Pongwe Beach Hotel

, Zanzibar, Tanzania
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Pongwe Beach Hotel

, Zanzibar
3 star

Rooms: 12

Pongwe Beach - Zanzibar - PO Box 297 - Tanzania Hotel Website | | 00255784336181
360 Traveller

Reviews - Pongwe Beach Hotel

Just the ticket
Submitted by: Jim in 01/06/06
  • Age Group: 31 - 40
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Relaxation Seeker
Hi all , just spent ten days at Pongwe and its just what the doctor ordered , me and my girlfriend forgot what year it was becaused we relaxed and had a great experience , hammocks , sea and sand , food was great and the staff made you feel welcomed , highly recommend to all.

Historical Traveller Reviews of Pongwe Beach Hotel

Paradise on earth

from Toni Bones
We have just returned after spending a glorious 10 days on honeymoon. Don't know where to start. Words cannot describe the atmosphere and ambience at Pongwe. The place is excellent, it really is paradise on earth. Wonderful huts directly on the beach with comfy beds and ensuite bathrooms. The beach towels, sarongs and beach bags provided by the hotel are just an example of the attention to detail. On arrival we were provided with a lovely bottle of champagne on ice in our room. The rooms are cleaned daily and sprayed with mosquito repellent nightly. As i'm vegetarian and my husband is rather fussy with food we were apprehensive about what we would be able to eat once we got there. We didn't have to worry. The food is excellent and although there is a set menu daily this is not set in stone and all tastes are catered for. Customer care is obviously their top priority and everyone there is very friendly and everything is done to make your stay all the more special. Can't really say much about the beach except the pictures speak for themselves, absolutely gorgeous and very well maintained and kept clean at all times. All the sunloungers and indeed all the furniture is hand crafted by local craftsmen. By the time we left we certainly felt like part of the family and that we belonged there and were very sad to leave. We are plannning to return for our 5th wedding anniversay and hope it doesn't change in the next 5 years as it's perfect. Would highly recommend. If it's a busy pace of life with lots of clubbing and rowdy nights out that you're looking for this place isn't for you, however if you really want to visit paradise its the place to go. Thank you Pongwe for making our honeymood as special as it was. Ashante sana rafiki.

Paradise Found

from A TripAdvisor Member

The staff were attentive and the food was fresh and beautifully presented. The beach was emaculate and the sea was warmed by the glorious sun. If I could only begin to put into words what a fantastic time we had.

Zanzibar is a picturesque coral reef island where farming and fishing is order of the day. Hire a jeep and drive round the island. You'll find people are friendly and if your lucky, maybe find the red eyed monkey forest.

Finally let me aplogise to those who have been regulars here for years, and tell the rest of you that Pongwe beach hotel has been one of the best kept secrets on the island.

See you again soon!!

Honeymoon heaven at Pongwe Beach

from A TripAdvisor Member
We spent our entire honeymoon at Pongwe Beach (all 18 nights!!) and we really could not speak more highly of our experience there. The staff were all friendly and welcoming and the owner and managers were extremely helpful. The hotel and accomodation were superb (and really great value for money.) The beach really is as stunning as it looks on the hotel's website (white sand: swept each morning! and stunning blue ocean) and the rooms all provide spacious and comfortable accomodation. Meals all use the best of what is locally available with delicious seafood at every meal (but with other non-fish options available of course!) Although we travelled out at what should have been the end of the rainy season it was still pretty rainy on most days..however we still enjoyed a fantastic, relaxing trip and took out the hotel's jeep on the days when the weather was least appealing. This is really worth doing. The roads after the rains made for fun (but easily managable!) four wheel driving. The local villages are all worth exploring and the people are very friendly. With Stone Town less than an hour away (a journey that goes quickly with so much stunning countryside to admire) pongwe is the right balance of unspoilt paradise with good access to the capital. If you plan to spend a few days relaxing on the beach in Tanzania (or longer: as in our case!) I strongly recommend that you visit Pongwe Beach.

Paradise? Not quite...

from spaee
Beach is perfect, you can swim during low tide (!!!!!) there's a lot of jellyfish there (but mostly brow that do not hurt). Tranquility - yes (but if you live next to main reception/restaurant building generators can be annoing when they work).

DO NOT try hammocks on the beach - you can get struck by big and heavy coconut falling from 25 meters high coconut tree. You will survive if you are lucky - my wife was, but it could be much, much worse (doctors say she could be dead). After that accident we got free seafood plate with wine (and did not have to pay 10USD for drinks). The manager and all the staff were GREAT and helped us a lot, but the holiday spirit was gone...

What is more if you reserve in advance by internet, you pay much, much more than those who do not. We paid 160USD/dbl with lunch - our neighbours for the same services paid 100USD/dbl. So you have to bargain I suppose, but for me the policy is not quite fair.

The good thing is you can stay after check out (10:30 AM) and swim or beach till lunch...

Summing up: if you are lucky, you can spend there a few perfect days. We were not ;-(


from A TripAdvisor Member
A perfect location to relax. Do this one after your mainland safari to wind down. Not too much to do in the area, but that's its charm, and the usual local activities (scuba, snorkelling, bike hire etc. can be efficiently arranged. Food choice is slightly limited but really excellent quality, and given notice they'll try to provide what you'd like. Very attentive staff. Just one thing (and NO reflection on the hotel), our luggage was delayed and came on a later flight from Nairobi and was pilfered in the process, so make sure your bags are locked.
One of the least-stressed places we've ever been. Val, Heidi and the team will make your visit memorable.

