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“fantastic stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Emerson Spice

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Emerson Spice
Tharia Street, Kiponda, Stone Town, Tanzania   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 29 hotels in Stone Town
Manila, Philippines
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“fantastic stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

A perfect stay. Charming room.excellent diner.dedicated staff.Friendly atmosphere not no be missed
A perfect location few minutes from the harbour, the market,
Food was amazing subtil association of local products/ Fine dining

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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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284 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (78)
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English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

Emerson Spice was our first stop to a great holiday. We didn't know what to expect but were nicely surprised with this hotel. The rooms are very exotic with each room designed differently and a story behind it. We stayed in Kate room which was recommended to us. It was at the top with a big balcony to look over stone town and another balcony on the other side with an outside bath.

The staff were very friendly and happy to please. The dinner on the roof top was fantastic and worth booking for. They try hard to incorporate different spices and the flavours of Zanzibar. The hotel is well situated in stone town - close to harbour, night market and day markets. The hotel supplies a phone for your walk abouts in case you get lost which is very likely! The room has great touches such as beach bags, umbrellas and bits box for things you may have left behind.

If you ever in Stone Town this hotel is a must!

Room Tip: If you being fetched from the airport just send a mail before you leave to confirm this is still the...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Bay Shore, New York
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

I knew it was Emerson as soon as I walked in the door. I have never meet him before but knew it was him. He has created a beautiful place in a beautiful Island. His staff is so helpfull-and the restaurant upstairs is a delight for the palate. We stayed in the LaMore room which was outstanding! and the location in stone town is ideal to navigate the maze of safe streets you can get lost in but its great- it seems all roads lead to Emerson Spice. Even if you get lost just say Emerson and everyone knows exactely where it is and they will point you in the right direction.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York, USA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

This hotel has a great personality and is decorated with a colorful charm. The rooms are spacious and well lit. Head-up to the rooftop terrace for a pot of tea. It is tempting to just visit the beach when in Zanzibar; however, Emerson Spice makes a few days in Stone Town a good choice.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Luanda, Angola
Top Contributor
560 reviews 560 reviews
310 hotel reviews
Reviews in 282 cities Reviews in 282 cities
877 helpful votes 877 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

I had stayed at Emerson Green ten years ago and while transiting through Zanzibar en route to Mafia Island stopped in for a night to see Emerson's latest place.

The reviews are spot on: this is a great place. Unusual, with character, central and with staff trying hard to please. My e-mails were promptly responded to. I had booked a transfer from the airport and I was glad I called to confirm as the receptionist sounded a bit unsure, but Solomon was there to collect me. He was also ten minutes early to collect me to bring me to the airport the next day and brought the dive bag I was unable to take to Mafia with me due to weight restrictions from the hotel to the airport as I transited before flying out of Tanzania. A very reliable man!

I was in Desdemona just below the rooftop restaurant. Great room and had the choice to breakfast on my terrace or on the roof. Very good breakfast (fresh juice, fresh plate of fruits, eggs, toast).

The only issue was checking out. I had made it clear the night before that I needed to leave for the airport at 8:30 AM, but there was no one to check me out. I had prepaid my room so the only issue was paying my transfers which I could have paid the driver directly, but somehow I had to wait ten minutes while they tried to find someone to come and collect my money. (Other guests I met at Mafia also told me that they had expected to find a receptionist in the early morning to give them directions to walk around town and were surprised there was no one.)

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

This hotel is not yet listed in the latest version on Lonely Planet and had heard about it through a friend of mine.

It was an amazing experience on every level. It is owned by an American guy and English woman and they are both great. It is this recently renovated space with care and love put into every detail. There is a great rooftop that has a restaurant and is perfect for relaxing and watching the sunset. And the dinners have to be one of the best in Stone Town.

The staff is welcoming and attentive to all of your requests. They were able to arrange a tour for us on less than one day's notice and our guide, Simai, was fantastic. The rooms are magnificent and truly make you feel like a king. Our room had two floors, an outdoor dining area and another living room type area. One of the best places that I have stayed in quite some time.

