Pongwe Beach Hotel is privately owned and run. It’s one of Zanzibar’s most sought-after properties, so we recommend booking well in advance of your stay to avoid disappointment! The hotel has received a TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice award. Accommodation is booked on a B&B or half-board basis, including watersports equipment hire, bike hire, and Wi-Fi. A laundry service is available at extra cost.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The hotel is accessed via one hour’s drive from Zanzibar’s international airport, Abeid Amani Karume. It’s situated in a secluded bay about halfway up the island’s spectacular palm-fringed east coast.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
There are three garden view rooms, thirteen beachfront rooms, and four seaview suites. All rooms are found within white-washed thatch-roofed cottages with mosaic floors. They’re decorated in a Zanzibari style, and the general effect is comfortable and unpretentious. Each garden view room includes a double bed, an additional bed if required, mosquito netting, a fan, a locally woven wardrobe, and a seating area with a coffee table and two wood-framed colourfully cushioned chairs. There are a couple of mats on the wooden floor, and bottled water with glasses is supplied. The en-suite facilities are accessed through a door to the back of the bedroom, and they comprise flush toilet, washbasin, and shower. The hotel provides kangas and towels. Back outside, there’s a shady veranda with comfy seating. The beachfront rooms benefit from all these features, as well as a lovely ocean view! Two of these rooms interconnect, providing excellent accommodation for families. And the seaview suites are situated on the beautiful beach, boasting the best views Pongwe has to offer. They cover more floor space than the other options, and each has a private plunge pool!
Pongwe’s lounge, restaurant, and bar are all housed in a large timber-and-thatch structure nestling amidst palm trees close to the beach. In the lounge, plenty of comfortable sofas and armchairs surround coffee tables, while the restaurant features chic individual tables and upright chairs. Breakfast is served from 7:30 to 10:30, with guests tucking in to a cooked breakfast and some delicious fresh fruits. Lunch is available from 12:30 to 3, and a snack menu is offered if you just fancy something light in the afternoon. From 8 to 9:30, a three-course dinner is presented, usually featuring a Catch of the Day or tasty grilled meat. Drinks are purchased from the well-stocked bar, which is a great spot for socialising with your fellow travellers! And Pongwe has a very inviting infinity pool, with its own lounge area and breathtaking beach views. Of all the hotel’s amenities, this feature is nearest to those pure white sands and clear blue waters.
One of our favourite things to do at Pongwe is simply lazing around on the beach, swinging in one of the hotel’s hammocks or relaxing under a makuti thatch parasol. During low tide it’s possible to explore long swathes of the sand, as long as you wear sturdy shoes to protect yourself from razor clams and sea urchins, for example. However, the hotel offers lots of other activities! Kayaks, paddleboards, and mountain bikes can be hired for free, opening up possibilities for watersports and land sports alike. Snorkelling and hand line fishing trips can be arranged at Pongwe’s reception, with snorkelling equipment also provided at no extra cost. Staff are also happy to organise all sorts of tours and trips around the island.
You could head to Zanzibar’s capital Stone Town, to take a look at some of its fascinating attractions – the Sultan’s Palace Museum, the House of Wonders, the old Anglican Church of Christ, and the Old Fort. Sunset dhow cruises from Stone Town are a lovely way to spend an evening, with drinks and snacks included. Spice tours are also highly recommended, as is an excursion to Prison Island. Wildlife fans can enjoy forays into Jozani Forest, to look out for a variety of species including the vibrant red colobus monkey! Dolphin spotting is possible too, and you can take terrific trips to the turtle sanctuary at Nungwi. For more information about these activities, and anything else about staying at Pongwe Beach Hotel, please get in touch with a member of the YZ team.