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“The best hotel in Zanzibar”
Review of Pongwe Beach Hotel

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Pongwe Beach Hotel
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Pongwe
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 February 2012

Although we havent stayed in many hotels in Zanzibar, and therefore not really qualified to make the above comment, what we loved about Pongwe was its intimacy. There are only16 rooms, and all except 3 are beachfront villas. The rooms are large and clean and yes, the salt water in the bathroom takes a bit of getting used to, but after a while you accommodate it quite easily. As all the photos on this site show, the sand is white and the sea turquoise and when you first arrive, your first word is WOW. The staff are lovely and very helpful, nothing was too much trouble and they were always on hand to give information. We were immediately christened Babu and Bibi, meaning grandfather and grandmother, and this spread to all the staff during our stay. This made us feel special. The food was lovely, with several choices for lunch. If there was something on the dinner menu that you didn't like, this would be readily changed for something to suit. The main course at dinner would normally consist of fish. The tropical fruit provided at lunch and breakfast had a taste like we have rarely experienced. The mango and pineapple were so sweet and gorgeous. There is a laptop provided, with free access to the internet. Also in this area, a very large library providing a book exchange, in several languages. It was wonderful to chill out here with a book, after our safari in Northern Tanzania. Yes, the hotel is remote and a return taxi to Stonetown is going to cost $100, but if you are looking to chill, take long walks along the beach and experience paradise, then look no further. I think if you are looking for a honeymoon destination, then this hotel ticks all the boxes!!

Room Tip: We stayed in both beachfront and garden rooms and both were excellent, so if you are on a budget, ch...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank GrannyAnnie60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 February 2012

This is a really wonderful, laid-back place. The beach is very beautiful, and raked free of seaweed early every morning (not that there is a lot anyway). There is a low density of accommodation, you feel like you have the place almost to yourself (even though it was full when we were there). The caipirinha cocktails are the most delicious I have ever had. The food is really good, and the seafood platter is extraordinary (3 lobsters each, squid and endless vast crab claws). You will not regret staying here.

We stayed in Val's house for 4 nights in Feb 2012. Its right by the sea at high tide (waves wash the steps to the house), its romantic, but the waves can be pretty noisy at night if the tides is in. The bed was attractive and comfortable, there was plenty of hot water in the shower. There are 3 fans, no aircon though. There is a nice shaded veranda, although reading in one of the many hammocks around the beach was also lovely. There is music in the bar/restaurant all day, mostly this is fine and low key, and nice in the evenings; it seemed a bit jaunty in the mornings.

We also visited two other places to stay on the east coast: Blue Water Bay and Matemwe beach. The first was huge and had a corporate feel, a bit like a major international hotel in Hawaii. The second looked a bit less exclusive than Pongwe, it definitely had a poorer beach. We were very happy to have chosen Pongwe.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JulianLeicester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2012

We had such an amazing stay and experience at the Pongwe Beach Hotel in March-April 2010.
For us it was outstanding, the beach is magnificent and so clean. The place is very quite, the service is top notch, the food is very good, especially if you love fish and seafood (the best crabs and lobsters I have ever had), the rooms are very spacious and very nice (good taste). There is a small fisherman's village nearby. The pool is magnificent. And we had some charming small visitors at night when lying on the sunbeds, outside our front door (bush babires).
We celebrated my 50 year old birthday in the resort and it was just fantastic. We had our dinner on the beach, with candles lights digged in the sand all around us, a live band playing (very good), a beautiful flower arrangement above us, great food. Memories for Life!
All in all, this has been our very best experience ever. The only minus was the fact that there was no air conditioning in the bungalow (two big fans instead) so it certainly was very warm in the room. The high level of humidity did prevent clothes to dry in the room. Nevertheless, our rating is a "thick" five stars and we will come back, that's for sure.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank GaelT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2012

The last part of our trip ended here and what a great conclusion. The staff is super nice and friendly. There smiles make your day :-)

The bungalow was great and clean. The bed was comfortable and we did not mind showering with a little bit of salt water. No problem at all. They give you a big water bottle to brush your teeth. Really nice!

The beach is beautiful and the weather is great.

The food was again AMAZING. We had to sea food platter...you better not eat the whole day because it is a lot! Don't forget to eat at the beach one night. Lovely.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank JasperOosterveld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2012

My husband and i spent our honeymoon (we are both 50 years young) in this hotel from the 27th of january till 2nd of february 2012, and it was really excellent.
The place itself, the beauh, the rooms, the food, and especially all the people working there.

It's one of the most romantic places we have even seen.

Go and see for yourself.

Room Tip: choose a beach front room
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Veerle F
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:
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Pongwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Pongwe
Price Range: $182 - $323 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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