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Reviewed 17 August 2018

There's a great deal to like about this hotel:
* A super location with a well looked after beach. It is swept every morning and on the day we left the seaweed was being picked up.
* The food is very good. For dinner there's a choice of two starters and two mains and so the food is freshly prepared and well presented. The lunch choice is similar plus an every day menu selection. The head chef is visible and pleasant to chat with. The drinks are fairly priced. The bar selection pretty good and the musak is great. There isn't really much going on after 10pm but we didn't want any anyway and, like everyone else, went back to our chalet.
* The staff are great. Names that still stick in my mind include Dainnes and Mary at reception and Miriam and Edmund in the restaurant. The housekeepers and beach staff are very friendly.
* Our room was super; close to the sea; our own sunbeds and our own outside covered area for when it rained or was dark. We had the morning sun and until about 3pm (room called Val's). Early morning tea was brought over to us each day. there was a ceiling fan and a cooler.
* We had a 2pm taxi on our last day and so, although we'd checked out, used the shower room near reception which worked very well and gave us an extra morning on the beach.
* Pretty good wifi even in the chalet.

The one thing we were disappointed about was that we never got to snorkel over the five days we were there. The beach is strongly tidal and goes out on long way. This is actually pretty interesting - you can walk far out, collect shells, spot star fish and see the local women collecting the sea weed they cultivate. But it also means that when there's no sea, the boat can't take you snorkelling. We were unfortunate to also have windy days that meant it was too rough to snorkel by the reef when the tide was in.

So although we'd brought our gear, we never got out there. Although this was tide and weather-driven, communication about snorkelling and beach activities could be better managed (e.g. if we were unlikely to be able to snorkel from the hotel was there an alternative? Were there other things we could be doing? Could there be more up-to-date information?).

This seems to be a gap and it would have been great to see a visible hotel manager or assistant manager actively discussing with us how our stay was going and what we could be doing if there was no snorkelling. Perhaps we were just unfortunate and the manager was away but we didn't meet him or her. We understand that the beach activities are contracted out but the hotel is missing something here and this is why I've only given four stars.

But in all other respects it would be 5 stars and we can certainly recommend the hotel if you're seeking a quiet comfortable stay with a super location, great staff and very good food.

Room Tip: 'Vals' is at the end of the hotel grounds, right by the sea and gets the morning sun. Sunrise through the window!
  • Stayed: August 2018, travelled as a couple
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Thank Legin55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PONGWEBEACH, Manager at Pongwe Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 September 2018

Many thanks for your review. We appreciate you taking the time to provide us such detailed feedback about your stay. We do apologize for highlighted issues encountered during your stay with us. It is through such feedback that will help us better our service where we are legging behind. Overall we are happy to know you enjoyed our slice of paradise.

We look forward to hosting you again here at Pongwe Beach Hotel.

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Reviewed 9 August 2018

We had such an enjoyable time at this resort. The staff is super friendly, attentive and courteous. The setting is ideal--restful, quiet, private and beautiful!! The food was superb--so fresh, healthy and tasty! And the rooms were great, with big verandas and porches. One night we slept outside all night, enjoying the plethora of stars and the fresh sea breezes. Truly idyllic in every way!!

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Catherine A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PONGWEBEACH, Manager at Pongwe Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 14 August 2018

Thank you so much for your review. We really appreciate you taking the time out to share your experience with us.Our hotel aims to provide a truly unique experience, and we are thrilled that we were able to exceed your expectations. We look forward to working with you again in the future!

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Reviewed 8 August 2018 via mobile

The most beautiful beach with spacious and clean bedrooms and happy friendly staff who were so keen to help make our experience as good as it could be. We loved the food, although the choice was limited, to our minds this meant a very fresh and well thought out menu. Watching the bush babies in the bar before dinner with a drink was a real treat. Snorkelling on the reef and lying on the beach just magical…

Stayed: July 2018, travelled with family
1  Thank alrandom1971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PONGWEBEACH, Manager at Pongwe Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 14 August 2018

Thank you so much for sharing your review with us. We do appreciate your feedback as they help us so we can better ourselves. We will put all aspects raised into consideration. Many thanks again for choosing to stay with us.

We are looking forward to hosting you again soon.

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Reviewed 25 July 2018

It was an amazing hotel with private white beach and individual cottages. The hotel room was very comfortable and clean, very hot water for showering, wifi very quick, and restaurant delicious & reasonable price. When we checked in, there was a glass of mocktail to welcome us. There were also loads of activities, such as fishing, snorkling, kyake, etc. However, there was no individual safe box in each room, if you want to store your valuable stuff, you have to go to the reception every time you leave the room. We found it quite inconvenient and did not do so, and unfortunately lost 50 USD in the room......

  • Stayed: July 2018, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
4  Thank srsrsunrui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PONGWEBEACH, Manager at Pongwe Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 29 July 2018

Many thanks for your review. We are pleased to know you enjoyed your stay with us. We are greatly puzzled to know that you lost your money during your stay with us. It is unfortunate that this issue was not brought through to the management during your stay as we would have investigated further and dealt with it while you were still at the hotel. However we will do the best we can to get to the bottom of this matter and if anyone from the hotel is surely responsible they will be dealt with accordingly. As much as we pride in our service and staff we want you our guests to enjoy and have memorable stay with us and not to worry about your valuables. We would like to apologize for any inconveniences caused during your stay with us.

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Reviewed 22 July 2018

We ended our big safari holiday with four nights at Pongwe beach and were not disappointed. The group had traveled from New Zealand and had received mixed reports about Zanzibar in general so felt a little bit of trepidation before arrival. Our prearranged collection from the airport was there as expected, the vehicle was very comfortable and quite suitable for five plus luggage. The front office at Pongwe was friendly, efficient and the arrangements for leaving valuables in the safe was very good. Each of our three rooms were clean, spacious and beautifully positioned right on the beach as advertised. Everything about Pongwe was exactly as advertised. The food was excellent, staff friendly and very fast to respond to all our needs. When on the beach you only needed to place a small flag out on the sand and a member of staff would attend you you within a moment or two, no need to wave the flag! We were five people in three different rooms so extras at the bar and our lunches were charged to three different rooms for five days. After each day we signed a chit to approve our purchases so over the few days we did this a number of times between us. Not once was there any error in their recirding or in their accounting. This is a reassuring thing to note.
One of our party lost a phone, after returning home it was found on the beach, returned to the office and is winging it’s way back to the owner. Without exception we had a great stay at Pongwe and if it were nearer to NZ would return in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed: July 2018, travelled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank sbusby949866
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PONGWEBEACH, Manager at Pongwe Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 29 July 2018

Many thanks for choosing to stay with Pongwe Beach Hotel. it was a pleasure hosting you and delivering the best service to you. Great thing the phone was found by one of our staff member and it has been returned to the rightful owner. Once again many thanks for your review and we hope to host you again soon.

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