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“Paradise Disturbed...”

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Santa Maria Coral Park
Barcelona, Spain
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Paradise Disturbed...”
Reviewed 31 October 2010

Basically we thought this was a great little place up until the time of our departure. In fact as we were leaving it didn't really effect us but for anyone remaining it would have been a great annoyance. A group of locals turned up with a massive sound system and started playing African rap music at full volume. They even appeared to have sound desk and DJ! Not only this, they took over all the loungers on the beach so no one else could use them and proceeded to eat their own food brought from home. All of this appeared to have the approval of Coral Reef as they were using their power supply. When I asked one of the employees at the bar, he said that this was quite common at the weekend for wedding parties to head over to the east coast to celebrate. Indeed further down the beach there did appear to be another wedding party with a another large sound system. Now I guess that there would be little you could do if it had nothing to do with the Coral Reef but the fact that the hotel helped them is crazy!

Now having said all of that, I would still recommend this hotel but just avoid weekends maybe. It is also a bit difficult to go on and describe this place as a beautiful spot and an I island of tranquility but again up until that moment, it really was.

Accommodation was great, very clean and a reasonable size room. This wasn't luxury but we were very confortable. Our room had electricity but no hot water but this wasn't a huge issue for us. All the rooms were very tastefully deocorated in their own unique style and each had a veranda in front to sit out on.

Food was good, the usual fresh fish, chips and salad sort of thing. As someone else commented the lunch menu was pretty much identical to the dinner menu and if we'd been here longer than a couple of days the food would have become quite repetitive.

We arrived here from Matemwe. We travelled everywhere in Zanzibar by Dalla Dalla however they do not unfortunately run from Matemwe to Pongwe (only about 20kms). To get there by Dalla Dalla we would have had to go back to Stone Town. In the end we got to talking to a guy on the beach in Matemwe whose brother had a car etc but they showed up on time and took us to Ponge for the $20 as planned. Travelling back to Stone Town we got a Dalla Dalla as per norm. The guide books seemed to indicate that there wasn't a direct Dalla Dalla but we got one just outside, almost immediately. The Dalla Dalla station in Stone Town was however different to the one we left from.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank nrasul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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35 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 January 2009

We stayed 4 nights at the Coral Park.

They have 5 bandas (huts) which were very simple but clean.
The plumbing was not the best though - the toilet took some fiddling with to get it to flush and the shower was a cool trickle.

The food was good but there was no change in the menu at all. There were no lighter snacks available so lunch was teh same as dinner. As a consequence we gave lunch a miss and just bough some things from the local village.

It is a very pretty bay, just around a headland from the Pongwe Beach Hotel - a nice walk at low tide. It is low tide most of teh time though - so you can only swim a couple of hours either side of high tide. There is quite a bit of seaweed around but it is cleared away in front of the cottages.

It was quiet at night - no real atmosphere except for the nightly bonfire and games of bau with local fishermen. The staff were friendly but distant.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Food and plumbing
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank SkaraBrae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
Reviewed 19 September 2008

I do not recommend this place. It is placed in a small bay. Most of the day time it is low tide wich mean you can't take a bath and you feel quite isolated. The food is really bad!! We decided to order lobster our first evening and got two small crab sticks with over boiled white rice..
The rooms/bandas are ok but nothing special, quite cute though. Every room has a bathroom, no hot water, electricity just during the dark hours.
The woman that owns this place does even own the neighbouring place Queen Shiba. It looks much nicer! Has a terrace with a beautiful view and the water is amazing! I don't think the food is much better though...

Stayed September 2008
Thank Gyllan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Ontario
Level 3 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2006

If your looking for a secluded beach hotel with rustic charm, where you can lie in a hammock undisturbed, this is the place. Very casual and rustic, with a minimal capacity of approx. 16 guests, so you won't be surrounded by tourists.
Santa Maria is located on the east coast of Zanzibar, right on the beach of the tourqoise Indian Ocean close to neighbouring fishing villages.
Guests stay in simple wood huts, called Bandas, that are equipped with a small bathroom. Each Bandas has a small front porch.
At night the place becomes magical. Small lanterns line the paths and the trees are lit with white mini xmas lights. There is a small beach bar, and an evening bonfire on the beach tended to by a local member of the Masai tribe.
The food was excellent. We had the best Lobster and King Crab that we've ever exerienced. We ordered the seafood in the morning through the owner/manager, Anna. Her husband put in the request at the neighbouring fishing village.Later that night we had a feast, eating at a table set up for us right on the beach.
Santa Maria is by no means a luxury resort, if this is what you're used to. However, if you're looking for a break from the tourism of Stone Town this is a great, friendly yet subdued place to relax.
We sourced Santa Maria from the Lonely Planet guide. The ph# is 0747-432655 (-)

  • Liked — secluded, rustic and unique
  • Disliked — we only had two nights there!
  • Tips/Secrets — Best access is via rental car. There is probably a bus from Stone Town. Don't expect any shopping here.
  • Stayed August 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9 Thank 555smith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Santa Maria Coral Park

Property: Santa Maria Coral Park
Address: Pongwe, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Pongwe
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Pongwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Offering beachfront accommodation in Pongwe, Santa Maria Coral Park has a restaurant and bar on site and offers special diet menus on request. Guests can rent bicycles to explore the surroundings. Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout. Each room has a private balcony, and mosquito nets over the beds. There is an outdoor seating area and a private entrance for each unit. The private bathroom is fitted, and the room offers sea views from the balcony. Santa Maria Coral Park has a beautiful tropical a garden. Services include a tour desk and free parking. Zanzibar International Airport is 45 km away and Jozani Chwaka National Park is a 30-minute drive from the property. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Santa Maria Coral Park Hotel Pongwe
Santa Maria Coral Park Pongwe, Zanzibar Island

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