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“Look no further--this place is magical”
Review of Emerson Spice

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Emerson Spice
Ranked #1 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 5, 2014

This hotel is like something out of a Casablanca movie. We arrived late and the driver stopped where the roads ended and porters dragged the bags the rest of the way through the narrow winding alleys. The hotel is luxurious--with unusual decor around every corner. Our room--VIOLETTA--was HUGE with 20 foot ceilings, all draped, with a gorgeous 4 poster with mosquito netting, sitting area, beautiful double sink bathroom and spa tub. This was one of the most exotic hotel rooms I have ever had the pleasure of sleeping in. Only warning I will give is that you will be awakened by the call to prayer at 5:30 (they do supply ear plugs) which I find to be part of the ambiance. Staff bent over backwards to accommodate us. We arrived too late for dinner so they booked us down the street and walked us over. We did not have any Zanzibar currency so they said,"No problem, catch up with us in the morning." Imagine that happening anywhere else. Breakfast was on the roof 3 flights up overlooking the city. Gorgeous.They also booked us on a wonderful walking tour of Stone Town which I heartily recommend--it is a fascinating place and the markets are vibrant. Don't miss this place.

Room Tip: Did not get to see the other rooms but they all seemed unique and gorgeous. Ask about street noise.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Principalcheryl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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254 - 260 of 554 reviews

Reviewed January 30, 2014 via mobile

First off the hotel is beautiful. The decor captures the spirit and style of Zanzibar for sure but...
Regarding the Roof Top Terrace dinner. .. They are not consistent.
We had dinner there twice, the first time was fantastic and because of that good experience we decided to go again. ..mistake :(
A real pity. The menu selection / combination second time did not work. The waiters couldn't have cared less, one in particular spent the majority of his time texting on his mobile phone.
The food service was incredibly slow and drawn out that we elected to forfeit dessert. .. 3 hrs just too long for a dinner service.
Sadly I can see why there are both positive and negative reviews.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Laurenatsea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2014

Its no wonder that this is the top hotel in stonetown. It really was fantastic; the rooms were absolutely romantic and the uniqueness of each makes for fun exploring around the hotel. Admittedly there are a few rough patches, but in my time in the region, have learned that a few wobbly fixtures is par for the course. The food is top notch - even if you are not staying there, you still must get a reservation for the tasting menu.

But for me, what made the hotel was the staff. The manager was ever present and attentive; and whenever we had a question ("Where is the best place to buy fresh vanilla?"), the response was generally to send us with someone on the staff who could help us navigate the very confusing streets ("At my brother's stand in the market; let me show you."). A nice personal, welcome touch on an already great place.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank bethielynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
babuemerson, Owner at Emerson Spice, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2014

Thank you for the glorious review. There is nothing better than someone who would like to return again and again and we would hope to do even better the next time you come. My staff and I very rarely forget our guests but let us know that your next is a return visit. One thing I really hope that you understood is how much my staff love interacting with guests. It's a pleasure for all of us and it will be a pleasure again the next time. Thank you.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2014

We spend an evening at the rooftop with splendid view over Stone Town. The food was served in five rounds, every one with 5 small and well composed dishes of spices, seafood, seasoning, and a variaty of tastes which matches the impression of the town and the island.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
1  Thank jobaaroy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
babuemerson, Owner at Emerson Spice, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2014

You're right! It's good Swahili cuisine made by several crazy "foodies" playing in the kitchen. We're having serious fun and we're so glad you like it. Thanks, Emerson

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Reviewed January 14, 2014

We stayed at Emerson Spice over Christmas. When we walked into our suite, the Aida room, my daughter said, "Can I live here?" That about sums it up. Beautiful, very creatively decorated rooms, spacious well- supplied bathrooms, and about the best service i've ever had in a hotel. I mentioned a few things- meal preference, etc.- in my email when we reserved the room, all of which they remembered when we arrived. Guests are given a mobile phone programmed with the hotel's numbers in case you get lost while wandering around Stone Town. We had Christmas Dinner on the rooftop restaurant, and the food, while creatively put together, wasn't as good as hoped- but the service was outstanding, and our en suite breakfast the next morning was superb.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank MoshiTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2014

Not much to add but will agree 10000% with all the 5 star reviews. Rooms are gorgeous and comfortable. We had a huge balcony that over looked the street and apartment windows. We loved waving and chatting with our neighbors! We spent two nights but could have easily stayed four. We loved the hotel and Stone Town that much.

There is a small mosque just outside the hotel and hearing the call to prayer 5 times a day is incredible. Being awoken so very early in the morning to the soothing muezzin's voice is truly like being in heaven. Highly recommend going to the upstairs restaurant to experience the sundown call. Magical!

Our only regret was that Emerson himself was not around during our stay. How we would have loved to speak with him about his gorgeous hotel. Thank you Emerson for creating a perfectly romantic oasis in such an amazing city!! We will be back!!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank DianeDowntown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2014

I had read all the good reviews of Emerson Spice so I had high expectations and I was not disappointed! our family stayed in Aida and it was the nicest suite we ever have stayed in. Our teenage boys loved it, they had their own room up stairs and the rooms weres beautiful and spacious and we also had a nice sitting area with a day bed. The bathroom was big and confortable. The balcony was nice. The staff was kind and helpful and we really enjoyed our stay. The manager was very nice and helpful, he followed us and showed us they way to restaurants. We booked a guided tour through the hotel and the guide was very good. I can highly recommend the hotel! The breakfast was good, we did not have dinner at the roof top restaurant since it was Thursday and the restaurant was closed but we had both lunch and dinner at their sister hotel, Emerson Green, and it was so good.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Anna65Sweden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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: $175 - $225 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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