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“In the Heart of Stone Town” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Zanzibar Coffee House

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Zanzibar Coffee House
Mkunazini 1563/64, Stone Town, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 30 hotels in Stone Town
Hong Kong
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“In the Heart of Stone Town”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2012

If you like the idea of staying in an old Zanzibari house at the heart of the old town - so much so that finding your way back at night requires a good memory for landmarks and a bit of help from the guys relaxing on the street corners - then this is the place for you.

The rooms are compact but comfortable, the al fresco breakfast is generous and gives you a chance to survey the rooftops of the town and as you might expect, the coffee is first class.

You could not be better located in Stone Town than here - the market and good places to eat in the evening are very close by, and it is a short stroll to the town's main attractions. Service is friendly but not over-effusive, and the accommodation is fair value without being outstanding.

My wife and teenage sons and I thoroughly enjoyed staying here, and I would happily stay here again if I am lucky enough to return to Zanzibar.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 4 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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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
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English first
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

We stayed in Expresso room- subsided our expectations. The room was very large with excellent furniture and great view of the street from the window.

The ladies that work at the hotel are super...could not have been more pleasant and helpful.
Breakfast was the best we had been provided anywhere we stayed in Africa for a month. Coffee was the best Also.

Location is perfect....would not stay anywhere else on my return to stone town.

Highly recommend Zanzibar Coffee House.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

We happened upon the Zanzibar Coffee House by chance, first we were avoiding people who insisted on offering a helping hand and then a down pour of rain. To our surprise, it was also a hotel. A very reasonable rate during the month of June gave us a perfect location in Stone town, connections to taxis and tour guides who also were reasonable and very knowledgeable. Our room was beautiful oasis of antiques, breakfast served in a roof top room that was also available for lounging during the day & evening--the view & the sounds of the city enveloped us during a late night picnic dinner. In the morning we could hear the prayers from the near by Mosque. This unintended stop lasted for three days and two nights. Their coffee is excellent, their homemade coffee soap has been the best soap I have every used for my face . . . friendly, clean, beautiful - I cannot say enough - a wonderful experience.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
usa
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

Charming place. I stayed in a single room with a private bathroom down the hall. Room was really nice with a/c, clean bathroom. Breakfasts on the roof were amazing. I also lunch and coffee there during afternoon breaks and it's just a really neat place. It's sort of hard to find. The taxi will park at the market and you have to walk through windy alleyways to find the place. The coffee house closes early evening so you have to go out for dinners. There is a sweet old man who's there the night shift. I'd come back in the dark from dinner, knock on the door and the sweet man would always greet me. I recommend this place.

Just a warning: do not book the city walking tour with this place. I think they use the same guy. If so, the guy I had was just rude and had "wandering eyes" that just creeped me out. He also refused at the end to walk me back to the hotel. He just pointed at some vague direction and told me I could find the hotel in that direction! He then demanded I pay for the tour (did he think I wasn't going to pay?). After I paid him $30 he had a change of heart and walked me to the hotel.

Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

I used to live in Zanzibar and have long recommended Zanzibar Coffee House to those visiting. The last time I returned to Zanzibar for a visit I stayed there myself. It's a lovely spot, with a great location, and fantastic coffees and treats. The rooftop offers special views and a little oasis from the crowded town center.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

We stayed here as a stop over and were not expecting much as it was very reasonably priced for Zanzibar. However, we were pleasantly surprised. We were given a welcome drink and the room was very nice with a safe and mosquito net, although there were no insects about. We were a bit worried the bathroom wasn't en suite but it was no distance from the room and was only for us (had a key). It was quiet and clean and we slept well. Breakfast was terrific in the rooftop restaurant with lovely views. All the coffee and cakes we had as extras during the day were wonderful. The staff were very helpful as we had some problems with our outgoing flight and they looked after us well. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

We decided to stay at the Coffee House Hotel after having visited their exquisite website and seeing their location on google maps. We expected a beautiful hotel in the heart of Stone Town and were delivered with both.

The hotel has gorgeous rooms and some decadent furnishing as well as a wonderful rooftop lounge where breakfast is served. With a bit of a reputation for its food quality we had high expectations and were certainly not disappointed. The rooms were also well designed and comfortable; we felt like Arabian royalty! In fact, the hotel itself as well as the amenities were absolutely the best bargain in this part of the city.

However, the staff were a huge let down. It seems they are somewhat jaded by their success as baristas. Their friendliness was actually the most discomforting factor, having the edge of over-friendliness and bordering on sarcastic tourist-mocking. While they smiled on the outside, you had the feeling they were plotting on the inside. Seeing them with each other or with long-stay tourists with whom they were jovial and pleasant, made the juxtaposition between their differing behaviors even more apparent. At first we thought it was just us perhaps, but noticed very quickly the looks other guests of both the hotel and their cafe were giving each other. It was only the guards/watchmen and the single cleaning lady with whom we sensed a genuine friendliness. On top of that, they liked to make you wait if they were too busy doing something important like gossiping with each other.

All in all, a great deal for this part of Stone Town with amazing rooms and a great breakfast (dinner isn't served, which is good because you can go and discover some amazing Zanzibari restaurants!). Unfortunately, the staff and service were a let down.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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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Additional Information about Zanzibar Coffee House

Address: Mkunazini 1563/64, Stone Town, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Stone Town
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
#8 Family Hotel in Stone Town
#9 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Zanzibar Coffee House Hotel offers a touch of magic and romance in an authentic Arabic house deep in the heart of Stone Town. Transformed into a stylish hotel with harmonious interiors, antiques and rich fabrics, it is one of the oldest buildings in Zanzibar constructed by the Wazir to Sultan Said Bargash in 1885. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zanzibar Coffee House Hotel Stone Town
Zanzibar Coffee Hotel
Hotel Zanzibar Coffee
Zanzibar Coffee House Stone Town

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