We stayed at Pongwe Beach for 5 nights during our honeymoon. It wasn’t long enough! We booked through ATR, who we would highly recommend and gave a fair description of the hotel. On arrival we were given a welcome cocktail and a tour of the lodge. The service is absolutely excellent. The staff are friendly and go out of their way to help you. There are about 15 separate houses. The rooms are simply furnished but are comfortable with traditional Zanzibar furniture. There is no air conditioning but the windows are covered with mesh which stops any mosquitos coming in (they weren’t really a problem in August), and allows a breeze to come into the room. We were provided with a beach bag, towels, sarongs, dressing gowns and a flag to stick in the sand to order drinks. The only let down to the room was the bathroom which could have done with decorating. There was plenty of hot water and I didn’t find the slightly brackish water a problem. There is a private area at the front of your lodge to sit and have a drink, and fresh coffee is delivered every morning. We did have the occasional power cut but the hotel has it’s own generator so it didn’t last very long.
The beach is simply the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. It is perfect in every way, powder white soft sand, hardly any people, coconut palms with hammocks strung between them and aqua marine waters. There wasn’t any problem with the tide receding miles out to sea or seaweed on the beach, which I believe can be a problem on Zanzibar. In fact the hotel employed teams of people to rake the breach very early in the morning so it always looked perfect. It was free to borrow snorkelling equipment and kayaks although excursions were expensive mainly due to the cost of taxis. We recommend the snorkelling trip to Mnemba Atoll, although we wouldn’t recommend Stonetown.
The food at the hotel was fantastic. Easily the best we had in Tanzania. There was a set 3 or 4 course meal each night but the chef would always find something else for you to eat if there was something you didn’t like on the menu. The staff would also set up a table for you to have dinner on the beach. There is a great cocktail list – we tried our best to get through them all but we couldn’t! I really would just book this hotel. We left Pongwe after 5 nights to go to Breezes Beach Club but we should have stayed. Pongwe is 100x better than Breezes and cheaper.
- 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