We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“NOT a beach holiday”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 2 more sites!
Ngalawa Beach Village
Ranked #32 of 218 Zanzibar Island B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Pretoria, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“NOT a beach holiday”
Reviewed November 30, 2013

If you are looking for a beach holiday this is not the place for you.
The beach is full of full of sea grass (which the hotel staff rake away), the water is extremely shallow (due to it being in a bay) and at low tide the water retreats about a kilometer off shore. This makes it impossible to swim there.
The resort is in a very remote and isolated location, no shops, banks, pubs etc for miles around, and the cost of a taxi is exhorbitant at US$ 17.5 per person each way to Stonetown.
Pretty much there is nothing to do, and nowhere to go.

If you are looking for a lot of peace and quiet, this is the place for you.

The rooms are well equipped, comfortable, clean and spacious but the aircons are not effective, we spoke to othe guests and they all felt the same way, we suspect the aircons have been "doctored" possibly to reduce the demand on the local electrical grid, which leads me to another problem the resort has, a lot of power outages, but to be fair, it is not the reasorts fault and the hotel was well prepared to deal with this problem.
The pool area is great, it needs to be since you cant swim in the sea, but the resort could provide umbrellas around the pool, the Zanzibar sun can be quite fierce.
The food was good but with fish being served for most lunch and dinners, it can become a bit much. Their soup dishes were incredible and varied, compliments to the chef on the soups.
The hotel staff are very friendly and there is always a "Masai" security guard watching over you (from a distance) which gives you a great feeling of security.
Our own personal feeling is that Phuket is more suited to our requirements and will be seeing us again, for the third time!!!!!!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Craig B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoAnne T, Owner at Ngalawa Beach Village, responded to this review, December 1, 2013
Dear Mr Craig B..

Thankyou for your reveiw of our little cultural hide away.All reviews are taken very seriously by us , and each point is researched before responding.

In Zanzibar I can say there are NO beaches with all of what you were searching for..pubs,shops,and banks.

THE BEACH.....we are tidal...when the tide is in the swimming is lovely and the water extemely warm. Just grab a pool noodle and enjoy !
Naturally we have some sea grass, and both hotels here do a stellar job keeping the long stretch of beach clean..

A PLACE TO RECHARGE...You are absolutly correct in stating we are a place to recharge ,relax and reconnect ,however a list of activities is given to you if you choose to participate in any of these arrangement can be made for you with pleasure.

TRANSPORT...There were choices for you..local transport, book on your own ,or one of the companys we use..the driver will stay with you for the duration of the day ,even if you wanted to have a sundowner ..that is a very full day..as well..you are safe and secure , and in a good vehicle with a/c. And a driver who speaks English well.

There is so much to do in Zanzibar , to see and explore but you must be prepared to spend a little as on any vacation anywhere in the world.

ROOMS...Thank you for your compliments regarding the rooms and we have passed them onto the housekeeping staff .

A / C ...Rest assured the A/C cannot be " doctored " the guest has the remote to adjust the room temperature...and none of our guests complained to any of us or our staff..and neither did you.
If you had we could have rectified the problem quickly and efficiently if there was one so that you were not in any way uncomfortable.

As you are aware we make a point of asking all of our guest throughout the day if everything is to their satisfaction from food to any wee problem they may have. After all, we are grateful you chose us and want you to thoroughly enjoy your vacation.

POWER OUTAGES...this is not exclusive to our resort as It is rationed and controlled from the mainland until the end of November when the problem is rectified..however we are always well prepared.so the guest is not inconvenienced.

POOL... We are pleased you enjoyed our pool , and although we have on the upper beach two heavily shaded areas with plenty of beach beds ,we are considering your suggestion of one or two umbrellas , and thank you for that.

FOOD... I have consulted with our executive chef and reviewed the menu on the 4 days you were here and if fish is for lunch it is not a dish served for dinner..however..any food request is never turned down ,as we are known for our excellent food and varied menu.

STAFF...Thank you for your kind assesment of our staff , we work like a family and they are a source of our pride indeed !!

Once again, thank you for spending time with us !



JoAnne and staff
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

192 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    143
    25
    13
    3
    8
See reviews for
48
92
17
4
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Nelspruit, South Africa
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2013

My wife and I wanted a quiet relaxing getaway and that’s exactly what we found at Ngalawa! I have never found a more friendlier place. We were met on arrival by the owners, Joanne and Sadru, and immediately it felt like home. With well-equipped and comfortable expansive rooms, gourmet meals (we even had to photograph them to show others how well we were being looked after!) and peace and quiet! The Ngalawa staff (including the pet goats and cats) are friendly, helpful and always smiling and when they see you, but never intrusive, and it seems to be their mission to ensure you are comfortable and just relax, a perfect combination. Joanne took it upon herself to show us around stone town, from a personal guided tour, sightseeing, shopping and even lunch, was much appreciated. From sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling and just chilling, we thoroughly enjoyed the time spent there and found it fantastic value for money. We will definitely visit Ngalawa beach Village again and have recommended the place to our friends. Thanks guys it was the best and more like 5 stars!!!! – see you soon Andy and Jenni

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Andy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
1 review
Reviewed November 10, 2013

