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“Friendly hotel with classic Zanzibar decor” 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
Cape Town
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Friendly hotel with classic Zanzibar decor”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

We stayed 3 nights in room 41 right at the top of the hotel. This room is a mini suite with 2 interconnecting rooms separated by a curtain with it's own balcony that has a view over the roof tops. The one room has a king sized bed and the other room has 2 singles. I found the mattresses very hard.
It is beautifully furnished with traditional Zanzibarian furniture and also comes with mod cons like air con and a small flat screen TV.
The huge blue tiled walk in shower room feels like you are visiting old Persian baths. There are 2 showers and the more modern one works well although I would recommend leaving the hot water on for more than the suggested 20 min.
The hotel has a small but beautiful pool in a traditional courtyard that is overlooked by the balconies of many of the rooms. This is a wonderful space with lots of carved wood, coloured glass and tiles. The pool is a real bonus after getting all hot and sticky from exploring the streets of Stone Town.
We only ate breakfast and a couple of light snacks in the hotel. The ordered food was perfectly fine and the breakfast was passable. I thought some of the baked items (bread and croissants) could have been fresher.
Other facilities include wifi (which seemed to work fine) and a public roof top terrace.
Probably one of the big bonuses of this hotel are the friendly and responsive staff. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble.
There are a couple of things to remember about this hotel; it has no license to serve alcohol and it has no lift. The lack of license isn't a big deal as there are bars nearby, but you won't be able to enjoy a sun downer on the roof top. The lack of lift is also not a problem if you are on the first 2 floors, but we were on the 4th floor which involved quite a lot of walking. Having said that, the porters help with luggage and our room at the top was lovely. PS the old world charm of the hotel means the windows don't seal so well. Bring mosquito repellant!

Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dhowpalace, Manager at Dhow Palace Hotel, responded to this review, July 13, 2014
Dear Rollingstone2000


Thank you for your time taken completing this review.

We are very delighted knowing you enjoyed your stay with us, it is only by receiving such feedback from valued guests, such as yourself, that we are better able to see where we stand in terms of services we provide to our guests.

It will be a pleasure having you again with us
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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416 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

Our party of 5 spent 2 nights at this perfect location for exploring Stonetown. The hotel staff were friendly and helpful beyond the call of duty. Loved the antique furniture and the spacious seating areas on every floor. The sunrise from the rooftop and the views across Stonetwon were magnificent! Pool was very welcome to cool off in after a morning exploring the markets. Definitely recommend.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dhowpalace, Manager at Dhow Palace Hotel, responded to this review, July 8, 2014
Dear Erleenw

Thank you for the time and trouble completing this review.

We are very delighted knowing you enjoyed your stay with us, it is only by receiving such feedback from valued guests, such as yourself, that we are better able to see where we stand in terms of services we provide to our guests.

Thank you and hope to see you back
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New York
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2014

Four of us stayed here for only one night but were treated like royalty. This is a great hotel in a perfect location in Stone Town. Rooms are spectacular - we got the top floor which was like being in another world. The manager and staff were extremely welcoming and helped us in myriad ways. I would recommend this hotel to any traveler to Zanzibar.

  • Stayed July 2014, 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.
Dhowpalace, Manager at Dhow Palace Hotel, responded to this review, July 8, 2014
Dear Izbushka

Thank you for the time taken completing this review.

We are very delighted knowing you enjoyed your stay with us, it is only by receiving such feedback from valued guests, such as yourself, that we are better able to see where we stand in terms of services we provide to our guests.

The treatment and service we provide to our guests is indeed like ROYALTY!

It will give us a pleasure having you back
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Orebro County, Sweden
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2014

Stayed there with my friends for two nights and were completely blown away with the interior and atmosphere. Loved our room and the view from the balcony. Nice breakfurst buffé.
Staff were very friendly and helpful when I missplaced my sunglasses.
I can truly recommend this hotel!

