Reviews of Pongwe Beach Hotel
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Pongwe Beach Hotel review
We had 8 nights at Pongwe and loved it so much we didn't leave the hotel! It is very peaceful and quiet: the only activities you can do from the beach are snorkelling and sailing in the hotel dhow so there is nothing to disturb the peace and quiet. The beach is very quiet and totally private at high tide. There are no beach vendors; we didn't get hassled once during our stay.
The beach is lovely: swept clean of seaweed by the staff in the morning and full of ghost crabs by night. The colours of the sea are incredible: every shade of blue and green you can imagine. Snorkelling off the beach in the hotel's boat was fun; not the most amazing snorkelling but plenty of interest.
We had the family room with a lovely view down the beach and a large private deck. The room was relatively basic but was clean and with good A/C.
The food in the restaurant was good. The bar does great cocktails. It's fun when the bush babies come into the bar at nightfall to be fed bananas.
The staff are very friendly and efficient.
The hotel does not feel busy - perhaps especially if like us you'd rather swim in the sea than the pool. We were able to swim morning and evening as the tides fell perfectly. But even when the tide is out the view is beautiful and beach combing is also quite fun.
For somewhere to spend time reading, sea bathing, eating and drinking I would say Pongwe would be hard to beat.
Brilliant, we were upgraded from a Garden view to a suite with private pool and made the best use of it for our stay.
The beach is spectacular and the hotel grounds are lovely, All of the staff were very friendly and helpful.
The food and facilities were excellent.
An unbelievably stunning view of the beach and ocean from the room which were only a few steps from your terrace. Sea and pool were lovely and warm. Staff and service were great.
Felt totally relaxed the minute we arrived. Very casual atmosphere. Room cleanliness was amazing - they must have spent over an hour every day remaking/decorating the beds, mosquito nets, replacing towels, cleaning floors, bathrooms etc.
A party was put on for New Years Eve with dinner and dancing on the beach which all the staff attended. Made us appreciate how many staff were involved in looking after the 19 villas. Was a great atmosphere.
Staff regularly organised football for the children on the beach.
A really pampered chill-out! The location is beautiful. The staff were so friendly and helpful, nothing was too much trouble. Our room, with its plunge pool, was very comfortable (we could have stayed on the patio by our pool all day, had the rest of it not been so amazing too).
The swimming was good – fun swimming in the sea when the tide was up, and a great pool when the tide was out. We had a really low tide when we were there, and walked a really long way out onto the reef. It was fascinating. Lots of locals were out there too, picking up stranded fish and crabs and poking octopus out of their holes.
We had dinner on the beach one night when the tide was up – beautiful. The seafood platter is out of this world – two sorts of lobster, octopus, squid, prawns and crab claws. We love seafood but there was so much we couldn’t finish it all. The set menu dinners were very appetising, always a choice of two dishes for starter and main, and always a fish choice for both. The food was beautifully presented. The breakfasts were good too, so we never sampled the lunch menu, just having a bar snack instead. Too much great food!
The bar did lovely cocktails too – the Pongwe Sunrise was our favourite, closely followed by pina collada made from fresh coconut.
The hotel organised a very good spice trip for us (to the Union Spice Farm). The taxi driver (Jomo) that took us there and back was great – showed us lots and told us lots about the local people and culture too.
We were very sorry to leave Pongwe Beach.
Pongwe Beach Hotel review
This was a real find. It is not a luxorious lodge but this was more than made up for by the staff, the service and the location. It is a very comfortable well positioned.
The lodge was spotlessly clean including the communal areas. The staff were very friendly and helpful and would remember you by name, room number and favourite drink!
The restaurant and bar area had a lovely view of the beach and sea. The choice of food was good and there was plenty of fresh fish, shell fish, fruit and vegetables. The choice of wine was good. I have a shell fish allergy and this was no problem.
You had a flag which you could use on the beach for waiter service. At 4pm the waiters would come round with fresh fruit and tea and coffee was provided free of charge throughout the day.
There are no facilities in the room to make tea or coffee but when you checked in you were asked if you would like it and each morning by 7:30am there would be a vacuum container of hot water, milk, tea (fresh coffee if that is what you preferred) left outside your room for you which was a nice touch.
There was plenty of shade on the beach as well as sun beds. The beach was for the exclusive use of the hotel. When the tide went out you could walk for quite a distance in either direction as well as out towards the reef.
