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“Fabulous”
Review of Pongwe Beach Hotel

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Pongwe Beach Hotel
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Pongwe
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 February 2014

Pongwe Beach Hotel was absolutely superb - a great place to relax after a demanding safari. Quite small - only seems like a handful of 'beach huts' which makes it seem very exclusive. Very friendly staff. The style and decor was quite 'African' - much preferable, in my opinion, to a modern style hotel. No problem sleeping at night due to the regular sea breeze which kept us cool as well as the overhead fan in the room. Lovely large bed with mosquito nets but I didn't see a mosquito while I was there. Tea delivered to the veranda each morning. Beach was like a paradise - white sands and warm water. Infinity pool made a nice change from the beach. Staff climbed the nearby trees and prepared coconuts for us to drink and eat one afternoon and 'Captain Ali' offered to go and collect us fresh mangoes which we ate the next day. Only criticisms at all were that the snorkelling masks were not very good - if you're a keen snorkeller then take your own. And, the free laptop to internet was so slow as to be unusable though I didn't bother to mention it - and they charged for wireless which wasn't particularly fast. That said, who wants to waste time on the internet when the Indian ocean is just outside? My wife and I agreed we would certainly go there again.
Food was the best we had during our trip around Tanzania.

Room Tip: Most of the rooms seem to be right on the beach but a few may be slightly stepped back - I would cho...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank James N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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299 - 305 of 901 reviews

Reviewed 16 February 2014

Location: beautiful and quiet beach with no disturbances. So much space for just some 40 or so guests (maximum). There must be 2 or 3 sun beds for each guest, so it never gets crowded. The pool is nice, but with such a wide beach we preferred to be at the beach most of the time.

Food: best food so far in Africa (3 trips with some 10-12 places to compare with). No problem with our stomachs. Choose the sea food, which is local!

Room: nice and generous bungalow with sun beds outside and a nice view over the beach. There is no air-condition - only a ceiling propeller and sea breeze through mosquito netted windows. Minor problems with our shower spilling on the floor (but we heard other guests did not have the same problem). No safe in the room, (there is one in the reception) but the feeling is that the place is very safe and they have discrete masai security guards 24/7.

Staff: very nice people that seems to enjoy their jobs. No individual tipping, but tipping in an envelope to be shared by all staff when you pay the bill upon departure. In my opinion this is the best solution. You get personal with the staff if you want.

Other: this is not a big five star hotel, but in my opinion much better - smaller and more intimate. Look for the "bush babies" in the evening - such sweet animals!

This is a place to which we would be happy to come back!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank FF_from_Sweden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2014

After a hectic 10 day safari in Kenya and Tanzania, in early January, my wife and I spent a wonderful 3 nights at Pongwe Beach Hotel. While checking in at reception we had our first glimpse of what is a tropical paradise beach. Our ocean view room was very comfortable, and it was nice to have a ocean breeze in the evening to cool things down. The staff were always very helpful and friendly, and the food was excellent. The water temperature in both the ocean and pool was very comfortable, and relaxing in the shade on the beach was a perfect way to find down after our safari.

Room Tip: An ocean view room is the way to go.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Steve G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2014

Pongwe Beach Hotel is set on a most beautiful small beach with Dining Room and Bar looking out over palm trees soft sand and onto beautiful green waters of the Indian Ocean. The staff are friendly and helpful. Food good on the whole - a few strange things but that all added to the originality and "African" attraction of it all. Our room was older than I expected and looking a little worn - the bathroom floor stayed constantly wet all week with the humidty so you had to be careful not to slip. Its salt water showers - we were aware of that - water has to be brought into the hotel for cooking / drinking. They were ok and perfectly acceptable and necessary.
the beach was quiet, plenty of sunloungers and hammocks. The pool nice and never busy. Staff occasionally struggled to understand English but always tried hard and with a smile. The hotels boat is great and Ali and his helper are both so helpful and fantastic guys. we did snorkelling - or rather I tried! and fishing. Local village next door is friendly - they do appreciate if you dress appropriately and show respect. We are after all invading their village.

We stayed 6 nights and that was maybe just a little too long as there is little to do apart from swim read relax and eat doing that for a few days fine - 6 was a bit too long but that's me
Trip to Stonetown is well worth it but its an hour away so you either book one car or offer to share and if they can manage that then it reduces the cost.
It is very much a honeymoon paradise.

Garden well tended. Room clean cup of tea brought every morning to veranda about 7 - much appreciated. Staff could not do enough to help including management which was brilliant

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Catherine R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2014

This place is heavenly. It is small and friendly, and I think does feel very African. There are 4 new rooms since we last stayed here 3 years ago but very tastefully done, and still rarely see other people on the beach or at the pool.

The shower water is slightly salty, and there is no air-con, but for me this all adds to the charm of the place. I walked both ways along the beach by myself (female) and although approached by a few locals trying to sell trips, never felt threatened at all, and they left me alone if I said 'no thanks' - especially if you learn a few words of Swahilli! I also walked on my own through the local village, and chatted to the locals and some kids with just a few Swahili phrases, and was made to feel very welcome.

There really is nothing to do other than relax, read, eat and drink, but for a couple who talk to the public all day every day, this is a perfect retreat for us. We stayed for 2 weeks, which is not he norm, but still in no way bored. we've been to the Maldives a few times but prefer Pongwe because of its rustic charm, and way cheaper!

If you expect 5 star British or American hotel standards you'll be disappointed, but if you go to enjoy it for what it is you should love it.

We will be back for another 2 weeks next year.

Zoe and Karen

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Zoe W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2014

stayed 2 nights. only a pity we didnt stay longer
incredibly helpful and friendly staff- thanks!
good bar.service was excellent.lovely food.always plenty of bottled water in rooms
beach is gorgeous - also plenty of hammocks, sunloungers, shade when you need it
daily excursions to go snorkelling/fishing. will do all they can to make the holiday
cool infinity pool.could hrdly ask for more

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank tommyfitz84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2014

There is hardly anything to complain about the place - nice bedrooms, amazing swimming pool, very professional staff. We had a great time but we stayed only 2 nights. I think we would have gotten bored had we stayed longer. There are some minus points not related to the quality of the hotel that make me go for the 4 stars - as mentioned by other users it is extremely artificial and very travel agency like. There is absolutely no African feel to it. The beach although paradise like is very very small and if you walk (as a woman alone) outside its boundaries you get picked on by locals (which hadn't happened in matemwe for instance). When we were there we felt the hotel was quite full which made the small beach feel crowded when compared to others in Zanzibar. The restaurant is far to expensive and although a high end hotel you have to pay for the Internet. Thankfully we had a jeep otherwise the transfer is a robbery.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Ines V
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: £127 - £174 (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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