One thing that might be worth mentioning is that the hotel and the rooms do not have air conditioning. The rooms are cool at night and there is a fan so it really was not bad at all.

Other than that the hotel is fantastic and would highly recommend to anyone looking for luxury in the heart of Stone Town.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
babuemerson, Owner at Emerson Spice, responded to this review, December 2, 2012
Thank you for your kind review. While we are glad that you found the room comfortable without A/C, we are a bit surprised and would like to apologize for a staff oversight. We have A/C in every room. It seems the staff member who introduced you to the room forgot to show you where it is and how to turn it on. This is not usual, as the staff are very proud of our rooms and their features, sometimes they show more than you need to know. I do not know the circumstances of your check-in, so I cannot really trace what happened, but the staff and I do apologize for the slip. Thank you again.
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Toronto
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

Based on Trip Advisor reports, we chose to stay at Emerson-Spice for three nights right after completing our safari on the Northern Circuit in Tanzania. I must admit I was a bit worried that the descriptions of "quirky" and "unique" might have been hiding a place that was a little ramshackle. But our experience was exactly the opposite. It was fantastic service and quality as well as being quirky and unique.

It’s located in an old traditional Stone Town building with huge rooms, very high ceilings (about 15 feet) located around a central courtyard with a fountain playing below. Even though the building has been rebuilt, the staircases and beams are all in refinished wood giving the place an architectural grandeur of times past.

To get to our room we had to climb right to the top of the hotel (about 8 sets of stairs!!) but wow was it worth it when we got there. The room is huge with a queen sized bed and two day beds on either side, furnished in Indian sari silks to fit with the theme of Katherine Hepburn (the room is named “Kate”) and what the owner calls the Holly/Bollywood style. In addition to a beautiful rosewood dresser, two large round armchairs and footstools, a desk and a fridge, there is a huge bathroom and two large verandahs, one of which has an outside shower (in addition to the inside shower). Both have splendid views over the surrounding Stone Town to the Indian Ocean beyond.

This is definitely my kind of luxury. Not the packaged “Hilton” type but the unique, inspired, creative type of luxury that so well describes the idea of a boutique hotel. Really beautiful!

I have reviewed the restaurant separately but should add here that diner is served on the rooftop terrace with spectacular views accompanied by sundowners and followed by dinner. The food was first class - such that we went there for dinner twice and we also had an excellent lunch in the cafe on the ground floor. We also organized a 2 hour walking tour of the City for $15 each with the hotel; it gave us a great overview and set us up for finding our way around later. Also, our guide spoke excellent English and provided an interesting overview of the history and architecture. I would recommend that also.

Emerson made sure that a driver met us at the airport and brought us to the hotel. He also offered to keep our bags while we were on Pemba Island and if possible to deliver them to the other side of the island. Nothing seemed too much for the owner and staff at this hotel. Top marks all round!

Room Tip: Kate on the top floor was superb but I peeped in many of the others and although they didn't loo...
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
babuemerson, Owner at Emerson Spice, responded to this review, November 23, 2012
A spectacular review! We remember you well and many of the same adjectives you use also fit you. Wonderful, delightful, quirky and original. The ceilings in most rooms are 20ft by the way. We keep working to make all the rooms better. "Kate" just got a night-blooming jasmine whose fragrance is out of this world and some miniature roses to enhance your afternoon nap.
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Additional Information about Emerson Spice

Address: Tharia Street, Kiponda, Stone Town, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Stone Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
#2 Family Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Emerson Spice, a new Zanzibari experience. This labour of love is a journey into the transformation of a near ruin into a five star fantasy that can only be experienced on the beautiful Islands of Zanzibar. We have opened the cafe and Tea House restaurant and we now have 10 of our 12 rooms open to guests. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Emerson Spice Hotel Stone Town
Emerson Spice Zanzibar/Stone Town

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