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“A sui generis combination of hospitality and atmosphere!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Maru Maru Hotel

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Maru Maru Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   397-400 Gizenga Street, Stone Town, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #12 of 29 hotels in Stone Town
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A sui generis combination of hospitality and atmosphere!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

So I will start with the key need-to-know points about any hotel you may be considering a stay at...

The Maru Maru hotel is extremely well located in the centre of Stone Town.

The staff are hospitable, friendly and attentive.

The rooms are clean and comfortable with bed linen of an above average standard for its class (albeit a little on the smaller side).

The roof top restaurant is a great place to have breakfast (watching the sunrise) and an evening cocktail (watching the sunset) with the hotel offering a complimentary cocktail upon arrival. It is nice to have this quality of a restaurant on your doorstep.

Above all, my favourite "thing" about the hotel, second to the people of course, is the atmosphere that it creates o so well. This seems to be achieved from the charming staff members and the decor (notably, the lantern lit corridors in the evening and traditional dark-wood interior) which combined create an endearing atmosphere.

This truly was a lovely place to stay.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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212 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
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English first
Bethesda, Maryland
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

Clean, new, great staff! Nice rooms, they put down the nets and then spray for bugs. Can be a little noisy, but hey its StoneTown! Close to the Gardens and old Fort. Awesome rooptop patio. We saw a NYE performance that was absolutely fantastic.

Room Tip: Courtyard, not the street rooms!
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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
    • 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.
Montreal, Canada
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

There is these nice hotel with very poor service and bad location, Maru Maru is one of them. Thebrestaurant has a nice view yes on the top of hotel, but the service is so poor that you may look forn your meañ instead of the view (one hour to get a small salad).

another small details (these small details count at the end), I was unable to use my credit card duento network problem at the cashier (but we had internet in the room) and all the surrounding ATM where not working (a bit embarassing when you're on leave).

A last one, noisy in e evening....I will never come back here

Room Tip: Please choose the Tembo Hotel near by, there is a nice view on the sea, cheaper and with swimming po...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

We didn't stay at the hotel, but when we walked through the building I wish we had been. It seemed to mix the old and the new so well, and had a really refreshing feel about it.

We went for happy hour sundowners on the rooftop bar, and it was a really good vibe. The drinks were delicious, there were barbecue snacks on offer, the music was really mellow and suited the environment. The whole set up made it feel quite Mediterranean with the white walls and views out over the rooftops and ocean.

Fantastic place to watch the sunset.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

We stayed at Maru Maru hotel for two nights to visit Stone Town.

Pros:
- excellent location for exploring Stone Town on foot (including walking to/from restaurants at night)
- lovely well kept, clean and pretty colonial building
- nicely appointed rooms with decent bathroom and shower
- welcoming and friendly staff
- great views from the panoramic rooftop terrace
- breakfast served on the roof terrace (nice ambience);

What could have been better:
- The noise in the evenings: the music on the rooftop bar was a tad bit loud but what made it worse was the echo effect of the central courtyard which unfortunately amplified it and made it quite bad. I am not normally fussy about noise and I can sleep easily but on the first night I used my earplugs to fall asleep. On the positive it did not go on for too long and it was over by midnight, after which it was very quiet.
- One day it was raining and I asked for an umbrella at reception. They had run out. I think in this kind of hotel they should have at least one umbrella per room.
- it would have been nice to have wi-fi on the roof terrace (if not in the rooms) and not just at reception, though this is not such a big deal for me on holiday.
- breakfast was OK, not the worst I have ever had while travelling but nothing to wow me; Just about adequate. Staff did not know what a poached egg was when I asked for one.


Overall a good hotel which I would consider using again if I was to go back to Stone Town thought probably not for long stays just because of the noise in the evenings.

Room Tip: See if you can ask for a room away from the central courtyard, it may be less noisy.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Vancouver, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

We loved this hotel! It is truly a gem in the middle of hot, noisy, chaotic Stone Town. The location is great with only a few minutes walk to the Forodhani Gardens, restaurants and shopping. We were really impressed with the the traditional style (the courtyard was beautiful) mixed with modern amenities. Service was excellent - from the moment we walked in we felt pampered. The room was spotless, spacious and the bathroom was the best we had in Tanzania (loved the shower!). Everything was at a much higher standard than we expected with lots of attention to detail. The letter of welcome in the room was a nice personal touch. The hotel felt very safe and secure which was important to us as we were two women travelling on our own. There is a rooftop terrace with an amazing view of the harbour where we had our breakfast. Our only disappointment was that we were only there for one night and missed the sunset from it. Overall, excellent value for the price.

  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
81 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013 via mobile

We been there twice in January, when flying in (3am) and out (2am), one week later.

The first night, we had to knock on the door for 5 minutes to get an answer and wait for another 15 minutes until somebody opened the door, but they gave us a late check-out.

The hotel is new and clean, the rooms quite bright, but this place does not bring the same "cachet" as other properties around in the same price range.

For the second night, we tried to get a "half-night" bargain directly at the hotel, but they just offered us a 20% discount on the rack rate, which was still 20% higher than hotels.com current offer. That time, that was not as good as the first one: we went to sleep at 8pm, but the patio was really noisy until 10:30pm and the lounge plays loud music until 11:30pm.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.

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Additional Information about Maru Maru Hotel

Also Known As:
Maru Maru Hotel Zanzibar/Stone Town
Address: 397-400 Gizenga Street, Stone Town, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Stone Town
Hotel Style:
#7 Luxury Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Maru Maru Hotel 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
maru maru set in the heart of stone town, just a few steps from the old fort, the house of wonders and the best shopping on the island, maru maru with 44 rooms offers walking access to all the sites of stone town. All island activities can be easily done as day trips from the hotel. maru maru is a boutique international standard hotel. You will notice the love and care that has gone into every detail. We provide top service, delicious food and cool drinks in a stylish, sophisticated environment – all at an affordable price. There is a classic wing from the days of the sultans, a new wing with a taste of the modern, a tranquil fountain courtyard with an accompanying restaurant, a roof top terrace with 360ª views from our restaurant & lounge.The Uniqueness of the Hotel:• Superbly located near the confluence of Indian Ocean and in the heart of Stone town.• Walking distance from the hotel to the clean and beautiful heritage sites in Stone town.• Varied choice in dining experiences from the all day dining, Bar Lounge or just relax and enjoy In room dining. • The only place for south Indian cuisine.• The only Hotel with 360˚ view of stone town.• Meetings and Conferences. ... more   less 
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