We recently stayed at the Beyt Al Chai for two nights before moving to Nungwi in the north of the island. It is quite a small hotel, a converted 'tea house', with only 5 rooms which I much prefer to bigger places. The room we stayed in was beautiful and large with old wooden furniture that was quite well looked after. There were two beds in the room plus a sitting room area around the corner. Complimentary tea, coffee and bottled water was provided daily. The room had both a fan and an aircon. The aircon was amazing and the hotel was fine with it being left running during the day as long as all the windows were left closed. This was great especially after returning from a day out in the hot Zanzibar sun! It must be noted though that Zanzibar has frequent power failures, but the hotel only has a back-up generator for the restaurant and not the rooms.
My only real complaints about the room are that the beds were quite high off the ground and there was no fridge or minibar in the room. The only other issue that we had was that the room we stayed in (Hukum) was right next to reception. More particularly, our bathroom window was right next to reception, which was a bit disconcerting.
Service in general was quite good. The reception staff and doormen were very friendly and helpful. There was a lady working downstairs who didn't crack a smile the whole time that we were there but she was the exception rather than the rule.
The location was great, just opposite the Serena Inn and in walking distance to most of the sites. The area itself is relatively quiet but the hustle and bustle that is Stonetown is not far away so you get the best of both worlds.
We did not try the restaurant downstairs, except for breakfast, which was basic but good.
I'd highly recommend doing the half day spice tour while in Stonetown. The hotel costs for tours are very overpriced though! We booked through a tour agency close by at a fraction of the cost.
All in all, we were quite happy with our stay there and would definitely recommend the place. I was unaware that the place had been sold and would be closing, and just hope that the new owners do not make too many changes!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- After the heat and dust of Stone Town, the rooms of BEYT AL SALAAM BOUTIQUE HOTEL, are a cool heaven, constructed in the traditional Swahili manner, whereby Four-Poster Beds Draped with netting dominate, offset by delicate side tables, vanity units, etc ... ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Beyt Al Chai Hotel Stone Town
- Beyt Al Salaam Zanzibar Island/Stone Town