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“Fantastic!”
Review of Emerson Spice

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Emerson Spice
Ranked #1 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Cape Town
Level Contributor
36 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Fantastic!”
Reviewed October 23, 2013

We stayed at the Emerson Spice Hotel for 3 nights and we truly had a wonderful stay.

The staff are all very friendly and helpful, and you feel very well looked after.

The restaurant serves excellent food. Breakfast was lovely - it is served on the rooftop and consists of a plate of fruit, eggs any way you like them, and toast, and then some other freshly baked good which varies from day to day.
On our first night we had dinner at Emerson Spice. Dinner is also served on the rooftop and must be pre-booked in advance. The dinner was superb - we were thoroughly impressed by the quality and creativeness of the dishes. Dinner is a 5 course set meal, and by the end of it we were both very full and very happy! As it is a set menu if you ave any special dietary requirements do let them know in advance so they can cater for your needs.

The room was also wonderful. We stayed in a room called Camille and we were very happy with it. It was large and spacious, had lots of windows to let in the light, and had a lovely big balcony. The room was beautifully decorated, and you could see that great attention had been put into every detail. A previous reviewer mentioned they were scared by the decor (i have no idea why, it is beautiful) and said that they would have liked information on it. There is information available - on the table every room has a folder filled with information, including an explanation of the thoughts behind naming the room and an explanation of all the decor. It was so wonderful to stay in a room with such lovely decor and furnishings.

There are also additional touches that makes this hotel worthy of an excellent review. They go the extra mile with things like torches in all the bedrooms so that if you go out at night you can take the torch with you to ensure that you have light as you walk down the many streets of stone town. There is also a cell phone in every room, with it programmed to phone reception when you press 1. This is also fantastic, as again this is for you to take with you when you go out, and should you get lost or need anything, you can dial 1 and you will have reception on the other end of the line to assist you.

I also mention that we went out to dinner on 2 of the evenings we were in Stone Town, and as we were worried about getting lost in the maze of streets in the dark, we asked reception if they could send someone to fetch us and walk us back to the hotel, which they happily did. which was really great.

They also have a list of day tours and excursions that they offer. We did the city tour and the spice tour and both were fantastic.

I highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Caroline T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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510 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 (153)
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English first
Watamu, Kenya
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 20, 2013

Emerson Spice is one of my favourite hotels in East Africa. I have visited a number of times and it never fails to delight. The rooms are gorgeous, each with their own wonderful story and the care and attention that has gone into creating the hotel is magnificent. Breakfast on the rooftop is a superb and the tropical fruits are always fresh and the coffee is delicious. Drinks and dinner on the rooftop is a memory making experience and a feast for the senses. The whole evening is a masterpiece in the exotic ranging from the incredible light of a Zanzibar sunset over the ocean, to the evocative call to prayer from the nearly mosques and the amazing menu that offers a unique and imaginative blend of Zanzibar's finest cuisine. Finally the staff at the hotel are wonderful, extremely friendly, helpful and nothing is too much trouble. Emerson Spice is an absolute gem.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank globalsafari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairo, Egypt
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2013

Well located hotel and friendly staff but I wouldn't recommend it for solo travelers. I had sleeping problems during my stay there because of the room decoration! I've never been so scared in all my life. All I knew was that the room was named after a famous Tanzanian singer who died last century!!! This lack of information had a tremendous impact on my ability to sleep properly.

Room Tip: Make sure to choose a room with an identity (as rooms are not numbered like most of the hotels). My...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Oumnia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
babuemerson, Owner at Emerson Spice, responded to this review, January 30, 2014
How can we respond to this? Perhaps include the room on the "Ghost Tour of Zanzibar?"
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ankara, Turkey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2013

Was subjected to a scam for prison island tour... They requested money in advance and was just transported to the island and left there. No guide was provided in contrary to the promise. Driver did not show to pick up. Most bizzare attitude was that we were denied eating dinner in our own hotel because tables were reserved by people who ARE NOT staying at the hotel. İ felt so stupid for staying in this expensive hotel.. A valuable advice to people who plan to go to Zanzibar: Stay far far away from the hotel but make a reservation for dinner...

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank Atc566
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
33 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2013

My husband and I we spend here the last month one night only.... ( but we sure come back), the room was really nice with all the little amenities, the breakfast in the balcony amazing! And the dinner in the rooftop OMG better much better than we expected, I can tell you like a gastronomic restaurant. I enjoyed every single bite..... wonderful!!

Of course we come back and I hope they have availability!

Well done guys!!!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Esther V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ajijic, Jalisco
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2013

I had a dream of what Zanzibar would be and Emerson Spice fulfilled it. It's beautiful, and an incredibly great value. We spent one night at a hotel less than a block away, and I am amazed by the difference $25 made when we moved to Emerson Spice. We had luxury, beauty, incredible thoughtfulness, and wonderful food. We ate lunch at the ground floor cafe, breakfast on our balcony, and the set menu dinner on the rooftop. I especially commend the Emerson on their care. I fell and injured myself at a beach resort and called the Emerson for a medical recommendation. When we drove back through Stone Town I was met by one of their staff, who came to my taxi. He accompanied me to the doctor, stayed with me, and then brought me back to my travel companions.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ajiiccharlie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2013

This was the most amazing place to unwind and relax after our safari and far exceeded our expectations. We stayed in Kate room on our honeymoon - my wife couldn't wait to spend a relaxing hour in the outdoor bath (There is also an indoor bath in our room just in case we didn't want a view over Stone Town). From the balconies on both sides of our room, it was simply amazing, with stunning furnishings from top to bottom and I only wish we had spent another night before going to our beach accommodation just to relax and sample the atmosphere a bit more.

We never ate dinner at the restaurant, the menu was too fish heavy for my liking on the night we were there, however we were walked to and from an Indian Restaurant and given a flash light and mobile phone to call the hotel to let them now when to pick us up - I don't think we would have found our way back otherwise as it is was a good 10-15 min walk through narrow winding streets. We were also taken on a detour to see the night markets on the way back which was fabulous.

Breakfast was simply wonderful, we ate in the rooftop restaurant overlooking Stone Town and ate a selection of fruits as well as Scrambled Eggs which were of the highest quality. This came from my wife who is head chef herself. I think she also fell in love with the room as well and didn't want to leave from the number of pictures she took.

I cannot recommend Emerson Spice highly enough. The free Wi Fi comes in very handy after 5 days out on Safari as it was great to post a few pictures for friends and family back home again.

All the staff and the owner are very personable and we were made to feel very welcome by everyone. We both thought our stay here ranked alongside our stay in the Grumeti Eco Lodge as the best experiences on our honeymoon.

Room Tip: Kate is an amazing room and I would highly recommend it, but each room is individually designed
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DidsburyRed
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
#1 Family Hotel in Stone Town
#5 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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