Pongwe is a small intimate hotel with just 16 traditional thatched cottages set in private gardens backing onto a white sandy beach and the calm azure blue waters of the Indian Ocean.
The hotel itself is a little off the beaten track about 35 kilometres outside of Stone Town on the North East coast of Zanzibar Island. Most of the journey is over a good quality tarmac road with just the last few minutes being over an unmade local road. As the property has large gardens and is tucked away from the busier areas of the island the beach here is refreshingly quiet and unspoilt.
The cottages at Pongwe are all built in a traditional Zanzibari style with a thatched roof, lime wash walls and handcrafted wooden doors. All rooms have a sea view, a private terrace, hand crafted furniture and a large en suite bathroom with Moroccan style walk in showers.
Facilities at Pongwe, like many small guesthouses, are basic but more than adequate. The showers are slightly saline and the power is provided by a generator which is turned off each night. Neither of these things caused us any problems and in fact we may not have even noticed if it wasn’t pointed out.
The restaurant here is one of the best on the island, like many serving a blend of traditional sea food and top quality international cuisine. All kitchen staff here have been trained by a consultant chef from England who has worked in the Dorchester and the famous Lucas Carton, one of Paris’ finest 3 star Michelin restaurants.
The recently completed infinity pool is a welcome addition to Pongwe and a perfect spot to enjoy a cool drink.
Pongwe Beach Hotel enjoys a peaceful, central location on the East coast perfect for relaxing and unwinding with a good book.
For those feeling more adventurous we would recommend hiring a 4×4 Jeep, which can be collected from the hotel, and using it to explore the island. The roads here are very quiet, except for the odd chicken or two, and any point on the island can be reached easily.
Pongwe also owns long boat which can be used for big game fishing or a romantic cruse. Snorkelling and Diving can also be arranged although for the best spots you will need to travel.
Pongwe Beach Hotel is a true class leader and is what many smaller lodges and guest houses aspire to be. Pongwe regularly receives glowing reviews from our clients and is consistently the top performer of its type across the whole of Zanzibar. Additionally, Pongwe has an exceptional level of repeat guests, many of whom have visited several times after being wowed on their first visit. On the flip side, this does make it one of the hardest properties to get availability at. Early booking is essential!!
The beach here is absolutely immaculate with white powder sand, hammock between the palm trees and is very, very quiet, well off the ‘beach boys’ beaten track. The rooms are adequate in size and furnishing and the lack of air con is not a major problem, nor the saline showers. With the addition of the pool, this makes Pongwe into a firm favourite for honeymooners and young families alike and should be on everyone’s short list.
This is a well run charming little guest house with a hint of exclusivity but yet relaxed intimate atmosphere. It’s remote but connected, basic but classy. Pongwe is a perfect choice for couples and romantics who wish to escape the rat race and unwind.