Sometimes Hotels appear on web pages or holiday brochures, and you are instantly attracted to them and Pongwe Beach Hotel on Zanzibar was just like that
What a view, what a beach, so what is the hotel like?
Described in the press as
“Affordable, laid-back luxury on one of the most idyllic palm-fringed beaches imaginable”
20 cottages makes Pongwe Beach Hotel intimate, not unreasonably priced, and the place to go if fun and enjoyment are more important than being able to name drop a more expensive resort to try and impress friends and business colleagues.
This is the place to be if you love wonderful beaches, which Pongwe undoubtedly has. Situated half way up the east coast of Zanzibar it has the kind of soft white sand you can only dream about, until of course you come and stay here.
Resorts in the Indian ocean, either on the Maldives, in Kenya, or the Seychelles have this kind of feel but what is different here is that Pongwe Beach takes you back to the days before the development of resorts in the other places.
What you will get is sun, sea, sand, and swimming along with really friendly service, from this unpretentious, laid back hotel
The cottages are real old fashioned Zanzibari in style, no concrete blocks here, just palm-leaf thatched roofs, mosaic floors and handmade wooden furniture, they’re set right on the beach front or 20m back amongst the beautiful green gardens.
You won’t find TVs or radios which means the whole place is blissfully quiet, but should you want it, there’s lots to do in the way of snorkelling, exploring and kayaking. Whether you stay 3 nights or a week, this is relaxation at its most attractive, and is a great place for a beach break after a Tanzanian safari.
Pongwe Beach Hotel Highs and Lows
It is great for honeymooners who want an authentic local experience rather than a high-gloss resort
The small size of the hotel allows for fantastic service from the friendly, ever smiling staff
Its secluded location means no hassle from ‘beach boys’
Snorkelling equipment is free to hire, and there’s a coral reef in the cove.
At low tide, you’ll need to walk a long way (500m) to get to swimmable sea – though the hotel has a lovely infinity pool, surrounded by decking.
Day trips seem pricey for a mid-range hotel
There are a few creepy crawlies in the rooms.
As the hotel is eco-friendly, the pool is salt water and the showers are filtered sea water, so slightly brackish.
To be honest the ‘lows’ are minor irritants in the grand scheme of things, the Pongwe beach Hotel ‘Highs’ far outweigh the’ lows’.
A guest opinion says it all.
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!