There are also hammocks dotted around the property which was ovley as they were in the shade so,could be used during the day and at night.
I booked an aromatherapy massage and found Sophie to be very good, I had the massage in the bed outside my room which was lovely.
My 2 comments fro,improvement would be:
1. The mattresses on the beds in the room very very firm. I like a firm mattress but found it too hard for me but after a couple of days I did get use to it.
2. The sun bed mattresses some of them were torn so could do with being replaced.
These 2 points are not meant as criticism but just a couple of things worth noting.
I would definitely recommend and would sago back and stay again.
Besides the massage I did not book any activities through the hotel so cannot comment.
Pongwe Beach Hotel review
This was a lovely place to relax and unwind after a safari and recharge.
A lot of thought has gone into the layout so there is plenty of privacy and it is very quiet even if all the rooms were full.
All the staff were very welcoming and we had a really nice stay.
Azure sea, powder white sand and cocktails
We were ready for a rest by the time we reached Pongwe - especially given the long journey there from the Mara. But we think it was worth it. It's an absolutely stunning place.
We loved the personal plunge pool and day beds we had outside our villa; and the fact that it's a reasonably small place so doesn't feel 'resort-y'. There were always sunloungers to relax on by the pool and on the beach - and having a library is a nice touch, which we took advantage of.
Heidi the manageress was excellent and we really liked the rest of the staff ('hakuna matata' being the name of the game). The food was good and the service was pleasant if sometimes entertainingly idiosyncratic - the language barrier meant that it was necessary to point to things on menus otherwise random things turned up (e.g. ordering 1 x tea and 2 x coffees turning up). The cocktails were good - the fresh pineapple in the pina coladas was welcome!
We enjoyed a day's trip to Stonetown via the Spice Farm - but wouldn't have headed into town more than once because it was over 100 USD for the car alone. Also the massage facilities nextdoor seemed overpriced to me (140 USD for a massage... more than London!) but maybe that was because of the need for a car.
Overall we loved it - pure relaxation in an idyllic setting. The azure sea and powder white beach were spectacular - and the fact that you can get away without wearing shoes while you're there (the path to the bar is sand) means you can't help but kick back and relax. Brilliant spot to end our honeymoon.
Pongwe Beach Hotel - Very nice!
I loved the Pongwe beach!
It is a nice simple resort on a beautiful, quiet beach. It also has a nice pool. The rooms were very clean, the staff very friendly and the food was very good.
It is a quiet place and there are not a lot of activities, but it is perfect if you are looking to relax.
I would absolutely recommend it if you are not looking for a party or too many activities.
Another perfect post safari rest
A third visit to Pongwe – five nights following nine nights on safari. It provides a perfect, post safari relaxation environment.
After the busy safari schedule, what we want is eating, sleeping, swimming, reading, walking along the beach, generally completely relaxing and Pongwe is ideal for it. A beautiful well tended beach with plenty of space to accommodate guests without feeling anywhere near crowded. The beach has Maasai guards so there is no interruption from hawkers. A book and a hammock between coconut palms is very acceptable.
Guest rooms with mesh covered windows open to the breeze that give you all of the comfort you need without anything excessive – providing a genuine feel. A lovely infinity pool as an alternative to the ocean. All of the staff are very friendly, helpful and welcoming. The food, especially if you like seafood, is excellent. Drinks and wines are reasonably priced as are lunches – you may not need it after a large breakfast but it was difficult to say no.
Yes, some of the things like bathroom fittings are getting a bit old and the brakish water takes a bit of getting used to but who cares – you are in a small piece of paradise which is very good value for what you get. Also, the management are working at improving things which is good to know. A future safari trip will undoubtedly lead to a stay at Pongwe afterwards – why would we go anywhere else.
Relaxing after safari at Pongwe beach
The rooms were relatively basic but adequately furnished. Two fans were provided, but no air conditioning. The shower utilised salt water. The outside shaded balcony was particularly welcome to shelter from the midday sun and watch the activity on the beach.
Little touches such as providing sunhats, kikoys, a beach basket with flag to summon bar service on the beach, all day tea in the bar, were thoughtful additions. The dining room and bar were reached by a lovely walk under the coconut palms along the beach and were blessed with a lovely cooling breeze. The food was very good and the service fast.
The salt water swimming pool was very welcome to cool off, and swimming in the sea was also great at high tide. Water activities were provided straight from the beach.