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“Wonderful beach hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pongwe Beach Hotel

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Pongwe Beach Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   PO Box 297, Pongwe, Tanzania   |  
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Sparkling Nights
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Pongwe
Oxford, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Wonderful beach hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

We are a family of four (two teens, 18 and 16) and stayed at Pongwe Beach 11th-17th July. We stayed in a sea view suite with its own private plunge pool - truly luxurious. 15 metres beyond our deck and private pool was the hotel's infinity pool and then the sea, so we woke each morning to the sound of the waves and looked out onto aquamarine sea and pure white sands. Pongwe is a fairly small hotel with a lovely cosy atmosphere - the staff are friendly and helped us to learn some Swahili. Bush babies visit the bar in the evenings (the bar/restaurant has a high thatched roof and open sides) and the barman got our kids to come behind the counter and feed them little bananas! We stayed for a week but the majority of guests were probably only there for 3 or 4 days, and many were couples (honeymooners?) but we were made a fuss of as a family, so definitely didn't feel it was a no-kids hotel. Ours are older teens and happy to laze around the pool and on beach loungers all day - might be harder to keep active younger kids occupied as there is not much nearby. Hotel has a fishing boat which you can pay ($15) to take a trip out to the reef offshore and do snorkelling or line fishing. They also have a kayak you can borrow to paddle around in the shallows. Trips are available (half day snorkelling/scuba diving at Mnemba Atolla off the northern point of the island; spice tour; StoneTown tour) but reasonably pricey. We hired a car for a day and took our chances with the crazy Zanzibar traffic, and managed to combine spice farms and Stone Town for half the cost - great day out. The hotel is an oasis of peace and tranquillity - no TVs or telephones in the rooms (although they had a TV in the staff quarters to which guests were invited to watch the World Cup Final!), no mosquitoes to speak of, no hassling on the beach from locals selling stuff as their resident Maasai with a staff patrols the beach all day and night - the perfect place to unwind after a week of safaris! Can't recommend it enough!

Room Tip: Definitely go for a sea view. Sea view suites are spacious with great bathroom. Close to restauran...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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585 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (99)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

This is an exceptionally gorgeous property with fantastic rooms overlooking the gorgeous beach. Exploring the ocean during low tide is a lot of fun and can find lots of interesting ocean life. Once the tide comes in the swimming is excellent and the pool is very enjoyable. The staff is very friendly and helpful. We were one of only 3 bookings at the property, so we seemed to have the beach and pool all to ourselves, which was wonderful. The salt water showers were a bummer after spending the day in the ocean and in the salt water pool, hopefully that is something they will upgrade one of these days. The beachfront rooms do have stunning views and are very spacious but the bathrooms could use a shower curtain as the floor gets very wet from the shower spray based on the design. Only drink the beer or wine, as the mixed drinks were very sour and not very good. The food can also be a bit hit or miss – some items were delicious, others tasted like they were cooked in the brackish water at the property and much too salty.

Room Tip: Splurge for a beach front room - worth the price
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

Stunningly beautiful beach with its white, white sand, lovely large rooms right off the beach with ocean views, an open-air dining room with scrumptious food, pool, hammocks, what more can anyone want? We walked down the beach to find a large native canoe and a man bringing in sea weed on a pole across his back. All very romantic. In fact, this is the perfect place for a honeymoon--as well as for us 70 year olds! We took a taxi to Stone Town and did a tour which was fascinating--one needs a guide there--but were glad to return to the blissful peace of Pongwe Beach Hotel.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • 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
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Jersey, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

Pongwe Beach Hotel is in a gorgeous location. On the other side of the island from Stone Town it is a little rustic paradise.

We were a Honeymoon couple staying for 2 weeks in a beachfront bungalow. We had welcome drinks and sparkling wine waiting in our room on arrival. Our first dinner was set on the beach. So romantic.

Rooms are large with gigantic beautifully carved beds. There are no windows just mosquito gauze netting which is lovely as you get to wake up to the sounds of nature and the ocean.

You get plenty of bottled water free everyday to drink and brush your teeth with as the water out of the taps and shower is slightly salty.

The beach is raked clean every morning and the sun loungers are comfortable and unintrusive. There is plenty of shade if you can't handle the equatorial sun. 4 or 5 very comfortable hammocks which you can spend hours in reading through your book in record time.

If you do finish the book you brought, there is a library in reception with a load of books you can borrow.

The food is delicious, a real highlight. The seafood is so fresh. They grow vegetables and fruit in their own garden and there is an excellent choice of drinks.

The staff are very friendly and are keen to help you get better at your Swahili if you show an interest.

We made friends with a couple of members of staff and on one of our final nights went to the staff quarters to watch a football match with them.

We went to the village to give the local primary school some footballs we had bought for them. A little gesture to the village as our way of saying thanks for us to spend time in their part of the world I suppose.

Taxi fares from the hotel to pretty much anywhere on the island are expensive and the trip into town takes about an hour so you might feel a little isolated but that was one of the reasons we chose to stay here. We don't like huge noisy party hotels. If you don't either but you love to relax, this place is perfect.

Room Tip: The garden bungalows are only a 30 second walk to the beach so whichever room you get, its guarantee...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

First time staying at Pongwe Beach Hotel in September 2013 and it is just absolutely incredible. Traveling with my husband after a safari in Tanzania this was the idyllic place for some relaxation, very secluded and quiet - the beach is stunning, pool area amenities are also excellent. A special mention has to be about the food however, amazing! Some of the best food we've ever tasted - we still talk about it now!!! Staff, service and hospitality are excellent - would love to return one day, hopefully in the not too distant future.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

We had been on the road exploring sub Sahara Africa for almost 7 weeks. This was a welcome respite. Our cottage was wonderfully appointed, and looked out on the beach. We would strongly recommend that anyone who stays here opt for the cottages that look out over the ocean.
The beach which is an incredibly white expanse of sand is lapped by the azure blue Indian Ocean.
We enjoyed the happy hour, drinking a glass of wine and looking out over the ocean.
The dinners were delicious, the food well-prepared. The highlight was the Swahili buffet with the live Swahili music. Be sure to purchase a CD from the group if you are fortunate enough to hear them on the night you are there.
We cannot recommend this lodge strongly enough.

Stayed June 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
roskilde, denmark
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2014 via mobile

We have stayed at Pongwe beach hotel three times. It is the most amazing place you can imagine. beautiful cabins, nice beach and pool, friendly staff who will do everything for you. the food is top notch and can compete with the finest restaurants. we will come back

Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
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 Pongwe Beach Hotel

Address: PO Box 297, Pongwe, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Pongwe
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Pongwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Pongwe Beach Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on what could perhaps be described as the best beach in Zanzibar, Pongwe Beach Hotel is a tranquil place where one can escape the hustle and bustle of modern day life. It is modestly sized, with 4 Sea View Suites, 13 traditional Beach Villas as well as 3 Garden Rooms and has an intimate, personal atmosphere. Set within a secluded bay on the east coast of Zanzibar, Pongwe Beach is a true paradise retreat. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pongwe Beach Hotel Zanzibar

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