We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A terrible Experience” 1 of 5 stars
Review of The Africa House Hotel

Save Saved
You added The Africa House Hotel to your Saves list
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
The Africa House Hotel
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Shangani Street, Stone Town, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #26 of 28 hotels in Stone Town
Lusaka, Zambia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A terrible Experience”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2012

For their price of $165 per night we were expecting something superb - instead we got a smelly room, an airconditioner that didn't work (and apparently there is only one remote in the hotel as all the others have been stolen !), plumbing incredibly noisy, no hot water then no water at all, noisy room, terrible amenities ( luckily we brought our own soap and shampoo ) no space for suitcases etc etc. This has got to be my worst hotel experience in recent years. We were eventually given another room but the replacement wasn't much better.

And the breakfast was also shocking - overheated food, coffee like cat's pee and the staff shouting at each other during our entire meal. A thoroughly awful experience.

It is such a tragedy that this magnificent building has been so neglected and that the Hotel Management just don't seem to care. With luck some far sighted entrepreneur will buy the building and restore it to it's former glory - until then I suggest you stay away !

The only final redeeming feature was that our bill was reduced to $100 as a result of our complaints - $15 would have been more appropriate.

Room Tip: Don't go there !
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

147 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    38
    31
    16
    21
    41
See reviews for
16
57
19
10
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2012

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.

Room Tip: Ask to see the rooms before committing to a booking. Once the renovations are complete some of the r...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2012

After reading some of the rave reviews I was certainly expecting more... The building has so much history to it and is ideally situated.
We had booked a deluxe sea view room-unfortunately the word "deluxe" means different things to different people.Yes, there's a fridge, an iron, tea making facilities. The bathroom was disgusting- the taps were all dirty- the shower was terrible, the toiletries were poor. The "soap" wouldn't even foam. Luckily i had brought some extra which worked fine- so it wasn't the water.
The seaview rooms under the sunset bar haven't been renovated. Several peple had problems with the noisy or faulty air con. downstairs
The Stonetown view rooms upstairs have been renovated and looked stylish- nice and big compared to many Stonetown hotels.. Unfortunately the quality is dubious- cheap fittings. We moved rooms and the first night the curtain rail came tumbling down when I tried to draw a pair of curtains. We couldn't turn the TV on as the cable wouldn't reach the plug socket. Even the kettle had to be placed under the desk as the cable couldn't reach the wall socket!
The staff were very friendly and the Sunset bar has got a great view- we spotted dolphins twice.
Breakfast was the worst i had in my whole Tanzanian visit. What a shame- such a wonderful restaurant location upstairs, overlooking the ocean. I heard compalints from other travellers about the restaurant food so we didn't bother to try out the restaurant. Again, a big shame as it looks very nice. The chef needs to be retrained or replaced!

Room Tip: Don't choose a seaview room until they have been renovated or the price comes down! Quite noisy...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 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
    • 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.
Ascot, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
159 reviews 159 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 79 cities Reviews in 79 cities
209 helpful votes 209 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2012

Although we didn't stay here, the rooftop bar is sensational, and is a necessary stop-off for visitors to Stone Town. The drinks are reasonably priced and bar staff efficient, but the setting... overlooking the Indian Ocean (in our case just before sunset) is magnificent. This place has not changed since it was an old colonial officers' club. The entrance and staircase really set the decadent tone before reaching the terrace bar. You will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Nairobi
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

The homely set up and the great view of the ocean from the open bar makes one at home this together with the great and personalized service, the smiles the waiters and the waitresses plus the constant checks by the manager to ensure you are fine make one feel very valued. you've not experienced Zanzibar's hospitality until you visit The Africa house hotel

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 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.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012 via mobile

After roaming from one hotel to another, we finally found Africa house hotel! it is definitely the place to be! The Food, decor, view, & service- unlike other hotels which don't pay much attention to some races, the service we got was perfect & personalized especially from a gentle man who is Soo eloquent, sorry have forgotten his name. He kept on checking on us if we were ok. Now that's customer service!
We really look foward to come & stay @ your hotel in december, since we dint get a chance 2. We have also reffered one of our friends whose coming to zanzibar in august, to your hotel. Keep it up!

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2012

Beautiful rooms. Historic hotel. Very comfortable. Clean. Great bar. Eat somewhere else though. Felt a bit like a princess with a giant canopied bed. Staff are very attentive and can arrange for tours. The owner of this hotel has a couple of small rescued monkeys and is part of an animal rescue group in Zanzibar. You may see the little guys in the bar. They may try to share your beer. They love spaghetti and are curious about any and everything they see.

Room Tip: If you go during an off season, you can get a great deal on a room and possibly even upgrade free of...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to The Africa House Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The Africa House Hotel

Address: Shangani Street, Stone Town, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Stone Town
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 28 hotels in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — The Africa House Hotel 2.5*
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Travelocity and Venere so you can book your The Africa House Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Africa Hotel Stone Town
The Africa Hotel
The Africa House Hotel Zanzibar/Stone Town

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage The Africa House Hotel, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.