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The Swahili House
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Reviews (225)
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All reviewssteep stairsrooftop restaurantsultan suitetop floorsmall balconiesnarrow streetshigh ceilingslocal marketbuffet styleauthentic hotelswahili stylelate at nightan oasislate checktea houserooms are spaciouscentral location
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131 - 136 of 225 reviews
Reviewed February 15, 2010

Living in Dar es Salaam we pop over to Zanzibar quite frequently and often stay in Stonetown. The Swahili House is a gem of a find. The food was, quite simply, mouth-wateringly good - best restaurant in town with a roof top jacuzzi - and the views across the town and out to sea lovely. Well situated in the middle of the interesting area of town, and handling the current power prblems extremely well, this place is well worth a visit. I will definitely be staying there when I next return to Znz, and would recommend anyone to do the same.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank HanWood1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2010

This place was recommended to us by our agent - Zanzibar Travel - and was probably their only false move! Previously we stayed at Echo Beach on the West coast and Ras Nungwi in the north - both great in their own ways, so Swahili House was rather a culture shock! We have lived in six countries and I have travelled to more than 30, but I have not previously experienced the delights of a non-separated bedroom/toilet combination!

The hotel's other major deficiency is the ongoing absence of a lift; this is seemingly due to African red tape, as it is "on order", and has been for more than one year.

The top floor has a great view and a good restaurant (don't let reviews convince you it's great). I believe the owner is Belgian, but he made no effort to speak to us during the two evening meals we had in the restaurant. We would happily have explored other dining options in Stonetown but the city is literally such a maze that you can easily become lost within 5 minutes of leaving the place, and it doesn't give the impression of being one of those places you happily meander around after dark. Strolling around in daytime we soon became aware of the sort of hassling which is prevalent on the African mainland, but which we had not experienced in other parts of Zanzibar.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank KentBaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2009

This place is a former Hotel International, now under new Belgian management. It was recommended to us at a Coffe Haus a few blocks away and we were extremely happy with this recommendation. Without reservation, as a last minute walk-ins, hospitable Belgian manager Ian gave us a good discount, which we happily accepted after seeing a nice room on the top floor, with a balcony and a great view.
Room was spacious for 2 people, with a traditional bathroom in the Zanzibar style. One interesting thing that the wall separating bathroom and bedroom did not go all the way up, which is probably traditional but unconventional. As we were on the top floor, view from the window was very nice, much better than at a famous Haroumzi 236 hotel.
Hotel has an amzing restaurant on the roof, which is perfect for any occasion. We invited out friends to join us for dinner and everyone was extremely satisfied with amazing service, great food and a wonderful view of Stone Town at night.
Note, if you like TV this may not be the best fit, as there are no and won't be TVs. If you want to be in old Stone Town, we highly recommend this hotel as a perfect option for lodging and dinner, especially compared to Harmouzi 236 which seems to try to live on the legacy of Emmerson.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Snegrust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2009

This lovely hotel is not for the unfit or those who cannot function without a lift (elevator). The rooms are reached by a long and steep stairs. The restaurant is set on the open roof. You can see the whole of stone town from there. The rooms are old fashioned and delightful. I felt like I had returned to a wonderful ancient land. The food is delicious and staff are extremely welcoming. This hotel is set in the centre of Stonetown and all areas of the town are easily accessible from here.

  • Stayed: September 2009
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2  Thank nancyfeehan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2009

We brought our families here for a thank you meal as we were getting married a few days later in Zanzibar. As soon as we arrived the, incredibly friendly, showed us to our seats. Drinks were ordered and we sat, relaxed and enjoyed the view.
We all ordered different things and everyones food was amazing! Amongst one of the favourites was the Zanzibar Bouillabaisse. The staff were very attentive and polite. Although we didnt stay at the Swahili House, I would definitly recommend eating here. fantastic!

Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
2  Thank AliDan2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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