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“Amazing hotel in the heart of Stonetown” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Al Johari

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Al Johari
Ranked #25 of 34 Hotels in Stone Town
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level Contributor
4 reviews
“Amazing hotel in the heart of Stonetown”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2012

When I decided to visity Stone Town, I wanted to stay in a smaller boutique hotel that represented the culture and style of Zanzibar. The Al Johari exceeded my hopes and expectations in every way. There was ample space in my Jr. Suite room. There was also a decent amount of hand-crafted (yet highly functional) Zanzibari furniture, including a beautiful wooden bed. The room was both clean and comfortable. One of my favorite features of the Al Johari was the restaurant on the roof. The bartender must be a mind-reader, because every time he brought me a drink or suggested a meal, it was exactly what I wanted. The breakfasts were also quite good. The hotel's location is very convenient--just a few minutes walk to House of Wonders, Slave Market, ferry terminal, and Sultan's Palace. It takes less than a minute to get to shops and post office on Kenyatta, too. The Al Johari is the only property that I will consider when I return to Zanzibar next year!

Room Tip: The Jr. Suite had ample room for a couple to stay for an extended period.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
Helpful?
Thank JDouglasAlexander
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    27
    29
    9
    6
    12
See reviews for
9
38
16
3
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Mombasa, Coast, Kenya
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

The food is realy outstanding, the cook is perfect, excelent cousine. And by having no elevator you loose wait by eating good food.

Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Claus B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
56 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2012

To start with the positives: the location is pretty good, fairly easy to find when you know where it is (other places deeper into Stone Town can be a nightmare to find, even when you've been there several times!). It is nice and quiet, set away from any road noise. The staff were friendly and quite helpful and the place has some charm to it and a decent roof top bar (can't comment on the food though). The breakfast included in the room rate is adequate, although you may be tempted to head into town to get something a little more interesting.
The negatives: there was no hot water in the bathroom, for the wash basin or the shower. Not sure if this is normal or just bad luck. The bed was comfortable enough and looked moderately grand at first glance, ringed as it was with a curtained mosquito net. However, the net didn't really close properly (although didn't experience any issues with mozzies) and you had to fumble about in the dark after turning out the lights as no bedside light or light switch within the confines of the net.
The creaky staircase ascending to the roof perhaps added to the character but if the place were busier might be a nuisance noise.

Room Tip: If you intend to partake in breakfast you will have to climb the stairs every morning anyway, otherw...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Steve C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamina, Finland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2011

We are more than happy about the restaurant service. The cook makes perfect food. The waiters and waitresses are polite. We don't usually give tips but in this restaurant we felt like it. The room was ok, the shower sewer didn't work properly. This was a minor problem though.

The biggest, and almost the only problem was that we are still missing 200 USD. We had some cash in our back bags (hidden among dirty clothes) and somebody took 200 USD (we didn't count the shillings...). After we noticed it, we told the general manager about it. He promised to pay the ammount back. No police, it's only bad publicity to them. We believed. Nothing has happened within last 5 months... Ok, it was our own fault? In his words it has happened before too (once). Avoid this hotel.

A couple from Finland

Room Tip: Make sure your shower works. Noises from stairs might bother you after the restaurant closes.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank joomuu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
24 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2011

Spent here a week, for business very good hotel in stone town level, the food is good but not in high standard.
The hotel building is old, so no elevator, we were in the top floor below the kitchen so noise at 7am just above our room woke us up...
The staff is very helpful and the room was cleaned twice a day.

  • Stayed October 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Hadassi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
35 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2011

The hotel is close to Serena and we had dinner at Serena. Staff at Al Johari were friendly and helpful. Bathroom was terrible as water leaked everywhere from shower, glad we only stayed one night. Also had two single blankets! Can hear noise from below(it was Eid so ppl were out and about) so if you dont mind walking up more stairs get a room on a higher floor.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DBNCLTDXB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
Level Contributor
51 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2011

My 5th trip to Zanzibar in 4 years saw me wanting to try a new place in Stonetown.. I decided to try Al Johari - they are always advertised around the island, and I gave into my curiosity, despite some previous bad reviews. I spent 2 nights previous at Stonetown Cafe B&B, and opted for 2 nights there and 1 night at Al Johari due to Al Johari costing me twice the price! Both gave me discounted rates due to me visiting during the long rains.
The hotel itself - in the public areas... is lovely - check in was handled efficiently, and I was then taken up to my room ( a Junior Suite). Furnishings were quite luxurious, though I would not say the room is spacious by any means. I'm glad there was just myself, and not 2 guests staying. The bed was comfortable (as were the pillows), though I was frustrated at having 2 single duvets on a Queen-size bed - each time I rolled over, I got cold!
The bedside lamps had some problems with their connection - each time I reached to turn it off, when the cord moved the slightest amount, it would flicker on and off a number of times, and give that nasty "zzzzzp" noise that doesn't really inspire confidence.
The en-suite bathroom was nicely appointed with glass basin and a shower only (for that price, I'd really like a bath as well). The shower leaked terribly - the screens were not siliconed to the wall, so any water hitting the screen pretty much ended up on the floor outside the shower. I also ended up wading in a shower base of water/soap by the end of my shower as the drainage was quite slow. I know in buildings the age of these, plumbing can be quite a hassle, but it detracted from the image of the whole hotel.
The restaurant was really nice - a rooftop affair, with great views across the water. I had a pasta dish that really did live up to my expectations, and I was sorry I wasn't in Stone Town longer to try more of their food. I also had a chocolate dessert that was top notch.
There was wireless internet available throughout the hotel - in the rooms and the restaurant. They just ask that if you go to the restaurant to use the internet, that you buy something while you are there.... so its a handy spot for a meal and internet use!
So - to sum up... great restaurant with WIFI, niceish rooms, but the shower was a shocker... I would not recommend this hotel on the basis that I paid half as much at another hotel during the same stay, for an experience that was 200% better.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank rastus0706
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Al Johari

Property: Al Johari
Address: 116 Shangani, Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Zanzibar City > Stone Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Al Johari 3*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Al Johari means the Jewel in certain translations of Kiswahili and Arabic, and we invite you to experience the Jewel of Stone Town, Zanzibar. Al Johari is a small 15 room Boutique Hotel in the Stone Town area of Zanzibar, and was the result of a careful refurbishment combining two ancient buildings in Stone Town to produce an exceptional hotel property while keeping within the Architecture and dimensions of Stone Town history with an emphasis on modern state of the art amenities as well as the opulent luxuries of the Omani, Persian, Indian and Swahili influences. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Al Johari Stone Town
Al Johari Zanzibar Island/Stone Town

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