Pole Pole

Reviews of Pole Pole

Excellent(94%) From 89 travellers
Excellent
63
Good
24
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 89 of our travellers who have visited Pole Pole, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mr N from Canterbury
Arrived on: 27-Aug-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Great relaxation at Pole Pole

Beautiful facility with excellent food with an Italian influence. Manager Alex was very good as were the well trained staff. The rooms were very good only let down by mosquitos getting inside the bednetting and getting extensively bitten. Could be cured by earlier lowering of the nets before dusk I think.

The grounds were excellent but swimming in the sea not really viable due to lack of depth.

Representative from the local dive centre visited every evening at 7 pm to advise on potential activities in the following day. We went to see turtles hatching on another island and also visited two villages on tours, just ourselves and a guide... most interesting.

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Mr & Mrs W from Grantham
Arrived on: 22-Feb-2018 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Average
Average
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Average
Average
Facilities:
Good
Good

Pole Pole review

A comfortable, boutique type hotel with a lovely swimming pool and lots of small places to sit and read or watch the sea or simply integrate all the sounds and sights of our safari.

The food was plentiful and what was really good was the system of choosing what you wanted to eat for lunch and dinner at breakfast time as it meant you were not automatically served four courses if you only wanted two. The english of the staff is a bit patchy and I had made the mistake of saying that I would eat fish. At home I stick to a predominantly vegetarian diet but will eat fish if it makes someone's life easier. The staff at pole pole interpreted this as being that I would eat fish for every course, other then dessert, at lunch and dinner each day. When I said I didn't want to eat fish every day and could I see a vegetarian menu they said there wasn't one. I did speak to the customer relations manager to say I didn't think they had understood that I wanted to eat vegetarian food and could he just make sure that the restaurant staff knew, but again this was lost in translation and there was no supper for me the first evening. I stuck to my guns and they gave me some curried vegetables but thereafter I was offered vegetarian food.

Against this, however, they were incredibly helpful and went out and bought flipflops for my husband as he had forgotten to bring his - so I am sure the mix up was a language issue.

There is good diving as it is set in the Marine Park and is a good base if you don't want to be surrounded by too many people.




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Mr & Mrs M from Canada
Arrived on: 4-Feb-2018 Stayed for: 6 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

The best service Ever!

Excellent service, super friendly helpful staff. Daily excursions were great. The food was excellent. We were extremely happy with this choice!!

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Drs C & C from Hove
Arrived on: 25-Nov-2017 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

POle POle

Be aware they try to give you a lot of food. Pasta course as well as starter and main and dessert. Ask for less courses and half portions. They are responsive and I think give you about what you ate the day before on subsequent days so do let them know if you are starving (unlikely!)

It is really very hot there. Fans do help but it is hot at night without air con.

The whale shark tour is marvellous. Whilst we were there two Americans refused to sign the liability waiver and were refused access to the tour. It was illegible but our view on these things is that you have to decide for yourself if the trip is something you want to do and if you are happy with the activities planned. Those waivers are not worth the paper they are written on! There was some bad feeling I think about the South African chap who owns outfit and a nearby hotel.

Snorkelling is really very very good.

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Mrs G from London
Arrived on: 28-Oct-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

A great end to an amazing honeymoon

Having been off grid for the rest of our honeymoon we had mixed emotions about moving onto Pole Pole for the last part of our trip but Pole Pole has a good balance between rustic charm and modern convenience. The staff were attentive and professional and made every effort to make our stay a memorable one.

The food was to a very high standard and we were treated to a private meal as we were on our honeymoon as well as very relaxing massages in the spa.

A number of activities were included in our stay here including a very good snorkeling trip with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide. The resort is very small so it was easy to find a spot to relax by ourselves to enjoy the tropical island breeze.

We would definitely recommend Pole Pole to those who want to escape modern life but still expect some creature comforts.

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Ms P from London
Arrived on: 25-Sep-2017 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Average
Average
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Great place to chill out

Pole Pole was a wonderful spot to chill out for a few days - the lodge is simple and rustic, with a small but very pleasant beach in front, excellent food (highlights included ceviche and a traditional Tanzanian dinner) and friendly staff.

