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“Absolutely amazing”
Review of Pongwe Beach Hotel

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Pongwe Beach Hotel
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Pongwe
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
58 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Absolutely amazing”
Reviewed 19 August 2014 via mobile

This is such an amazing place to stay. Perfect white sand beach and really comfortable rooms. The food is delicious. We particularly enjoyed our candle lit dinner on the beach. Such a romantic way to spend the evening :)

Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Elle_holiday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PONGWE, Manager at Pongwe Beach Hotel, responded to this review, 20 August 2014
Dear Elle,

Thank you for you for taking the time to write a review.

We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us.


We will convey your compliments to all our staff.

Thank you for choosing Pongwe Beach Hotel.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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849 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (159)
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English first
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2014

Perfect hotel, perfect beach, perfect super-fine white sand, minimal rain and no mosquitos at all. What can I say, this is THE place for ultimate relaxation. Food was GREAT but the deserts mediocre. Lunch is their best meal.
When I am looking at our photos I can not believe we spent some time in this natural beauty. The problem is this beauty comes at a price and this price is RAIN, however the good point is that the hotel has 4 suites which have a private pool which is partly shaded so try to choose one of these suites because if the weather is not perfect, you could always jump in the pool in your own backyard. By the way if you go, please take a walk in the morning to the right and left of the hotel when the tide is low. Both sides particularly the left there is outstanding scenery, but I would skip the snorkeling if I were you, NOTHING to see but I am comparing to Marsa Alam and Sharm Elsheikh in Egypt which are top notch dive/snorkeling locations so it might not be a fair comparison. Another tip : if you are into bird photography, ask one of the workers to take you to the tree in the workers premises which has all these awesome looking yellow birds (The eastern golden Weaver ) which as far as I know lives in Zanzibar alone and this tree has like 200 of these wonderful birds. Once again I would like to thank JO from Naipenda safari (jo@naipendasafaris) for choosing this hotel and this wonderful suite in particular for us.
In short this is the second best hotel we stayed in Tanzaia ( second only to the truly amazing Mbalageti serengeti luxury camp or lodge).
Also if you are interested in some pictures of the hotel, please follow this link of my safari pictures, it has a lot of pictures from Pongwe beach hotel near the bottom of the link.

https://plus.google.com/photos/+hatemtawfik/albums/6045275688404409105

Hatem A Tawfik, MD
Cairo, Egypt

Room Tip: Pongwe Beach hotel is a real gem and a truly natural beauty. The problem is this beauty comes at a p...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank hatem t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PONGWE, Manager at Pongwe Beach Hotel, responded to this review, 20 August 2014
Dear Hatem,

Thank you for taking the time to share your Pongwe experience.

We are pleased to hear that you and your family enjoyed your stay with us despite the late (and unusual for this time of year) rains. We definitely have to agree with being the winner of the "Do Nothing Award " :) Just sit back and relax!


We look forward to welcoming your family back to Pongwe in the future
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Chandler, Arizona
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2014

A sea view room with lounge chairs on the veranda and a hammock were just what was needed after an 8 day Tanzanian safari. The room was spacious and well attended to by the friendly staff who sprayed for mosquitoes and turned down the comfortable beds nightly. We were able to totally relax and saunter over to the restaurant for the delicious food wearing only kangas or bathing suit coverups and sandals. The menu changes daily and always includes fresh seafood.The pool area is lovely and never felt crowded. The beach is spectacular. I'll never forget my first visit to the Indian Ocean and would gladly return to Pongwe in the future to sleep by the sounds of the waves and the bush babies in the trees.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank octsky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PONGWE, Manager at Pongwe Beach Hotel, responded to this review, 8 August 2014
Dear Octsky,

Thank you for taking the time to share this lovely review.

We are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us and have taken home with you happy memories of Tanzania and Zanzibar.

We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to Pongwe in the future.
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2014

We stayed here for one night on the last day of our Zanzibar holiday. As we were used to staying in cheaper places this was a real treat for us. The pool especially was completely gorgeous, and has to be seen to be believed. I have a photo I took lying on the sun lounger of the view and I can't believe I was once there! In the evening we had cocktails on the beach and watched the sun set. The bedrooms are spacious and cool with a sea breeze coming through. Be prepared that the showers are quite salty but this didn't bother us.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 115Jess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PONGWE, Manager at Pongwe Beach Hotel, responded to this review, 8 August 2014
Dear 115Jess,

Thank you for taking your time to share this lovely review.

As fresh water on the island is limited, we try to be as eco-friendly as possible at Pongwe…hence the naturally filtrated, brackish-water showers. We are happy that this did not bother you too much.

