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“Great location, but seems like they cut corners”

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Queen of Sheba Beach Hotel
Ranked #6 of 6 Hotels in Pongwe
Reviewed 30 March 2014

Overall, we enjoyed our 3 days at the Queen of Sheba. We loved the location. The hotel sits on a sandy outcrop of rock over turquoise blue water and white sandy beach - a picture of paradise. The hotel is small and there were only a few other guests, so we had the beach almost to ourselves. The floor of the water is nearly flat, which made for good swimming right by the shore at high tide, or being able to wade hundreds of feet out from the shore at low tide. We booked excursions at the hotel bar and had a romantic three nights by the ocean. However, the hotel itself seems to cut corners. The room didn't really have hot water (it was kind of lukewarm), which wasn't too huge a deal with the tropical climate (with no air conditioning). We did find one cockroach in our bathroom and weren't too impressed with the cleanliness of the room. The service at the restaurant is slow (they recommend putting your dinner order in at lunch so it's ready in time for dinner, but it still was a wait some nights and always a wait at lunch). The food was mostly okay, but we were there for Christmas Day and they served a special meal of barbecued goat. We were excited to try an exotic Christmas Dinner, but the meat was so tough that we could only eat about half of it because we literally could not chew the rest. This hotel is cheaper than many other options on the island, and it feels cheaper, too. I highly recommend the town of Pongwe as a more secluded part of the island with great beaches, but if you can afford a nicer hotel in the area you might enjoy it more.

Room Tip: Pay extra for the two-story beach bungalow
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Rayland44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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28 - 34 of 72 reviews

Reviewed 16 February 2014

We had some great relaxed days with family and kids.
Cozy small place. Good food fresh from sea, nice stuff and owners. Quit silent, Straight at the beach. snorkeling and other acitivities easily organized.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Andi_3333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2014

Stayed here for 4 nights and had an amazing time. The beach was lovely with white sand and crystal clear water. Tide rises in the evening, but the mornings are great for exploring the beach and heading way out to the reef.

Service itself was fantastic as all the staff were extremely helpful and went beyond their duties to make our stay in Zanzibar all it could be. In particular a young man named Ali provided knock out service for our entire stay. The owner of the facility was also extremely helpful in getting us set up for our time after Queen of Sheba and was very generous in showing us the area and local nightlife.

Restaurant was decent. The food was tasty but with a limited menu which is typical for the area. Prices are very fair, including the bar. BUT THEY HAVE GUINNESS.

Pongwe is a more quiet enclave of Zanzibar and Queen of Sheba epitomized this. A very relaxing stay in a clean, well serviced room. The staff even placed fresh flower petals across the bed every afternoon. There are some comments regarding salt water in the plumbing. I can say we did not experience this, so the issue has been fixed as of November 2013. Would come back to this charming place and recommend 100%.

Room Tip: Get on that ocean front baby!
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank rookyyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2014 via mobile

Me and my Fiancé Linda, had a great 5 day stay at this lovley place. The staff was great and the Manager Petra made sure that all our needs were catered for checking on us everyday. Thank you Petra, Fatima, Musa and Helen for the last sweet/romantic dinner you organised for us.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
1  Thank rtdmark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2014

Stayed at the hotel for two weeks. The stay itself was rather pleasant (I do not mind occasional salty water at the showers) and the location was great.

However, for us the experience was totally ruined in the end. When leaving the hotel we found out that some of the money we had left at the hotel safety deposit was changed to fake dollar bills (1200$ worth altogether).

The hotel management played innocent and instead accused us for spreading fake money when we complained about the incident to the local police. We had to stay two extra days on the island and get the help of our country's Honorary Consul to even get the official investigation started. Apparently this kind of thing happens occasionally on Zanzibar.

Ironically, every room at the hotel has a sign reminding guests to leave their valuables to the hotel safe.

The owners of the place (who have a German bank account) have not to this day offered any compensation.

I do not recommend the place.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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6  Thank TKT2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2014

I stayed a few nights at Queen of Sheba, annex of Saint Maria Coral park, in January 2014 and unfortunately would NOT recommend to anyone to stay there for the following reasons:

- (Main issue!) Running water is salty! As you can imagine it's very surprising the first time and not nice to clean yourself after a day at the beach or to brush your teeth!

- No air conditioning which is a must in Zanzibar as the temperatures are very high even at night. There is a van but that's is definitely not enough,

- The beach in the front of the hotel is full of rocks so makes your swim almost impossible without plastic sandals,

- Constant problems with power! The resort has a regenerator for the electricity but won't use it unless you ask!

- The hotel is quite far from everything so it will cost you a fortune to get a taxi anywhere (e.g: 120dollars Paje/return),

- You feel more in someone's property than in a hotel/resort. The directors and their 7years old son have their house next to the hotel so they will always be around, eat at the restaurant, chill at the bar, have their two dogs running around etc. It might not be a issue if the resort is busy but if not you might feel like you are stepping in a family's daily life,

- Expensive for what you get ($50 for a single, $90 for a double, $120 for a triple). You can find a nicer hotel with a better location and facilities (e.g. Internet) for a similar price. Check 'La Madrugada beach resort' or for fans of kite surf 'Paje by night' is the place to be,

- You have to order your dinner min 4hours before you want to eat and the proportions are very small for the price asked,

- Make sure, if you still decide to stay there, you pay everything you order straight away and in Tanzanian shillings otherwise you will have issues with your final bill,

- The vibe is awful, you feel like even the staff is not happy to be there.

Room Tip: I would recommend you to chose a place with a swimming pool. I know it can seem silly but the tight...
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Amandinetravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2014

WOOOOOW!!!! Memorable time at Queen of Sheba as during our December hoilday my boyfriend proposed to me. The staff are great, warm and friendly. Petra (the owner/manager) goes round every morning and evening asking guests how they are and if they are comfortable.
Location is right on the beach and it's in close proximity to other hotels so you can easliy walk there for lunch or dinner (if tide is low).

An all round awesome budget place!!!

Room Tip: Ask for the Serengeti beach bungalow excellent view of the ocean...
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank LKS2703
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Queen of Sheba Beach Hotel

Address: Annex of Santa Maria Coral Park, Pongwe P.O. BOX 4115, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Pongwe
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 6 Hotels in Pongwe
Price Range: £72 - £148 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
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Also Known As:
Queen Of Sheba Beach Hotel Pongwe, Zanzibar Island

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