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“Beautiful boutique hotel tucked away” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kholle House

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Kholle House
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Malindi 607 / 608, Stone Town, Zanzibar City 642, Tanzania   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #14 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Young, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Beautiful boutique hotel tucked away”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

Kholle House was a unique surprise nestled in the alleyways of Stonetown whilst maintaining ocean views. This cute boutique hotel epitomizes Arabian charm with Moroccan and Mmani elements embedded in each room with beautiful detail. The beautiful double beds surrounded by old shutters and private balconies are truly a wonder to stay in. And the glorious big bath does add that extra something. After touring Stonetown all day its a perfect secret to escape to the refreshing, tiled pool while sipping G&T's in the intimate courtyard. Truly a joy to stay in.

Room Tip: Always ask for a balcony especially towards the western end.
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  • Stayed October 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mwasaju, Owner at Kholle House, responded to this review, November 11, 2012
Dear Guests,
Many thanks for your so kind apprecation.
All the best,

Francis
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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177 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    102
    52
    16
    5
    2
See reviews for
23
99
21
3
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2012

We stayed there for 3 nights as part of our visit to Zanzibar.
The hotel is breathe taking, we stayed in a room at the top floor with a beautiful bathroom and magnificent bed. Lots of antique furniture all over the hotel which gives it a unique and marvelous look and feel.
The staff was kind and very helpful, they organized a stone town tour and a blue safari tour for us and we were very pleased from both. We were also there on a cultural kanun sunset concert at the top most point of the hotel which was unique and interesting experience.
Breakfast was great, freshly squeezed juice and wonderful fruits and also a dinner we had there 1 night was tasty.
The only weak point (the whole of Stone Town) is that there are lots of mosques near by and the prayers start early and on Fridays last the whole day! (So, just don't be surprised)

Thank you for a great stay!

  • Stayed September 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.
Mwasaju, Owner at Kholle House, responded to this review, November 11, 2012
Dear Guests,

Many thanks for your very kind apprecation. It was a pleasure to have you in Kholle House.

All the best,

Francis
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hobart
Level Contributor
52 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

The hotel brochure states that Kholle House was built in 1860 as the home of Princess Kholle and was recently renovated (tastefully and lovingly) by the current owners to offer a variety of 10 guest rooms, outdoor garden/lounge/pool, dining room and sitting room.

Located just back from the waterfront behind the Old Dispensary in the Malindi district, the hotel is very close to the Dar ferry terminal, Mercury's restaurant on the waterfront and a short stroll to the fabulous fish markets and the Forodhani Gardens, which are transformed into an open air collection of delicious food stalls.

Cost of a taxi from the airport is $USD15, the driver will help you find the hotel, which can be a bit confusing first time.

The rooms are terrific, beautifully decorated in an Arabic theme consistent with Stone Town's Omani heritage. I thought the bathrooms to be more than adequate with a deep bath with shower over. Wifi is free but limited inside the hotel due to the thick stone walls. I went up to the cute little roof terrace and skyped near the wireless transmitter.

Breakfast was included in my tariff which was a 3 for 2 offer advertised on Tripadviser. Beautifully served, the meal was freshly prepared and everything you needed.

Drinks and snacks are available most times at reasonable cost and I had laundry returned the same day. The hotel booked a spice tour with a private car and very well presented driver who picked up and dropped off at hotel.

Stone Town is magnificent. The hotel advice to forget the map and get lost was very accurate! At first sight, the narrow streets look a bit spooky, but I spent a day and an evening and felt very very safe. I recommend a walk eastwards towards the Darajani markets and then a "meander" in a SW direction taking in the Old Slave Market (very sad), Hermamni Persian Baths towards the Old Fort, House of Wonders and the Palace Museum.

Would also recommend going past the Fish Market to the Old Dhow Harbour which had so much character.

At dusk, the waterfront is teeming with activity and the kids have a ball jumping off the seawall.

Being near the port and many mosques there is a little noise, but in my opinion all of this adds to the experience!

Room Tip: Carry a torch, power unreliable in Stone Town and the dark alleys difficult ( but safe) to navigate...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mwasaju, Owner at Kholle House, responded to this review, October 6, 2012
Dear Guests,

Many thanks for these kind comments.

Kwaheri!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

At the end of our stay in Zanzibar we explored the narrow streets of Stonetown from our base of Kholle house. This house is a beautiful escape from the hot dusty streets of Stonetown, with a pool to chill out at the end of the day. The rooms had fans and air conditioning to help us cool down. I was impressed with the size of the room considering you're in the heart of Stonetown, plus the hotel has many other areas to relax, including a couple of roof top terraces and a relaxing courtyard. Stonetown is not a huge town but this hotel is perfectly placed to explore. The staff were really friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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.
Mwasaju, Owner at Kholle House, responded to this review, October 1, 2012
Thank you dear Guest for your very kind cmments and appreciation.

Sincerely.

Francis
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sompting, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

We stayed for two nights at the end of our trip to Zanzibar. We thought the room was lovely, and decor very in keeping with the style of the house. There was a small balcony with a view of the port. We stayed in a Prestige Suite on the top floor - room 23. I agree that the bathrooms are on the small side, but excellent water pressure and as each room has it's own water heater hot water was never a problem. Breakfast was excellent - a wide range of choices from fruit to full English breakfast, including bacon! Location was excellent - very close to Mercury's and easy to find in the warren of back streets in Stonetown! Staff were exceptionally helpful and very polite. When I wanted to complete an online check in for our return flight to the UK Ali offered to go to an internet cafe for me to print off the boarding passes as the hotel printer wasn't working. All in all a great place to stay.