We hope that we will have the opportunity of welcoming you to Pongwe again in the future.
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2014 via mobile

Having read the amazing reviews, we thought we were going to blown away by Pongwe, but ended up being pretty disappointed.

Whilst the suite with plunge pool was nice and the setting was beautiful, the service and food were not up to the standard we would have expected. We were probably spoilt having just come from the Selous Impala camp which was outstanding. In terms of service, the staff (many but not all) looked miserable and seemed like they were going through the motions with us - another family also commented on this, so it wasn't just us. Also, we thought the hotel was very expensive for what we got in terms of both food and excursions.

In hindsight, we wish we had booked a hotel that was either on the West of the Island or not as secluded, because when we looked into getting a taxi to Stone Town it was $100, which is ridiculous. This didn't spoil our time there as it was a well needed break and the beach setting was idyllic. However we just felt that the management have rested on their laurels (and inflated their prices) due to the great reviews on Trip advisor, which seem to mainly rave about the picture perfect beach.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank mkcross81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PONGWE, Manager at Pongwe Beach Hotel, responded to this review, 29 July 2014
Thank you for taking your time to share your opinion about your stay.

We take your feedback as an opportunity to improve our service.
We are sorry to hear that we did not meet your expectations in our meals provided and that the staff did not seem happy. This is very unusual as our staff are always highly praised for their efforts with our guests and we have great feedback on cuisine offered. We do work very hard to keep and maintain all high levels of standards at the hotel without relying solely on a picture perfect beach.Taxi fares are expensive in Zanzibar and this is a frequent comment. We often suggest hiring a jeep during your stay to minimize the cost.

We are glad you enjoyed your overall stay with us and look forward to welcoming you again to provide you the best of our attention.
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Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2014

We are a family of four (two teens, 18 and 16) and stayed at Pongwe Beach 11th-17th July. We stayed in a sea view suite with its own private plunge pool - truly luxurious. 15 metres beyond our deck and private pool was the hotel's infinity pool and then the sea, so we woke each morning to the sound of the waves and looked out onto aquamarine sea and pure white sands. Pongwe is a fairly small hotel with a lovely cosy atmosphere - the staff are friendly and helped us to learn some Swahili. Bush babies visit the bar in the evenings (the bar/restaurant has a high thatched roof and open sides) and the barman got our kids to come behind the counter and feed them little bananas! We stayed for a week but the majority of guests were probably only there for 3 or 4 days, and many were couples (honeymooners?) but we were made a fuss of as a family, so definitely didn't feel it was a no-kids hotel. Ours are older teens and happy to laze around the pool and on beach loungers all day - might be harder to keep active younger kids occupied as there is not much nearby. Hotel has a fishing boat which you can pay ($15) to take a trip out to the reef offshore and do snorkelling or line fishing. They also have a kayak you can borrow to paddle around in the shallows. Trips are available (half day snorkelling/scuba diving at Mnemba Atolla off the northern point of the island; spice tour; StoneTown tour) but reasonably pricey. We hired a car for a day and took our chances with the crazy Zanzibar traffic, and managed to combine spice farms and Stone Town for half the cost - great day out. The hotel is an oasis of peace and tranquillity - no TVs or telephones in the rooms (although they had a TV in the staff quarters to which guests were invited to watch the World Cup Final!), no mosquitoes to speak of, no hassling on the beach from locals selling stuff as their resident Maasai with a staff patrols the beach all day and night - the perfect place to unwind after a week of safaris! Can't recommend it enough!

Room Tip: Definitely go for a sea view. Sea view suites are spacious with great bathroom. Close to restauran...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Liz_222345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colorado
Level Contributor
32 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2014

This is an exceptionally gorgeous property with fantastic rooms overlooking the gorgeous beach. Exploring the ocean during low tide is a lot of fun and can find lots of interesting ocean life. Once the tide comes in the swimming is excellent and the pool is very enjoyable. The staff is very friendly and helpful. We were one of only 3 bookings at the property, so we seemed to have the beach and pool all to ourselves, which was wonderful. The salt water showers were a bummer after spending the day in the ocean and in the salt water pool, hopefully that is something they will upgrade one of these days. The beachfront rooms do have stunning views and are very spacious but the bathrooms could use a shower curtain as the floor gets very wet from the shower spray based on the design. Only drink the beer or wine, as the mixed drinks were very sour and not very good. The food can also be a bit hit or miss – some items were delicious, others tasted like they were cooked in the brackish water at the property and much too salty.

Room Tip: Splurge for a beach front room - worth the price
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TravelerfromCO
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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