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.

“Nice view of sunset let down by bullish staff and customers” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Africa House Hotel

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
and 4 more sites!
Save
You added The Africa House Hotel to your Saves list
The Africa House Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Shangani Street, Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #29 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Nice view of sunset let down by bullish staff and customers”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

We didn't mind that the drinks were ridiculously expensive because we had got a fantstic view of the sunset- until

a. some awful eurotrash music kept coming on so loud and tastless. some gentle african music or ibizian chill out would have been so much better.

b. some rather rude fellow tourists kept coming up and blocking it. The staff did nothing to stop them blocking our view but instead tried to push us to buy more food and drinks.

The conversion rate fromtanzanian shilling to dollars was terrible - but we had no choice but to pay that way as the waitress claimed their card machine was out of action. strange that they said they didnt have anoher one working in the entire hotel. i wonder how hotel guests paid for things?

nice sunset, terrible service and atmosphere. we couldnt wait to get out of there!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
Write a Review

185 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    50
    45
    21
    24
    45
See reviews for
24
71
25
12
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 (28)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

Was let down by another (highly rated) hotel in the area so took the advice of a local businessman
and went to Africa House. They were very accomodating and although late at night offered us the most perfect room for our honeymoon.The service was excellent and we were treated like royalty for the duration of our stay with the owner/manager taking it upon herself to ensure our special holiday would be remembered with affection.Thank you so much.

Room Tip: The bar is a little noisy but hey you`re on holiday!!
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
53 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012 via mobile

Didn't stay here but went for sunset drinks as it is apparently 'the place' to go. We reserved a table during the day as it was my birthday and knew it would be busy. When we arrived at 5pm they had no record and someone else was sat on that table who had also 'booked' it! They had no wine left and we gave up on the cocktails as service was so slow and hopeless. Had a beer each and left. Much better places to watch sunset - Serena Inn or Travellers Cafe much nicer, or even just down on the beach!

Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toulouse, France
Level Contributor
48 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012

We went to Africa house hotel to catch the sunset as had read in many guidebooks that it is famous for the sunset. I am not even sure why as it seems to be clouded by some large palm trees. We had one drink then left the chaos! Was packed to the brim and overrun by large tour goups. Staff seemed stressed and unable to manage the amount of people in there. When we wnet to the bar to pay up there were about 10 members of staff trying to get drinks, get bills, take money and we waited over 5 minutes just to pay. We ended up on the road by the harbour which was much quieter and the following night went to serena hotel which was much better and pleasant.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Lusaka, Zambia
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
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.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 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
Level Contributor
124 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 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.
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Stone Town hotels
0.1 mi away
Zanzibar Hotel
Zanzibar Hotel
#23 of 33 in Stone Town
3.5 of 5 stars 53 reviews
0.2 mi away
Tembo House  Hotel & Apartments
0.0 mi away
Al Johari
Al Johari
#27 of 33 in Stone Town
3.5 of 5 stars 67 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.1 mi away
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Zanzibar - Stone Town
0.0 mi away
Dhow Palace Hotel
Dhow Palace Hotel
#20 of 33 in Stone Town
4.0 of 5 stars 476 reviews
0.0 mi away
Beyt al Salaam
Beyt al Salaam
#14 of 33 in Stone Town
4.0 of 5 stars 69 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

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, Zanzibar City, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Zanzibar City > Stone Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#15 Luxury Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Africa House Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 15
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Agoda, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Booking.com and Odigeo 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 Island/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.