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“The Owners are Amazing” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ngalawa Beach Village

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Ngalawa Beach Village
Chwaka Bay (East Coast) | P.O. Box 3557, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 115 Zanzibar B&B and Inns
Chicago, Illinois
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“The Owners are Amazing”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

Joanne and Sadru are amazing, they made us feel sooo at home . The rooms magnifique , clean , fresh towels and their amenities the best...friendly staff and great food...the view from the bar towards the ocean was breath taking....Cnt wait to go back to Zanzibar...Thank you soo much...

  • Stayed June 2013, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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101 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Dar es Salaam
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

Just spent yet another weekend at the Ngalawa Beach Village. I have lost count of how many weekends I have spent there and each time I promise myself that I will be back.
Looking out at the calm blue water and the fishermen's boats gliding by as you sip your cocktails is a special treat. They wave out to you- Jambo! Ciao! and hold up the fish they have just caught with their brand new nets. Walking along the clean and sandy beach you see kids playing football or holding up crabs to attract your attention. The Ngalawa Beach village offers hospitality that is incomparable. The food is finger licking delicious and every meal is a food-lovers delight!
Highly recommended for people like me who do not like big hotels and love a relaxing time.

Room Tip: All rooms have a great view.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christina Lake, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

After a eight day safari with Maasai Wanderings (which was incredible and we highly recommend the company-ask for Evarest!!) we spent a number of weeks at Ngalawa Beach Resort. We were warmly greeted at reception by the owners, Joanne and Sadru with a nice cold Sundowner drink upon our arrival and in no time at all we felt like part of the Ngalawa family. We were lucky to have obtained the Beach Suite which is at the bottom of the property just above the beach (yes, there IS A BEACH). This gorgeous little beach suite has its’ own sandy private relaxation area overlooking the ocean, with a palappa and two chaise lounges. The pontilla, serving refreshing drinks from 11 a.m. onward and tea and baked goodies at 4:30 each day, is just a short walk down the path and it is overlooking the beach. At high tide, the ocean is directly beneath the pontilla. We had a few good parties on that pontilla with the local staff and the Maasai doing traditional dances for us as well as getting us to participate. Great fun. One of the things we enjoyed the most about Ngalawa, was that, even though we were at a resort, we were able to observe the local life, as a fishing village was about a 20 minute walk down the beach. Each morning as we went outside to catch the beautiful sunrises some of the friendly locals would pass by on the beach on their way to take on the day as well. The fishermen were heading out in their dhow boats at the same time. We had stunning photo opportunities here.
We were approximately 40 minutes from Stone Town and transportation was always available to take us wherever we wanted to go, with a guide (Mr. Bean we called him – a wonderful man) in Stone Town waiting to accompany us through the markets to help with translation, colourful history, and who as well knows the reputable shops with best prices etc. There is a fee, of course and we felt they were totally in line for the service offered. These drivers and guides are at your disposal all day.
Ngalawa is a place to go, relax, absorb your surroundings and if you choose, venture out and do day trips and know that you can get away from the hustle and bustle at the end of those days, and go back to peace and quiet at Ngalawa.
Now, the food. Let us just say if you are thinking you cannot be surprised, think again. The food was incredible, fresh, home-made, locally sourced and beautifully presented to you each meal. You will never in a 14 day stay eat the same soup, starter, main course or dessert twice. Fresh bread baked twice daily, home-made yogurts, ice cream, and preserves. Ah yes, and non-stop fresh fruit and freshly made juices. EVERYTHING is organic.
The staff are local and English is not their first language, but it is their home and we are the visitors and they try very hard to please the guests. The Maasai, who patrol the property are amazing gentlemen and we miss our morning Swahili “lessons”. We were thrilled and honoured when they sang and danced for us.
The beach. We are dumb-founded to read the review regarding “no beach”. We were on that so-called non-existent beach each and every day, long walks in both directions, picking shells, walking to the fishing village, swimming in the ocean. Does the tide come in and go out? Well yes, that is because we are on the ocean, not the lake. If you are looking for the massive beaches covered with tourists and discos and dozens of vendors selling identical touristy wares, well then, this is not the BEACH for you. If you are looking for a beach with soft white sand, beautiful scenery, incredible sunrises, an impromptu game of beach volleyball and the opportunity to meet some of the locals as they pass by, then THIS is the beach for you. If you wish to stay somewhere where you are not just another guest, forgotten amongst hundreds of others, and wish for a more personal experience, then this charming resort of a 5 star quality (in our opinion) is definitely for you. It was beyond our expectations in so many ways. Oh, and the Red Colobus Monkies who make their home in the surrounding trees are a delight to watch. A more romantic place for us would be hard to find,

