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“Very good little hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Stone Town Cafe and Bed & Breakfast

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Stone Town Cafe and Bed & Breakfast
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Kenyatta Road | Shangani, Stone Town, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 27 Stone Town B&B and Inns
Belfast
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Very good little hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

This is a quaint and small hotel but has everything you need for a stay in Stone Town. It is clean and well maintained and the staff were friendly. The hotel is very well situated to all the attractions in the town and also very convenient for Sun Downers at Africa House.

Our room had AC, a TV and a safe for valuables and was very comfortable. The bathroom was large and well maintained.

Food in the cafe downstairs was great too.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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142 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
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India
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

The location of this quiet little B&B is possibly its most attractive feature. It is located right in the middle of the commercial/touristy area of Stone Town, which puts most of the town's tourist attractions, souvenir shops and restaurants/bars within walk-able distance. It is located right next to the Shangani Post Office - which makes it very convenient if you want to send postcards and, more significantly, provides an easy landmark to give people when asking for directions back to the B&B after you get hopelessly lost in the maze of winding lanes and bylanes of Stone Town (you WILL get lost!)

The rooms itself are clean, functional and inexpensive. We took an AC room (considering Stone Town was reeling under 40-degree Celsius heat, this seemed like a smart option). The small room consisted of an antique four-poster bed with a mosquito net, comfortable and clean bed linen, a cupboard with an electronic safe, a full-length mirror, a writing desk and chair, and a flat-screen TV mounted on the wall. It wasn't a room with a view (none of them are), as it looked out onto other houses, terraces and lanes of Stone Town. The bathroom was small but clean with a shower, a water heater and a bidet shower (which is so rare anywhere in Tanzania). A little Zanzibari carved chest provided handmade scented soaps, which are a hallmark of Zanzibar. Our only complaint was that the AC was not very effective. We had to use a combination of the AC and the ceiling fan to get the room to tolerable temperatures.

The food was fantastic. Shakes, smoothies, fresh fruit juice and lovely big pots of Zanzibari coffee accompanied our breakfasts of crepes, eggs in every form, cereal, fruit salads and whatnot. The sweet homemade coconut bread is a must-try.

However, what made this place especially endearing was its staff.

Jameel, the establishment's taxi driver who took us around, was very helpful and a wealth of knowledge about Zanzibari history, culture, tradition and food. Most guide books and websites will tell you that women should dress modestly in Stone Town - that shorts or short dresses/skirts are frowned upon. As I struggled under layers of clothing in that sweltering heat, I asked Jameel about this. "No, not at all. You can wear anything as long as it is not Ramadan time. We locals understand that you are not used to this weather," he said. He proved to be right. I wore shorts after that and nobody batted an eyelid.

"Mr Breakfast", the cheery waiter at the Cafe, was very helpful and pleasant as well. He kept us amused with his banter during meals and, one evening, when he was done with his shift, guided us to a local souvenir store that wouldn't overcharge (most souvenir stores really bump up their prices for tourists and you have to bargain really long and hard to get a reasonable price)

Nasir and Audrey, the management staff, were very pleasant and helpful as well. And finally, Judi, the owner of this quaint little establishment: Judi was very efficient, friendly and helpful. She takes a personal interest in all her guests and makes you feel completely at home. She went out of her way to help us - contacting a resort on Pongwe Beach for us when we couldn't reach them, arranging for someone to take us to Prison Island, arranging a walking tour of Stone Town for us with the inimitable comical guide Farid, and generally ensuring that we were comfortable and happy.

If you aren't looking for luxury, I'd recommend Stone Town Cafe B&B as just about the best place to stay in Stone Town. It's the place that feels closest to home when you're in Stone Town.

Room Tip: Choose an AC room to escape the sweltering heat.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013 via mobile

It was a very pleasant stay in this lovely B&B. Clean, cool and spacious rooms. Staff was most helpful. Breakfast was original: no 'boiled or fried' eggs in the morning.
I would definately stay there again!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Mombasa, Kenya
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Bouquets: Location is good in the middle of the winding streets of Stone Town & the building itself has a certain charm; the manager is helpful and the local staff very friendly; the cafe downstairs is a bonus with some nice food & a place to just chill; taxis are available right outside at reasonable prices.

Brick bats: I feel the price is a bit much for what you actually get (US$80 double B&B) although perhaps Zanzibar has generally become a bit over priced for what it offers these days compared to other similar locations. Our room was Ok but nothing great and there were a few problems with it - the air con vents appeared to be quite damaged so it barely worked, the bathroom toilet/bidet tap leaked water so this corner of the bathroom was always covered in water, the taps in the bathroom wash basin were loose and coming away from their fittings so you had to actually hold them at the base in order to switch on the taps, and overall the room was a bit tired.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Masoud S, Owner at Stone Town Cafe and Bed & Breakfast, responded to this review, May 28, 2013
Thanks for your review. We strive to keep our prices at the lower range of room rates in Stone Town, and think we manage this. Unfortunately in Zanzibar, one of the struggles we have is finding quality fittings and tradesmen. We have taken your comments about the bathroom on-board and given it a complete overhaul since your visit. We hope you will try us again sometime.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013 via mobile

My partner and I stayed three nights at the Stone Town Cafe after our safari. The rooms were clean and comfortable (and the soap is really nice!!). The breakfast was very tasty.... Some of the best food we had in Zanzibar. The staff were very friendly and helpful. I would definitely stay here again.

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

This proved to be an excellent choice as a Hotel to explore the various aspects offered by StoneTown, being situated very much in the centre of Town, Kenyatta Road.
The room was a good size, with en suite, and cleaned every day.
Breakfast was the best on the Island - the freshest fruit !
But most of all, the service from the staff made our stay here memorable, with their excellent help and advice...
Thoroughly recommended !

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

this is a great fairly cheap b and b to stay in . very centrally located it is a 2 minute walk from the shops, africa house for cocktails and restaurants. The rooms are fine and the staff helpful. The breakfast in the morning is delicious! I have now stayed hjere a few times and considering some of the posh hotels in the same area charge up to 300 dollars a night this is brilliant value at around 80 dollars per room per night.

Room Tip: just be aware some rooms are up steep stairs so if you have problems with this tell them when bookin...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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 Stone Town Cafe and Bed & Breakfast

Address: Kenyatta Road | Shangani, Stone Town, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Stone Town
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 27 B&Bs / Inns in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stone Town Cafe and Bed and Breakfast is located in Shangani on Kenyatta Road, just 2 minutes walk from most restaurants and tourist shops, 5 minutes from the Old Fort, and about 10 minutes walk through the narrow streets to Darajani market. Breakfast is served in the cafe downstairs which is open from 8am to 10pm. To book with us directly search Stone Town Cafe and Bed & Breakfast on your browser ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Stone Town Cafe And Bed And Breakfast
Stone Town Cafe Hotel Stone Town
Stone Town Cafe And Bed & Breakfast Zanzibar

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