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“Sundowner cocktails and dinner on the roof an experience not to be missed” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Emerson Spice

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Emerson Spice
Tharia Street, Kiponda, Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania   |  
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Ranked #1 of 32 Hotels in Stone Town
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Sundowner cocktails and dinner on the roof an experience not to be missed”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013 via mobile

This place had been recommended to us and we had high expectations that were largely met by the staff and the design of the hotel.

Our room (Violetta) was beautiful, with a lovely terrace, high ceiling, interesting decor and good facilities. The shower could have been more powerful, but that's a tiny picky point.

The real highlight, and an absolute must for anyone staying here, is the dinner on the roof with sundown cocktails before. Delicious food, great value, fabulous view of the sun setting over Stone Town. My tip is to get there at 6pm to get the best table (second one down from the "kitchen").

We didn't meet Emerson, but the story behind every room (supplied in the information pack) was interesting and made us want to have a look at them all!

Overall a great stay.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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364 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
    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 (114)
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English first
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

We stayed at Emerson Spice for 5 nights in the Kate room with our 3 young children. In the heart of Stone Town, the hotel is exotic and beautifully decorated. The room was plenty big enough for all of us with 2 large outside terrace areas (one with a large bath) and room for the additional beds too. We had breakfast served on our terrace each morning w hich was much easier with the children as the rooftop restaurant is not what you could call child-friendlyowing to the very low railing. Having said that all the food was delicious; breakfast began with exotic fruit platters, followed by a choice of eggs with toast and muffins; the light lunch menu served on the ground floor was superb and the set menu for the evening was tasty and unusual. We found the staff were fantastic in anticipating our needs - they arranged a babysitter, transfers and day trips and were always friendly and attentive. Would love to go back to Zanzibar just to return to Emerson Spice.

Room Tip: All rooms are unique and vary in size and decor. Tell the hotel what you are after and they will be...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
Perth, Australia
Top Contributor
1,077 reviews 1,077 reviews
184 hotel reviews
Reviews in 353 cities Reviews in 353 cities
667 helpful votes 667 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

The attention to detail in the decor is just superb, its a marvellously atmospheric place to stay.

The balcony provided a comfortable place to watch the goings on of local life below and the square that the hotel is on is quite beautiful with a couple of little local street vendors (and a tourist shop...).

They provide you with a mobile phone so you can ring them if you are lost in the streets of Stone Town!

Opposite a small mosque but they do provide ear plugs (morning call to prayer can be 5-odd am!).

I felt for the rate it was a worthwhile experience.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Malmo, Sweden
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

We spent two nights in the Mimi room and absolutely loved every second of it. The hotel itself is gorgeously decorated without being overloaded and stuffy, it rather gives you a feel of airiness and room. The rooftop restaurant had a fantastic setting and a magnificent view.

The food however was for my part the only letdown with this hotel. I suffer from several food allergies, which I was told by the staff when booking the room would not be a problem. Upon arrival, the staff confirmed the list I sent them on my allergies which was all well and fine. When it came to the actual dinner, they told me I was to be served the vegetarian options. I have nothing against vegetarian food, that is something I really enjoy- and I was especially looking forward to that meal since it was going to be prepared by a master chef. The food did not however live up to my expectations or even what would be normal standard.I am certain you can find better food in any restaurant elsewhere. It was sadly utterly disappointing and surprising that not one dish contained beans or lentils and the like- only vegetables. What made matters worse, was that I was served dishes containing foodstuffs I am allergic to on two occasions. I was not served any alternative, they simply removed the dishes I was unable to eat. All in all, I really recommend staying at the hotel- but eat elsewhere.

  • Stayed January 2013, 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
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singapore
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

We stayed three nights in their huge Aida room. 7m high ceilings and a mezzanine floor overhanging with stained glass windows which contained two beds. A lobby off the master room contained another bed and a balcony. Magnificent net draped four poster bed with lion feet. You could tell this hotel was a labour of love.
The difference between good and great is attention to detail. This hotel had it all! From the box of amenities in the bathroom to the organic insect repellent spray on one of the side tables. A truly comforting gesture was the small mobile phone with direct dial back to the hotel which guests could take around town with them in case they got lost. Just lovely. Well located in the heart of stone town. On the day we arrived the hotel had organised musicians and stick dancers outside in the 'courtyard' of the hotel in honour of the holiday. I even loved the nearby muezzin who did his thing at 5 am every morning. The staff were terrific and even accompanied us through the maze of streets in search of door studs one day. We felt well cared for and safe and happy there. The only downside was leaving!

Room Tip: Emerson Spice's 'Aida' room was fantastic for families - or anyone really. We stuck our...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 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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Edinburgh, UK
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
72 hotel reviews
Reviews in 75 cities Reviews in 75 cities
120 helpful votes 120 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

Emerson spice had possibly the nicest rooms I've ever stayed in. Very large with a huge bath and beautiful decoration. Can have breakfast on your private balcony which was a really nice touch. Restaurant was very good as well - the menu is fixed and very experimental, we went twice and the first menu was hit ans miss but the second was exceptional, easily Michelin star standard.

On the downside, the mosque opposite was deafening. Our room was right opposite the speakers. I know it is a Muslim island but to me the volume was massively inconsiderate - much worse than Cairo even! The hot water was also a bit of a problem - the room has its own water heater, which wasn't turned on when we arrived and if you wanted to use the huge bath you needed to fill it in 3 stages, allowing 5 minutes between each stage for the water to re-heat! And don't bother with the scones or muffins - they were very dry.

Overall then not perfect, but the problems can be forgiven for a beautiful room and an excellent meal. Would recommend to anyone who can bear the noise of the minaret opposite the hotel.

Room Tip: Ask for a room as far from the mosque's speakers as possible
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 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.
Wiesbaden
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

We spent one night at the Emerson Spice Hotel in Stonetown last October before flying back to Germany. This was definitely not long enough and I know I will be back. This small hotel is perfectly charming, the service very attentive and friendly and the rooms all have a personality of their own. You can actually feel the love and dedication that must have been put into the renovation of the historical old town house.
The rooftop restaurant is also wonderful. You get a set diner with many courses, all very small and deliciously exoctic.
Although in the middle of the maze of little alleyways in old Stone Town it takes you only a 5-Minute-walk to get to the Fodhorani Gardens and the House of Wonders.
Really VERY GOOD and my favorite choice in Stone Town.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 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.
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Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
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Additional Information about Emerson Spice

Address: Tharia Street, Kiponda, Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Zanzibar City > Stone Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Stone Town
#2 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
#5 Business Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 10
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 
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Also Known As:
Emerson Spice Hotel Stone Town
Emerson Spice Zanzibar Island/Stone Town

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