Room Tip: We enjoyed Room #18 and viewed other rooms. Depending on your need, 18 is very romantic! Trip Advi...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoAnne T, Owner at Ngalawa Beach Village, responded to this review, June 5, 2013
Sunny greetings from us and the entire staff of Ngalawa BeachResort !!

What a pleasure to not only read such a delightful review, but as well to know that our team and our product have ticked all the boxes for you both.

We were very impressed by the research you did before leaving Canada to embark on your trip of a lifetime. Not an easy task Im sure !!

Our staff and Maasais still inquire about you ,clearly you left such a memory for them due to your curiosity and willingness to try and interact . They are all very proud of their culture and are so eager to respectfully share with our guests!

Thank you for your compliments in regards to our food! Yes ,you are ccorrect in that the odd kilo is gained, but thats part of what a great vacation is all about !

We will give your cheeriest Canadian regards to Beani as well ,he is another one who asks about you both.

On behalf of our Ngalawa Team
Asahnte sana na Karibu tene
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naples, Italy
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

After early morning wake-ups during a wonderful 10 day safari with Maasai Wanderings (ask for Evarest or Simon), walking down the steps to an oasis of beauty was another moment to be cherished in Tanzania. JoAnne and Sadru welcomed us like family, their hospitality endless. They endeavor to integrate into the culture and support local industries; Sadru was born in Zanzibar. He and JoAnne are both Canadians.

The rooms are spacious, grouped in sets of 4 (up and down), local décor, all with decks favoring sea and garden views.

The pontilla, extending over the beach is the perfect place to lay back, observe the daily life of the Zanzibaris, and have a drink. Afternoon tea, coffee, and snacks set the pace for winding down.

The staff are friendly, and serve to remind us we are in Zanzibar, as they maintain their culture. Many speak Italian better than English due to the propensity of Italian tourists. The Maasai, who provide security, were a nice addition, and more than happy to converse.

Cuisine is one of the highlights of staying in Ngalawa Beach Hotel. Presentation and content were exceptional, each meal a work of art, and never repeated (except for breakfast).

When in need of movement, walking along the beach in either direction is simply a pleasure. There is a small fishing village nearby, with an am vegetable market and pm fish market. Everyone I came across during my twice daily meanders, were friendly and very polite. As mentioned, most spoke Italian.

The beach itself is not good for swimming, due to the drastic change in tides, soft (and sinkable) sand, intermittent sharp rocks and sea grass. It’s fine to go and sit for a while, letting the warmth of the Indian Ocean soothe weary bones. The pool offers a nice alternative to cool off.

A travel partner had an aromatherapy massage, ($50) with a view of a palm tree just outside the window. She could only describe it with a smile.

The property is isolated, perfect for a place to be still. Books, suntan lotion, and an appetite is all you’ll need!

Room Tip: Ground room floors have easy access, 2nd floor rooms have more privacy and better views
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoAnne T, Owner at Ngalawa Beach Village, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
Jambo from Ngalawa!

We do thank you for sharing your experience with us ..naturally we are thrilled that all of your expectations were met and more!

