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“Beautiful location and friendly staff” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Tembo House Hotel & Apartments

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Tembo House Hotel & Apartments
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Forodhani Street | P.O. Box 3974 Zanzibar, Stone Town 25524, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #17 of 31 Hotels in Stone Town
Schaffhausen
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
83 hotel reviews
Reviews in 86 cities Reviews in 86 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
“Beautiful location and friendly staff”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

We have stayed in the Tembo House Hotel for two nights. The location of the hotel is perfect. Directly on the beach and very close to restaurants and shops. Our room had a beautiful view to the sea. The rooms was clean and quiet. The staff in the hotel were really friendly. Also the food was okay. The hotel is probably one of the best places for staying in Stone Town.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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533 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 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (115)
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Basel, Switzerland
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

The building is beautiful and the location is perfect. But our room was small and dark, we just had a small window and a few meters to the neighbour house on the other side (= not even close to sea view). I suppose you get what pay for = the hotel is expensive! The bed was not so comfortable and the room wasn't prepared when we arrived (hours after earliest check in). The food is average, go somewhere else for dinner, the breakfast is adequate. The staff is not very helpful. If it hadn't been for the perfect location and the beautiful restored building we had been really disappointed.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

Beds were firm, clean and very comfy, though bottom sheets only went 75% down the bed!. Bedroom was clean, bed nets were in good condition. Interesting netted window in bathroom at head height into another room!! Water supply for shower impossible to set at a useable temperature. The shower rose was encrusted with growths of many colours, nasty. Late in the evening there was a lot of noise outside our room, security missed the opportunity to move the drunks on. Also noise from staff working late and early in the morning at coffee bar.
At breakfast they charged for water, I do not drink tea or coffee! All staff were poorly trained and not very friendly or helpful. Waiting staff were particularly in need of training and attitude change. Towels were not provided, only a floor mat. We had to ask for towels twice and in the end had to go and get them and were only given 2. Soap and other lotions selection were very poor. One tiny bar of soap and one tiny tube of shower gel.
Not worth the money, glad we only stayed one night, we will not return.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

My wife and I along with two of her sisters and a boyfriend of one of them stayed at the Tembo House for one night on Jan. 11, 2013 to wrap up the Zanzibar portion of our trip to Tanzania. We "dropped in" on this hotel and they had rooms available and I negotiated a 15% discount right at the desk. We ended up paying only $122 for the night for our room (my wife and I).

This is a beautiful restored historic building (this was originally built in the 1800's as the US Embassy for Zanzibar when the island was independent) located right on the water in the heart of Stonetown. The rooms were well done and very charming. Good sized and well air conditioned. The bed was probably the best we had on our entire trip. They had a real North American sized bar fridge too that worked like a charm and kept the bottled water and the odd beer nice and cold. Our room had a nice balcony but we didn't face the inner courtyard were the fantastic pool was.

We only had breakfast there which was adequate but not amazing. I don't think this hotel is known for it's food. It's also a "dry" hotel but you go next door to the Livingston bar which was awesome for drinks at sunset on their beach patio. The staff were very good at this hotel and english is widely spoken espcially by the efficient reception staff. They have free internet on two lobby computers that work very well but slow. All internet connections in Tanzania are slow.

Lots of good restaurants in the area and of course the narrow walkways of Stonetown begin right across the street. Beware though that Stonetown is full of aggressive vendors and street hawkers. Honestly one or two nights in Stonetown is plenty. I would recommend hiring an official guide to get you to all the historic sights in the area as the maze of streets can be very confusing. For people that have been to Havana Cuba, Stonetown will seem quite familiar with the old run down historic buildings, etc.

You can't go wrong with this hotel and it is certainly very good value.

Room Tip: Try to get an inner courtyard room with your balcony facing the pool area.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

This was our second stay at the Tembo. The quality of the hotel and staff remain excellent. Maintenace of the historic builing is excellent. The beach has become a delightful extension of the facilities. A neighbouring restaurant on the beach serves alcohol if you want something with your lunch or dinner. Our air conditioner was just OK. Bath in second bedroom had poor water pressure. Breakfasts a bit dull. Otherwise everything was outstanding. If we return to Zanzibar we will return to the Tembo.

Room Tip: All rooms have their special features. Some have balconies, overlooking pool or overlooking Ocean...
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heidelberg, Germany
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

I stayed for one night as a single, travelling with a group. We all enjoyed the nice big rooms, the ambience of the traitional Zanzibar style furnished rooms, the friendly staff and the great view to the sea. I originally had a room at the ground floor, but changing to a better room upstairs was possible without any discussions or surcharge.

Room Tip: Die Zimmer im Erdgeschoss haben leider teilweise Gitter vor den Fenstern und können von außen verrie...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Crowborough, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

Being in he centre of Stone Street it was right near all the fascinating shops. Also right on the beach so great views. Excellent service and staff very friendly Highly recommended. Breakfast was very good.

Room Tip: try and get a room overlooking the beach.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Tembo House Hotel & Apartments

Address: Forodhani Street | P.O. Box 3974 Zanzibar, Stone Town 25524, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Stone Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Stone Town
#9 Family Hotel in Stone Town
#9 Luxury Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Tembo House Hotel & Apartments 4*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A Unique experience awaits at the Tembo House&Apartments.Tembo House Hotel&Apartments is situated at the heart of Zanzibar Stone Town by the picturesque seafront.The magnificent main Building has had various functions over the past centuries. Between 1834 and 1884 it served as the American Consulate in Zanzibar then passed on to become the trading offices of Cowasjee Dinshaw & Partners. Their headquarters was in Aden(what now is know as the Port of Suez), and with trading posts notably in most of the British Protectorate areas, it became the largest trading Company in the India Ocean. To this day , the name of Cowasjee Dinwash & Partners is still visible at the main entrance of Tembo House Hotel.Tembo House Hotel has seen a few celebrities pass through is doors during the consulate era, the Conwasjee Dinwash era and as a Hotel. Mahatma Ghandi, stayed here a few weeks with the Dinwash family on his journey back to India from South Africa 1930. As a rising new star in the British, and the world music scene, Freddie Mercury and his family used to retreat to what is now ”Marashi” apartment whenever they came back to Zanzibar on holidays.Next to Tembo House Hotel is also what used to be the British Consulate, where in 1874, Dr. Livingstone’s body was brought before embarking on its long journey back to England.A stone throw away is the Beit-al-Ajaib of House of wonders. This landmark building, is the largest and by far, the tallest building in Stone Town. Flanking the Beit-al-Ajaib is the Old Fort on one side and the Palace Museum on the other side.In other words, Tembo House Hotel is situated on a prime location, you need not go far to find the shops, the restaurants and the Historical sites that Zanzibar Stone Town has on offer.Zanzibar port is just 5 minutes drive away and the Zanzibar International Airport a further 15 minutes away.Welcome home away from home ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tembo Hotel Stone Town
Tembo Stone Town
Tembo House Hotel & Apartments Zanzibar/Stone Town

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