I'm a little surprised at the uniformly glowing reviews on tripadvisor.
This hotel is gorgeous, without doubt. The building is full of character, each room is decorated with care and elegance; it is probably the most beautiful building I've stayed in. The location too, in the heart of beguiling stone town, is superb.
The service, however, is a little ragged. Food, when ordered to our room on three occasions, took at least 40 minutes to arrive each time. When our air conditioning fuse blew in the middle of the night, the staff on duty (who were asleep on the floor of reception) had to be cajoled into doing something about it, and then couldn't find the fuse box. On another night, the bar staff left for home at 7:30pm because no-one had booked for dinner, leaving a number of guests trying (successfully but with some effort) to persuade the reception staff to provide some drinks.
All minor complaints, to be sure, and all complaints that the manager agreed to address. But a 2013 Tripadvisor winner? I expected a little better.
- 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