We stayed at Pongwe after Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda and an 8 day safari in Tanzania so we were ready to relax on the beach. The Indian Ocean was warm and very inviting and we spent much time going in again and again. A nice touch from the Hotel was that they took us out a little distance in the boat and guided us snorkling with supplying the equipment. It was not like the paid all day excursions but we saw beautiful fish and some interesting coral formations. We were lucky and had the Family Cabin which was the most distant of the cabins. We had a remarkable view and had lots of room since it was just my husband and myself in the cabin that can take 4. Our lady who cleaned our room did an excellent job. She found out I liked flowers and she added flower blossoms to so many things throughout the room. She also did the added touch of making the towels into different shapes adorned with flowers and kept our bathroom supplies adequately supplied. It was very hot when we were there and the hotel quickly supplied an additional fan to help keep us cooled down at night. The food was some of the best we ate. The staff seemed so willing to help and supply anything we wanted. We did enjoy sitting on our patio overlooking the exquisite ocean and having at 4:00 fresh fruit delivered to us. The hotel also has a cocktail "happy hour" which we participated in daily. The complimentary array of appetizers was wonderful--and they readily resupplied when asked. I had my birthday while staying there and they gladly provided our own table out on the beach under a full moon to eat the mouthwatering seafood. (how do you top that for a birthday--except my husband's birthday was trekking for the gorillas). As I stated, it was a full moon so there were extreme tides. It was fun to explore very far out what is usually covered by water and where we had been swimming only hours before we were walking on. Many were out exploring. Since it was so low, we were able to see and learn about the seaweed "farm" that is usually covered. One of the staff noticed we were interested in the coral beach formations and came to accompany us to tell us about them as well as show us a more in depth interaction with the seaweed production. This was done just because he saw we were interested and he was not expecting a monetary gain. Speaking of tipping--it is nice to have an envelope presented at the end where you can make your donation without having to continually having to leave money throughout the stay--just keep some aside for just that. There is a safe at the main reception which they readily helped us with when we needed it. That might be a future suggestion to install individual ones in the room. But the present situation worked--just took some fore thought. As has been mentioned by others--the brackish water for showering. It did take some getting used to and you never really felt clean. But even if you had fresh water, given 10 minutes you would have been salty with sweat in no time. I have much trouble with my eyes in very controlled situations so the brackish water caused me much problem in the shower with my eyes--try as I might to not get it into my eyes. I have and am still seeing my eye doctor to fix the problem started there. But as I stated, this is a huge problem under the best of situations. Just give the brackish water much thought when using it. We found the staff very helpful. We just did not know to ask enough questions. We arranged the Spice Tour and Stone Town tour through the hotel. We thoroughly enjoyed the tours but did not have a clear grasp of what it would all entail. We did not realize that within the tour, in addition to the $20 fee for the Spice Tour that we would need to tip two people, be encouraged (expected?) to purchase some items, have an additional tour guide in addition to the $20 tour guide at the Slave Market site. We literally ran out of cash (!!!) and had to have our driver wait in the hotel reception while we got more cash out of the safe. It was our problem for not having enough with us as we had it in the safe but we did not want to have too much cash while in Stone Town as we had heard several stories about pick pocketing. We just did not know what to expect--our problem. We should have asked--but perhaps reception could have gently suggested what we truly were going to experience. We did enjoy what we learned though and would highly suggest these tours. On some of the reviews it was mentioned that some of the orders got mixed up or slow. Hey, we are on vacation and as they state--a cumma ma ta ta (sorry for the spelling but it means--no problem or no worries). We are visitors in their country speaking our language--they are trying to accommodate. They did a remarkable job--and I wish I were back there often. My only big problem was the brackish water and my eyes--which on hind sight I should have used bottled water on anything to do with my head. The grounds were kept extremely clean and they even raked the beach daily.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.