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“A nice hotel in a good location”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Kholle House

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Kholle House
Ranked #17 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Hampshire
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“A nice hotel in a good location”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2012

We stayed at Kholle House for 2 nights on our way home from a holliday in Tanzania.

The staff were very welcoming and helpful on arrival and the hotel is near the ferry port and gardens.

We were gven room 12 on the first night. The room is very small and while it would be OK for one person, my husband and I were falling over each other and our luggage. Also the bathroom is in the room with just a bit of curtain seperating the toilet from the room which wasn't really to our liking.

The bed was tiny - I'm 5"2 and my toes touched the end!

We were moved to room 15 on our second night which was much better. Spacious with a separate bathroom and a balcony overlooking the courtyard garden and pretty pool.

The hotel has nice decor and is clean and well maintained and the building is full of character. The garden and pool are an oasis! The staff are friendly and helpful. Everything is within walking distance (Stone Town is small) and there is free Wi-Fi.

Breakfast is menu service. The food was good but the service very slow - I only asked for toast and it took an hour to arrive. We left early (5am) to catch or flight and were promised breakfast boxes which never materialised.

There is a mosque next door. The call to prayer starts at 5am. I didn't mind the early morning wake up call, but if you would you'll need ear plugs!!

If you're in Stone Town I am sure you could do a lot worse than stay here.

Stone Town itself is not very exciting - a day of sightseeing was plenty for us. I would advise against walking alone a night - we didnt have any problems but the winding narrow allys look like a good place to get mugged.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank HampshireBob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mwasaju, Owner at Kholle House, responded to this review, October 1, 2012
Dear Gjuests,

Thanks for your cuseful omments,

We have actually amended our breakfast organization and our a la carte breakfasts are now delivered in time. It is a facr that very early breakfast are a problem for us as they are prepared by the night watchman who is obviouslty not a specailist I have to admit.

Stone Town is to me one opf the safest cities in the world and up to now I have not heard about any problems with foreigners for the last fixe years I have been around.
But is is also a traditional muslim city and as such the muezzin call for prayer is part of its character.if not of its charms.

Sincerely,

Francis
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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227 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Dorset
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2012

As previous comments say, don't go for Standard room - More suited to single travellers - We upgraded to a larger room and because my wife was struggling with the early flight over and the heat, the manageress took pity on us and upgraded us to a suite, which was wonderful!! Good location in Stone Town and a bit hard to find the first time but you soon find your way around!! Promised airport transfer failed to materialise but we managed to sort out a taxi for less than the hotel quoted anyway!! Downside was the constant power outages (no back up generator either so we began to lose our sense of humour during the day long black out on the Sunday!!) Upside - the staff were very attentive / good breakfasts / Lovely swimmimg pool / the stunning decor in the rooms and throughout the hotel - Altogether very positive experience.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank FletchasArmy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mwasaju, Owner at Kholle House, responded to this review, September 25, 2012
Many thanks for your comments dear guests.
It is a fact that finding your way in the old medina of Stone Town is somehow like walking in a labyrinth. But this is part of the game and we are at the very hedge of it!
As for electricity, since then, Kholle House has been equipped with a 40Kva generator and there is now plenty of electricity, day and night, 365 days per year.
Sincerely,

Francis
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madrid, Spain
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2012

I¨have been there few years ago but changed a lot. The nice manager who was working there before doesn´t work there now. The new one doesn´t speak english, my reservacion was not listed !!!!! Had to fight to get a room at least for the first night. Finally they prepared a room....
Well, I´m sorry - but can´t recomend Kholle House like I did in muy first opinion.
Best regards, Barbara

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Barbara1357
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mwasaju, Owner at Kholle House, responded to this review, August 24, 2012
Dear Barbara,
I wonder how you could have been our customer a few years ago since we opened in February 2011, that is to say 13 months before you posted this comment.
However, we do apologize for any inconvenience caused. Rest assured that our booking system and our attention to customers' request is as high as possible.
Sincerely,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
87 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2012

We stayed for 3 nights at Kholle House in November. The hotel is beautifully restored and full of character and is a short walk to the seaside and most of Stone Town's attractions. Alejandra, the host, was really helpful and friendly, as were all the staff. The welcome was great and there is even a little pool for a cool-down. Would advise that you stay in a deluxe room rather than a classic room. We spent the first two nights in the deluxe, which was very comfortable and atmospheric and had juliet balconies. On the third night we stayed in a classic room (due to our late booking and availability) and it was really very hot and overly-compact. it was also close to street level so much noisier (although the call to prayer will wake you in any of the rooms, but that's party of the atmosphere!) Well worth the extra $40 for an upgrade.
At breakfast, avoid the eggs benedict - it's just wrong.

