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“What a dump” 1 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 #27 of 31 Hotels in Stone Town
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“What a dump”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

Stayed here the weekend of Sauti - the annual Zanzibar music festival. We had booked at Zanzibar Hotel but they pulled a switch on us and put us at their sister hotel.

Pros:

-Great views from the bar
-Good location
-Old colonial architecture

Cons:
-One member of our party had money stolen from her room. Management staff said they were aware of this happening a lot so reimbursed her. Nice move by the management - but surely a better move would be to rectify the problem?
-Despite booking the correct rooms - we were not provided with the correct bed arrangements - i.e. couples given twins instead of doubles.
-First day - only salt water in the showers/taps. Was told by management that this was standard for their hotel. Between our party I think we've probably stayed at a dozen hotels in Stone Town - this is the only one with salt water.
-Second day - no water in the hotel from ~10pm on Saturday until we left on Sunday. Not provided any until we spent an hour arguing with staff. Then provided with a bucket with about two inches - not even enough to flush a toilet. Given some sad sorry excuse about the generator not working - the ocean is literally 20feet away - it's salt water in the plumbing anyway - go fill up a bucket.
-Three rooms out of five did not have AC remotes in them - took managers over an hour on Friday night to find some for us.
-Two of five rooms did not have working ACs.
-Super shabby/run down - I know it's an old building, but that's no excuse for burnt lampshades, curtains hanging half off their rails etc.
-A mess - soda bottles laying around reception from when we checked in until I finally got fed up and chucked them out on Sunday.
-Every time we passed through reception there was a different guest yelling at staff/management about the terrible service they were receiving.
-Some of our party were told we would be given a discount, some of our party was told that since we were TZ residents (and thus paid a lower rate) we would not get one, some of our party was told that we would get a free night's stay in the future (no thanks). Of course, three months later, we've yet to hear anything from the hotel.

Given some long winded excuse by the management about how they were all new - honestly if you can't get your act together, close the hotel and figure out how to make it work before taking a customers money.

In short, Zanzibar is wonderful, Stone Town is great - there are plenty of great hotels on the island - Africa House is not one of them. Stay away.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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165 reviews from our community

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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 (25)
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  • Italian first
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

We were recommended to visit this hotel. WOW!!! How terrible. The meals were of very poor quality, the service was so incredibly slow and we were the only three people there!

Don't waste your time! Perhaps drinks in the evening, but don't waste your time with the poor food and service. You can only hear "soon" so many times in a hour!!!!!

Great view though.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

We didn't stay at the hotel, but came here for sundowners and dinner on the rooftop terrace (Sunset bar). The view is great, perfect spot to unwind with a cocktail at the end of the day. Get a spot right at the edge of the balcony so you can have uninterrupted view and take photos without hassling other guests.The food was not amazing, I had the line fish of the day with chips. Stick to cocktails.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Top Contributor
926 reviews 926 reviews
182 hotel reviews
Reviews in 278 cities Reviews in 278 cities
545 helpful votes 545 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

Came for an afternoon beer but it was pretty much the hottest place in town!

Sweating just sat down. Open to the sea but obviously the breeze was the other way! Fans ineffectual. Couldn't wait to leave.

Its old and quaint. Some might say tatty and in need of some love.

Service is disinterested at best.

Perhaps sunset is better to go to the bar.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Leamington Spa, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

Went here for lunch on a day trip to Stone Town. We ate in the Sunset Bar, which had a few other tables eating at the same time. We had been up to the restaurant but decided not to stay there as it was completely empty and felt a bit awkward. We ordered drinks, and then food when the menus eventually came. Twice after considerable intervals the waiter came back and told us certain meals were not available after we had ordered. Eventually we settled on available choices.We waited for over an hour and a half and finished two drinks. When the food did arrive, it was ridiculous. Portions were laughably tiny, with the exception of the fish of the day. The place feels extremely dated and is in need of modernizing; the menu needs a revamp too! Poor value for money, and in need of more staff. The one waiter in the whole place was trying valiantly, desperately trying to hurry the kitchen along, but to no avail.
We left hungry and out of pocket. Go for a drink at sunset, but there are plenty of better, cheaper places to eat.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Kisumu, Kenya
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

I had read about this place in the lonely planet (2009) so my friend and I thought that we would give it a go for a drink during the sunset. Service was fine, view was great but there was no luck in viewing the sunset with the hordes of people coming in for a 5 min sunset picture, unless of course you had a table on the very edge of the balcony.. Which we didn't

My suggestion if you are there for the sunset is to get there an hour early, instead of a half hour or go and sit on the ocean wall and have a spiced coffee at the cool little cafe just down from the hotel. Much more relaxing and friendly staff.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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London, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

A group of 16 of us had made a reservation to have dinner at the roof top restaurant of the hotel. The set up was beautiful, we never thought we would have a terrible time and experience.

The waitress took ages to take the orders, even though it was only us at the restaurant. We had to wait an hour to get a bottle of wine because they had run out, the cocktails were awful and they did not have half of the ingredients to make the dishes we ordered.
Instead of telling us they had run out of ingredients, they served the food without them, getting served a crab and avocado salad without crab or avocado is something I wasn't expecting!

The worse came when a few of us had ordered lobster and it came with an empty king prawn shell stuffed with a fish fillet, at that point we stood up and left.

Would never go back and would not recommend the place at all. Avoid at all costs.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 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 2
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:
#13 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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