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“perfect Stone Town experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Emerson Spice

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Emerson Spice
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Ranked #1 of 34 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
cork
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“perfect Stone Town experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

Booked a few weeks back and the email communication was quick and clear. On checkin we were assigned the Camille Room, which upon entering i was lost for words. It was similar to a preserved room you see in a historical house - antique furniture, sunlighting beaming through, and that rustic charm. The outside balcony looked down onto the mosque and even contained a hammock! Was concerned about the 5am call to prayer, but it wasn't that bad and only went on for 5-10 mins. Aircon was essential (feb) and the mobile phone & torch supplied were useful additions. The in-room bath got plenty of use after a hot day around stone town and the 1st edition zanzibar travel book proved an interesting read.
On the second night we ate in the rooftop restaurant and it was definitely one of the highlights from the holiday. The views (and cocktails) while the sun decended over the horizon provided the perfect setting to a first class dinner & service.
Booked the Spice Tour and airport transfer through the hotel with no problems. As we were leaving early on departure (5.30am), they even provided coffee and fruit.
We've stayed in many hotels throughout the world and this defintely rates as the most unique one yet. Perfect blend of charm & history (building/room) with 5 star quality (service/food). Definitely THE place to stay in Stone Town

Room Tip: Stayed in Camille which was perfect. looked into some other rooms also - all unique in their own way...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jambo2jambo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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441 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 (135)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
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English first
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
47 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013 via mobile

This place had been recommended to us and we had high expectations that were largely met by the staff and the design of the hotel.

Our room (Violetta) was beautiful, with a lovely terrace, high ceiling, interesting decor and good facilities. The shower could have been more powerful, but that's a tiny picky point.

The real highlight, and an absolute must for anyone staying here, is the dinner on the roof with sundown cocktails before. Delicious food, great value, fabulous view of the sun setting over Stone Town. My tip is to get there at 6pm to get the best table (second one down from the "kitchen").

We didn't meet Emerson, but the story behind every room (supplied in the information pack) was interesting and made us want to have a look at them all!

Overall a great stay.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JoffyJN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
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.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
1,424 reviews
189 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 809 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.
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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):
Emerson Spice, a new Zanzibari experience. This labour of love is a journey into the transformation of a near ruin into a five star fantasy that can only be experienced on the beautiful Islands of Zanzibar. We have opened the cafe and Tea House restaurant and we now have 10 of our 12 rooms open to guests. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Emerson Spice Hotel Stone Town
Emerson Spice Zanzibar Island/Stone Town

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