Room Tip: Go for a deluxe or suite - the classic is a bit squishy and hot.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Loui-fly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mwasaju, Owner at Kholle House, responded to this review, September 25, 2012
Dear guests,
Many thanks for your useful comments.
Classic rooms (apart from room12) are now exclusively sold for single. It was obviously a management mistake to market them as double rooms. We have so amended this.But these rooms are like doll houses and for a single occupancy, they are very pleasant.
Kholle house is in the heart of Stone Town: there is very little we can do about the muezzin call for prayer ealry in the morning, but somehow this is part of the exotic charm of this antique city.
As for the eggs florentine, no worry: we have given up on them!
Sincerely,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 12, 2012

SStayed for a very comfortable weekend while working in Dar, as I did last September. Five minute walk to/from the ferry terminal - right behind the recently renovated and re-opened 'Old Dispensary'. Kholle house have just completed their first year, and Alejandra has moved on. Staff training is ongoing, but everyone goes out of their way to help and has a smile - like most people other than the street touts in Stone Town. When finding a backstreet restaurant looked complicated after dark the new manager sent someone to guide me (and the restaurant later provided someone to guide me back). The air conditioning in the bedrooms is quiet and functional – important in the perpetual heat and humidity of Zanzibar. The decor has to be seen to be believed - the rooftop terrace the garden gazebo and some of the rooms look some something out of Architectural Digest or an Aman resort. Go now - it will soon be 'discovered and the rates will rise - for now it is a bargain (as a return guest I paid $100 for a ‘junior suite’). Previous complaints about breakfast must have been an off-day - for kitchen staff or for the guest! I had fresh fruit, fresh juice, spiced coffee (from an espresso machine) and excellent eggs benedict one day, huevos rancheros the other day – food and service were excellent. Wish I had known about the possibility of dinner on the roof – will try it next time.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank JCM40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mwasaju, Owner at Kholle House, responded to this review, November 11, 2012
Dear Guests,

Many thanks for your kind apprecation.
We take note of your comment regarding Guide books.
All the best,

Francis
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dani11
Level Contributor
29 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2012

Staying at Kholle House was an amazing experience. It has been beautifully restored and has a rich and interesting history. I loved the rooftop deck and small pool area. Breakfast was incredible. The woman who served breakfast each day was so kind and attentive. The manager was so nice-she walked me through the fascinating restoration of the hotel and answered all of my questions. The downsides were frequent power outages, no doors to the bathrooms, and the noise level. In our room, there were several screens, so it was really tough to sleep with the noise from the street and there was a loudspeaker near the hotel that broadcast each call to prayer. It can be a but hard to find, but is in a great location.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank dani11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mwasaju, Owner at Kholle House, responded to this review, September 25, 2012
Dear Guests,
Thank you for your useful comments.
Since you came, Kholle House has been equipped with a 40Kva generator. We now provide our guests with plenty of power, day and night, 365 days a year...
All our bathrooms (except room12 for architectural reasons) have been equipped with doors for more privacy.
As for the "noise", I am not sure we should name as such the early morning call for prayer. It is part of the traditions of the antique islamic city and I would even dare saying that its part of its charms!
Sincerely,

Francis
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2012

We stayed 2 nights at Kholle House and we loved it! It is a beautifull place, and the staff were very good at making us feel at home. Our room was a junior suite with a nice peep over the small garden and very cosy pool, and it worked very well. Early morning prayer calls from nearby mosques added to the arabic touch. Best experience was when we had dinner served at the top floor terrace with a lovely view over Stone Town roofs. Chef had picked up fresh lobsters at the marked and grilled them perfectly. They dont advertise the possibility to dine at the rooftop, but it was no problem to arrange and it was great. Remember cash as they dont accept credit cards. ATM is not to far away though.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KasperMDK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mwasaju, Owner at Kholle House, responded to this review, September 25, 2012
Many thanks for these kind comments dear guests.

Francis
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kholle House

Property: Kholle House
Address: Malindi 607 / 608, Stone Town, Zanzibar City 642, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Zanzibar City > Stone Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#7 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kholle House 3.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kholle House fact sheet:Services & Facilities:• Wi-Fi available• Outdoor swimming pool• Transport to/from airport if required at an additional charge. Zanzibar airport and Dar es Salaam airport – ferry dock• Island tours and sea activities assistance. Kholle House in the heart of Stone Town is an historical and authentic house build in 1860 which belonged to Princess Kholle. Sister of Sayyid Sultan bin Bargash and Princess Salme. The house has probably been there as a showcase from their crystal collection and porcelain.After the revolution in 1964 the house was confiscated and occupied by several families, this period caused severe damages in the house. Three years of restoration has brought us the pleasure to present our town beloved house, the work done in connection with historical monuments and in full respect with the construction methods in the time (coral rubble, lime, mangrove beams, marble…). With a noble and austere facade the building is typically Omani Arabic style while the garden has more Indo-Victorian fantasy rhythms. This style is featured on the covers of the old dispensary which faces Kholle House, that was restored by the Aga Khan Foundation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kholle House Hotel Stone Town
Kholle House Zanzibar Island/Stone Town

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