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“Great sunset.... Horrible service.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Africa House Hotel

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The Africa House Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Shangani Street, Stone Town, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #28 of 30 Hotels in Stone Town
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Great sunset.... Horrible service.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013 via mobile

It is such a shame that this place is so poorly managed!! It has such potential!!!!!

One of the best places for a sunset drinks in all of Stone town!! But the service was shocking!!! Very disinterested staff, that didn't clear the tables, smile or ask you if you wanted a drink!.

I would only recommend going for one drink while the sun sets and then go. We moved upstairs for dinner and should have been smart enough to figure out that the same service would exist one floor up! It did.

Food was average!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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159 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (22)
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English first
Sydney
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

Arguably Stone Towns best location for sunset drinks and dinner with an outstanding view to the west, however the service was appalling - tourists turn up based on it's reputation and leave disappointed. We were there in December and went back twice hoping the poor service was an anomaly. Repeatedly we had to go to the bar to order drinks as the bar staff gathered together behind the bar chatting rather than serving customers (not that there were many staff) - we waited almost an hour in the heat to be served when the bar was less than a quarter full, they ran out of food for sunset nibbles each day, yet we could get the same food at the Tradewinds restaurant upstairs 30 minutes later - go figure. The place needs some leadership and a decent manager to give the staff a kick in the pants, or just get some staff who want to serve customers. There are other bars / restaurants that want customers much more than this place. Thankfully we had Maru Maru to fall back on...

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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dar es salaam
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

I recently stayed at africa house on a business trip to zanzibar,i was made most welcome from start to finish.The hotel is old but most charming and the management do there best to keep clean and comfortable.The rooms are basic but in traditional zanzibar style and everything worked nicely adding to the comfort.The bar area views are exeptional looking over the indian ocean,the menu was varied and the food excellent,and i found it very good value for money.Food was prepared for me even after the kitchen had officially closed,again adding to the feel good factor i enjoyed there.The hotel location is also perfect for the local beach and the historic stone town

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Jakarta, Indonesia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

This is a beautiful hotel, in a fantastic location, that has the worst management I have seen in my life. I have stayed in many places, some luxurious, some very humble, and never had the impression that the staff could not care less about good service, and management that is practically non existent. We experienced pretty much most problems mentioned by other reviewers, terrible breakfast, water outages for whole days, poor maintenance of the room, lack of towels, no servicing of the room... you name it.

Some staff tried to help, e.g. the cleaning staff was nice as was the cook, but there is little a cook can do when the hotel one day is out of coffee, only to be out of milk the next day. Similarly, cleaning staff cant help it if the hotel does not seem to have more than one set of towels per room.

It is a shame that such a beautiful place is being mismanaged the way it is. I would recommend anybody to go have a look at the hotel, enjoy the sunset (but reviews are correct, service is poor) but do not stay in this hotel until management has changed, this one is sadly beyond help.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013 via mobile

Recently I have just got back from my holiday in Zanzibar. My two week trip was divided between Stone Town and the beach. In Stone Town I have stayed in a really nice,colonial style hotel: Africa Hotel. The place is charming with a really nice view on the ocean from one of its restaurants. During my stay I was welcomed with a very positive atmosphere and my evenings were enriched with beautiful sunsets. I surely recommend this place and I am surely going to come there soon,so please keep for me my sea-view room. Thank you Africa House team for letting me to take a little glimpse at African culture and life from your hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Lydenburg, South Africa
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

We stayed at the hotel for one night (28 December 2012). We selected this hotel based on the colonial look and location. On arrival our sea view rooms (paid in advance) were no longer available and we had to settle for second best. A power failure added to our mood.

We were disappointed with the state of the hotel and the overall quality of food and service. It is a pity that poor management and staff discipline ruins a great opportunity and setting.

Our experience in stone Town was enhanched by a city walking tour as well as a superb dinner at the Dhow palace Hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013 via mobile

Fantastic colonial place that has not lost its soul through renovation. Wonderful staircases, woodwork, old photos, signposts, lavatories. Could be used for a period film any day without much in the way of alterations!

The staff are mostly lovely but a bit shy and lethargic. Unbeliavably they were out if coffee, the water came on and off. There were many charming idiosyncracies that were rather touching and made me feel for the place and hoping that it will manage to stay in business.

Sadly, what will happen is probably a few more years of decline followed by new management and a complete and sterile renovation that will destroy this aging gem!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about The Africa House Hotel

Address: Shangani Street, Stone Town, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Stone Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#11 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 
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Also Known As:
Africa Hotel Stone Town
The Africa Hotel
The Africa House Hotel Zanzibar/Stone Town

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