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“Five Star Zanizbar”

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Zanzibar Serena Hotel
Ranked #7 of 34 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Nairobi
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Five Star Zanizbar”
Reviewed June 17, 2013

We try not to hand out five stars lightly, but our two-night stay earned them. The conversion of the historic Cable and Wireless building into a sizeable (for the location) hotel is excellent: all polished wood and brass with an intimate, period feel. We were fortunate to have what must be the best room in the house, No. 51, corner balcony overlooking sea and pool courtyard. The hammock and sea breeze a wonderful respite after a spice tour, a visit to Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park to see the Zanzibar Red Colobus or a stomp around Stone Town, which you enter as you step out of the hotel's front door. Staff super friendly and helpful. Food, better than anything else from our small sample in town.

Room Tip: No. 51 must be the best. Be prepared to receive the full enjoyment of the drinks-time live Taarab ba...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Harvey C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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689 reviews from our community

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Salzburg, Austria
Level 5 Contributor
45 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 11, 2013

Excellent Service, friendly staff and lovely Swimming pool.
Wonderful views of the Indian Ocean. Exzellenter Service, freundliches Personal und schönes Schwimmbad.Wunderbare Aussicht auf den Indischen Ozean. Excellent service, personnel sympathique et belle piscine.
Magnifique vue sur l'océan Indien. Huduma bora, wafanyakazi wazuri na bwawa poa. Bahari ya Hindi inaonekana vizuri.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Washeke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi, India
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2013

We spent 2 nights in Zanzibar after a lovely 6 days Tanzanian Safari... It is a lovely hotel, with a stunning location, great rooms, amazing service,,, and a lovely sumptous breakfast. It is small, but each room has a great view of the ocean :-). There is a private beach area, where you can take nice walks... I did not hear great reviews on the dinner, choices, however, there are so many cafes and restaurants in Zanzibar that you will not like to eat in. They have a lovely bar, where they make very nice cocktails...

Room Tip: Choose 3rd floor, ideally room 41 or 42
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank GeethaR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2013

We wanted to stay in Stone Town rather than out on an isolated beach but with a swimming pool and luxury. The Serena Inn has great sea views and a small but very nice pool where tea and crepes are served each afternoon. It is a collection of buildings and so has various stairs up and down to get around the hotel.
We had booked via a hotel website and unfortunately our booking had not reached the hotel. The duty manager, Charles, was extremely helpful in calling the company concerned, offering us a drink whilst we waited and then transferring us to a nearby hotel for one night as the Serena was fully booked. On our return the next morning we had been upgraded to the honeymoon suite which had a lovely wrap around balcony but was still on the small side with a shower en suite.
We went out to the Serena private beach club at Mangapwani one day which was frankly a disappointment. The tide was out when we got there to show a huge rocky area which is home to sea urchins. Once the tide did come in it was not that attractive an option as we knew what was underneath and had to wear the shoes provided. We had the seafood grill between two which was ok but served above the beach amongst hundreds of flies. If you want the beach head for one of the real ones elsewhere on the island. We were also disappointed by the in house tour desk which didn't give us the option of a private tour but just pick a set one out of a brochure at an inflated price compared to other operators in town. We did do a good spice tour from here though.
The Serena Inn tries very hard but is struggling to keep a 5 star rating in the modern world but is probably the best option in Stone Town.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank LizMulliss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staunton, Virginia
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2013

A good (but not great) hotel, the Serena Hotel in Stone Town has delightful and attractive public spaces. However, the food is only OK and the rooms are a bit small. Having said that, if I were going back to Stone Town, I would likely stay at the Serena Hotel again as I saw nothing better during my visit there. There is a new hotel being built beside the Serena that will not be complete for awhile, but may be worth checking out. During your stay in Stone Town, don't miss the Zanzibar Curio Shop, and read my separate review of that attraction.

Room Tip: a room with a view of the sea adds to the attractiveness.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank light42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
65 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed May 22, 2013

The Zanzibar Serena is set on the tip of Stone Town and offers a perfect location from which to explore all that Stone Town has to offer. A great restaurant and bar is onsite, with many options a short safe walk away - day or night. The hotel has a private beach offsite; however, if you want only beach and no Stone Town, this may not be the property for you. The hotel has a great full service spa and the doormen (or perhaps concierges would be a better term) were spectacular in helping make the stay effortless with regard almost any need or want. The perfect place to soak in a view of the water and a breeze from the bar terrace to the rooftop restaurant to your private balcony!

Room Tip: Get a 2nd floor room with a balcony and enjoy a view of the dhows coming and going through the turqu...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank John_Traveler_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mek'ele, Ethiopia
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed May 19, 2013

The hotel is well located close to the narrow streets of Stone town. The design and rooms are very nice and seaview enjoyable. The hotel staff is very friendly and manager really good. We have been disappointed with the Stone Town tour proposed by the hotel (dont recommand it, you can easily visit by yourself instead of spending 80 $ for 2 hours with a guide giving you 20 minutes history and then just walking you in the streets) and the manager gave us a refund.
Nice hotel but slightly overpriced.

Room Tip: We had a seaview room with balcony and hammock which was enjoyable.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank angelique a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Zanzibar Serena Hotel

Property: Zanzibar Serena Hotel
Address: Kelele Square, Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Zanzibar City > Stone Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Stone Town
#2 Spa Hotel in Stone Town
#3 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
#4 Luxury Hotel in Stone Town
#4 Business Hotel in Stone Town
#5 Family Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Zanzibar Serena Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 51
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Zanzibar Serena Hotel Stone Town
Zanzibar Serena Stone Town
Zanzibar Serena Hotel Zanzibar Island/Stone Town

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