The Manta Resort – Tanzania

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Found on the beautiful and remote Pemba Island in the Archipelago of Zanzibar, off the east coast of Africa, the Manta Resort is the place to be if you want to interact with locals and get closer to nature. Not somewhere you can likely get with a party bus company. You can find cautionary words on the hotel’s website warning that if you’re looking for something high-tech with a lot of bling, then this is not the place for you. This means that there are not more than a few dozen tourists on the island at a time, and on an island of 300 000 people, that means that you don’t have to worry about it being the kind of place where you see more foreigners than locals.

The main hotel area is located on the island, and three different types of rooms are offered, including standard garden rooms, superior garden rooms, and the seafront villas. The standard garden rooms are pretty basic, but beautiful, nonetheless, with en-suite bathrooms and their own verandahs. Be advised, though there is a fan in the room, there is no air-conditioning here. Which I think just makes the experience more authentic. We then have the superior garden rooms, which are bigger and have a view of the sea through the trees. There are four of these rooms, and they are arranged in pairs, with doors separating the paired rooms. You also get your own covered terrace with these babies.

Finally, and second-most-impressively, there are the seafront villas. As you may imagine, these villas have a full view of the sea. They are private and spacious and air-conditioned, and have king size beds. Aw yeah. Further, all the rooms are all-inclusive! That’s right. Food, drinks, kayaks, laundry facilities, wifi, and one spa treatment per day! I know! Sounds pretty good. But we haven’t even talked about the really cool thing about this hotel. The reason it made it onto this blog is its underwater room. That’s right.

A short boat ride into the ocean and you’ll find yourself on your own private floating oasis. Featured in the picture above is the underwater room, which has three separate levels you can enjoy. First, there’s the main level, with a lounge area and a bathroom. Head on up a ladder, and there’s a deck for sunbathing in the daytime and star gazing at night. Can you imagine? You’ve just had a delicious dinner (part of the all-inclusive goodness), you have a happy tummy, you have a glass of wine, and you lie down in the middle of the ocean, no light pollution to speak of, and look at more stars than you’ve probably ever seen as you bob up and down with the waves. Paradise.

But that’s arguably not even the coolest part! The coolest part lies on the third level, that is, the level below the deck level. That’s where your bed is. It sits under the water, and its walls are made of glass, so that you can see all the sea life as it swims by the walls of your room. And at night, the sea around you is illuminated, so that you don’t have to miss a minute of the wonder. Magical.