It is hard to argue with the hospitality, generosity and commitment to service we received from the staff at Tembo. A simple smile or 'jambo' always solicited a warm response. When we decided to extend our stay in Stone Town, the hotel's booking coordinator Mr. Madini was only to happy to assist, slotting us into a cancellation for another 4 days without problem or complaint. The hotel's manager, Mr. Abdul, embodied both a professionalism and warmth that is sometimes hard to find in other hotel managers, who have likely been jaded from the throngs of tourists that pass through the city.
In terms of our room, it fell somewhere between modest and upscale -- comfortable would be a good way to describe it, actually. We are travellers who are not overly fussy or particular in our needs -- it's more important for us to have a comfortable bed, good air conditioning, a mosquito net and a small fridge that works. All of these met or exceeded our expectations in our room, with a decor that was traditional and authentic, without being over the top.
What we didn't know was that this hotel is DRY. In other words, there is no alcohol served. However for us, this was not a detraction -- what the hotel lacked in alcohol was more than made up in its location, its swimming pool and its food. It is very close to all amenities, including restaurants and bars. What we also discovered is that hotels inside the city were a little more stuffy and still (we looked around a couple). Tembo, on account of its seaside location, was generally cooler because of the gentle winds that tend to blow off the water, and its open courtyard.
For these reasons, we felt lucky to be here. By the way, if there is a desperate need to have a cocktail at sundown, a very fancy hotel is about 3 minutes walk away, where the sunsets are lovely but the prices considerably more. You can sip with the quiet satisfaction that you've not missed a thing in your decision to be a little thrifty.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A Unique experience awaits at the Tembo House&Apartments.Tembo House Hotel&Apartments is situated at the heart of Zanzibar Stone Town by the picturesque seafront.The magnificent main Building has had various functions over the past centuries. Between 1834 and 1884 it served as the American Consulate in Zanzibar then passed on to become the trading offices of Cowasjee Dinshaw & Partners. Their headquarters was in Aden(what now is know as the Port of Suez), and with trading posts notably in most of the British Protectorate areas, it became the largest trading Company in the India Ocean. To this day , the name of Cowasjee Dinwash & Partners is still visible at the main entrance of Tembo House Hotel.Tembo House Hotel has seen a few celebrities pass through is doors during the consulate era, the Conwasjee Dinwash era and as a Hotel. Mahatma Ghandi, stayed here a few weeks with the Dinwash family on his journey back to India from South Africa 1930. As a rising new star in the British, and the world music scene, Freddie Mercury and his family used to retreat to what is now ”Marashi” apartment whenever they came back to Zanzibar on holidays.Next to Tembo House Hotel is also what used to be the British Consulate, where in 1874, Dr. Livingstone’s body was brought before embarking on its long journey back to England.A stone throw away is the Beit-al-Ajaib of House of wonders. This landmark building, is the largest and by far, the tallest building in Stone Town. Flanking the Beit-al-Ajaib is the Old Fort on one side and the Palace Museum on the other side.In other words, Tembo House Hotel is situated on a prime location, you need not go far to find the shops, the restaurants and the Historical sites that Zanzibar Stone Town has on offer.Zanzibar port is just 5 minutes drive away and the Zanzibar International Airport a further 15 minutes away.Welcome home away from home ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Tembo Hotel Stone Town
- Tembo Stone Town
- Tembo House Hotel & Apartments Zanzibar Island/Stone Town