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“food poisoning yet again in Zanzibar”

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Zanzibar Serena Hotel
Ranked #9 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 17, 2009

Having had a wonderful time at the Fundu Lagoon Pemba, we spent the last night before heading home at in the Serena Inn.

What a disaster from start to finish.

The hotel architecture was beautiful but no sooner had we sat down for a quiet drink as the sun set than a local band started playing and within 2 songs their dancers danced in amongst us requesting payment. Drinks at the bar were over-priced and there were no prices written on the drinks menus. The bar staff hung around that little bit too long waiting for a tip.
The restaurant was even worse. Service was slow and amateur. We were offered only the set menu, again with no prices and when I asked for an alternative menu I was told that it was a $15 supplement. The food when it finally came was awful, badly cooked and poorly presented. The price was again astronomical and as the staff could not understand english well enough, there was no point telling them the food was awful.
In the middle of the night we were both ill and then had to get on a flight home.
Both my husband and I have travelled extensively in the Middle East, Africa and South America. This was the worst hotel we have stayed in for years. It was a poor quality tourist hotel masquerading as a quality hotel and cynically charging extortionate prices for the privilege of getting food poisoning.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank drivervet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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582 - 588 of 693 reviews

Reviewed December 30, 2008

This is one of the best sunset spots in Stone Town, Zanzibar. It's much better than the nearby Africa Hotel deck bar. My wife and I didn't stay in the hotel, but went there twice for drinks in the outside bar to watch the sunset.
The staff was very nice too, until it got crowded and they obviously wanted our table for hotel guests. This is fine, but they went about it a bit rudely, standing by our table and staring at us while they loudly said "This table will be available in just a minute."
I guess just buying drinks at the bar wasn't enough to keep them happy.
However, it's a beautiful hotel. The beer is ice cold and they give you free roasted cashews. They often have live music in the bar at night and this is very nice. It's our favorite sunset spot in Zanzibar.

Nathan - [-]

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank IMAdventures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 25, 2008

We had the pleasure of staying at this hotel for 2 nights and wish we would have stayed longer! The food was GREAT, the people were amazing, and the rooms were perfect! This hotel is right on a really nice beach (depending if the tide is high or low), it is also a very short walk from the centre of stone town.
From the moment we arrived the people were soo great! The doorman greeted us and got us a nice tropical cocktail!
Make sure you make reservations at the Terrance restrauant if you visit this hotel, the view is amazing!
The pool was the best pool I had ever been in anywhere i the world! Most hotel we go to the pools are really cold and you can only stand to be in them for a short time but this pools temperature was just right!
Jonathan the manager was always coming to our table morning and night to make sure our stay was going well. Our luggage was delayed a day and he offered to pay for us to get some clothes at the little store they had at the hotel!
I would recommend this hotel to anyone going to Stone town, Zanzibar!

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled with family
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Thank AlbertaCanadiangirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2008

Stayed for just one night, unfortunately. It´s a fantastic old style hotel. Our room with a balcony facing the sea was marvelous. The hotel is very central and is the ideal location for a quick visit to Zanzibar.
Should I ever return to Zanzibar I will surely stay in the same hotel.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ifanti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2008

Absolutely beautiful hotel. Great staff---as other reviewer said, Suliman, Yussuf & Ali are the best! Ask them for restaurant recommendations! Jonathan was wonderful as well! Was only there two night and was treated like a star. Warmly welcomed every time I can into the hotel. This hotel is definitely on the pricier side, but if you want the best of Stone Town, this is it.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank loyolameg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2008

Recently returned from Zanzibar and we loved The Serena. The hotel has a fantastic location and the staff are wonderful. The two doormen, Suliman and Yousef always remembered our names and greeted us in a very friendly manner. The hotel is such a lovely refuge in a very fun and bustling town. We only stayed two nights and wished it had been longer. The seafood restaurant on the roof is expensive but was worth it. Yummy! The rooms were adequate (we had two because we were a family). Clean and comfortable with everything working. The staff and the location is what makes this a great vacation spot.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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Thank aussieches
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2008

Good facilities, with excellent rooms. We used the terrace seafood restaurant which was an unforgettable experience: food, location and service. Not cheap, but a good location for walking in Stone Town and getting to the airport.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank OJS9
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

Address: Kelele Square, Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania
Phone Number:
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:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Stone Town
#2 Spa Hotel in Stone Town
#3 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
#4 Business Hotel in Stone Town
#5 Family Hotel in Stone Town
#5 Luxury Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range: $305 - $461 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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