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“Excellent experience - have stayed there twice” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ngalawa Beach Village

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Ngalawa Beach Village
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Chwaka Bay (East Coast) | P.O. Box 3557, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #46 of 166 Zanzibar Island B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Excellent experience - have stayed there twice”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2011

We've lived and worked in East Africa for over two years, most recently in Dar es Salaam, and came to Ngalawa for a getaway from Dar. We had been there before, on a friend's recommendation, and then returned recently for a last-minute weekend (we've been to Zanzibar about a dozen times for work and pleasure).

The couple who runs the place attends very carefully to every detail of the experience at the resort. The place has the benefits of both a boutique hotel (personalized service) and a resort (not too small, good amenities).

The location is quite far from Stone Town, so it's best to plan to stay on property while you are there. One can take day trips to Stone Town or to Jozani Forest or the Spice Farms, but we've found it best to do those trips from a Stone Town base, and then just hang at Ngalawa while there. Though it is feasible to do those little day trips from the property - we did once when we stayed there and it was fine.

It really is an "experience" on its own to stay at the resort. The layout is comfortable and laid-back, the rooms are very comfortable and clean (it can be a bit buggy, but this is hard to avoid because of the remote location). The front deck (or "pontilla") is an ideal place to hang out with a drink, gaze out at the vast ocean, and play board games (we learned Bao while we were there, and have been addicted to the game ever since!).

The beach situation does change according to the tides, but this happens on many beaches in Zanzibar and along the coast. If you come to this part of the world, do not expect sandy-white beaches with consistent water levels for swimming. Rather, enjoy the variation of scenery caused by the tides. The low tides also make for great photographs.

By far, the standout feature of the resort is the food. As other reviewers have noted, you get 5-star meals, every meal. The quality and variety of meals cannot be found ANYWHERE in the region (we dine out nearly every night in Dar). Very good wine list. We found ourselves in a rhythm of getting up, looking forward to a beautiful breakfast (fresh fruit platter, eggs any style, homemade bread, crepes, french toast, French press coffee, fresh juice). Walk along the beach, dip in the pool, search for Colobus monkeys and other wildlife to photograph around the property, rest a little, play a board game. Then sit down for a gorgeous lunch. Repeat any combination of activities, then look forward to an amazing dinner. Then head back out to the deck for an after-dinner drink, sometimes with live music and dancing. SUCH a nice, relaxing oasis from the frenetic pace of Dar.

Ngalawa is definitely one of the experiences that will stand out as a highlight of our time in the region, and one of the get-away opportunities we will miss when we leave. Usually I am ready to leave any hotel or resort and go back home. Both times at Ngalawa, I found myself just wanting to stay an extra few days.

Request room #18 when you go. The view of the water from the window in the bedroom is unlike any other.

Room Tip: #18 - amazing view of the ocean and a private beach "patio"
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CajunTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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158 reviews from our community

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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2011

Spent four days there with a couple of my friends in the middle of October and found the place an absolutely perfect seculded get-a-way. The staff were all extremely friendly and very helpful, particularly the bar manager Julius. We also found the food there above and beyond pretty much anything else available on the entire island, a set menu everyday was a fantastic experience and we were looking forward to ever lunch and dinner meal.

I would highly recommend this resort if you are looking for a very comfortable, quiet and relaxing holiday with some excellent food available.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Alan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorkshire England
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2011

Very relaxing, clean and friendly hotel. Owner managers live on site, which is a good sign. Staff where helpful. The food was fantastic and very creative, the chef was very happy to try to please everyone. The hotel's garden is stunning and very well cared for.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank tobyYorkshireEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hope Island, Australia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2011

We stayed at the resort after a 3 week safari through Africa. The ideal place to unwind and relax before returning home.

The room was clean and comfortable, everything worked as expected. The staff were attentive and very friendly. Food was excellent and varied, the menu changed every day and meals were very generous and innovative.

Location is secluded and away from the traffic and chaos of Zanzibar town and Stonetown which can be reached in a 40 min drive if you need to see the sights.

Recommended for a quiet getaway, and ideal to finish off a trip to East Africa. Flight from Dar es Saalam is only 25 mins.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank oztraveller13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2011

The hosts of this small resort will leave you with a vacation to remember. Beautifully situated and carefully planned, thought has gone into making every detail of your visit just perfect. Its only a short walk up to the village, by beach, but it feels like you are miles away from the world. The menus are five-star, with fresh seafood and exquisite home-made desserts, without being too much. Owners and staff alike are friendly and welcoming. You won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank country30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dar es Salaam
Level Contributor
15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2011

We stayed at Ngalawa beach village over the holiday weekend. The place is very quaint and secluded. The beach stretch is really quiet and one feels that they are on their own. The resort is managed by a Canadian couple, who take keen personal interest in ensuring that the guests are taken care of. The service and warmth with which hospitality is extended, is remarkable. The building is a cluster of rooms with nice views of the lush tropical garden and poolside, with a backdrop of the bay. Its a single storey structure and gives a very intimate feel. Whilst the place is lovely, the real deal is the fantastic food and beverage. Every meal is an epicurean delight. The flavours are subtle and the presentation is delightful. In depth thought has been given to the customer demographics, prior to a menu being finalized. Be it lunch or dinner, the food and the experience was fabulous. The chef has been trained well and the owners take special interest. Joann who is the owners wife, is a highly trained chef. Her knowledge of global cuisine is reflected in the food. The bar is also lovely. Its on a jetty and has sweeping views of the Chwaka bay. The local fishing village is not very far either. They also have a treatment room with a lovely view of the bay. Massages are available and are very nice and extremely reasonably priced. All in all, its a perfect getaway from city life. Lovely pool, great food, personalized service, comfortable rooms and quite cut off from everything. Its a change from the all inclusive established resorts and has a very boutique home stay feel to it. A very premium one at that. I would highely recommend Ngalawa beach. Its one of a kind!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Siddharth C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2011

Stayed here for 3 days off on a working trip to Dar es Salaam. A friend recommended it.
It is quiet, with a beautiful view. The owners Joanne and Sadru gave us an excellent welcome. We ate well. Staff are friendly and helpful.
The food is REALLY good.
Rooms perfectly clean, very comfortable, nice big bed with a pretty, designer mosquito net. Excellent shower. Hot water. Electricity always worked. Good WIFI signal in the bar/restaurant.
You can get a massage in a hut looking out on the sea.
We mostly wanted quiet time and we hung out at the pool. It was perfect.
Not too quiet though. On our last night, a Friday night they arranged a cool party and there was a local band playing. It was a lot of fun, dancing in the bar, again with a splendid sea view.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank paddybone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ngalawa Beach Village

Address: Chwaka Bay (East Coast) | P.O. Box 3557, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach
Hotel Style:
Ranked #46 of 166 B&Bs / Inns in Zanzibar Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Number of rooms: 20
Also Known As:
Ngalawa Beach Village Hotel Zanzibar

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