Zanzibar is the ideal location for a relaxing and rejuvenating break and unlike many island vacations, does not come with a heavy price tag. As they say, your hotel can make or break your vacation. With Pongwe Beach Hotel, we hit an island resort JACKPOT!
Also Read: Your Guide to a relaxing holiday in Zanzibar
HOW TO PICK A GOOD HOTEL IN ZANZIBAR
You need to be cautious while booking hotels in Zanzibar as many including the luxury hotels do not have a private beach access. Not having a private access means your idyllic stroll by the beach will be interrupted by various street vendors and tribesmen trying to sell their wares or simply for money, and venturing out after sunset is considered unsafe.
Pongwe Beach Hotel checked all our requirements- Private Beach, Secluded Location, Boutique Hotel, Beach Facing Villa and Limited villas that promised us the privacy we needed.
STAYING AT THE PONGWE BEACH HOTEL
The hotel is approximately 30 minutes from the airport. You can either take a cab or pre book transfers with the hotel at $50 per trip. The first thing you notice when you step into the hotel is a library filled with books in many languages. Jackpot!
OPEN BAR & RESTAURANT WITH STUNNING SEA VIEWS
It is at the open restaurant & bar that you will get the first glimpse of turquoise waters and you would most likely be spending much of your vacation here, with a drink in hand, staring into the horizon.
Cocktail Tip: Try the famous Dawa (Medicinal) Cocktail made of Vodka and local honey. Its crisp, refreshing and absolutely delicious.
BEACH FACING COTTAGES
One of the best things about Pongwe Beach Hotel is that it only has 20 rooms, which makes it the perfect intimate setting to enjoy the beauty around. The hotel offers sea view suites that come with a private pool, beach view rooms and garden view rooms. The decor of the rooms reflect the traditional Zanzibar culture.
We stayed at the beach view room which was very spacious, yet cozy. The hotel’s water supply is from a well on site due to which the water is salty as the high tide mixes sea water with the well water. But they did provide us with complimentary bottled water for the washroom as well as for the room.
Pongwe beaches are highly effected by tide which means during low tide the water recedes 1 to 2 km inside and you can walk literally into the horizon wading through shallow water, with tiny fishes and urchins playing at your feet and during high tide you can enjoy a good swim as the water returns. The hotel provides you with a tide time chart that helps you plan your day.
The hotel provides day fishing trips, snorkelling and complimentary kayaks. Our days were spent mostly at the beach and our nights at the bar enjoying one too many drinks, listening to good music and feeding the visiting bush babies. This was usually followed by long moonlit walks by the beach.