Our Rating
7.9
Overall

Pongwe Beach Hotel

Zanzibar & Tanzania, Zanzibar

from $ 236 per person sharing

Our Rating
7.9
Overall

Pongwe Beach Hotel

Zanzibar & Tanzania, Zanzibar

from $ 236 per person sharing

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Our Verdict

Situated on definitely THE most beautiful beach we've seen on Zanzibar, this simple beach lodge is a great spot for travellers looking for a great beach holiday without the five star trappings.

Our Ratings

7.9
Overall
6.5
Luxury & Style
9.0
Setting
7.0
Activities
9.0
Chill-Out Factor

Our Ratings

7.9
Overall
6.5
Luxury & Style
9.0
Setting
7.0
Activities
9.0
Chill-Out Factor

What's Hot

  • Stunningly beautiful beach setting – in our opinion THE finest beach in Zanzibar! Think perfect powder soft white coral sand attractively sprinkled with palm trees that offer shade as well as good looks!
  • Lovely swimming pool positioned on the coral headland on the northern edge of the beach gives great views out over the beach and the blindingly blue waters beyond - and good swimming no matter what the tides
  • The newer Sea View Suites with their private plunge pools are a very reasonably priced upgrade - they would definitely be our choice (although others will prefer the Beachfront Rooms as they are almost literally on the sand of the beach!)
  • Loads of hammocks & loungers make it easy to find the perfect spot on the beach for a few hours of quality chilling
  • Unfailingly friendly and helpful staff - and the food also gets consistently excellent feedback (spoil yourself with a lobster dinner by candlelight on the beach!)


What's Not

  • Unbelievably popular with honeymooners in particular - so often tough to find availability - try to book well in advance or prepare yourself for disappointment!
  • Unmatched beauty of the setting probably deserves more premium quality accommodation (those of us on a budget certainly won't be complaining though!)
  • Water in the showers is from borehole and slightly brackish

Pongwe Beach Hotel

Pongwe Beach Hotela jaw-droppingly beautiful little cove of perfect white, fluffy sand liberally sprinkled with picture-perfect palm trees and hordes of scurrying ghost crabs

Lodge Profile

Situated on definitely THE most beautiful beach we've seen on Zanzibar, this simple beach lodge is a great spot for travellers looking for a great beach holiday without the five star trappings.

Quick Overview

Rooms
16 Beachfront Rooms & 4 Sea View Suites with private pools
Distance to Beach
5m
Air Conditioning
No
Pool
Yes
Recommended Stay
3 - 7 nights

We first fell in love with Pongwe as we walked from reception into the lounge area to enjoy a welcome cocktail and got a first glimpse of the beach – a jaw-droppingly beautiful little cove of perfect white, fluffy sand liberally sprinkled with picture-perfect palm trees and hordes of scurrying ghost crabs. Quite simply, in all our travels in Zanzibar this has to rate as without question THE most beautiful beach on the entire island! (and we've pretty much seen them all)

And it’s this stunning beach that will dominate your stay at this blissfully isolated little lodge. Take a good novel and flop into one of the many loungers and hammocks-for-two scattered on the sands and get yourself a decent helping of sun-worshipping. When the tropical heat gets too much for you, either retreat into the welcome shade offered by the palms or better still take a dip in the azure waters of the bay. If you've worked up a thirst then simply plunge the little red flag thoughfully provided to you into the sand and - hey presto! - a waiter promptly appears to take your order! (a simple yet ingenious system that we're amazed more lodges haven't copied) Come 4 o'clock in the afternoon, one of the staff will come around offering delicious fresh fruit, whether you're lazing around the pool or under the palm trees on the beach!

When marketing people talk about rooms being “on the beach” they must have had Pongwe in mind! The 16 Beachfront Rooms lie curved around the little cove and it’s simply a case of walking off your porch directly onto some of the softest, whitest sand you’ll find anywhere on the planet! The rooms themselves are clustered together in little semi-detached bungalows of 2 or 3 rooms that are reached via a short stroll down winding sandy paths from the main lodge – don’t be concerned about being disturbed by your neighbours though, as the walls are so thick we never heard a peep from the room next door when we stayed there. As you’d expect at this price the Beachfront Rooms are quite simply decorated - yet they’re relatively spacious and very clean with terrazzo floors, cooling ceiling fans and comfortable mosquito-net covered Zanzibari four poster beds decorated prettily with fresh flower blossoms. If you're looking for something a little more luxurious, then a bit more moola will get you one of the 4 stunning new Sea View Suites, each boasting their own private plunge pools! They're set back a bit further from the beach, but many find the extra space and privacy (and having your own pool of course!) well worth it.

The star of the show at Pongwe though definitely aren't the rooms but rather the beach which is unquestionably the prettiest on the entire island! Like all the lodges of the East Coast, the beach here at Pongwe is affected significantly by the tide – the good news is that the lodge boasts a lovely swimming pool stunningly perched on a low cliff overlooking the beach which offers all day relief from the heat. A large makuti-thatched structure houses the sociable bar as well as a lounge area with comfortable baraza seating and the dining area. Talking of dining, the food at Pongwe boasts an enviable reputation, which is a good thing given that there are no other restaurants nearby! Service too is wonderfully friendly with the Pongwe team doing a great job in keeping their guests happy. One of the highlights that many of our clients rave about is the (extra cost) option of a romantic candlelit lobster dinner on the beach - an unforgettable experience!

The result is all of this is that Pongwe is probably the most in-demand lodge on the entire island and a huge favourite amongst honeymooners in particular - in fact the biggest problem here is getting a room as the lodge is often booked out more than 6 months ahead! And little wonder too as Pongwe gets consistent rave reviews on travel review website tripadvisor.com. For romantics looking for a great value beach holiday on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, there’s little or nothing to touch it!

Pricing

per person sharing

More Information

Booking Notes

  • CLOSED from 20th April until 1st June

  • Please note that this website displays 2 different versions of pricing based on where you are viewing it:
  • SOUTH AFRICANS: the package prices you see including flights from Johannesburg, accommodation and transfers are INDICATIVE prices based on mid-season airfares and mid-season room rates - these fluctuate throughout the year as do exchange rates, so please enquire with us for an accurate price based on your specific dates of travel
  • INTERNATIONAL CLIENTS: the prices you see are per person per night prices for accommodation only based on the normal public prices for the property in question - note that in many instances we are able to provide better prices to our clients, so please enquire with us

Child Policy

  • Children 3 years and younger are free of charge
  • Children 4 years and older in own room are charged at full price
  • Children 4 years - 11 years sharing with adults: inquire about rates that apply Children 12 years and older qualify as "adult"