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“You will not regret choosing this hotel!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Emerson Spice

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Emerson Spice
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Tharia Street, Kiponda, Stone Town, Tanzania   |  
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Ranked #1 of 31 Hotels in Stone Town
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“You will not regret choosing this hotel!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

I struggle to even know where to begin when describing Emerson Spice. Stone Town can be a confusing and somewhat daunting place for foreigners, and this hotel is a complete oasis. The staff were the most friendly hotel workers that I have ever met -- especially the breakfast crew. The hotel itself has charming and interesting architecture, and the rooms are originally and beautifully decorated. (We stayed in a smaller room, Siti, but couldn't resist poking our heads into some of the others.) The rooftop terrace has an unparalleled view of Stone Town, which can be enjoyed during tasty breakfasts (ask for the spiced coffee!), sundowners, and a thoroughly enjoyable 5-course dinner. The hotel is extremely well run, with mosquito spray, flashlight, cell phone, and Stone Town map provided, as well as a friendly person always manning the front desk to assist with any need or request for restaurant, tour, transfer, etc. If you are lucky enough to stay here, you will not regret it!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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332 reviews from our community

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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 (99)
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Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

After research and reading reviews on Trip Advisor, I chose Emerson Spice for our 2 night stay in Stone Town. I was not disappointment at all. My fiancee was delighted as he had no idea what to expect. We were given room - Camille, which had an amazing balcony overlooking the square. We also enjoyed the restaurant on the rooftop, but preferred a nearby restaurant slightly more! A couple things to take note of: Call to prayer woke us up at 4:30am but added to the Stone Town "Experience", and some bathrooms have no door and the shower/bath is located inside the room - Perfect if you want something unique! Saw many of the other rooms, all have so much character! I loved all of them, and kept taking pictures everywhere!! Breakfast served on our balcony was delightful!

Room Tip: They are all unique in their own way. Ask for a balcony! We loved Camille, the sun set over the balc...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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St. Petersburg, Florida
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

This hotel is amazing...and kid friendly. The rooms are all different and make you feel like you are living in the days of the Sultan. Our room had a massive bed, outdoor patio and spiral staircase leading to a loft for the kids. We stayed one night in another room and it had an outdoor shower (indoor also).

The roof top restaurant serves 5 course meals every night. The kids eat for half price. The food and sunsets were incredible.

The staff is warm, friendly and helpful. LAUNDRY IS FREE!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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Stone Town, Tanzania
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2013

We got to Stone Town without a booking; it was the low season after all! After a short search, ES was prepared to offer us a room at a negotiated price (see my review of ZZB coffee house). And what a pleasant stay. It amazes me what a difference people's attitude makes; we could all learn from these guys in our day-jobs. Friendly, courteous, welcoming and a sense of humor. But it was the beautiful nature of the room's decor, the attention to detail (like a cell phone provided with each room) which we could take with us as we wandered around Stone Town (to use if we got lost or to come and fetch us after dark if we went to eat out). The food in the restaurant was great and the people delivering it were fantastic. Thanks guys.

We felt this was an oasis in the midst of an otherwise chaotic street life where nobody hassled us and we could relax and enjoy the sea breeze on the rooftop while looking out over the old city.

Sadly we were disappointed with the beach boys hassling us all the time and being thoroughly ripped off at every turn while in Zanzibar. From buying beer in the bottle store to eating out or buying services like a spice tour or a snorkeling tour. At the prices people charge you would expect you're in a first world country where everything works. Don't think we'll be recommending ZZB as a destination which would sadly have an effect on these guys in this hotel.

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2013

We stayed at the Emerson Spice for only 1 night, but it was a beautiful experience. The inside of the building itself is gorgeous and each room is designed in an unique way. We really got the 'royal/magical' feel when we stayed here because of the decor. We were wondering the significance of some of the items in there as they could come off a bit strange, but overall, the rooms are nice.

We coincidentally ran into the owner right before entering who made us feel welcome, and so did the rest of the staff. We received a complimentary wine and fruit platter, as well as another gift for staying with the hotel. The service itself was also great, with everyone there to assist you. They also gave you a cell phone to use in town while you're a guest, which was another amenity that we thought was really valuable.

We would highly recommend this hotel, it's beautiful and they really make you feel special!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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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Cape Town
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

We stayed at the Emerson Spice Hotel for 3 nights and we truly had a wonderful stay.

The staff are all very friendly and helpful, and you feel very well looked after.

The restaurant serves excellent food. Breakfast was lovely - it is served on the rooftop and consists of a plate of fruit, eggs any way you like them, and toast, and then some other freshly baked good which varies from day to day.
On our first night we had dinner at Emerson Spice. Dinner is also served on the rooftop and must be pre-booked in advance. The dinner was superb - we were thoroughly impressed by the quality and creativeness of the dishes. Dinner is a 5 course set meal, and by the end of it we were both very full and very happy! As it is a set menu if you ave any special dietary requirements do let them know in advance so they can cater for your needs.

The room was also wonderful. We stayed in a room called Camille and we were very happy with it. It was large and spacious, had lots of windows to let in the light, and had a lovely big balcony. The room was beautifully decorated, and you could see that great attention had been put into every detail. A previous reviewer mentioned they were scared by the decor (i have no idea why, it is beautiful) and said that they would have liked information on it. There is information available - on the table every room has a folder filled with information, including an explanation of the thoughts behind naming the room and an explanation of all the decor. It was so wonderful to stay in a room with such lovely decor and furnishings.

There are also additional touches that makes this hotel worthy of an excellent review. They go the extra mile with things like torches in all the bedrooms so that if you go out at night you can take the torch with you to ensure that you have light as you walk down the many streets of stone town. There is also a cell phone in every room, with it programmed to phone reception when you press 1. This is also fantastic, as again this is for you to take with you when you go out, and should you get lost or need anything, you can dial 1 and you will have reception on the other end of the line to assist you.

I also mention that we went out to dinner on 2 of the evenings we were in Stone Town, and as we were worried about getting lost in the maze of streets in the dark, we asked reception if they could send someone to fetch us and walk us back to the hotel, which they happily did. which was really great.

They also have a list of day tours and excursions that they offer. We did the city tour and the spice tour and both were fantastic.

I highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed October 2013, 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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Watamu, Kenya
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

Emerson Spice is one of my favourite hotels in East Africa. I have visited a number of times and it never fails to delight. The rooms are gorgeous, each with their own wonderful story and the care and attention that has gone into creating the hotel is magnificent. Breakfast on the rooftop is a superb and the tropical fruits are always fresh and the coffee is delicious. Drinks and dinner on the rooftop is a memory making experience and a feast for the senses. The whole evening is a masterpiece in the exotic ranging from the incredible light of a Zanzibar sunset over the ocean, to the evocative call to prayer from the nearly mosques and the amazing menu that offers a unique and imaginative blend of Zanzibar's finest cuisine. Finally the staff at the hotel are wonderful, extremely friendly, helpful and nothing is too much trouble. Emerson Spice is an absolute gem.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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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 Business Hotel in Stone Town
#2 Family Hotel in Stone Town
#2 Romantic 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 
Also Known As:
Emerson Spice Hotel Stone Town
Emerson Spice Zanzibar/Stone Town

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