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“Beautiful beach in a paradise setting!” 4 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   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Pongwe
Certificate of Excellence
Norwich, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
“Beautiful beach in a paradise setting!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

My family and I spent 4 days at this hotel and thoroughly enjoyed it. The beach was beautiful and the accommodation clean and spacious. The staff were really friendly and it is an ideal place to play in the sea, kayak or snorkel. It was relatively quiet and so, my wife was able to relax reading in the shade whilst I spent time keeping my two young teenage boys active. The perfect way to get ease away the worries of the world. the only downside was that the food was fairly limiting for those who are vegetarian (as my son and wife are) or those who would prefer an a la carte menu.

  • Stayed April 2015, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
PONGWE, General Manager at Pongwe Beach Hotel, responded to this review, 2 weeks ago
HI Quartmaine, thank you for your review of Pongwe , we are really pleased that you enjoyed staying with us and we have now taking some action in regards a complete seperate vegetarian menu with some flair in it , we are usually informed about guests dietary requirements and now one of the chefs will be making sure that a variety of choices will be available on adaily basis .

kind regards
The Pongwe Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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627 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 (113)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
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English first
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 weeks ago

A gorgeous place with lovely beach where you can really unwind. We got a room with the plunge pool which is retrospect we didn't need. Save yourself the extra $100 a night and get a beach bungalow. All rooms are stunning.
Service is very attentive. Food is nice at the restaurant but expensive and too restrictive for dinner which Is choice of 2 set menus. We ventured down the beach to nearby hotel for a delicious cheaper meal... this seemed to be frowned upon which we didn't like.
Make sure you use the free paddle board and Kayak - alot of fun. The snorkeling tour we did was great.
Note that showers use sea water that while very green takes some getting used to.
Hotel charges obscene amount for transfers - we got a cab for $20 cheaper each way without much effort.
Overall great stay but there is room for improvement.
We went is mid March which was pretty quiet - we just had couple of morning showers.

Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PONGWE, General Manager at Pongwe Beach Hotel, responded to this review, 3 weeks ago
Thanks Mella for your review on your stay with us at Pongwe in March , we are now in our closed rain season and now looking at ways to improve the quality of the hotel and your feedback really helps us make changes to the way we can deliver a better service .

Karibu
The Pongwe Team
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tokyo
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2015

the beach is just gorgeous. white sand, crystal clear water . . . at low tide you can take a long long walk. in terms of the beach I can't think of any better place! although I was happy in general, however, there are things that the hotel should definitely improve. first of all they should definitely work more on staff training. the hotel staff members were generally friendly, but they are not alert. they don't give the impression that they have been trained enough. at the restaurant, for instance, unless you get to know them, they don't pay enough attention. on the first morning, we were left with no proper breakfast because we didn't know the system (and nobody explains that to you). apart from the yoghurt and coffee that they have at the buffet, they should bring you breakfast menu which changes every day, but they do not bring it to you unless you literally ask for it. Also, I was very unhappy with their lack of attention regarding our request, that I had made at the time of booking. we had asked for a double bed plus a single bed for my daughter, but what we found in our room at the time of check-in was just a smallish, semi-double bed. even after reminding them twice, once on the first day, another time in the next morning, we still did not receive a bed. since they have no telephone connecting the room to the reception, I had to go all the way to the reception more than 3 times just to remind them (and get no bed) and it was not at all a pleasant experience. we received no formal apologies - but what's worse, one of the hotel staff members reacted even aggressively to my reminding them, which is also a sign that the staff needs proper training.
Food is generally good, but we were really not impressed by their fruits served at breakfast and also used for fruit juices. The fruits tasted nothing, probably because they were just all too green (none of our kids finished the juice).
Internet: the hotel charges you USD10 for using the internet, which I find surprising . . . and must add that the internet was extremely slow.

  • Stayed April 2015, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
PONGWE, General Manager at Pongwe Beach Hotel, responded to this review, 3 weeks ago
Dear Tokyo , thankyou for your review of your stay at Pongwe , we are pleased that you loved our location and was happy in general, but we aim to deliver across the board on guests experiences and have now started to look into and put into place any suggestions and comments that you have made , hopefully we will be able to welcome you back one day at Pongwe so you can see the changes .

kind regards
The Pongwe team
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Nairobi, Kenya
Top Contributor
459 reviews 459 reviews
102 hotel reviews
Reviews in 91 cities Reviews in 91 cities
216 helpful votes 216 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2015

Wonderful place. Morning walks on the low tide beach - one can walk 100s of meters out in the ocean and watch what lies beneath the water. Then the pool - refreshing and big enough or swimming. In the afternoon the tide is higher and thats the time for bouncing around in the wawes or take a long walk on the beach.
The neighboring hotels do not have a beach of the quality that Pongwe Beach hotel has!

Dinners and breakfasts were perfect throughout the 5 days stay. Good variation on the menu. Even if the hotel has 20 something rooms - pick one at the beachfront!- one did feel there was plenty of space everywhere. Books to borrow, games to play. Nice coctail menu and some bushbabies visiting the bar every evening.

I do really really recommend Pongwe Beach Hotel and will always remember the morning walk on the beach with a coffee-mug in my hand when suddenly the nicest little puppy came running from the ocean to greet me!

Stayed April 2015, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PONGWE, General Manager at Pongwe Beach Hotel, responded to this review, 3 weeks ago
Hi Hans , thankyou for your review of your stay at Pongwe , we really are so please that you enjoyed your stay with us .

