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“We found paradise!”
Review of Pongwe Beach Hotel

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Pongwe Beach Hotel
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Pongwe
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 September 2011

My husband and I stayed at Pongwe beach hotel for 4 nights on our honeymoon. This was our first stop, and after our very hectic lifestyles in London, it is exactly what we needed!

The hotel staff gave us a very warm welcome when we arrived. There was a bottle of champagne in our room with a very sweet congratulatory message from the hotel. We really appreciated this and it was a great start to our holiday! The room was clean and quite large. There were sunbeds on the verandah outside the room, along with a towels/clothes drying rack. The bathroom was a decent size. The only downside was the brackish water in the shower but to be honest, for 4-5 days, it wasn't bad at all! There was no air conditioner, but we didn't need it either!

The beach is supposed to be the best on the island and I seriously doubt you'll find a better beach elsewhere. The water was warm like being in a jacuzzi..different shades of turquoise and white sandy beaches. It's a private beach when the tide comes in, so there are no vendors selling stuff etc. The hotel has an infinity pool which is gorgeous! It's also absolutely necessary because during low tide, the water goes out so far that it is impossible to swim in the sea. It's quite an amazing sight though! Both the pool and the beach have sunbeds/hammocks and it's very relaxing.

The food was really good. They served a full 3 course meal at dinner and a full breakfast (hot and cold) and there was always plenty of choice for lunch. One of the nights, my husband and I had the seafood platter ($40 per person) on the beach and it was beyond amazing! We would have easily paid $150 for the amount of seafood - lobster, crab, prawn, squid..amazing! The only downside concerning food is that the waiters are very persistent and ask about 4-5 times if you are ready for dinner, even if you have given them a specific time.

There is also absolutely nothing to do at Pongwe. If you are looking for a hotel with lots of activities, then this is not the place for you. Yes they have snorkelling and kayaking etc. but in general, besides reading (they have a library), sleeping, eating, sitting on the beach/by the pool, drinking - there is nothing to do! It's a place for honeymooners or couples on a special holiday and not for families.

All in all, our stay was very comfortable and it was the perfect start to our honeymoon. It is truly great value for money - you won't find another place like this for the amount they charge. We would definitely go back again and highly recommend it to those who are looking to have an amazingly relaxing holiday in paradise!

Room Tip: Choose one of the beach facing cottages!
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Smurfette17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 September 2011

I absolutely loved Pongwe Beach Hotel. It has its own beach with pristine white sand and clear warm blue water. When the tide went out there was the infinity pool or you could swim in the sea by walking out a bit further.

We stayed in a family cabin which was huge and had a sensational view over the water.

The management and staff were helpful and pleasant and the food was great. We didn't sign up for the food inclusive package - as we sometimes just wanted a light meal instead of three courses and this worked well for us. One night we had a candle-lit table set up on the sand just for the two of us and we had the most delicious meal of roast lamb.

The only possible downside to the hotel is that if you like to leave the beach paradise and go on an adventure, it is a 1hr drive to town. There aren't any villages or markets or anything that you can get to by foot or bicycle. Personally I had plenty to do - reading on a deck chair, swimming twice a day and lounging around the restaurant was all I had in mind, plus a one-day excursion to Zanzibar Town. My partner who likes to go exploring and mingling with the locals found it too secluded. There were activities available like kayaking.

I guess what I liked the most was the attention to detail such as the welcome drink, the aromatic soaps, the thermos of tea or coffee brought to your cabin when you wake up so you can sit on your deck and drink it before venturing down to breakfast. Besides the awesome beach, it was all these small thoughtful things that made my stay amazing.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank violetvelvet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2011

We had been traveling for 3.5 weeks - climbed Kilimanjaro, did a safari with 30 other people....we were ready for beach time alone. This place is exquisite. Beautiful sand, warm water - secluded accommodations...good food and excellent, friendly service. There is nothing to do here but read your book in the sun, then in the shade, then dip in the ocean, then read in the sun, then back to the shade....(there are snorkeling kayaking opportunities as well). There are hammocks hanging between palm trees - they cut the coconuts down and offered us a drink in the afternoon. We highly recommend this resort for relaxation, sun and sand.