If you need to get away and relax and do nothing I highly recommend you go to Ngalawa beach resort. You are welcomed with open arms and made to feel at home. Our host Joanne and Sadru are always around checking that everything is fine and that you are comfortable. The Ngalawa staff are friendly helpful and always greet and smile when they see you. The food is absolutely fantastic and you never leave the restaurant with a empty tummy. Ngalawa is home from home with a twist even the resorts two goats greet you with a friendly nudge, Lexi and Tallula and the 2 cats Kiki and Lilly are friendly. Rooms are clean and very spacious with the local hand carved furniture. We had a pleasure of seeing there other hotel " pearl of Zanzibar " in stone town and was given a personal guided tour by Joanne herself. Joanne is the pearl of Zanzibar who takes time out her busy schedules to personally take us to her local shopping hotspots and even joined us for lunch. My sister and I will differently be going back to Ngalawa beach resort in the near future and can't wait to see Joanne and Sadru again. Just want to thank Joanne and Sudra and there team for full filling and making our holiday a very relaxing and memorable one. We highly recommend Ngalawa for your Zanibar experience. Love The Daubern sister room 8

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Megan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoAnne T, Owner at Ngalawa Beach Village, responded to this review, November 11, 2013
A hearty Jambo to both of you from hot hot ZanIbar !!

Thankyou so much for your very kind review ! We are truly humbled .
It was wonderful to serve you and teach you the "art" of chilling Zanzibar style , although you were most chilled it seemed when the " girls" were around !!!

We cant help but agree with you in regards to your educated opinion about our kitchen staff .
They always are shown these reviews as a confirmation of a job well done. So happy you enjoyed every morsel.

It was also such a pleasure to take you on a day trip to Stonetown..you were great sports and its always fun to go off the beaten path !!

We are holding you to your promise of a return trip !!

From all of us at Ngalawa Beach
Asante sana
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed October 31, 2013

Our wonderful hosts Joanne and Sadru took us under their wing as soon as we arrived. Joanne was very helpful in telling us about the area and what to do. We just wanted to relax after having climbed Kilimanjaro. The location is perfect and right on the beach. There is also a pool where we just read and relaxed. The food was to die for. I am a vegetarian and they outdid themselves in the presentation and variety of dishes. I even had crepes and maple syrup! My favourite. Our suite was cosy and comfortable with all the comforts of home. Joanne was very helpful when we ran into some issues with our booking and let us use her ipad (free app) to phone and resolve the issue. The goats (Tallula & Lexi) were an added treat and entertained us throughout our stay.

Thank you Joanne & Sadru for the wonderful conversations and hospitality!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LouiseVanBC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Michelle C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fraser Valley
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank J I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoAnne T, Owner at Ngalawa Beach Village, responded to this review, October 24, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Wales
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
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!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank paula121065
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Zanzibar Island hotels
4.0 mi away
Uroa Bay Beach Resort
6.5 mi away
Azao Resort & Spa
Azao Resort & Spa
#4 of 6 in Pongwe
96 reviews
16.1 mi away
Zanzibar Beach Resort
Zanzibar Beach Resort
#1 of 1 in Mazizini
163 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
15.4 mi away
Coral Rock Zanzibar
Coral Rock Zanzibar
#7 of 13 in Jambiani
557 reviews
0.0 mi away
Maars Resort
Maars Resort
#143 of 225 in Zanzibar Island
3 reviews
1.7 mi away
Paradise beach Resort
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Ngalawa Beach Village? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Ngalawa Beach Village

Property: Ngalawa Beach Village
Address: | Chwaka Bay East Coast, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #32 of 218 B&Bs / Inns in Zanzibar Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Ngalawa Beach Village 3.5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ngalawa Beach Village Resort is a very nice Resort of 20 suites all with sea view and beach. The resort is located on the east coast of Zanzibar and overlooks the picturesque Chwaka Bay. All suites have a stunning view of the Indian Ocean from private porch and are very tastefully decorated with an eye for local and cultural theme in mind. The landscaping is professionally designed and the Resort is well lit in the evenings. All suites have attached bathrooms,bathroom towels and pool towels, air condition unit, fan, a desk, a safety deposit box, a kettle for tea or coffee, a full size 6ft by 6ft bed, mosquito net, a mini bar fridge, a day bed, hair driers and two Zanzibari style chairs in the balcony with ocean view. The Resort has a strategically located Swimming Pool with a wrap around pool deck, made from the finest Tanga Stones. Overlooking the Indian Ocean, there is a private sunbathing area and there is a path that leads to "Lily's Beach Bar" located on the Jetty. Bars & Restaurants The Dining room offers a friendly, casual atmosphere, good service and a fully equipped Bar. A very good selection of music to add to the ambiance. Occasional live performers. The main Dining Room also offers Special Menu for intimate private tables in a reserved area. Pool Side dining on special occasions. The Resort has a full service kitchen offering a la carte menu or buffets as planned by the Chef. The menu is prepared with fusion of spices, the cultural cuisines, and abundance of Sea Food in mind, also vegetarian or special requests. Fresh fruits in season and a variety of desserts. A visit to our Coconut Spa is a special time put aside for you to rejuvenate your senses. Choose from variety of massage products for your indulgence. Retreat to the cool shade of swaying palm trees or gently swing on the hammock with a good book. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Travelocity, Expedia and Orbitz so you can book your Ngalawa Beach Village reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Ngalawa Beach Village Hotel Zanzibar

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing