First I thought of not writing this review -keeping Shamba Kilole Eco Lodge a little bit of a secret- but that simply wouldn't do justice to the owners Marco and Francesca and the staff. What a special place this is! The lodge is relatively new (opened Christmas 2009), smallscale (just 3 suites and 3 chalets) and very tastefully designed/decorated, with much respect to the (very green) surroundings.
The five star reviews are quite right - this is an absolutely fantastic place to stay, especially if you like snorkelling and diving. The lodges themselves are beautifully constructed and the main lodge is very African. The lodge is within the Marine Park & the coral & fish are wonderful - I saw three turtles during our stay.
I stayed for 2 weeks (orginally planned just 1 week ...) in which I very much enjoyed the personal and professional attitude of Marco (unfortunately Francesca was not present at the moment of my stay) and the staff. Everything is done with a lot of care and attention.
That surely includes the food, which is just excellent. A mix of Italian and local dishes (the tamarinde chutney, the cigale, ....), with few meat and much fish.
If you come to this side of the island for scuba diving -as I did- then you're certainly at the right place.
Marco is a very experienced divemaster (trained me to become advanced diver) and is associated with the nearby dive center "Big Blu", runned by Mario and Mattia.
These guys can arrange all sorts of dives to all sorts of sites (Mange Reef!), depending on tides.
I also stayed a couple of nights on the west side of the island: at Butima Beach (to swim with the whalesharks: incredible experience) and at Ras Mbisi (to walk the fine beaches).
And although these lodges certainly also provide you with high level comfort and relaxing, it was the very personal atmosphere which for me makes Shamba Kilole definitely the best of these three.
You need to fast before you go - the food is tremendous