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“Can definitely recommend this hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Emerson Spice

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Emerson Spice
Ranked #1 of 34 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Can definitely recommend this hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

We stayed at Emerson Spice for 5 nights in the Kate room with our 3 young children. In the heart of Stone Town, the hotel is exotic and beautifully decorated. The room was plenty big enough for all of us with 2 large outside terrace areas (one with a large bath) and room for the additional beds too. We had breakfast served on our terrace each morning w hich was much easier with the children as the rooftop restaurant is not what you could call child-friendlyowing to the very low railing. Having said that all the food was delicious; breakfast began with exotic fruit platters, followed by a choice of eggs with toast and muffins; the light lunch menu served on the ground floor was superb and the set menu for the evening was tasty and unusual. We found the staff were fantastic in anticipating our needs - they arranged a babysitter, transfers and day trips and were always friendly and attentive. Would love to go back to Zanzibar just to return to Emerson Spice.

Room Tip: All rooms are unique and vary in size and decor. Tell the hotel what you are after and they will be...
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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
Helpful?
1 Thank Liz K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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457 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (140)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
1,435 reviews
190 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 825 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

The attention to detail in the decor is just superb, its a marvellously atmospheric place to stay.

The balcony provided a comfortable place to watch the goings on of local life below and the square that the hotel is on is quite beautiful with a couple of little local street vendors (and a tourist shop...).

They provide you with a mobile phone so you can ring them if you are lost in the streets of Stone Town!

Opposite a small mosque but they do provide ear plugs (morning call to prayer can be 5-odd am!).

I felt for the rate it was a worthwhile experience.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Waddler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malmo, Sweden
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

We spent two nights in the Mimi room and absolutely loved every second of it. The hotel itself is gorgeously decorated without being overloaded and stuffy, it rather gives you a feel of airiness and room. The rooftop restaurant had a fantastic setting and a magnificent view.

The food however was for my part the only letdown with this hotel. I suffer from several food allergies, which I was told by the staff when booking the room would not be a problem. Upon arrival, the staff confirmed the list I sent them on my allergies which was all well and fine. When it came to the actual dinner, they told me I was to be served the vegetarian options. I have nothing against vegetarian food, that is something I really enjoy- and I was especially looking forward to that meal since it was going to be prepared by a master chef. The food did not however live up to my expectations or even what would be normal standard.I am certain you can find better food in any restaurant elsewhere. It was sadly utterly disappointing and surprising that not one dish contained beans or lentils and the like- only vegetables. What made matters worse, was that I was served dishes containing foodstuffs I am allergic to on two occasions. I was not served any alternative, they simply removed the dishes I was unable to eat. All in all, I really recommend staying at the hotel- but eat elsewhere.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 tyhckerom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
singapore
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

We stayed three nights in their huge Aida room. 7m high ceilings and a mezzanine floor overhanging with stained glass windows which contained two beds. A lobby off the master room contained another bed and a balcony. Magnificent net draped four poster bed with lion feet. You could tell this hotel was a labour of love.
The difference between good and great is attention to detail. This hotel had it all! From the box of amenities in the bathroom to the organic insect repellent spray on one of the side tables. A truly comforting gesture was the small mobile phone with direct dial back to the hotel which guests could take around town with them in case they got lost. Just lovely. Well located in the heart of stone town. On the day we arrived the hotel had organised musicians and stick dancers outside in the 'courtyard' of the hotel in honour of the holiday. I even loved the nearby muezzin who did his thing at 5 am every morning. The staff were terrific and even accompanied us through the maze of streets in search of door studs one day. We felt well cared for and safe and happy there. The only downside was leaving!

Room Tip: Emerson Spice's 'Aida' room was fantastic for families - or anyone really. We stuck our...
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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
Helpful?
Thank hup234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, UK
Level Contributor
100 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

Emerson spice had possibly the nicest rooms I've ever stayed in. Very large with a huge bath and beautiful decoration. Can have breakfast on your private balcony which was a really nice touch. Restaurant was very good as well - the menu is fixed and very experimental, we went twice and the first menu was hit ans miss but the second was exceptional, easily Michelin star standard.