Kind regards
The Pongwe Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2015

Overlooking a magnificent white sand beach and dazzlingly beautiful warm waters, this is a hotel where you can truly escape and relax.
A hour's drive from Stone Town and reached via a pitted road, the hotel's rooms are thatched chalets overlooking the beach, coconut trees and brightly-coloured shrubs. There are hammocks and sun-loungers. The beach is spotless and swept each day. There is a salt-water pool positioned so it too looks out over the extended beach.
The staff are efficient and ever-friendly, operating mainly from the comfortable, well-lit bar area - the best of any in Pongwe - and restaurant, both of which also overlook the beach. It is possible too to have meals on the beach.
Breakfasts were excellent, a mixture of eggs, local dishes and fresh East African fruits but the dinners were a mixure of the spectacular such as the fish platter groaning with lobster, crab, squid and prawns and the aqequate. There is an either or choice for all three courses and a dish of the day.
There is a good selection of reasonably priced wine plus a decent variety of beers, spirits and cocktails.
The reception areas are well run, the walls lined with the work of Zanzibar's artists.
The rooms all have their own balconies and are comfortable but without a wow factor. There is a Bohemian feel to them that works the longer you stay and adjust to the pace of life.
The bathroom was dark but adequate, the four-poster mosquito-netted bed comfortable, a ceiling fan providing some escape from the heat.
Wi-fi works slowly in the rooms but is better in the bar area while hairdryers, tea and coffee are there but need to be brought to the rooms.
Some rooms have double doors which open on to the balconies and, if available, these are the ones to go for. Mosquitos were not a problem.
The real stars are the Indian Ocean and the beach. At low tide it is possible to walk hundreds of yards out to sea, collecting shells, watching the locals fish and pick seaweed, and snorkel on the coral reef. A boat will also take you out and all equipment is supplied.
Swimming is safe in waters that frequently change colours from greens to blues.
The beach is at its best when the tide is out and it is possible to walk for miles visiting neighbouring hotels and bars. While the food at the nearby Pongwe Bay was very good the day we visited, the atmosphere and views were not a patch on Pongwe Beach. For those not wishing to walk or when the tide is high, the hotel can arrange a taxi for the five minute journey. Closer still - about a three minute walk along the beach - is Sheba's Lounge, a smaller more basic hotel, which has a raised platform from which to view the Ocean. The staff are friendly, drinks cheap and there is a good selection of local curries - we had seafood and veggie, plus an accompanying coconut and banana dish. Very tasty. Remember to allow time at any of the restaurants because everything is freshly cooked - at Pongwe Beach you need to order dinner by 5pm.
There is nothing formal about the hotel - shorts and t-shirts are fine at dinner - which is in true character with what is a lovely, relaxing spot overseen by delightful staff.
There is good security both on the beach and at the gates.

Room Tip: Ask for the rooms with the double-doors opening on the the beach...
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  • Stayed March 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kalmthout, Belgium
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2015

We stayed for 3 weeks in Pongwe Beach Hotel in November 2014 (full board). This late review is due to very busy times since we are back in Belgium (back to real life unfortunately).
It is hard to describe our stay in a few words, because we can say so many nice things with lots of superlatives about Pongwe Beach Hotel.
This was not our first stay. We tried the hotel back in 2007 for a few days and already then we felt very very happy there.
First of all : the location ! Wonderful tropical Zanzibar beach with snowwhite sand, The colour of the sea changes during the day from deepblue to emerald green and all colours in between. Just sitting, relaxing and watching the sea is what we did every day again and again.
The hotel is small, so never overcrowded and enough space on the beach and by the swimming pool to feel priviliged and relaxed. The garden is fully grown and very well maintained. As a guest you live a (very comforable) barefoot life in the white sands. From the nice swimming pool you can overlook the beautiful ocean.
The rooms (we stayed in one of the suites with a heavenly private plungepool) are clean, big, comfortable, airy, quiet, with a fantastic bed, good maintenace and with very good privacy. The salty shower-water did not bother us at all : we see it as part of the tropical experience.
The food in the restaurant : a special and warm thanks to John, the South-African chef. He does magical things with the fresh seafood and worked miracles with all his other ingredients.
Every meal was a feast and John is a very warm person. We hope to see him again during our next stay (hopefully this year).
The staff : without any exception, only nice, hard-people, doing a great job trying to give the guests a relaxed and homey feeling. Again a special thanks : this time for Debs, the manager. Without any doubt a powerwoman with a heart of gold !
I can go on about our fantastic 3 weeks, but words are not enough to describe how we enjoyed our stay and how relaxed we returned to Belgium. One address to get rid of any stress : Pongwe Beach Hotel !
So, only one more thing : we promise we will be back as soon as possible and we will stay as long as we can ! Best regards from Edith and Peter (Belgium).

Room Tip: Both the suites and the bungalows are super !!!
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  • Stayed November 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2015

..just returned from a short break in conjunction with safari and I can't rate this fabulous little piece of paradise enough. They made the stay for my son and I so completely perfect. The Tanzanian people are so friendly, more so than anywhere I've been. They helped me all my excursions, and were utterly fabulous with my young son, entertaining him, letting him feed Bush babies in the bar, educating him about the wildlife... It really is paradise. With only twenty rooms it is intimate and quiet but the plethora of activities and excursions mean you can keep busy if you like. Highly recommend the dolphin swimming and colobus monkey trip, along with fishing and diving the reef. Utterly beautiful paradise resort, surrounded by people who have nothing but everything. Stunning.

Room Tip: The beach rooms are stunning. Chose one if possible, we were in 12 and it was gorgeous.
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  • Stayed February 2015, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 Island > Pongwe
Amenities:
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 Island

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