By the end of a busy year, we could finally hear the decadence calling! Being surrounded by turquoise water and white sand was the dream and that’s how Zanzibar happened. Zanzibar is the ideal location for a relaxing and rejuvenating break and unlike many island vacations, does not come with a heavy price tag.
We love the planning that goes into every vacation and in this case, we had to find the ideal location and hotel. 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 you will be stopped by various street vendors and tribesmen trying to sell their wares or simply for money while strolling by the beach and venturing out after sunset is considered unsafe.After a day of research we decide to stay at the Pongwe Beach Hotel in picturesque Pongwe, the quintessential tropical paradise. Book Here
PONGWE BEACH HOTEL, PONGWE
The hotel is approximately 30 minutes away from the airport and you can either take a cab or pre book transfers with the hotel at $50 per trip.The moment we stepped into the hotel, the first thing you notice is a library with English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Italian and French books. Wow! beaches & books, TRUE HEAVEN INDEED!
Enjoying our welcome drink we step into the open restaurant & bar and that’s when we catch the first sight of the sea. It was precisely that moment, when reality finally caught up with my imagination. The location was just too perfect.
Soon after the check in formalities, we are given a quick tour of the grounds and shown to our beach facing cottage and yet again the word perfect plays in my head.
One of the best things about this hotel is that they only have 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.
Complimentary breakfast includes home grown tropical fruits which were fresh and delightful. They chef also had a unique menu for each day incorporating cuisines from around the world. And the cocktail selection is splendid.
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 at the beach and exploring nearby areas and our nights at the bar enjoying one to many drinks, listening to good music and feeding the visiting bush babies. This was followed by long moonlit walks by the beach.
Our Opinion: Awesome! Amazing! Our OCD meter would give it a 8.0 on 10 only because we felt the washrooms were a bit dingy and I am not a fan of salt water baths. Else its 10 on 10 folks! We would definitely go back there any day.
Disclaimer: We were much too relaxed on this vacation, too relaxed to even lift our cameras. Some of the pictures featured here solely belong to the management.