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,
We enjoyed Room #18 and viewed other rooms. Depending on your need, 18 is very romantic!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunny greetings from us and the entire staff of Ngalawa BeachResort !!
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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
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.