For us it is thrilling to see our guests really "get" the African experience,and be so willing to venture in to the village,watch the beautiful Colobus monkeys and Sykes Monkeys that make themselves at home .

The warmth of the Indian Ocean is fantastic on this side of the island due to the tides and the hot sand warming the water.
I believe you really enjoyed learning the local Bao game a well.Our Barmen are excellent teachers.

We do apologize for any extra kilos that may have been put on due to our very talented Chef!!

We hope you had an uneventful Safari back home, and from all of us ,thankyou for choosing Ngalawa Beach
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Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Have just spent a week at Ngalawa beach village, from the moment we arrived we felt totally at home . The location was great, our hosts made us feel totally at ease , the food was beyond great, and we left totally recharged. Everyone involved contributed to a wonderful holiday, this place should be available on medical aid!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitehorse, Canada
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

We just recently stay at this paradise after 4 weeks of travelling in Africa and hiking Kilimanjaro. It was such a great place to relax and do absolutely nothing or options exist if you want to get involved in activities. The rooms were very nice and the little detailed touches were refreshing. The staff were amazing in making us feel like a part of the family. Joanne and Sadru are the owners and went out of their way to meet any of our needs and connect us with the right people in Stone Town when we wanted to do some shopping. It was really hot there and the airconditioning in the room wasn't powerful enough to keep the room cool, so overnight with A/C and a fan still was difficult to sleep in comfort. Meals were included and were so good that weight loss is not an option. Beach was nice and very private but January/February tides brought a lot of seagrass to shore.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoAnne T, Owner at Ngalawa Beach Village, responded to this review, February 16, 2013
Greetings from beautiful Zanzibar!
Thank you for choosing our litle hideaway for your time to rejuvinate from your Safari and Mnt Kili climb.

You were both delightful guests, and I thoroughly enjoyed taking you fabric shopping and showing you some of our historical Stonetown.

In regards to the airconditioning we would have been more than eager to rectify this issue had we been informed.These things normally just require a simple solution, and just a few minutes to adjust or repair.

In regards to the sea grass..that time has already passed on this side of the bay, and mother nature remaines kind bestowing plenty of sunshine and tropical breezes.

Thank you for your kind words in your reference to our food .We are very proud of our team and their culinary skills , we realize how important good food is to guests and are thrilled we met or exceeded your expectations.

Once again, thank you for choosing Ngalawa Beach Resort, and from all our team

Safari njema
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Melbourne
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

Ngalawa Beach Village on the east coast, is one of the most peaceful, restful places I’ve ever been to, nicely isolated from the bustle of Zanzibar town. We did not know anything about the resort before Maasai Wanderings suggested it as an extension to the safaris we’d already booked through them for October.

The entire place is so peaceful – from the gardens that flow down from the entrance, past the high bamboo and thatched roof open air restaurant, sweeping around the buildings that edge the resort, past the semi-secluded pool and on to the open air bar overlooking the water with steps down to the beach. The food was restaurant quality and the owners and staff go out of their way to make you feel welcome.

The steps at the side of the bar led to a long and almost isolated beach that afforded many a blissful walk at any time of the day, whether we went to watch the fishing boats come in from a nearby village, or a moonlight stroll. The beach is not brilliant for swimming as the tide recedes a hundred meters to sandy mud flats, however, this is more than compensated by the lovely swimming pool.

There were frangipani and other flowers decoratively placed around our room when we arrived and our expansive room had a lovely balcony overlooking the gardens. It was a wonderful place to gaze from or read a book.

One of our favourite things to do was to have a drink in the open air bar in the afternoon overlooking the ocean and play bao (or any of the other readily available but unobtrusive coffee table game options). The moon was also beautiful over the water.

I can’t speak highly enough of this place, nor can I find the words to convey the all-encompassing sense of peace I felt there. A must if you want to get away from the world in Zanzibar.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 115 B&Bs / Inns in Zanzibar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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Also Known As:
Ngalawa Beach Village Hotel Zanzibar

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