Fantastic! Loved it. Hakuna Mata!

from A TripAdvisor Member
My wife and I stayed at Pongwe for 9 nights on our honeymoon.

We enjoyed it immensely. The staff are very friendly, and the service is excellent. We loved the food, and can recommend the seafood platter, although, make sure you are hungry!

The room was very nice, and with excellent access direct to the beach. What a beautiful setting.

Whilst at Pongwe we did the Spice Tour and Stone Town trip, and the Safari Blue trip. The Spice Tour was very interesting, we found Stone Town to be a little disappointing. That may be because we live in Johannesburg and can find the same or similiar momentos here. The Safari Blue trip was entertaining, and the food was excellent.

We loved our stay at Pongwe, the staff, the service, the beach, the room, and the FOOD!! All excellent.

We will be going back.

Total chill out after safari....bliss!

from Louise034
My husband and I spent 5 nights at Pongwe, after a weeks safari on the mainland. From the moment we arrived we felt at home. The atmosphere is so relaxed and welcoming and this is created by the lovely staff and I guess the tropical beauty of the place helps a bit too! When we were shown our room we gazed at the view for ages, it really is as beautiful as the pictures on the website. We didn't venture out of the hotel, it was chill out time for us and we usually had the beach to ourselves. The food we found to be delicious, great quality and all with a great view - especially the candlelit meal on the beach - nothing was too much trouble. It's true, there is no air conditioning, the tide does go out a long way - but it didn't matter, we found Pongwe to be a tranquil haven.

Truly wonderful

from A TripAdvisor Member
We have just returned from our honeymoon at Pongwe, and unlike many others were there for a full 7days.
Despite locking ourselves out of our room a couple of times, there really was nothing to complain about.
Whilst the bay, sand, ocean etc are truly breathtaking, and according to my asian wife, equal to the best in Bali, Thailand, and Malaysia, it was the little things that made our stay even more perfect.
The staff were amazing. Helpful and attentive, whilst not overbarring. The standard of food excellent. And whilst many reviews here mention the fixed menu, we heard many guests requesting changes due to allergies or simply not liking the option, with no qualms from staff. Personally, we ate the set menu most days with no problems, and only veered from it when ordering seafood. Wine was expensive, but of good quality.
And they even willingly serve you lunch or (candle lit) dinner on the beach, at a moments notice.
And whilst the on shore breeze helped keep even the hottest days cool, and reduce any chance of mossies bothering you, the sea seemed clear of any real pests.
It was the most relaxing holiday we have ever had, and even when fully booked, there were days when the beach was virtually your own, and felt like your own private paradise.
Higly recommended for the get-away-from-it-all break, but with exemplary service, and hospitality.

t tell anyone.

from GrahamBreconUk
With tremendous hesitation and somewhat a degree of nervousness myself, wife and three kids, aged 5,10 and 13 visited Pongwe beach hotel in APRIL 2005.
The reality has certainly changed our lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Whilst Zanzibar is indeed a true tropical island with beautifull beaches and vegitation it is also subject to African influences and indeed some hotels are not what is promised:
But Pongwe Beach Hotel exceeds all possible expectations!!!!!
I admit to being very fortunate and have travelled the world extensively but no-where have I been prepared for the stunning beauty of Pongwe.
The beach is to die for!!!, the service, well nothing is too much trouble, the food albeit limited menu they will accomodate any preferences it's delicious and always served with a smile.
Just ask and if possible it will be yours!!
For all that there are always downsides and if you are easily bored and do not appreciate:
The unspoilt reef which does take a considerable effort to reach at low tide but OH! It is so worth it (please don't spoil it)!
Walking in the local untourist unspoilt village and maybe helping the local children or best of all just having to ENDURE!!!!! swinging in a hammock on what has to be the most beautifull beach in Zanzibar if not the world.!!!!!!

Cheap words you may think! but we returned to our holiday of a lifetime at Christmas! 2005/2006 and regrettably Pomgwe was not the same, I hate to say it, but it HAD IMPROVED!!! even further.

Today is 1st March 2006 and I have unbelievably just booked to return again in July August it really is that good, you will never find a more beautifull location in the world where their only aim is to help you have a wonderful time!
Thank you Pongwe Beach Hotel, staff, management, Val The resident onsite owner manager and above all ATR (AFRICA TRAVEL RESOURCES) for always being so helpfull correct in their appraisals of so many hotels a lot of which we have visited.
You are true Professionals!
Readers go to Pongwe whilst it is still so unspoilt you will never forget it!!!!!!!

Please email me if you require any further advice on :
The Blackledge's

Over priced and underwhelmed !

from Frequentsunseeker
Grossly over priced.
Fiendly but very inflexible. e.g tried to order a toasted sandwich at 1.30pm , and was told that that couldnt be done till 3pm !! Also breakfast you are told what you are having - no options. For the prices they charge you should be able to choose between scrambled eggs, poached or fried. Not here, fried it is - and an omlete (really a fried egg) was too hard.
Rooms basic - no air conditioning and very hot at night.
Much better value at a 5 star in Thailand (Evason or Marriot for half the prices charged here) Or perhaps Goa, Cambodia, Indonesia, Fiji .... you get my drift.
Also be prepared to be stung for goggles, $40 USD for a transfer that I organised for $18USD, boating etc etc.
Did I mention you will also get stung by the many blue bottles (jelly fish)in the water.

Top Local Tips for Zanzibar

Order in advance If you would like something specific that is not on the set menu, order in the morning for lunch and supper and the staff will do their best to provide it. Don't leave it till the last minute...

rental Pongwe has rental cars available and will arrange a temp licence for you too

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