss your lunch and dinner preferences: the catch of the day served in the privacy of your garden or roof terrace – or a dinner at Matemwe’s Main Lodge, where you can enjoy the company of other guests.

Drinks are served in the room or on the beach and you can have massages and beauty treatments in the comfort of your roof terrace, overlooking the Indian Ocean.

Matemwe Retreat is a perfect place for relaxation as well as water activities. When staying here, ocean trips with snorkeling equipment can be easily arranged for you. You can sail or motor out to the local reef and discover the little island of Mnemba Atoll – right opposite Matemwe Retreat.

Diving trips can also be organized for you with a professional diving center and you can discover the breathtaking underwater world of the Indian Ocean. You can also snorkel straight from the beach or during reef walks.

Local snorkeling/diving sites are suitable for all levels of experience, from beginners to experienced divers. Variety is the key word on the reefs around Matemwe: soft and hard corals, sponges and anemones abound, and you will be amazed by the sheer range of fish species in these waters. You might find dolphins in the water that come close to your boat to show off or – for the lucky ones – even spot a whale passing by the reef (best chance for whales in the period August – October).

Kayaks are available to explore the crystal clear sea.

Visits to the neighboring village can be arranged for those who want to explore the local Zanzibar culture and village life and for those who wish to learn about the community projects that Matemwe is involved in.

From Matemwe Retreat, day-trips can be arranged to the historic centre of Stone Town, Jozani Forest or Prison Island. Management can also organize a Spice Tour for you, a highly interesting way to learn about the great variety of spices that the island is famous for – and who knows: maybe you will be inspired to cook some Zanzibari dishes yourself when you get home!

Massages, manicures, pedicures, Henna, hair braiding, waxing and facials can all be arranged – either in the privacy of your villa, or the spa at Matemwe Lodge (next door).

Located at Matemwe Main Lodge, and set on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean and Mnemba Atoll, the Sea and Spice Spa offers international standard treatments which take their inspiration from the Spice Island and African continent. Whether you have been on safari, climbed Kilimanjaro or are just relaxing on the beach, the Sea and Spice spa is the ideal place to rejuvenate.

The Sea and Spice Spa is proud to only use products made in Africa. The spa stocks Healing Earth, a premium organic spa brand inspired by Africa’s ancient energy and healing traditions.

Map & Location