Room Tip: Room 23 - Prestige Suite
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  • Stayed August 2012, 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
    • 4 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.
Mwasaju, Owner at Kholle House, responded to this review, September 11, 2012
Asante Sana dear Anita!

Francis
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wakefield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2012

We stayed in Kholle House for the last couple of days of our honeymoon.

Pros:
Good location
Service was good
The decor of the whole place was nice
Tour guide booked through the hotel was brilliant

Cons:
Could have been cleaner (bugs in the sugar and bathroom)
The room (room 12) was absolutely tiny, you had to shimmy past everything in the room it was that cramped

Tips:
Try to avoid room 12
Bring ear plugs as the mosques are very close and the calls to prayer are very loud

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Mwasaju, Owner at Kholle House, responded to this review, September 7, 2012
Dear Guest,
Many thanks for your comments about Kholle House.
It is a fact that room 12 is tiny but we sell it for a very decent price and it is furnished with lovely antiques pieces. I would say it's a doll house rather than a cramped place...
As you may know, maintening a 150 years old house in a tropical environment cannot be perfect whatever the cares we bring to our boutique hotel. We spray our rooms every night and it is very unfortunate that some insects may have gone through this hygien procedure. As for sugar, ants are very fast in identifying sugar and invading it.
As for the mosquee, there was indeed a lot of noise because of RAMADAN. There was little we could do about it. However, we have talked to the Cheikh of the Friday Mosquee and they have agreed to stop prayers in the middle of the night and to lower the speakers.
I hope this answers at least partly your concerns.
Sincerely,
Francis
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San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2012

I was so excited to stay here on a July trip to Zanzibar (the pictures and reviews were great!), but was sadly let down. I set up a TripAdvisor account mainly to share my experience.

Pros:
- Great location that's easy to find in the labyrinth that is Stone Town...no small feat
- Beautiful interior decor with lots of antiques
- Decent WiFi
- Good breakfast, but it took forever

Cons:
- Horrible service. They were not helpful or friendly - it was like pulling teeth to get info about anything such as how to get laundry cleaned. Then they tried to overcharge us for a tour we booked. They pointed to a piece of paper that said it cost $50. I brought my laptop to show the email in which they said it was $40. Instead of immediately apologizing, they continued to argue! It boggled my mind. Another group had issues with the rate they were charged at the end of their visit.

Another annoying thing...prior to our arrival, I tried to book a tour via email. I received no response. When we get there, they say everything is ready and they've made lunch for us. I explained I didn't request a lunch and they gave us a hard time. It was a $20/person lunch which is expensive for Zanzibar (a buffet meal at the Doubletree costs $15). When I tried to find out when the tour guide was coming, they gave me the run-around and then said a mistake was made, he was overbooked...no apology, no alternative. I had to ask about how to get another guide. It was completely ridiculous.

- We requested a deluxe room (middle tier) and it was very small, nothing like the photos. The bathroom was tiny - only big enough for 1 person to stand in.

- Their complimentary bath products are awful. The shampoo was incredibly watery.

Bottom line, there are better places to stay. It was expensive given the area and not a great value at all.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 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
    • 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.
Mwasaju, Owner at Kholle House, responded to this review, September 7, 2012
Dear Guest,
We appreciate your feedback although we think you have been quite tough with us.
Should you encounter this kind of difficulties, I suggest you get in touch with the manager of the Hotel or myself (my name is Francis, I am the owner of the House). We were permanently in the House him and I. Unfortunately, it happens that neither me or him have been aware of any complaints you would have placed about the service rendered.
I assume part of the problems you faced may have come from the ramadan period.
We have chosen local products for the bathroom. Shampoos, body oil and soap are made by a women association. May be it does not reach the quality standard you are used to, but we believe that this part of our approach to promote local industries. I take in accdount your comment and we shall prpose alternative products in case cleitns are not happy with the current ones.
Sincerely,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kholle House

Address: Malindi 607 / 608, Stone Town, Zanzibar City 642, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Zanzibar City > Stone Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kholle House fact sheet:Services & Facilities:• Wi-Fi available• Outdoor swimming pool• Transport to/from airport if required at an additional charge. Zanzibar airport and Dar es Salaam airport – ferry dock• Island tours and sea activities assistanceKholle House in the heart of Stone Town is an historical and authentic house build in 1860 which belonged to Princess Kholle. Sister of Sayyid Sultan bin Bargash and Princess Salme. The house has probably been there as a showcase from their crystal collection and porcelain.After the revolution in 1964 the house was confiscated and occupied by several families, this period caused severe damages in the house. Three years of restoration has bring us the pleasure to present our town beloved house, the work done in connection with historical monuments and in full respect with the construction methods in the time (coral rubble, lime, mangrove beams, marble…). With an noble and austere façade the building is typically Omani Arabic style while the garden has more Indo-Victorian fantasy rhythms. This style is featured on the covers of the old dispensary which faces Kholle House and was restored by the Ada Khan Foundation. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kholle House Hotel Stone Town
Kholle House Zanzibar Island/Stone Town

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