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“Not a bad option for Stone Town” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Al Johari

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Al Johari
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   116 Shangani, Stone Town, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #22 of 29 hotels in Stone Town
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Not a bad option for Stone Town”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2012

To start with the positives: the location is pretty good, fairly easy to find when you know where it is (other places deeper into Stone Town can be a nightmare to find, even when you've been there several times!). It is nice and quiet, set away from any road noise. The staff were friendly and quite helpful and the place has some charm to it and a decent roof top bar (can't comment on the food though). The breakfast included in the room rate is adequate, although you may be tempted to head into town to get something a little more interesting.
The negatives: there was no hot water in the bathroom, for the wash basin or the shower. Not sure if this is normal or just bad luck. The bed was comfortable enough and looked moderately grand at first glance, ringed as it was with a curtained mosquito net. However, the net didn't really close properly (although didn't experience any issues with mozzies) and you had to fumble about in the dark after turning out the lights as no bedside light or light switch within the confines of the net.
The creaky staircase ascending to the roof perhaps added to the character but if the place were busier might be a nuisance noise.

Room Tip: If you intend to partake in breakfast you will have to climb the stairs every morning anyway, otherw...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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63 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
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  • English first
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English first
Hamina, Finland
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2011

We are more than happy about the restaurant service. The cook makes perfect food. The waiters and waitresses are polite. We don't usually give tips but in this restaurant we felt like it. The room was ok, the shower sewer didn't work properly. This was a minor problem though.

The biggest, and almost the only problem was that we are still missing 200 USD. We had some cash in our back bags (hidden among dirty clothes) and somebody took 200 USD (we didn't count the shillings...). After we noticed it, we told the general manager about it. He promised to pay the ammount back. No police, it's only bad publicity to them. We believed. Nothing has happened within last 5 months... Ok, it was our own fault? In his words it has happened before too (once). Avoid this hotel.

A couple from Finland

Room Tip: Make sure your shower works. Noises from stairs might bother you after the restaurant closes.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2011 via mobile

Spent here a week, for business very good hotel in stone town level, the food is good but not in high standard.
The hotel building is old, so no elevator, we were in the top floor below the kitchen so noise at 7am just above our room woke us up...
The staff is very helpful and the room was cleaned twice a day.

  • Stayed October 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2011

The hotel is close to Serena and we had dinner at Serena. Staff at Al Johari were friendly and helpful. Bathroom was terrible as water leaked everywhere from shower, glad we only stayed one night. Also had two single blankets! Can hear noise from below(it was Eid so ppl were out and about) so if you dont mind walking up more stairs get a room on a higher floor.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2011

My 5th trip to Zanzibar in 4 years saw me wanting to try a new place in Stonetown.. I decided to try Al Johari - they are always advertised around the island, and I gave into my curiosity, despite some previous bad reviews. I spent 2 nights previous at Stonetown Cafe B&B, and opted for 2 nights there and 1 night at Al Johari due to Al Johari costing me twice the price! Both gave me discounted rates due to me visiting during the long rains.
The hotel itself - in the public areas... is lovely - check in was handled efficiently, and I was then taken up to my room ( a Junior Suite). Furnishings were quite luxurious, though I would not say the room is spacious by any means. I'm glad there was just myself, and not 2 guests staying. The bed was comfortable (as were the pillows), though I was frustrated at having 2 single duvets on a Queen-size bed - each time I rolled over, I got cold!
The bedside lamps had some problems with their connection - each time I reached to turn it off, when the cord moved the slightest amount, it would flicker on and off a number of times, and give that nasty "zzzzzp" noise that doesn't really inspire confidence.
The en-suite bathroom was nicely appointed with glass basin and a shower only (for that price, I'd really like a bath as well). The shower leaked terribly - the screens were not siliconed to the wall, so any water hitting the screen pretty much ended up on the floor outside the shower. I also ended up wading in a shower base of water/soap by the end of my shower as the drainage was quite slow. I know in buildings the age of these, plumbing can be quite a hassle, but it detracted from the image of the whole hotel.
The restaurant was really nice - a rooftop affair, with great views across the water. I had a pasta dish that really did live up to my expectations, and I was sorry I wasn't in Stone Town longer to try more of their food. I also had a chocolate dessert that was top notch.
There was wireless internet available throughout the hotel - in the rooms and the restaurant. They just ask that if you go to the restaurant to use the internet, that you buy something while you are there.... so its a handy spot for a meal and internet use!
So - to sum up... great restaurant with WIFI, niceish rooms, but the shower was a shocker... I would not recommend this hotel on the basis that I paid half as much at another hotel during the same stay, for an experience that was 200% better.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Tokyo, Japan
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2011

I was looking for a clean hotel with reasonable price. Since it was low season, the owner discounted a price for a good quality room. I was very surprised the cleanness, decoration and bigness of the room. The breakfast was well prepared and good taste. The only thing I didn't like was a little bit salty water for shower...But without it, it was perfect!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2011

Our itinerary for our trip was changed at short notice and we are very glad it was! The Al Johari is a wonderful hotel in the heart of Stone Town's old district. All the sights of the town are within walking distance and they have a restaurant on their roof which serves delicious food with wonderful views. The spiced coffee with breakfast is a must. The best I tasted in Zanzibar. The rooms are airconditioned and have fridges and flat screen tv's. All the furniture is old style with mosquito nets over all the beds. Our shower had a bit of a leak but otherwise everything was clean and neat. The decor is very tasteful. There is no lift but the porters do carry your luggage to your rooms. All in all, we wished we could have stayed longer.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Al Johari

Address: 116 Shangani, Stone Town, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Stone Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Al Johari 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Al Johari means the Jewel in certain translations of Kiswahili and Arabic, and we invite you to experience the Jewel of Stone Town, Zanzibar. Al Johari is a small 15 room Boutique Hotel in the Stone Town area of Zanzibar, and was the result of a careful refurbishment combining two ancient buildings in Stone Town to produce an exceptional hotel property while keeping within the Architecture and dimensions of Stone Town history with an emphasis on modern state of the art amenities as well as the opulent luxuries of the Omani, Persian, Indian and Swahili influences. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Al Johari Stone Town
Al Johari Zanzibar/Stone Town

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