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“Avoid this hotel at all costs” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Al Johari

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Al Johari
Ranked #26 of 34 Hotels in Stone Town
Jerusalem
Level Contributor
89 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
“Avoid this hotel at all costs”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

I stayed in Al Johari as a solo traveler for six nights in February 2013; my reservation was made through a local travel agency, Suntours.

Good aspects: the location is very convenient to visit Stone Town and to go to the boat port, and not too far from the ferry port; the staff members are kind and quite efficient, in particular the young man in the reception in the evening; the beds are comfortable and my sheets were clean. I had dinner the first night; the food was tasty and I wasn't sick afterwards. Although the common areas are very small, the roof terrace has an acceptable view over the roofs of the town.

Bad aspects: the hotel is in the middle of very narrow streets full of garbage and has no central patio as other hotels in Stone Town do, therefore it is impossible to air the rooms properly; the two windows of my room opened to one of those narrow passages, so the sight was awful and there was very little natural light; the building is very shabby and dirty, paint is peeling off in many places, the staircase has become unvarnished, the walls are stained, the furniture in the very limited common areas is tired, the curtains look like rags, the tiles in my bathroom were crumbling down, the shower was flooding the floor of the bathroom every time I used it; it was impossible for me to open the door of the first room I received, so after some negotiations they agreed to give me another room where I had problems with the air conditioner almost every day; the two rooms I went into were dirty and I had to clean the dust on the furniture and in the wardrobe with toilet paper; I also had to clean the wash basin and the shower with soap and one of the towels, and I found hair from previous guests in both; there was no lamp on the bed table, although they did give me one and even agreed to take off the screen so that I could read in bed; the upper part of the mosquito net over my bed was full of dead insects and there was a spiderweb near my bed. After the first night I never had meals apart from breakfast in the hotel, and it was extremely limited although I am used to eat little in the morning. I noticed there was a very low occupancy; in fact, i was always alone on the terrace during the first dinner and at breakfast.

This hotel would be considered a bad two star hotel in Europe but its prices are those of a good four star; there are many cheaper and much better hotels in Stone Town, so do avoid getting trapped into Al Johari.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Miriam d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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85 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

We stayed at the hotel for 6 days and had the best experience, Salom who is one of the front desk managers is very kind hearted and helpful, the fact that he speaks proper english was a cherry on top. he went out of his way to welcome us and made sure we had all we need. the kitchen stuff needs to learn customer service and they need to oder food more often. before going there we read about the faulty showers and to our suprise they where still faulty... other than that i would go back to al Johari.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Rudzani N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

3am it wake me up because water in bathroom cant stop.
stuff came to repair at 4am to 5am.
I could not sleep.
finally no creaning.
no apologize.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Toride880
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Stone Town hotels

Malawi
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

Was a very nice and reasonably priced place to stay in the heart of stone town, a very traditional type house, with lots of traditional yet functional furniture, a lovely roof top bar and restaurant, with great views over the town especially at breakfast.
Which was a good breakfast and the service was overall friendly and relatively efficient.
Only thing that let it down was the bathroom... both in cleanliness and the fact I had to use my luggage tag to stick the shower head up and together so I could shower and the shower cubicle was broken so it flooded the floor......

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Justyn01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

We stayed at the Al Johari 4 years ago and it was delightful, however on our return to Zanzibar last year it was not that great as we had issues with the service etc, however we have just been there last week and found that the management has changed and the Hotel has its delightful homely charm back ! We will be back for Christmas for sure.

Christian

Room Tip: try the rooms on the 3rd floor
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank San67S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level Contributor
4 reviews
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.
See more room tips
  • 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.
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.
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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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