Room Tip: Room 42! Big room with double bed and two extra beds. Balcony with view over the Town and the room c...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dhowpalace, Manager at Dhow Palace Hotel, responded to this review, July 8, 2014
Dear Anna T

Thank you for the time and trouble completing this review.

We are very delighted knowing you enjoyed your stay with us, it is only by receiving such feedback from valued guests, such as yourself, that we are better able to see where we stand in terms of services we provide to our guests.

Hope to see you back soon
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

Originally a Moorish palace built in the 16th century this as much a museum as a hotel with a tremendous collection of antique furniture and fixtures (shame about the pool table), , Most rooms have balconies overlooking 2 central open air courtyards with pools and palm trees. There is also a large roof terrace/bar with views over Stone town. Staff very attentive and obliging
The hotel is right in the heart of Stone town and is definitely the place to stay

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dhowpalace, Manager at Dhow Palace Hotel, responded to this review, July 8, 2014
Dear 508gerryl28

Thank you for your time taken completing this review.

We are very delighted knowing you enjoyed your stay with us, it is only by receiving such feedback from valued guests, such as yourself, that we are better able to see where we stand in terms of services we provide to our guests.

It is particularly very encouraging learning you have appreciated fully our antique furnitures and our professional staff services

It will be a pleasure having you again with us

Kwaheri!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

We booked 3 nights in December 2013 as part of our honeymoon and we could not have improved anything. We booked bed, breakfast and dinner and the food was delicious every time. We had dinner two of the nights as we went to the Street Market on our first night. We had dinner on the roof our last night and it was truly amazing. We could order anything from the menu, without any extra charge and the food was delicious. The feel of the hotel is very old-worldly as it used to be a palace, the furniture is beautifully carved and makes you feel as if you were transported to another time. We went in the summer so the Air-conditioner in our room was an absolute blessing! The swimming pool is absolutely amazing especially when returning from a walk around town or an excursion. We booked a spice tour through the reception which I would advise everyone to do. Everything runs very smoothly and they charge the same rates as the street guides. All-in-all an excellent hotel which is very well located in Zanzibar.

  • Stayed December 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dhowpalace, Manager at Dhow Palace Hotel, responded to this review, July 8, 2014
Dear Renier D

Thank you for the time and trouble completing this review.

We are very delighted knowing you enjoyed your stay with us, it is only by receiving such feedback from valued guests, such as yourself, that we are better able to see where we stand in terms of services we provide to our guests.

I hope to see you back soon

Ahsante Sana
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Bristol, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2014

Booked as part of an extended trip to Tanzania (climbing Kilimanjaro then visiting Stone Town and Nunygwi on the coast) this lovely hotel had a lovely arabic vibe and didn't let me down.

The hotel was chic, comfortable, quiet and accommodating. I couldn't have asked for much more (though the 1st night let me down and the 2nd blew me away). Thanks to the staff for their friendly attitude and their drive to accommodate me.

So now the story - we arrived in mid June 2014 and the hotel was being refurbished. As a single traveller I was given a dark, small room on the ground floor. It certainly had its flaws as it was next to a noisy corridor, was dark, had hot water that came out as steam and looked out over a build site. However the hotel team recognised this and aimed to get me out of there for the second night. And what a second night - the penthouse suite with massive top floor airy rooms and a lovely shower out on the roof and open to the stars!!! An experience and luxury I won't forget in a while.

Overall despite the mildly disappointing but adequate day one room, the day two accommodation blew me away and restored my faith.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a room away from the ground floor
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Dhowpalace, Manager at Dhow Palace Hotel, responded to this review, June 28, 2014
Dear GForce5

Thank you for the time and trouble completing this review.

We are very delighted knowing you enjoyed your stay with us, it is only by receiving such feedback from valued guests, such as yourself, that we are better able to see where we stand in terms of services we provide to our guests.

We are glad despite the first night experience, the rest of your stay was unforgettable and a life time experience in our room 40

I hope to see you back soon

Ahsante Sana
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 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
#11 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
#11 Family 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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