Any time in the room was mostly spent on the wonderful veranda, which boasted a mosquito-netted day bed and lovely views of the lush gardens and the sea. Bathrooms are rather dated, however, and detracted from the overall quality, which is a shame.

I loved having tea delivered to our room each morning before breakfast, and in the evenings, the bar whipped up some seriously good cocktails, too. There's wifi by the pool, which mostly worked well.

The dive shop - a high-quality operation - is just a ten-minute walk long the beach and diving was very good, with some very impressive coral reefs.

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Mr & Mrs H from London
Arrived on: 8-Dec-2016 Stayed for: 5 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Amazing stay!

Very relaxing stay at this very special place. It all felt very intimate/private, almost like we had the place to ourselves.

Hosts and staff were super friendly and very accommodating/flexible (e.g. changing the menu to our taste, arranging a romantic candle light dinner away from the other guests, dinner on the beach).

Diving and excursions were lots of fun and super easy to organise the night before.

Really enjoyed our stay! Highly recommended.

Tide can be a bit of a pain if you want to swim in the ocean.

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Mr & Mrs B from Winchester
Arrived on: 1-Nov-2016 Stayed for: 6 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Relaxing paradise at Pole Pole

Lovely location by the beach, with views over to Chole Island. Rustic rooms with balconies to enjoy the views. Very hard bed - like sleeping on planks.
Our showers was in need of maintenance - weak flow and poor heating controls. Nice old propeller fans to provide some temperature control, negated on several occasions by power cuts.
Mosquitos were a problem in the reception area, where we were given the welcome briefing.
Food generally good, and restaurant service speed and delivery improved after we implemented breakfast orders on the night before - the only way to get through breakfast in time to enjoy the inclusive activities.
The watersports/dive centre team (David and Mateis) were excellent - the complimentary activities much enjoyed - snorkelling on the reefs, dhow sailing trips, visit to Chole Island, BBQ on the sandbar, etc
We did fill in the feedback form at PolePole, and they responded helpfully, which should benefit future guests.

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Mr P from UK
Arrived on: 12-Oct-2016 Stayed for: 5 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Total relaxation at Pole Pole

We had a totally relaxing break at Pole Pole following our safari - a well earned rest! The facilities were great and the bungalow well equipped, but possible a little dark especially the bathroom. The staff were friendly and professional and always on hand when required.

The pool was great with plenty of shade to get out of the sun if required. The beach was a little disappointing, mainly because of the tidal nature, however the staff did an excellent job of clearing the seaweed each morning.

The food was good, but some of the dishes were a little dry and some a little too highly spiced for my wife's palate. Having said that, we were offered alternative options.

The activities were good and it was particularly helpful having time with the dive centre staff each evening to plan our activities. The massage at the spa was excellent and a great start to our relaxation.

The only criticism is that they allowed smoking in the restaurant area - this made our final evening meal rather unpleasant.

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Mr & Mrs M from Gloucester
Arrived on: 28-Sep-2016 Stayed for: 7 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Relaxed post safari stay

Mafia Island is unlike Zanzibar and is not touristy at all. The island boasts just a few lodges of which Pole Pole is reputed to be the best, and we would certainly not argue with that. With just 7 bungalows, the atmosphere is relaxed, the service impeccable (they cannot do enough for you), the food amazing with lots of seafood but other options too.

One activity was included every day within our room rate. Every evening before dinner the guests congregate for pre-dinner drinks, a chat, and discussion with the manager of the local dive and excursion centre with whom the activities take place to decide what to do the next day based on tide and availability. Other activities are available in addition to those included.

The bungalows are a good size with mosquito nets (necessary) and a deck to sit out on. The bathroom has twin basins, toilet, bidet and shower. My only gripe would be that there was only one UK style plug (the norm in Tanzania), a couple of unexpected European style plugs, and a number of Italian style plugs! There is a pool and a spa on site for massage and manicures etc which was also very good.

Overall we had a great time, enjoyed all the activities, and felt it met our expectations all round. Our thanks to Paola, Marina and Mussa who are very hands on and make sure that everything runs so well.

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