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“Amazing welcome to Zanzibar!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Kisiwa House

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Kisiwa House
Ranked #15 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Fleet, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Amazing welcome to Zanzibar!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2014

We stayed for 2 nights at this fabulous and authentic hotel. It had a great location in the centre of Stone Town, about a 3 minute walk from the beach and within close proximity of the majority of the local attractions. Staff were friendly and helpful and welcomed us with great warmth when we arrived (and a cocktail). The decor and ambience really gives you the feel that this hotel holds much history. Our room was beautiful with a 4 poster bed, bathroom with central tub and 2 sinks - and were very clean! Food on the rooftop terrace was also delicious and the included breakfast was great. Would 100% recommend this hotel and if we ever go back to Stone Town we would not hesitate to stay here again.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Eva M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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324 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
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English first
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 4, 2014

We were really looking forward to staying at Kisiwa House based on the great reviews on Trip Advisor, but we were sadly disappointed by our stay. The hotel itself is nice and the room was lovely and a good size, but the service from reception was terrible. On the first night we tried to order room service at 9.20pm (it's advertised from 10am-10pm in the room brochure) but when we called reception they said we couldn't get room service, it was closed. The excuse we got was 'well you know, it's low season'. Even when we said we only wanted some wine, and not food, still it was a no. I had to go to reception and argue you with them and finally they called someone from the restaurant to help, and he actually couldn't have been nicer and told me it was no trouble at all so not sure why reception were being so difficult. The following morning we went for breakfast at 9.45pm (it was advertised as open until 10am) and were told 'you're too late, it's closed - we'll serve you today but be on time tomorrow'. Finally on our last day it was raining very heavily and we requested a late checkout, but we were told that they needed to clean the room at 11am in case new guests turned up. Apart from us, there were a maximum 2 other guests in the hotel - and as we'd already been told, it was low season' - so there were plenty spare rooms in the hotel. When we pointed out that is was raining heavily and could we even have an extra hour or two, the receptionist said 'no we need the room, you can you know, walk around'. He even refused to help us get a taxi, telling us 'it's fine you can walk - the rain is easing off'. When we left, we managed to get a taxi pretty easily so he obviously didn't want to go out and get wet himself.
So, it's a nice building and some of the staff were great - especially in the restaurant and the room attendants - but the reception really let it down. We're pretty easy guests and have nothing but good things to say about the other hotel we stayed in on Zanzibar, but I wouldn't recommend Kisiwa House. If low season means low service, they should really just close.

Room Tip: As far away from the stairs as possible as they're wooden and so pretty noisy when people go up...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sharon R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 24, 2014

The rooms are very clean and well equipped. The hotel is right in the middle of stone town and not far from the shops, cafés and restaurants. It is reasonably priced too. The housekeeping staff were very friendly and helpful, not sure about the front desk though. No pool but I wouldn't let it stop you

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Pridrib
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lilongwe, Malawi
Level Contributor
36 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 22, 2014

We stayed in Stone Town at Kisiwa House for just one night but loved it and would definitely return to this hotel if we went back. Kisiwa House is very reasonably priced, beautifully decorated and very well located. Plus the service was among the best I've encountered on this continent - quick, friendly, and totally thorough, with every detail thought of (wake up calls, a packed breakfast in the fridge for our early departure, and taxis and tours arranged).

We arrived in the afternoon and booked a walking tour of Stone Town for just twenty minutes later. Kisiwa House did all of the organization of the tour and we simply paid for it with the rest of our bill - very convenient. Africa House, the best place to watch the sun set in Stone Town, is just 20 feet away and the night market is also walkable. It was quiet at night. Our room included a sitting area, two televisions, AC, a huge bathroom, full array of toiletries and robes, and a gorgeous netted Zanzibarian bed even though we stayed in the least expensive option. Sitting up at the rooftop restaurant gave us a gorgeous view of the night sky.

Its lovely to stay in a historic building that maintains the spirit and feeling of Stone Town and even having walked by the more expensive options we agreed that we'd made the right choice to opt for an intimate and friendly place with personalized service.

Room Tip: We stayed in Room 11, which was a standard room but still included great amenities and was very comf...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sp12363
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
83 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2014

The title of this review says it all. Kisiwa House is simply magical. It is in a traditional Stone Town house that has been beautifully updated while still maintaining the old charm. There are several common areas to relax away a few hours - a lovely courtyard on the main floor, a stunning rooftop restaurant, and nooks and alcoves to lounge in on every floor. Kisiwa House is very centrally located, near the beach, restaurants, and shopping, but still quiet.

Breakfast is included and is lovely - you have a choice of continental or egg options, all served with fresh juice, coffee/tea, and tropical fruit. You can sip coffee and watch the sun come up over Stone Town on the roof. Simply beautiful.

The service was also excellent. Staff were always available and offered to help if they saw you looking for something. You really felt like a guest, not a customer. I came back after dinner to find that they had turned the AC on in my room, turned down the bed, let down the mosquito net, and closed the shutters for me so all I had to do was eat the cookie next to the bed and fall asleep! I also had to sort out my return transport to Dar and was ably assisted by the front desk, he even called around to the various airlines for me to help me arrange it.

If you can afford to stay here and are looking for that magical Zanzibar experience, look no further.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank n0madsland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lewes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
49 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2014

We stayed here with friends for one night on a return visit to Stonetown and found Kisiwa House spotlessly clean and very well run with good room service, smiling, friendly staff and comfortable, clean rooms. We were not hassled to book tours we did not want or buy things we did not need, which is more than can be said for other places in Africa, and would like to thank Safair and Beach for recommending it.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gumbo44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
91 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2014

We had arranged for the Kisiwa house to pick us up from the airport via many emails. They never showed up, despite the fact that we provided them with all of our flight information. When we arrived at the hotel, they really didn't seem apologetic about it either. But it worked out for us, because they asked for 4x the cost that we ended up paying from a taxi hired at the airport.

When we asked reception advice on directions and what to do around Stone Town, we were met with the same blah attitude and blah service. He handed us a map, pointed in a direction, and basically said, walk that way. We paid a high price for hostel service.

The hotel itself is beautiful and the furnishings are really nice. Rooms are clean, well appointed, and we were given a fruit plate in the room, and a welcome drink at reception. Wifi works well throughout the hotel, and breakfast is served up on the roof in a nicely decorated space with a decent view.

We only stayed 1 night, which is more than enough time to spend in Stone Town, before heading off to our beach resort. So there wasn't enough time to really enjoy the hotel's offerings.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank snadiay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kisiwa House

Property: Kisiwa House
Address: 572 Baghani Street | P.O. Box: 609, Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Zanzibar City > Stone Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
#7 Family Hotel in Stone Town
#10 Luxury Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Kisiwa House 5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A luxurious Boutique hotel in Stone Town, Kisiwa House is noted for its elegant blend of Zanzibar décor and gracious Swahili hospitality.Superbly located on a quiet street in the heart of Zanzibar historical centre within easy walking distance of famous landmarks, museums, antique shops and restaurants. Kisiwa House provides every modern convenience to the business or leisure traveller, promising an unforgettable experience of professional service, superb comfort and unmatched elegance.Get inspired, discover the new and unusual. Enjoy the charm of an old and typical Zanzibar town house. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kisiwa House Hotel Stone Town
Kisiwa House Zanzibar Island/Stone Town

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