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“Charming hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Zanzibar Serena Hotel

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Zanzibar Serena Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Kelele Square, Stone Town, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 30 Hotels in Stone Town
Ottawa, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
“Charming hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

I've been wanting to visit Zanzibar for so many years. I finally made it and this hotel made all the difference with my first experience in beautiful Stone Town. This is a charming and superbly decorated hotel. The nicest and most charming hotel I have ever stayed in. Just wow!! It remains true to its arabic roots - it reminded me of hotels in Morocco and Tunisia. The pool and grounds overlooking the Indian Ocean are fantastic. It made me feel special to be a guest there! WOW! WOW! WOW! Service and food were excellent!

Room Tip: All the rooms are charming and each is very distinct in decor. I stayed in two rooms - one on the g...
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  • Stayed March 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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422 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    235
    131
    30
    21
    5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 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 (109)
Date | Rating
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

My second stay within three months. Most staff are superb, polite and helpful but some are not. There is a particular one seen around the restaurant who seems not to be fond of non-white guests and has asked me everyday if I am a resident guest at the hotel and immediately for my room number before even accepting an order for food or drink. At breakfast, I have observed that, the attitude and hospitality of staff is super nice if the hotel manager is around otherwise not so much....The rooms are nice, internet is erratic(probably not the hotels' fault!), pool side is very nice, location of the hotel is superb but the hotel does not have its own beach area. You can view beautiful sunset views from the hotel !

Room Tip: Ask for seafront rooms overlooking the pool ! other rooms will give you a sideview of the sea which...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

I have stayed in this hotel since it was built and run a number of seminars at the hotel. Although the conference room is a bit pricey and the only one available, that I have found, within Stone Town, the facilities are comfortable.

The rooms are adequate and are a welcome break to the hot and humid conditions. The beds are not the most comfortable in the world but look the part with the carved wooden headboards and mosquito nets. You have to try the Kuku Wa kupaka, chicken cooked in coconut milk, ginger and garlic, with tomatoes, tumeric and onions, my favourite dish in Zanzibar.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 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.
Nairobi, Kenya
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
60 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

This hotel is converted from the old telecommunications building, and one finds exhibits of pre-independence equipment used by the old telecomms service.

Ask for room 52 if you want yourself and your significant other to be serenaded by a different musical group every night at sunset. Room 52 is right above the bar. One or another different talented local group will set up right below your verandah, a musical backdrop to the sunset, the surf , the sand, and the sailing dhows.

Views are all. Make sure you get a room with a view.

Breakfasts are excellent. Arrive early for a table by the window. Eat out for lunch and dinner, since eating in is quite costly. Lots of good restaurants within easy walking distance.

Use taxis arranged by the hotel. The hotel shuttle is a bit pricey, at USD40; a good taxi will run you much less.

Room Tip: Insist on a room with a view over the water.
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  • Stayed March 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.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Staying at this hotel is a joy....great staff, wonderful ambience and a superb setting make a stay worthwhile. Having stayed at this hotel around ten times or so, it always has an allure of times past and history is always around a corner. Internet works fine, rooms are cool and a haven from the heat. No fitness centre which is an inconvenience. The one area for clear improvement is the restaurant, particularly the dinner service. I have eaten there twice at night and won't return. This is such a shame as the facility has a premier position on the seafront and is crying out for an overhaul. Unfortunately nothing has changed in this department and with the abundance of eating establishments within a short walk of the hotel, there is no reason to dine in!!!

Room Tip: Have dinner out of the hotel. No elevator so if you cant walk up two long flights of stairs, ask fo...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Monrovia, Liberia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

I stayed in Serena for 2 noghts, only, but enjoyed and would go back! "Big Joe" is the most welcoming person, that you have to remember! He would welcome you at the entrance/exit, with his great smile, every time...
The room was great, the bed was great, but I liked the view from the restaurant, during the breakfast, the most. Great experience!

  • Stayed February 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

We stayed here 2 nights after our safari in Kenya. They upgrated us to a suite nr 33. That was very nice with more space but this room has many trees in front of the terrace. They were very helpful with everything. A smiling man "big Joe" was really great and our waiter Paul made everything just great. The swimmingpool was very good and in the afternoon a chef is by the poolsideto make pancakes and serve te or coffee. Very nice. They also have a small shop. The food was very good after our oppinion lots to choose from. We were sitting by the window to have a little breeze since it's very hot with high humitety. We recoment this hotel.

Room Tip: We were oppgrated to a suite nr 33 but view was not good. Although we were pleaced. Our stay in Ston...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Zanzibar Serena Hotel

Address: Kelele Square, Stone Town, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Stone Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Stone Town
#3 Business Hotel in Stone Town
#4 Spa Hotel in Stone Town
#5 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
#5 Luxury Hotel in Stone Town
#8 Family Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Zanzibar Serena Hotel 5*
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Also Known As:
Zanzibar Serena Hotel Stone Town
Zanzibar Serena Stone Town

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