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“Distinctive Hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Dhow Palace Hotel

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Dhow Palace Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Kenyatta Rd | Shangani, Stone Town, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #14 of 31 Hotels in Stone Town
London
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Distinctive Hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

Lovwly shared/common spaces and well furnished in traditional style. Close to centre of Stonetown. Does not serve alcohol . Slightly old fashioned sleepy feel to the place.No lift.
Avoid a room on the ground floor. The rooms on the higher floors get a nice breeze and the ground floor rooms are pokey by comparison.

Room Tip: Avoid a ground floor room, especially room 11. Ground floor rooms have two windows looking out on bo...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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420 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (72)
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English first
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

Dhow Palace is a realy nice place to stay in the centre of Stone Town. The rooms a really nice and the furnishings wonderful.

It has a fantastic character to it. The original building dates from the 17th century and is beautiful with a central courtyard with fountain. The 'new' section has been excellently blended into the old and features a nice pool in the centre - which is fantastically refreshing in the heat of Zanzibar!

Partially agree about the staff issues highlighted in other reviews, in particular about the restaurant staff, although, we had the most wonderful level of assistance from one of the porter/front desk staff who was amongst the most helpful and engaging characters we've met and in general the other staff were good.

Would definitely recommend this place

Room Tip: Rooms in the 'new' section are better air conditioned. The 'delux' room on 3rd floo...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Papillion, Nebraska
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

The original building that is now Dhow Palace has been around since the 16th century. It faces one of the narrow lanes near the waterfront. Inside are two beautiful courtyards, one with a fountain and sitting area, one with a very nice pool.

My room overlooked the pool. It was spacious, air conditioned, and the bath had a very pretty tiled shower/tub niche. The bed was comfy, equipped with a net and below a ceiling fan.

Stone Town is very quiet at night, and I slept very well. The breakfast buffet was basic but quite good. Lots of fresh fruit and outstanding fresh bread among other things.

Like in much of Zanzibar, no alcohol is served on the property. It is an easy walk to the waterfront. There is a restaurant a few steps away that serves alcohol.

  • Stayed January 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
    • 4 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.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

It being my second time to Stone Town, my expectations were modified accordingly. By Stone Town standards, this place is about what you would expect and it doesn't over promise. As a regular traveller I appreciate that. However if you're expecting a beach view, this is not the place for you.

The dishes are rather hit and miss which was rather disappointing given the restaurant here was supposed to be top of the line in the area. Avoid the seafood pasta at all costs, it's a bit of a shocker but the octopus curry is pretty nice. There will be no wine with dinner as the hotel has no liquor license (by choice) so I suppose bring your own (brilliant :-/ )

No deck chairs by the pool which was rather odd. The rooms are small but habitable-good showers, but the telly didn't work properly so if you don't have your laptop like I did, prepare to twiddle your thumbs and begin to feel slightly claustrophobic. The fridge was a non-starter too , so it was warm soft drinks for me throughout my stay.

The major downer for me was that my phone went missing during my time at this hotel. NOT amused.

Room Tip: Request a room with a balcony
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Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arusha, Tanzania
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

We received a very warm welcome at the Dhow Palace.
Our room was comfortable with A/C which was much appreciated!
(One recommendation for the mozzi net would be to change the fabric on top to netting.)
I found the staff kind but indeed the service could be improved upon.
The pool in the court yard is refreshing!! but it is surround by diners....
The location of the Dhow palace was convenient since we were just there for shopping.
Since we are hoteliers, we appreciated the discount.
"Asanteni"!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Mamoudzou, Mayotte
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

we were pleased with the furnitures, the paintings, the great breakfasts. Besides, we were upgrated in the presidential suite because of a bed problem. The suite was great, the only problem was the AC that didn't work in the room despite our complaint. It was very hot and we had difficulties to sleep. The staff was nice, friendly and helpful at the reception. A good place that I recommend, very well situated and the swimming pool is welcome when it's so hot outside.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

Like many other guests we were very impressed by the hotel's antique furniture and quality of rooms. Rooms have ac, nice bathrooms and a welcoming feel.

Unfortunately the staff made us feel very unwelcome here. Throughout our 4 days at Dhow palace we felt as though we were a burden to the staff rather than a guest. The restaurant wasn't brilliant so we opted to eat at others in stone town which was fine, except the staff often tried to persuade us to sit down for a meal as we left te front doors or made us feel guilty about eating at others upon our return.

Unfortunately the front desk staff didn't make us feel any better. We asked for assistance in booking a ferry and were given an abrupt answer of "go to the port" no real direction or assistance and then when paying our bill we only received a few one word directions like "cash or card".

We don't ask for much, although a smile goes a long way and we would have appreciated a "thanks for staying" or "I hope you enjoyed your stay".

The nicest person we found at the Dhow palace was the man who help us with our luggage down the stairs. He was very friendly and we tipped him well accordingly.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Dhow Palace Hotel

Address: Kenyatta Rd | Shangani, Stone Town, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Stone Town
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Luxury Hotel in Stone Town
#10 Family Hotel in Stone Town
#11 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Dhow Palace Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Dhow Palace is an elegant, boutique hotel in the heart of historic Stone Town, close to all amenities, shops and restaurants. Furnished extensively with antiques in a truly Zanzibar style, this 150 year old graceful building has been modernised to take care of all your desires.The hotel offers an open-air interior courtyard with a spacious swimming pool and snack bar, where guests can relax and unwind in peaceful privacy. Bask in the sun on our serene roof top terrace where you can enjoy delicious local and international cuisine and tropical refreshments. The roof top terrace is an idyllic place to watch life unfold in the busy Stone Town streets below, or to witness the remarkable sunsets on this romantic island. Dhow Palace is a place to find tranquility, eat well and become wrapped up in the best of Zanzibar culture. Many of our rooms have balconies overlooking the peaceful interior courtyard and swimming pool; all have traditional Swahili beds, air conditioning and many other facilities, including cable television and hotspot wireless internet. Let the Dhow Palace sail you through your holiday whilst you enjoy the blissful climate and explore the history and culture that this beautiful island has to offer. Location and amenities:The Dhow Palace Hotel is conveniently situated in central Stone Town, close to the shops, markets and restaurants. The Dhow is also within easy access of Zanzibar's awe-inspiring beaches, watersports, excursions and historical attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dhow Palace Hotel Zanzibar/Stone Town

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