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“wonderful place,wonderful people”
Review of Pongwe Beach Hotel

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Pongwe Beach Hotel
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Pongwe
Certificate of Excellence
Bedford
Level 3 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“wonderful place,wonderful people”
Reviewed 30 January 2012

This hotel far exceeded our expectations. We travel a great deal, and I had concerns it might prove to be "basic". My fears were totally unfounded.The rooms were cool and comfortable. The food was equal if not better than that we have experienced in 5* hotels, presented beautifully. The staff were warm and friendly, nothing too much trouble,whilst professional. We never tired of exploring the beach, walking was a pleasure with no harrassment. We enjoyed 7 days of total relaxation at Pongwe and loved everything about it.We are hoping to return later this year.

Room Tip: sea view no.10-16
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank SheBedford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Melbourne, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2012

While unfortunately we were unable to stay here because it was fully booked, we spent a wonderful day here as refugees from the ghastly Seasons Lodge two doors down. The management at Pongwe Beach Hotel were very accommodating and gracious which saved our stay in Zanzibar from being a complete disaster. I highly recommend anyone to stay here and cannot think of a better value for money proposition anywhere - thankyou management and staff at Pongwe Beach Hotel.

Seasons Lodge, on the other hand, is the worst hotel we have ever stayed in. Since this is a review of Pongwe Beach Hotel I won't go into detail on Seasons Lodge but am happy to expand on the experience should anyone wish to learn more

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Matthew T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frankfurt, Germany
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 January 2012

The hotel is quite remote, ca. 1h taxi ride from stone town and the airport, the rooms with basic facilities and unfortunately no aircon are direct at the beautiful beach. The beach is perfect, no sellers and most of the time you are the only one on the white sand and a sea of dazzling turquoise.
The staff is friendly and tries to make your stay unforgetable, the catering crew even prepare special requests when it comes to breakfast like the coconut tomato chutney to the omlette, yummie!
The fresh water in the resort is salty like in the shower or in the pool, need to get used to it but after a few days it is ok!
The food in the resort is good swahili cuisine but you depend on the food in the resort as any other restaurant you only reach by taxi which is quite an effort.
A laptop with free internet access is provided at reception which helps to stay in touch with the world!
All in all a great resort to relax for a few days if you like a remote and untouched place!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank Caroline S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2012

I wrote in the guestbook 'If I die, in the unlikely event that I go to heaven, it will probably turn out to be Zanzibar and Pongwe beach.'
We had a fabulous week here: white sand, turquoise ocean, azure sky.The management and staff are friendly and helpful. There was limited menu choice for us as vegetarians but once we had asked the chef he was only too pleased to make a couple of special dishes.
Wish we were there now for happy hour and the cocktail of the day.
p.s. to save on packing for your homeward trip, the staff are always please to be gifted any of your shirts, etc. as a token of gratitude.

Room Tip: All rooms good - beachfront best
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Consort
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 January 2012

We came here for 4 nights at the beginning of November 2011 as a couple for a little downtime after our African safari. The location has both positives (exclusive, pristine stretch of beach patrolled by Masai, raked every morning, great amount of beach lounges, cute flag and bucket arrangement which indicates you want beach meal/drink service) and negatives (isolated so after a few days you need to/want to get out and explore a little which can be quite costly as a result of the vehicle transfers and the snorkeling or boating packages).
Having said all that we did enjoy our stay here - friendly helpful staff, Generally willing to accommodate meal changes I.e dishes off the set lunch menu could be available on the dinner menu if you gave the chef enough notice (however this could be difficult at times because if you were not in the central pavilion for lunch or around that time you often did not see the menu until happy hour, which the waiters then sometimes grumbled at us that we should've let chef know earlier). Breakfast choices were varied but again if you didn't like eggs, then your savory or more filling options other than cereal and fruit were limited. The food can be quite expensive, though it is generally very tasty and fresh seafood is obviously a plus here, we also really enjoyed a lunch break at the bluwater restaurant following our snorkeling trip.
Decor of the bungalows was local and colorful with lovely touches of fresh flowers on our bed, water bottles, colorful robes/wraps to wear on the beach, we had an ocean front one in the middle of 3, noise wasn't a concern, there was always free hammocks and day beds on the beach or the verandah, the Masai guards were super friendly, the staff cleaned thoroughly and delivered thermoses of fresh coffee (average) or hot chocolate (creamy) to your door each morning for you to sip at your leisure. The bathrooms are large and good shower pressure, though the staff do let you know the water is brackish (salty) so you never quite feel clean.
Internet access available in the Lobby with a laptop and a large library with English and foreign books, here you can do a book exchange which is particularly helpful if you're traveling for a long time.
The central pavilion has a great bar overlooking the beautiful sandy beach, options to dine out on the sand, comfortable couches and games (chess, connect 4) which you can use any time.
Day trips and other excursions are offered via other resorts, the prices are quite expensive, and we were disappointed with our snorkeling trip, with limited marine life seen, not much help or information from the guides.
Overall we felt that we had enough time here, it was very beautiful, and tropical, but with limited activities directly at the resort makes you feel a little stir crazy at times if you're like us and need a little variety in your day (a day spa or cooking class would be a great addition).

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
12 Thank KimandJay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2012

Everything you read about this place makes you wonder if it really can be as good as everyone has described it, well don't worry - it is as good and maybe better! We stayed there for 10 days and so wished we could have stayed longer. From the friendly pick up at the airport, through the personal welcome that everyone gets and all of the staff that just make you feel so at home, literally, nothing is too much trouble. The food is simply mouth watering, and yes I have eaten at places in London that claim to be seafood experts, the seared tuna was my favourite and you will not taste calamari like it!
And then to the beach, it is raked every morning, and is small enough to feel exclusive and yet large enough to easily cater for the 16 rooms. In summary, if you are looking for an idyllic tropical beach holiday, at a very reasonable price, then you need look no further.
Thank you Pongwe!!

Room Tip: We stayed in the family room, which is right at the far end of the beach
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
10 Thank Chris A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ohio
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2012

Everything in this property was wonderful, from the people at the front desk to the chef and the groundskeeper.

We had a family room consisting of two attached rooms and it was right on the beach. The beach is wonderful, one of the best in Zanzibar.

The service was excellent. They remember your name and went out of thier way to prepare vegetarian meals for us. They can also set up lunch or dinner right on the beach if you do not want to eat in the dining area.

Pool was good, and there were kayaks for guests' use.

Overall, we had a great time and cannot say enough good things about this place.

Room Tip: If you can, ask for Val's room, or if you are a large family, the family room. These are right o...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
8 Thank Alpanjay
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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