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“Style over substance”
Review of Maru Maru Hotel

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Maru Maru Hotel
Ranked #9 of 34 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Style over substance”
Reviewed September 16, 2013

While it all looks lovely on first glance – water feature, drinks on arrival, clean and crisp finish, roof top bar - when you actually stay in the hotel it doesn't live up to the expectation that the décor would have you believe.

The rooftop terrace is nice but its certainly not 360 degrees as stated in the description – a large part of the view concealed behind the restaurant awnings.

My husband and I had envisaged a relaxing and long overdue lie in following 5-days of safari, however the water feature which all the rooms centred around is incredibly noisy in the morning! This was accompanied by regular intermittent banging of mop buckets as the cleaner cleaned the corridor outside the rooms – at 7am in the morning! Not a good start to our day, or stay in Zanzibar!

The food was hit and miss. One night we had a lovely meal but the second night was terrible – perhaps it was a different chef we wondered, as there was such a disparity. The second night our food was not even edible. Hot breakfast was average.

Cocktails in the bar were overpriced and most certainly not 5* standard as we expected.

Overall we were really disappointed. This had been our treat to ourselves, 5* luxury in the heart of Stone Town... We rightfully had high hopes – Maru Maru fell significantly short!

Room Tip: the higher up the better i.e the farther away from the water feature the more chance of a good sleep...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank SmallWorldNE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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537 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 (107)
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New York City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2013

Good value. Complimentary breakfast is OK. Bacon doesn't quite taste or look like bacon. Coffee machine keeps breaking down. Rooftop bar is fantastic. It's also a tourist draw from non-hotel guests. Great meeting spot to enjoy the evening with friends.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Angela C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2013

This hotel is right in the center of Stonetown. It is done in a sort of Arabian style--the rooms surround a courtyard looking over a fountain. It is a nice retreat fromthe hubbub of the main shopping district right outside the door. The room was small but comfortable. The staff was quite professional. Internet was slow but worked. My main complaint was the food. The breakfast was quite lame. And the Indian food I ate at dinner and lunch was rather bland. There are much better Indian restaurants in Zanzibar. Also there was live music Friday and Saturday night in the rooftop restaurant. You have no choice but to listen to it. You can hear it loud and clear through your closed door and windows. The music was OK, not jarring, but like the food kind of bland. Mercifully, it ends at 10:30.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Syd88_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Monica, California
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2013

The Maru Maru is reasonably priced, centrally located, comfortable with decent service. The rooftop restauarant has great views of ocean - perfect sunsets - and of Stonetowns roofscapes. It's picturesque and food and drink are okay. Breakfast is included - it's a buffet and it's not bad (not great, but not bad) - service can be slow especially as it gets later in the morning. The restaurant staff can sometimes seem a bit weary.
Hotel clientelle is a mix of tourists and business travelers, and the atmosphere reflects that.
The setting in the center of Stonetown is picturesque, convenient and ideal in every way.
NOTE: this is not a good choice for anyone with limited mobility as there are stairs and uneven surfaces (as at so many hotels in East Africa)
Another note: some rooms can be a bit noisy. The great news is that this section of Stonetown is not busy late at night.

Room Tip: It's a bit quirky but many rooms are quiet - just ask. Note that not all rooms have elevator...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Gringacriolla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arusha, Tanzania
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 5, 2013

This new hotel is doing wonders for travelers looking for a new, comfortable, modern place to stay with a classic touch of the historic Stonetown. Maru Maru is right in the middle of everything - directly behind the Old Fort and Forodhani, and located on Gizenga street which is the best curios shopping maze in East and Southern Africa.

I have come here many times both by myself and with friends and family, and everyone has said great things about it. I'm giving this and excellent review because I've stayed at over ten places in Stonetown and this one is the most reliable and consistently impresses me with its excellent hospitality, fast booking, amazing internet, and beautiful simply designed rooms.

The roof top bar is a winner every day for sunset drinks. Thanks Olivier + Team for always living up to expectations.

Room Tip: New wing is away from the street and has excellent wifi. Rooms are slightly smaller than classic win...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank J G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abuja, Nigeria
1 review
Reviewed September 5, 2013

I spent about 9days in Maru maru Hotel. It is a very clean, quiet and comfortable hotel. The staff are friendly. Also the view at the terrace is amazing. Love the breakfasts. The Hotel isnt far from the airport

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Kelmasu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2013

I thought this hotel was a beautiful, quiet, comfortable place to stay in Stone Town. I stayed one night with several colleagues on a business trip. We were greeted in the lobby with cool towels and cool drinks. The price of the double room was very reasonable. The breakfast was delicious, although fairly pricey (about $10) and not included in the cost of the room. Staff were very helpful. I highly recommend.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jenster2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Maru Maru Hotel

Property: Maru Maru Hotel
Address: 397 - 400 Gizenga Street | Shangani, Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Zanzibar City > Stone Town
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Stone Town
#5 Luxury Hotel in Stone Town
#10 Family Hotel in Stone Town
#10 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Maru Maru Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 44
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in the heart of the UNESCO world heritage site of StoneTown, Maru Maru Hotel is just a few steps from the city’s historical wonders, colourful markets and labyrinth of shops. Once a town house famous for its marble floors and tiles, it has now been lovingly restored to offer 44 bright rooms blending classic Zanzibar style with iconic design and modern luxuries. Its roof terrace offers one of the best views in the city with a 360° panorama and is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail as the sun melts into the Indian Ocean. The relaxed ambiance at Maru Maru continues long into the night as people come to enjoy a vast variety of Continental, Chinese Indian and Swahili cuisine, view art in Maru Maru’s gallery and enjoy the captivating sound of Tahareb music as it floats into the night. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Maru Maru Hotel Zanzibar Island/Stone Town

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