A girlfriend and I stayed at this reasonably priced hotel for 3 nights recently. - October 2012. The set up is very secure-everyone entering has to walk up stairs that lead directly to the check-in desk. And there is always at least one person at the desk.Everyone at the Clove Hotel was consistently nice, helpful and fun to talk with. The staff made and took phone calls for us. Gave us advice on where to go, gave us directions showing us maps hung up in the entry area. Set us up with a great taxi (big windowed van) driver for trips across the island and from/to airport. and were happy to offer a place for me to hang-out for a couple hours after I went snorkeling even though I had checked-out earlier that morning.
The double room that we shared had a big Tanzanian bed with a great large mattress so that you never felt the other person move. The room itself was just big enough to handle the two of us and all our stuff - 4 little tables and a little areas to hang things.The bathroom was clean, big, and had a hot water shower. We could easily walk to all the places of interest in Stone Town. The breakfasts, included with room price, offered fresh local fruits, eggs to order, and good bread for toast. But the best feature is the rooftop deck - open 24/7 with views of the ocean, couches, tables. This is where you have breakfast, where you journal, where you meet other guests, and where you have that wind-down beer before bed. The deck also offers a wonderful honor system where, no matter the time of day or night and no matter if you are temporarily out of Tsh or US dollars, there are cold waters, sodas, and beers available for the taking. You just sign your name in a little book and settle up at the end of your stay.
Friends of ours stayed at another hotel - nice place but like some other places in Zanzibar, no alcohol, not even allowed to have wine with dinner. ..and it cost over twice as much.