On the downside, the mosque opposite was deafening. Our room was right opposite the speakers. I know it is a Muslim island but to me the volume was massively inconsiderate - much worse than Cairo even! The hot water was also a bit of a problem - the room has its own water heater, which wasn't turned on when we arrived and if you wanted to use the huge bath you needed to fill it in 3 stages, allowing 5 minutes between each stage for the water to re-heat! And don't bother with the scones or muffins - they were very dry.

Overall then not perfect, but the problems can be forgiven for a beautiful room and an excellent meal. Would recommend to anyone who can bear the noise of the minaret opposite the hotel.

Room Tip: Ask for a room as far from the mosque's speakers as possible
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank willgo79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wiesbaden
Level Contributor
24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

We spent one night at the Emerson Spice Hotel in Stonetown last October before flying back to Germany. This was definitely not long enough and I know I will be back. This small hotel is perfectly charming, the service very attentive and friendly and the rooms all have a personality of their own. You can actually feel the love and dedication that must have been put into the renovation of the historical old town house.
The rooftop restaurant is also wonderful. You get a set diner with many courses, all very small and deliciously exoctic.
Although in the middle of the maze of little alleyways in old Stone Town it takes you only a 5-Minute-walk to get to the Fodhorani Gardens and the House of Wonders.
Really VERY GOOD and my favorite choice in Stone Town.

  • Stayed October 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
Helpful?
1 Thank TheodorWiesbaden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

My partner and I stayed here in early January 2013. This is a great experience hotel and staying here really enhanced our visit to Stone Town and Zanzibar.
I booked direct and all communications were efficient and accurate. They offered to have a staff member meet us at the ferry. Another staff member escorted us to a pharmacy.
Our room (Violeta) was large, beautifully decorated, cool, spotlessly clean, and just such a delight to walk into. And the verandah with day bed and hammocks, looking down on the street life below was an added bonus. The attention to detail showed that someone really cares about the guest experience.
eg.Its difficult to find your way around the maze of laneways and streets in the old town, so each room has a free mobile phone to take with you in case you get lost, and you can ring the hotel and someon e will come and get you. How thoughtful is that.
No two rooms are the same and each has a different theme.
I should also mention the roof top cafe where you can enjoy a fabulous dinner which is a must for interesting innovative cuisine. We thoroughly enjoyed it, and also the cafe in the lobby for lunch. Delicious food and some of the best we had on our East Africa holiday.
All this at very realistic prices, efficient and friendly service.
The staff are very very helpful.
This is a special hotel and we are so pleased to have stayed here.
It's in my top ten of hotel experiences.
Thankyou all so much.

  • Stayed January 2013, 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
Helpful?
Thank Holidaymaker039
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Emerson Spice

Property: Emerson Spice
Address: Tharia Street, Kiponda, Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Zanzibar City > Stone Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
#2 Family Hotel in Stone Town
#6 Business Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An inspired and lovingly restored Merchant’s House, this multi-storied small Boutique hotel has an inner courtyard, eleven unique antiques-filled rooms, and two of Zanzibar’s best restaurants. All rooms are equipped with a small fridge, air conditioner, fan, and high ceiling mosquito net. The rooftop ‘Tea House’ hosts one of Stonetown’s most renowned restaurants offering a stylish ambiance amidst the sound of the calls to prayer from the town’s many mosques. The five course ‘Taste Safari’, prepared daily by our Zanzibari chefs, is seafood based and celebrates the freshest and best the market has to offer each morning. The sunset hour is an integral and pleasurable part of the experience so diners are encouraged to arrive at around 6pm to enjoy a ‘Sundowner’ before dinner. On the Ground floor The Secret Garden, set amidst lushly landscaped hidden ‘Ruins’, open to the skies, has a Zanzibari inspired A La Carte Menu. Look out for live music performed by The Dhow Countries Music Academy. Open for Lunch and Dinner. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Emerson Spice Hotel Stone Town
Emerson Spice Zanzibar Island/Stone Town

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