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“Busara Music Festival 2011, Zanzibar” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Seyyida Hotel & Spa

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The Seyyida Hotel & Spa
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Old Stonetown | Next to House of Wonder And Palace Museum, Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania   |  
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Ranked #16 of 32 Hotels in Stone Town
UK
Level Contributor
34 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Busara Music Festival 2011, Zanzibar”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2011

I booked the Seyyida in Stone Town on line having read an article about this new boutique hotel. Its location is perfect, only 2 minutes walk to the Fort where the 5 day Busara music festival is held in February. I had room 303 which was spacious, had air con, and a lovely bathroom, plus a small balcony and sea view. There is a great and not overly large rooftop restaurant (LuLu's) with stunning sea views. The breakfasts were great, although other food from their small menu was not so good. The coffee was exceedingly good. The shower heads need attention as they spray all over the place - except on you. My king size bed was exceedingly comfortable and although there are mosquito nets, I didnt see one mosquito in my room, or even in Stone Town !. Be advised that there is an ancient cemetery immediately below the balconied/sea view rooms. Other rooms face a square to the front of the hotel which can be noisey at night with locals cooking and eating so avoid any rooms at the front of the hotel. Its the rear of the hotel that has the lovely views. My recommendation would be a suite if you can afford it - room 301 which also has its own private roof terrace. As the rooftop restaurant was above my room, there was an annoying continual scraping of chairs across the marble floor beginning at 6.00am when cleaning takes place. However, this hotel is in a great location and practically next door to The House of Wonders. It is very clean, light and airy and definately up market. I paid US $234 per night for B & B in room 303. The staff were smiling and eager to please. I had a great time and will definately be booking this hotel for next year's Music Festival in February. The "Spa" is not really one as such. Just a hotel room used for massage on an ordinary bed. Pedicures, manicures are also on offer. I had a great tour guide called Tobi Ali (aka Mr Bush) who took me all round the labrynths nearby - ask for him at reception who arranged him for me.

  • Stayed February 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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169 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2011

You really feel as though you are smack in the middle of everything. Arriving in the dark and approaching the hotel along a dark alleyway we had a few doubts, but the hotel foyer dispels those with a clean and bright interior, and beautiful old photographs on the walls. Rooms are spacious and attractive, air conditioning a blessed relief from the unrelenting heat outside. Breakfast is served on a stunning rooftop terrace, but the service was slow and not impressive.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Woodstock, Vermont
Level Contributor
234 reviews
89 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 454 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2011

We stayed here for two nights and would happily recommend the place. The roof top restaurant was very good and excellent value, the rooms seemed wonderfully quiet, the bed comfortable and the air conditioning good. All the staff were accommodating but the manger seemed a little inefficient.

We booked via e-mail and the response times were slow and difficulty was expressed over taking a credit card payment. I know credit cards in Zanzibar can be difficult to use (.....a situation that needs to be addressed if the island wants to grow tourism in a big way (it does), cos' that is how the world works these days....) however reluctantly it was accepted that was how we were going to pay. Upon arrival the manager indicated that we would go to the bank and use our credit card to withdraw cash, and then pay the hotel. We did not agree to this and eventually it was accepted that we would pay with our Visa. Hassle we didn't need! Upon check out a manual form that was supposed to be ready was not....thus we had to wait around whilst the helpful receptionist had the whole situation explained to her again by us, as the Manager was on his day off. The fact that the very evening before his day off he talked to us saying he would leave all the paperwork and didn't seemed a little annoying!

Thus we signed documents for our charges (as they couldn't process credit cards on the premises) and surprise surprise when our bill turns up from Chase we had a 5% charge added! Chase quickly fixed this but why the hotel doesn't just put 5% on their prices to take into account their administration costs defies me. If they object that much to paying charges, then don't agree to take a credit card....and loose the potential business.

The hotel is very new and has been fitted out with many European fixtures....which were not wearing well. Our glass shower had a great crack across it, the sink tap was very loose and the electric light fixtures wobbled...which was a shame as the design was refreshingly stylish. The rooms are a decent size, have satellite TV but bizarrely no clock? The bed was very comfortable but the linen whilst clean was very marked. The whole hotel was spotless and there is a small massage spa on the premsies which looked acceptable but could not be called 'grand'.

