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“Paradise”
Review of Pongwe Beach Hotel

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Pongwe Beach Hotel
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Pongwe
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Paradise”
Reviewed 20 April 2014

After travelling along some rough roads for safari the week before, this was the perfect place to put up our feet and relax. The beach is beautiful and isolated which was great since there were few other guests during our stay. This meant it was nice and quiet in our bungalow and around the grounds. This is a perfect place to unplug and unwind, not for a homebase to then explore the rest of the island. If you had the need for entertainment, the bar in the main lodge was always open with music playing and games on hand to play (there is a computer in reception that we could use if needed). The food was fresh and delicious but would have been deemed overpriced had we not had it included in our room rate. We really didn't want to leave when it was time to head back to civilisation!!

Room Tip: Beach side bungalow seemed the way to go here especially in low season as few other guests meaning y...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Cobbtastic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Hoddesdon, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed 2 April 2014

When planning the end of our Tanzanian holiday and safari our tour operator 2 by 2 holidays suggested Pongwe beach we immediately looked at the great reviews on TAso we had a very high expectation, but when we arrived it exceeded all our expectation on so many levels! Accommodation was lovely, food amazing, different menu every day even breakfast! All staff were delightful, very friendly, helpful as well as professional. The location was out of this world it was like breathing out when we arrived and not having to breath in till we unfortunately had to leave to return to everyday world, total relaxation nothing was too much trouble! The beach and hotel were immaculate and the beach was by far the best in the area. We are planning to return for a two week stay just as soon as we can!!

Room Tip: We stayed in room 19 which had its own pool and was one of the more modern rooms.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank J-J2309
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2014

My husband and I stayed 5 days at Pongwe and I actually cried when we left as I didn’t want to leave!

From the moment we arrived, got out of the car and stepped straight into warm sand we knew that we were about to sink into the most delicious state of relaxation!

And we were not wrong! I had no idea you could be as relaxed as we were. Every day was another layer of beautiful unwind time reading, walking, looking out at the every changing canvas of the ocean and sky and sleeping. There were options to be more active but as we had travelled with a non-stop go go go itinerary for 5 weeks we were thrilled to just chill out.
We stayed at one of the villas with a plunge pool and loved the space we had. In fact, if I’m honest, when we were shown to our room I did a bit of a crazy happy dance once we were left alone. It was such a beautiful rustic space.

The general swimming pool was also gorgeous and you can literally lose hours by that pool! In fact, when I’m not back at the gym now and struggling through an exercise I literally close my eyes and the scene I go back to to get me through is looking out over the pool and then the ocean at Pongwe…..deep blues, ocean breeze blowing, peaceful, warm sunshine……

The staff are great, friendly and just so warm. I had daily help with my Swahili which was brilliant! We shared lots of laughs with the team and absolutely loved getting to know Glenn and Rose who are the managers. They made us feel very at home!!

The food was delicious and they accommodated me being dairy and gluten free which isn’t easy!

We absolutely highly recommend this place for those who enjoy a rustic experience and are able to immerse in relaxation.

Room Tip: Highly recommend the villas with plunge pool but I think that just about anywhere at this place woul...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Annie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Centennial, Colorado
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2014 via mobile

We spent 4 nights here after an eleven day safari. We wanted a nice place to relax on a beach after our safari and we got it. We made reservations through our safari company and the price wasn't bad.We got 4 nights of one of the beach front cottages with small private pool, half board and transfers to and from the airport for $600. Since transfers to the airport are $50 one way, I thought the price was quite reasonable.
Pongwe Beach Hotel is very nice. It doesn't have many rooms so it never seems crowded. When the tide is in, the beach is beautiful with soft white sand and when the tide is out, you can walk a long way out. You have a choice whether to hang around your room with the private pool or hang around the hotel's infinity pool or swim in the ocean.
The food was pretty good with a good variety.
Pongwe Beach is a long way from Zanzibar City (Stonetown)so be sure that you don't need a lot of action. We spent one day touring a spice farm and Stonetown which cost around $150 but we had had an enjoyable day. I would definitely recommend Pongwe Beach Hotel to anyone looking for a quiet place to relax with very good food and service.

  • Stayed February 2014
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Helpful?
1 Thank acornclaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Centerville
Level 4 Contributor
48 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2014

After 9 days on a dream-filled safari I was sure there was little anyone could do to make my trip better.... boy was I wrong.

This place is truly Paradise. From check in where Rose, the Property Manager, told us "we shouldn't have to get up out of our chairs/hammocks to get a libation" to the unbelievable smiles and equally unbelievable gourmet food -- Pongwe Beach Hotel delivers an "end of safari" punch that becomes addicting.

Swimming, either in the warm, clear Indian Ocean, or in the lovely infinity pool overlooking the ocean is just one decision of the day -- should we go to a chair? the veranda? snorkeling? the hammock? Such things to decide.

Lodging is lovely with Zanzibar doors to enter through, tile patios, and mosquito netted beds.

It was disappointing to have to pay for drinking water -- though we were allotted a bottle a day to brush our teeth. Breakfast, lunch & dinner were divine as are the cocktail choices. I can't wait to get back.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lisa N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 2 March 2014

Amazing hotel, excellent food, already booked a room for next year! Staff were very accommodating and friendly, and made my stay a real joy. The beach bungalows are fantastic and perfect for lazy days with a book.

Room Tip: Beach bungalows are a must. Note: use sunscreen!! Even when cloudy, the sun is extremely strong!
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Hani O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oregon
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2014

Overall we found this hotel to be overpriced. Apparently a year or so ago, it used to be around $80-$100 per night but they have more than doubled their prices due to their popularity increase. Here are the positives and negatives we found while staying 4 nights at this hotel:

-Beach: their best attribute. The beach is pretty and while there was some seaweed when we were there, it was less than other beaches in Zanzibar. Also they patrol the beach 24/7 so you are not bothered by touts, which was nice.
-Staff: service from staff including management was good and reponsive.
-Hotel grounds: private, expansive, and well kept.

Negatives:
We stayed in the "Family room" at the southern end of the beach next to Val's. While the setting was nice, there were issues:
-Noise: we were woken by barking dogs early every morning from the neighboring property. We complained to management and they tried to talk to the neighbors but nothing changed during our stay.
-Room itself: needed TLC, looked dark and old. Also no A/C in the room, just fans. When you pay over $200 per night, you'd expect to have A/C.
-Shower/Water: this was our biggest gripe. While they market it very cleverly telling you it is brackish and it's been filtered by rocks, it is flat out sea water, no difference! Again for the price a major let down. You feel very sticky going to bed. On our last day, we couldn't take it anymore and bought bottle water to rinse.
-Internet: they charge $10 for the internet. again we felt nickled and dimed. It should be included.
-Food: while the food was good, it was overpriced. Keep in mind, there are no other options (or may be one) close by, so they got you.
-Transfers: transfer quotes we got from the hotel were outrageous (almost double) like another reviewer also mentioned. Find a taxi on your own if you can and you will save lots of money.
-Location: This can a be positive and negative. It is somewhat isolated so you will get that feeling of getting away but far from Stone town (over an hour) so keep that in mind if you want to go there.

Overall we had an OK stay but we felt it was too expensive for what we got.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
11 Thank scpeters
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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