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“Perfect way to end our East African adventure” 5 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 #7 of 125 Zanzibar B&B and Inns
Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Perfect way to end our East African adventure”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

From the moment we arrived, we felt at home and were treated like family by our wonderful hosts Joanne and Sadru - something you're unlikely to receive at larger commercial resorts. We stayed for five nights and it was the perfect way to relax and unwind after our two week safari adventure on the mainland. Ngalawa Beach Resort is hidden away in a secure, quiet location on the East coast and that is part of its charm.

Rooms - we were lucky enough to be upgraded to the honeymoon suite, but all rooms were clean and spacious and decorated with local Zanzibar touches. Massive four poster bed, large bathroom, valuables safe, fridge plus little touches like having the room set up each night, fresh flowers each day etc, were great. Plus it was a nice change not having a TV in the room which we didn't miss at all.

Facilities - gorgeous manicured gardens, beautiful warm and clean swimming pool, great bar overlooking the beach and free WiFi internet for staying in touch with home.

Food - a different set menu every day but amazing meals! It was a delight sitting down for each meal - top restaurant quality food, great presentation, great variety and with a number of courses for breakfast, lunch and dinner we were certainly never hungry.

Activities - onsite activities are limited and the beach although peaceful and quiet isn't the greatest. However there is plenty to do throughout Zanzibar, and Joanne and Sadru will go out of their way to organise activities and personal transfers for you. Much to our surprise, our favourite activity was to the spice and fruit plantation, but we also did the Safari Blue snorkeling day trip and Stone Town tour.

All staff were very helpful and friendly - with special mention to Tallula and Lexi who were very entertaining!! ;)

Thanks for everything - we will definitely recommend to others and will hopefully be back ourselves very soon.

  • Stayed September 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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121 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    99
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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
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English first
Fraser Valley
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

How do you combine quirky charm with resolute attention to detail? Joanne and Sadru Teja are among the few resort owners to know the secret. This is as well-run a home-away-from-home as anyone could make it. The setting is gorgeous and the food is absolutely fabulous, with a presentation to rival any top-notch restaurant in the so-called developed world.
What separates Ngalawa even farther from the crowd, however, is Joanne's ebullient charisma. From a genuinely warm welcome to a sincere goodbye hug, this expatriate Canadian knows how to engage guests, whether over lively conversation in the bar, the spontaneous offer of a free iPad phone link, or a playful romp in the gardens with her pet goats, she demonstrates total commitment to her guests and a genuine concern for the local area and its people.
Chwaka Bay might not be the perfect white-sands-for-ever stretch of coastline of tourist brochures, but the swimming pool is pleasant and there are plenty of interesting local walks. We were only able to stay for two nights but wished for longer.

Room Tip: All rooms appear to have good outlooks and easy access to facilities.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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JoAnne T, Owner at Ngalawa Beach Village, responded to this review, October 25, 2013
Habari yako J !!!

What can we say !! You and your travel companion made it so easy for us !
We truly appreciate such well travelled guests as yourselves , and your valued review ,as you see everything in mulit dimension.

Once again to have guests who have such a hunger and appreciation for culture and , shall I say African reality is pure joy for us .
As you experienced , we are very connected to our "children" the staff and I do puff up with pride as they really do their level best.

As for Tallula and Lexi...our Goats who think they are puppies...they loved the attention from you both !!

We would love to have the pleasure of hosting you again !!

Very sunny greetings from all of us at Ngalawa Beach
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Wales
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

My husband and I spent a week at Ngalawa after a few days on safari and it was the perfect place to unwind.

From the moment we arrived we we were made so welcome by Joanne and Sadru, they literally could not do enough for us (or their other guests). On arrival we found that we had been upgraded to the honeymoon suite, a lovely surprise. The suite was gorgeous with a spacious double bedroom, bathroom and separate living room and a private sanded area with sunbeds and shades overlooking the beach, a perfect place to watch the sunrise.

The complex was beautiful, landscaped gardens, huge (warm!) pool, lots of trees to take refuge from the sun, a hammock to relax in and a quiet area for reading. There was a small spa on site which I visited for the best massage ever! Lily' s Beach Bar at the Pontilla was a great place to unwind with a drink or have a game of Bao with the barmen who are more than happy to teach the uniniated.

The food - what can I say? Simply the best food we have ever tasted anywhere! A good choice of breakfasts including fresh fruit, yoghurt, French toast, eggs, cereal, the list was endless. Lunch was 3 courses including a soup course and dinner 4 courses, also including soup. Not being a huge soup fan I was a bit worried about having it every day - BUT - in 7 days we never had the same soup twice and every one was better than the last. Every meal was outstanding, we had food we'd never tried before (the kingfish was superb) and old favourites with a new twist (best rice pudding ever). Joanne is a chef and supervised everything that goes on in the kitchen, she has put together a team of talented people who would not be out of place in a top restaurant. Special mention must go to Sunny, the chef, a very talented individual.

