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“Excellent way to end a safari!”
Review of Pongwe Beach Hotel

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Pongwe Beach Hotel
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Pongwe
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 December 2013

My husband, mother and I came to Zanzibar and stayed at the Pongwe Beach Hotel for a few days at the end of a safari vacation. It was a perfect place to relax and spend some beach time, after a pretty aggressive schedule on a ten day safari vacation in the Serengeti. The property is beautiful. Our rooms were oceanfront and the beach was perfect. When the tide was out and you couldn't swim, you just had to walk over to the infinity pool and swim there. When you get to your room, fresh flowers are on your bed to greet you, and there are hats and robes to for your use at the beach - a really nice touch. The food was really good, and if you didn't like what was on the menu, you could ask for something else. Service was very good, though there was a bit of a language barrier with some of the staff, but that's to be expected, since we were in a different country. I really couldn't have asked for a better way to end a safari vacation. I'd probably give it five stars, if I wasn't still in awe of Sayari Camp where we stayed in the Serengeti, which was really a tough place to leave. Tip 1: Ask the bartender about the bush babies. Tip 2: Check the tide tables when you first get to the hotel. In most of Zanzibar (I hear) it's not easy to swim at low tide, because it's too far out to walk, but if you plan around the tide, you could go to Stone Town (for example) when the tide is low and get back for some beach time at high tide.

Room Tip: The further you are from the dining area, the less likely you are to hear the noise if you decide to...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank WeirdNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 December 2013

Pongwe Beach Hotel is a lovely relatively small hotel, located on one of the most perfect pristine beaches you would hope for. Unbelievable turquoise waters, powder white sands and one of the most gorgeous pools overlooking the beach and sea. The ultimate place to lounge and enjoy beach life at a relaxed pace. The hotel and staff is personal enough to make you feel at home but large enough to allow you to have your space and privacy. Your every need is catered for if not sometimes a little forgetful service, but very friendly and welcoming.

They have very friendly Masai Askaris who are present on the beach and around the property 24 hours which makes you feel very well looked after and you feel the beach is quite private, with absolutely no hawkers unlike other popular places in Zanzibar.

Nothing you ask for is too much trouble and the staff are happy to accommodate requests for lunch/dinner on the beach. We had one of their fantastic seafood platters to share as it was so big - delicious crab claws and great Rosé!

The evening meals and buffets are great and the breakfasts which change daily are plentiful with great choice.

We stayed in the Seaview Suite which is a new block of 4 suites next to each other partitioned off with high walls. The rooms are large and spacious with large doors opening out to your own terrace with large plunge pool overlooking the main pool and sea. They aren't as private as you would like but are more secluded from other guests than the other sea-view bungalows which are right on the beach.

A lovely little touch is your own beach basket with beach towels and a flag to stick in the sand if you require a drink or fresh fruit!

The sea is tidal but wasn't a problem, when the tide is out you can grab a snorkel and fins and walk out to the corals which have lovely fish. Kayaks are also complementary.

The cocktails and happy hours are a great way to start your evening/end your day in the lounge bar overlooking the sea!

Room Tip: Seaview rooms are quite close together but right on the beach, seaview suites are spacious, very com...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Kate_Malone505
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2013

A wonderful hotel with super well-trained staff. The beach is free of hawkers - at high tide, no one could even walk to it! Beautiful white sand, gorgeous gardens and rooms that the pictures cannot do justice to. Also, the food is quite good and great happy hour specials.

Room Tip: Get a room with plunge pool if you can - they are HUGE!
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank desertfogz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2013

The Pongwe beach hotel 5 Nights stay after visiting the most remote part Tanzania was a perfect choice of relaxation

To me this hotel just did just to me from the staff who were very help full and friendly, to the accommodation their rooms were very clean and spacious. Meals at Pongwe
The community around Pongwe are very friendly we could walk freely at the village without disturbance when we did it in the evenings

Did some excursions with the hotel that were perfect arranged from given a very good guide

Thanks every one in Tanzania for the unforgettable memories

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Millermack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2013

The Pongwe Beach Hotel was the perfect place to relax after a week long safari. While obviously smaller than a Caribbean resort, the beach was just as pristine, the rooms were just as (or more) comfortable and the food was infinitely better. The private pool was a wonderful and unexpected touch. We celebrated our anniversary with dinner on the beach and were treated like royalty - just an amazing experience. The people were gracious, friendly, accommodating and a joy to be around.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank BooleanMS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 December 2013

After a dusty, taxing week of safari, Pongwe was the perfect spot for four nights of relaxation. By no means is the place a five-star resort, but the service is beyond compare and the attention to detail on point.

We stayed in a sea-view suite, only a modest upgrade in price from the cottages but newer and inclusive of a private plunge pool. We spent our days on the beach reading, drinking, and jumping in the warm, clear waters of the beautiful, secluded bay, often finishing up our afternoons in the comfortably heated infinity pool. At night we'd enjoy the amazing options from the daily-changing dinner menus, then chat with the friendly bartenders. Our final night, we took to the beach for the candlelit seafood platter dinner (an additional $40 per platter for those on half-board).

We were most impressed with the level of service. We noted that every Tanzanian hotel or lodge we'd stayed at had exceptional service, and Pongwe was among the best. Every member of the staff was unfailingly congenial and helpful. From pickup in Stowe Town to reception to table service to beach and pool service to housekeeping, there was no request too big or small to be taken care of. When my foot grazed a sea urchin while we kayaked in the bay one afternoon, one of the Masai guards (Thomas) broke off the tip of a palm frond and helped me pick the needles out.

Many other reviewers have pointed out the brackish water in the taps as a letdown. My wife and I found this to be only a mild irritation (leaving a slightly sticky feeling afterwards), but it was no big deal. The showers left us feeling sufficiently clean and we felt it a small price to pay for staying eco-conscious.

Otherwise, the little details were notable: the option to bolt or key-lock the back doors of the suite to allow re-entry from the back, a tap before entering the room to allow you to wash sand off your sandals, a beach bag for each room equipped with a flag to have service on the beach. And when we arrived Day 1, a bottle of champagne and note of congratulations was waiting for us. It's clear the owner put much thought toward maximizing the comfort and happiness of guests.

To anyone looking for a relaxing, affordable, sublime beach stay, I'd recommend this place in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sonicw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2013

Pongwe was the perfect finale to Kili, safari and gorillas. The staff was sooo pleasant, always smiling and accommodating. The beach was perfect every morning for a sunrise swim. (The seaweed is raked up). There is no detail forgotten. The snorkeling is good, you can kayak, wine selection is great, a Masaii is available to make jewelery...the pool is stunning...it was perfect!

do not go onteh spice tour...it was a complete let down. It is best to be at Pongwe.

Room Tip: 'Vals room' is the absolute best...walk out the door down to the beach.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank ldysrvyr
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: £92 - £158 (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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