Room Tip: I dont 6think there's a fitness centre!
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Mime57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2011

After climbing Kilimanjaro, we decided to rest in Zanzibar, at the Pongwe Beach Hotel. We booked the hotel airport transfer (pricey, at $50) and took 1 hr drive to the resort. We were greeted by the managers with fresh tropical juice, and we were briefed about the meal times etc. I strongly recommend getting the half-board package (breakfast and dinner), as the food is excellent, and there are no other options nearby, unless you drive 1 hr to Stone Town. The resort is right on a private beautiful beach, with white soft sand, palm trees, lots of hammocks, beach chairs etc. We had a unit 9, ocean view (they also have garden view units). Our room was very simple, with a large bed, sitting area and a bathroom. The bed was beautifully made on arrival, covered with flowers, and we found robes (kangas) and sarongs for us to use. There is no AC (not a problem in September, the breeze goes right through, and the nights are rather cool). There is no TV and internet is available at the reception area only. At first, we didn't like to be so isolated, but soon we adjusted to the slow rythm of the island and we actutally enjoyed it!. We read a lot, took a snorkling trip to the reef, visited a spice plantation and Stone Town. The staff is excellent, very friendly and professional. Would definitely recommend!!!

Room Tip: Choose an ocean view unit. We had unit 9 which was in the middle of a cottage with neighbors of each...
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Kobili
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2011

Wonderful stay. Comfortable 1 hour drive from stone town (keep in mind though that transfers are quite expensive in zanzibar-for my friend and i it was $US80 return between us)

Beautiful beach! Water was lovely to swim in. Beautiful comfortable cabins which had fantastic furnishings. Idyllic infinity pool with an abundance of sunbeds and hammocks along the beach and by the pool. A few beach activities like sea kayaks, fishing and snorkeling trips but this is more the kind of place you go to relax on the beach. We had spent some time on nungwe beach which was crawling with people trying to sell you things but pongwe had nothing like that which was fantastic. The staff were very friendly and attentive. The meals were delicious but did have limited choices.

There was no spa for massages etc - the nearest was an expensive taxi ride away, I think it would be nice if they offered those things as this was the part of our trip we would have loved to have massages on (had been camping for 5 weeks and climbed kili!)

The little touches really made this hotel wonderful
-the beach basket with beach towels and sarongs provided in the room
-the tap at the bottom of the path to the rooms so we could wash the sand off our feet-genius!
-the clothes drying rack for towels and bathers on the verandah
-after checkout they were happy to look after our luggage and happy for us to hang around and even let us keep using their beach basket and towels. There is even a very clean and nice set of showers that we could use before leaving the hotel even though we had technically checked out

The beach is beautiful and hassle free. The hotel is very very nice. I would definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed: September 2011
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1  Thank Shivosulliv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2011

We loved this place, the rooms, the setting, the beach and rocks together are great and tried to get back later in our trip but booked out. It really feels like it looks on the web and the staff were very helpful and enjoyable.
Food was excellent and prices for drinks etc not bad for this quality of place given there is no where else very near by.
Downsides ? Only one really - the bar and dining areas are in one large covered open air setting and it jsut needs breaking up a bit to make it more atmospheric - feels a bit like a barn and you sit on one side for a drink before hand and then move to the table the other for dinner - makes the bar area feel like a bit of a waiitng room. So better lights, and a more defined bar area for those who want to meet other people over a dring?

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank wynjames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2011

The beach here really is fantastic, and is definitely the resort's USP. Apart from a few seaweed farmers in the morning it feels totally private, like something out of a Bounty advert (apart from the seaweed, which isn't that bad really). Food is usually very good although there's limited choice; the staff are very accommodating if you want something else though. We had dinner on the beach twice - definitely recommended and very romantic. Cocktails are great and our favourite was the Stargazer. We had a noisy but cute bushbaby outside our room - good luck getting decent pics of him/her though! The pool is really nice. I was a bit concerned the salty shower would irritate my skin but it was fine. The only downsides are that excursions are (mostly) very expensive; we had wanted to get a massage but the local masseuse's certificate had lapsed and the only other option was a grossly overpriced local spa we'd have had to get a similarly overpriced taxi to. I also think the hotel should try a bit harder in terms of entertainment - live music a couple of times a week wouldn't hurt. Overall though, if you want a relaxing couple's getaway on a very picturesque beach in Zanzibar, I doubt you can get much better than this. We stayed five nights - I wouldn't stay much longer than this though unless you really love your beach holidays, as it is very quiet.

Room Tip: Definitely get a beachfront room if you can!
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank jimbtho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pongwe Beach Hotel

Address: PO Box 297, Pongwe, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Pongwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Pongwe
Price Range: £123 - £163 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Pongwe Beach Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on what could perhaps be described as the best beach in Zanzibar, Pongwe Beach Hotel is a tranquil place where one can escape the hustle and bustle of modern day life. It is modestly sized, with 4 Sea View Suites, 13 traditional Beach Villas as well as 3 Garden Rooms and has an intimate, personal atmosphere. Set within a secluded bay on the east coast of Zanzibar, Pongwe Beach is a true paradise retreat. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pongwe Beach Hotel Zanzibar Island

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