My husband and I stayed at this little paradise in March this year following a safari in Tanzania.
We were greeted warmly and given a welcome drink in the bar area which has the most amazing views out to sea. The large open room where the bar is situated is also the restaurant and lounge area.
Each morning at breakfast (hot food is always available if you require but this isn't always clear – just ask - the pancakes were scrummy!), you are shown the lunch and dinner menus and if there is something you don't like, the staff are very accommodating and will change it for you (they just need this bit of notice). The food is absolutely delicious - be sure to have the seafood platter (a supplement is payable) - probably one between two is enough if having for lunch.
Each afternoon around 4pm, the staff come to you at the pool or on the beach to offer you fresh fruit or coconut milk which is a refreshing welcome and a nice touch. Talking of the beach it is lovely white sand and every morning staff clean it of seaweed that has been washed up over night. They start this around 5am I think so by the time most people are rising, it is nearly clean again. Hammocks are scattered around the beach under palm trees and sunbeds are plentiful. When the tide goes out you can walk out to sea for a very long way and even see the coral beds (wear something on your feet though) and see the local women collecting shell fish.
The bungalows (bedrooms) also have sun loungers on the terrace with fantastic views out to sea. And so now onto the accommodation - very clean and basic and flowers had been arranged by the door and on the bed when we first arrived. A small area for hanging clothes and of course no air conditioning in this "green" hotel. A ceiling fan is located above the bed and there is also a free standing electric fan which is much needed. I was a bit worried that showering in salt water (the water is filtered through coral only) would leave my skin feeling sticky but it didn't - just remember to take a good conditioner for your hair and use bottled water to brush your teeth! A large bottle of water is provided each day for this purpose (or to drink it!). Cotton bath robes, sarongs and a beach bag are provided in the room and there is also a library by reception so you don't even need to take a book but you will need to finish it whilst you are there. Internet access and a laptop is also available for a small charge.
Security guards patrol the beach day and night so you feel very safe, although having said that we didn't see anything to make us feel otherwise but I suppose you don't know what it would be like without the guards.
This is a relaxing and chilled experience - walking through sand from your bungalow to the restaurant and bar - some people didn't wear anything on their feet to dinner - it just makes you feel that laid back.
A paradise setting and very relaxing hotel - if you don't like chilling the whole time though the reception can organise numerous activities for you.
So all in all a great hotel which is good value for money with friendly and efficient staff.
- 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