I had a birthday while at Ngalawa and it was certainly one of the most memorable I've had! Coming back from the spa I found that the cleaning staff had spelt out Happy Birthday in flowers on my bed! Then following dinner in the evening, the kitchen staff and waitresses brought out a cake, sang Happy Birthday to me then I was treated to a traditional dance by the Maasai, incredible!

I really cannot rate this place highly enough, everything about Ngalawa was brilliant -accommodation, food, surroundings, staff, I could go on and on. Well done JoAnne and Sadru for creating such a wonderful place, we hope to be back!

Room Tip: Any of the rooms are great with lovely views but the honeymoon suite is directly overlooking the bea...
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  • Stayed October 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
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Mossel Bay, Western Cape, South Africa
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2013

A very special place. Jo-anne and Sadru the owners make you feel as if you are a long time friend. The rooms are spacious, complete with bidet, safe, fridge, toiletries etc, etc. Jo-anne and her chef make sure that you have the most amazing meals. Every meal is an adventure! Staff are pleasant but not intrusive. If you want a break to recharge your batteries this is the place. Combine the stay with the last day at their guest house in Stone Town (Pearl of Zanzibar) and you have the best of both worlds.

Room Tip: Definitely stay the last night in their guest house in Stone Town. In that way you can do a whole da...
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  • Stayed September 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013

A very well kept resort with a familiar atmosphere. Everything works and looks fine. Staff is working all time but never intruding.
The rooms are spacious, very well equipped with all you need: from slippers, umbrella, beach towel, mosquito net around the bed, anti mosquito spray, A/C, fridge, safety box, etc. etc. Absolutely clean. Bathroom with all equipment in good working order.
Free WiFi.
The kitchen earns special appreciation. Both owners have a background in restaurant business and the chef is outstanding. The 4 course lunches and dinners we got could proudly be served at any many-star restaurant in any country. Everything from serving, presentation to taste is high class.
The beach is maybe not the best because of the big difference between high and low tide on Zanzibar. Swimming in the ocean is only possible during high tide. But there is a nice pool in the park.
An afternoon coffee or drink at the bar above the ocean is relaxing.
I used to finish the day with a glass of wine (wine available for purchase) on my balcony under the stars while the masai guards were watching the premises.
Don't forget to visit the Chwaka village, some 15 min walk on the beach.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

Ngalawa Beach Resort was recommended by our hotel in Stonetown and we are so glad they did.
Joanne and Sadru do everything right in this gorgeous resort. Their friendliness make you feel as if you are a long time friend, come to visit. Nothing is too much trouble. The rooms are lovely. Large, Clean, bright and extremely comfortable. Local artisans have been utilised to create the stylish Zanzibari beach look.
Now to the meals.... simply fantastic. Breakfast options, 3 course lunch and 4 course dinner, not to mention afternoon tea - all included in the room rate. Sensational food - fresh & flavoursome. We found ourselves looking forward to each meal as it was a wonderful surprise. Some of the best tasting and beautifully presented meals I have eaten anywhere in the world. Very reasonably priced wines as well!
Chwaka Beach is tidal and at low tide you see the local villagers going about their lives right in front of you, as they have always done- collecting worms for bait, seaweed to sell, collecting all the bounties of the sea. You can walk down the beach to the local village , watch the fishing boats and dhows sail serenely past. At first I thought that I might miss being able to swim in the ocean and both high and low tide, then realised that watching people go about their business was far more interesting - after all there is a great pool on the grounds available regardless of the tide.
I cannot speak highly enough of this resort. If you want to really relax, really take the time to enjoy this slower pace, really want the best and freshest food, and really take the time to enjoy life - this is for you.

Thankyou Joanne and Sadru for a fantastic and memorable stay - you are the best hosts ever!

Room Tip: The beachfront honeymoon cottage is a great option for that special stay, waking up to the dawn over...
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  • Stayed August 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013 via mobile


This resort was peaceful and relaxing from the get go. We stayed here for three nights. Staff were friendly and the owners are extremely involved in ensuring every guest has an amazing experience. Rooms were large and clean. Also included mosquito netting. Specially made toiletries were in all the rooms. The shampoo and conditioner were specially made for the owners.

The food here is all inclusive and it was unbelievable. Five star quality. One of the owners is a chef, and she is constantly changing the menu. Also, if you stay there for three weeks, you'll never have the same meal. Each dinner is multiple courses with two starters, your main, and dessert. I didn't even want to time any excursions with meal time, it was that good.

The resort also offers different things like tours to prison island, scuba diving, snorkeling, etc. Another plus is that it's only 45 minutes max from stone town with traffic.

This resort is a must stay in zanzibar. Don't miss out.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 125 B&Bs / Inns in Zanzibar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 20
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Ngalawa Beach Village Hotel Zanzibar

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