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.
- 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