The hotel was very central for Stone Town and the fact that the taxi had to drop you a couple of minutes walk from the entrance, as he hotel is in a pedestrian, area caused us no problem. The taxi drivers on both our arrival and departure were most helpful with our luggage and were rewarded. We never felt exposed to potential 'issues' even at night and think folks that might have never lived in a city. Stone Town in general was fascinating, much cleaner than we expected and the locals were discrete and friendly in a non intrusive way.

The restaurant on the roof terrace needs a special mention as dinner was offered at a fixed price ($20.00 per head) and really was jolly good and excellent value. The dishes cooked had flair and taste and wine list was simple and good value, most South African. The Tusker beer also went down a treat! You can see the ocean from the terrace and also watch the sunset...but for a real treat go to 236 Hurumzi hotel roof terrace for a real view and great cocktails!

We checked out the Serena Inn and felt the prices that they charge made the Seyyida excellent value, and yet the standards of both were very similar.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2010

we stayed at the Seyyida spa and hotel for three nights in August as part of a safari and zanzibar trip. The first disappointment after arriving was that it turned out the Seyyida is NOT a spa and hotel, there was no spa facilities or services available. As this was one of the main reasons we booked the hotel this immediately left us disappointed. the hotel also promised free wifi which wasnt available, and the reception staff weren't able to provide us with a map or directions around town.
that said, the rooms at the seyyida are lovely, very large with a lovely big bed and large bathroom. we also had an amazing view over the sea front. the rooftop bar also had nice views over stonetown, although the bar was very quiet, and the restaurant looked expensive (though we didnt eat there).
one final thing to bear in mind is that the hotel is somewhat hidden in the backstreets of stonetown rather than directly on the sea front. while this isnt a problem, exploring the small winding streets is part of the pleasure of stonetown, it meant that coming back to the hotel at the end of the night was sometimes a bit scary (though we never actually felt threatened or unsafe).
overall, if the seyyida can sort out some of it's teething problems, it will be an excellent and good value option for staying in stonetown. if not, you might be better looking elsewhere.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Barcelona, Spain
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2010

Maybe our score for this hotel is slightly influenced by the fact that we moved from a very noisy guest house right next to the fish market but there is no getting away from the fact that this is a quality hotel.

We had previously been paying around $50/$60 per night per as this was our last night and we were desperate for a good nights sleep we decided to push the boat out a bit. For $100 per night I felt this was quite impressive having looked at a couple of others in the same price catagory.

This was obviously a very new hotel and indeed everything looked very fresh and clean. The room was an island of tranquility, very spacious and most importantly very quiet. We took a look at a couple of other rooms - all equally spacious and tastefull but a couple for some reason had open bathrooms with no door - strange!

We felt the staff were extremely friendly and helpful.

Apart from breakfast, we didn't eat in the hotel but what a view from the dining area atop the hotel - amazing - what a way to start the day. Also the breakfast was excellent too.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Tring, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
56 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2010

Best rooms are sea view rooms with balcony ask for them when booking.The restaurant was on the roof, open air with great viws over the ocean. Good food. Our only critisism would be that the choice of food is a little limited but the quality was high.
Staff were always willing to help and their English was good. We understand the hotel is expanding into the next door building and will have a pool which is all that's missing.
The rooms are large with AC, the beds are very comfortable and the ensuite is large and well equipped. Our balcony overlooked the sea and was fantastic. There was an old graveyard directly below but it never bothered us. Our room was on the 3rd floor, there are no lifts but again we didn't find this a problem. We did occasionally hear furniture being moved around in the restaurant above at night, but it wasn't much and didn't disturb us. We chose this hotel as we couldn't afford the high prices of the Serena but wanted a luxury hotel. We were not disappointed.Overall a fantastic experience and a hotel we would recommend to anyone.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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switzerland
Level Contributor
26 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2010

5 star = Food (fantastique)
3 star = Room (sea balcony room) / the shower wall was broken but the room itself is nice. There is not a great view of the sea (only from the side. Balcony is poor. USD 246 is too much! No wireless Internet there. The TV is very small.
1 star = The service and the staff. They are really unprofessionel (especally in the restaurant).

The Hotel itself is nice and with a little touch of Design. The only problem there was really the staff. Not ready for a pricey hotel like this.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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 The Seyyida Hotel & Spa

Address: Old Stonetown | Next to House of Wonder And Palace Museum, Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Zanzibar City > Stone Town
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Family Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — The Seyyida Hotel & Spa 2.5*
Number of rooms: 17
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Also Known As:
The Seyyida Hotel And Spa
The Seyyida Hotel Stone Town
The Seyyida Hotel & Spa Zanzibar Island/Stone Town

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