I have visited Stonetown three times now, and have visited the Sunset Bar on each occasion. As I was travelling with my parents this time we wanted to stay somewhere overlooking the ocean, so decided on Africa House given it was a lot cheaper than the other two big hotels with sea views.
There are seaview rooms directly below the Sunset Bar, and then street view/ no view rooms on the floor about the bar- we tried all of them.
We had booked for three nights in two seaview rooms, however after the first night of no sleep in a seaview room, we moved to a street view room. After the second night we left the hotel (the first time I have ever left a hotel before my booking was finished).
The seaview rooms definately have a great view, but unfortunately hear all of the noise from the bar, but that really wasn't too bad. Our reasons for moving room were-
1. we had booked a double room, however as this was not available were allocated a twin room,
2. the security in the room is not very good- the windows did not lock, and as we were only one floor up from the busy street below (which has shops directly under the room), we did not feel that we or our belongings were safe. Because of this we could not open the windows to enjoy the seaview, and feel vulnerable leaving our computers in the room.
3. We could not have the curtains open, as the guys on the street were gawking in and mouthing things to us whenever they spotted us!
Given the excellent location and cheap(ish) price of the hotel, we decided to move to a street view room.
The street view room was a lot bigger, and had a double bed. It was just a shame that the renovation to the room was not yet complete. The bathroom had tiles, however no grout- no of the electrical appliances had electricity- there was a bath, but no shower.
But the worst thing was that the room had a water leak, where water gushed through from the room next door during the night, covering all of the floor and wetting all of our luggage!
That was the final straw, and despite the great location, great views at breakfast and in the bar, we had to move on. The food is not great (breakfast was not good at all) and service is very slow.
I have really mixed feelings about this hotel. Once the renovations are complete and it is restored back to it's original beauty, the building will be amazing. The staircase is pretty amazing already now!
If the prices stay the same, and the renovations are complete I would consider staying in a street view room again- HOWEVER I would visit the hotel first and ask to check the rooms.
The price is reasonable for where the hotel is situated- but it is not of the standard that you would expect for such a name hotel. If it is your first (or only) visit to Zanzibar this is difficult, so, given our experience (which may have been a lot of bad luck), I would have to recommend visiting for the beautiful sunset and a drink, and staying else where.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The African House hotel is located within the prime and historic Stone Town overlooking the open sea and gardens and minutes from the beach and vibrant Shangani square featuring some of the best night life on the Island. The accomodation includes 15 airconditioned rooms, the Sunset Bar, The Sunset Lounge, a Turkish restaurant (yet to Open), Trade winds Restaurant (For Indian / Chinese / Continental / Italian and local dishes). A historical Library, a large conference hall, Hotel shop outlets and sea facing Shisha decks. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Africa Hotel Stone Town
- The Africa Hotel
- The Africa House Hotel Zanzibar/Stone Town