Reviews of Sunshine Marine Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
End of the Rocky Road
The journey from the airport and the west coast by Stone Town across to the north eastern side of Zanzibar was more than worth it. Firstly I experienced the drive through multiple villages and changes in the vegetation. I went to Marine lodge principally to take up my diving again from 7 or so years ago.
The location with an infinity pool that stretches across the Indian ocean towards Mnemba atoll was stunning and more so because my lodge with its wooden balcony looked straight across at it. Set in a jewel of winding gardens and a lazy holiday atmosphere it was perfect for healing my broken heart at leaving the Serengeti.
A refresher dive in the pool and 2 days of diving helped cure all of that. I had swapped grassland for the ocean with octopus, groupers, stone fish and shoals of rainbow coloured fish. Tea and cake between dives was great and their level of attention and safety was extremely good.
I'm no chicken and although not a large person…gettin me into the water kitted up, well they deserve medals. We laughed a lot.
The hotel gave me everything I asked for, trips to the Spice farm…well worth itt…and the Stone town visit as well as a dubious sail in a small mango boat were on my agenda but the funniest part was the trip to the beach. The boat for transport to the little beach was broken so the barman would drop everything to taxi me to and fro, quite charming and bizarre at the same time. If I wished for anything, it would be that the plastic bottles washed up could be cleared away, such a beautiful coastline.
sunshine marine lodge review
fabulous resort, very relaxed and friendlyRead more about the whole trip
Sunshine Marine Lodge review
We were really disappointed with Sunshine Marine Lodge. Whilst a great mid-range option for a family holiday, it was totally unsuitable for honeymooners. Fortunately we were able to be upgraded for a few nights, which made a huge difference, but it's simply not an appropriate recommendation for a romantic holiday. The standard banda rooms offer absolutely no privacy to the point that you could hear people coughing in the next door room - at one time my husband had to shout at a young boy watching me in the shower from the stairs up to his room through the mosquito netting! - the hotel did not seem to cater particularly for honeymooners, for the second half of the trip the place was over-run with kids jumping and splashing about in the pool, including, from what we could tell, the manager's kids, so we had very little peace - great for families (and we may even return in the future with a family subject to other improvements) but absolutely not right for a romantic trip in any way. This is obviously an issue with the travel advice provided by Expert Africa rather than the hotel, of course. We cannot emphasise enough that this should not be recommended for people on honeymoon.
On the hotel itself, the setting was great - really beautiful view of Mnemba and very secluded. It was a very lovely spot.
The standard rooms are quite basic but fine. The room we were upgraded to (room 1) was really lovely - again fairly basic, but much more spacious, much more private and with amazing and uninterrupted views. There is an odd habit of putting ant covered flowers on the bed for new guests, which means the bed is then over-run by ants... I would suggest that they stop doing this or wash the flowers first! If you are going then you must ensure you get the Blue Breeze suite to have any sort of privacy.
We went on an enjoyable snorkelling trip, though it was cut short because the manager had agreed to take out a group who had to return early for their flight. We didn't know this until we were on the boat and we weren't given any discount or any offer to stay out for longer or go out again, which is quite poor... I think we were in the water for all of 10 minutes on the second dip.
The service was mostly very average, on some occasions bordering on rude. It seemed to improve towards the end of the week.
Apart from the lack of privacy, the major problem with Sunshine Marine Lodge was the food. The upside being that I lost weight because it was mostly inedible. Given that there is no other option for food as the hotel is so remote, this has to be improved. It was really, really appalling and it should be so easy to offer simple and fresh seafood and salads. The food is genuinely terrible. Especially given we had been on safari the week before where they had managed to make amazing food in the middle of the African bush.
Expert Africa comments
We were really sorry to hear that this couple were disappointed with their stay at Sunshine Marine Lodge, as was the lodge when we passed the feedback through. In hindsight we should have perhaps have explored a greater variety of options with varying luxury and budget, and, had we understood they were looking for something more private we would have encouraged them to stay in one of the premier room types. It was great that they contacted us whilst they were away as this enabled us to help rectify the problem as best we could immediately; and we encourage other travellers do the same, should they ever have similar problems. We were delighted to find out that their stay improved when they were upgraded.
Sunshine Marine Lodge does not accept children under the age of 10 and it is well suited for young adults. We were therefore surprised to hear that there were any children at the lodge at all, and can only imagine that because it was the Christmas period there were more families there than usual. This is something that we have brought up with the lodge and we will monitor closely.
We have visited Sunshine Marine recently, and were really impressed, and the reviews from other travellers have been very positive. However, the lodge is relatively new, and it seems like they are still finding their feet a little. We are working with the lodge to resolve these points, and will keep a close eye on them.
Total relaxation at Sunshine Marine Lodge
Beautiful rooms and setting. A week of complete relaxation.Read more about the whole trip
Very relaxing and great snorkelling!
We had a very relaxing and enjoyable time at the Sunshine Marine Lodge. The quality of the accommodation and service was excellent - and the food also very good.
The location and views from the balcony over the ocean and Mnemwe island were spectacular! Our 2 children learnt to dive at the specialist diving centre at the lodge - and we all went out to beautiful coral reef where we snorkelled and the kids dived. We all felt totally rested after our visit!