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“Great stay, great staff”

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Tembo House Hotel & Apartments
Ranked #9 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 28, 2011

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.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank SandZ_2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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631 - 637 of 1,004 reviews

Reviewed December 25, 2011

I had a great experience at Tembo Hotel, the service was perfect, all staff members were very welcoming and helpful. I spent a total of two weeks in Tembo Hotel and enjoyed every moment of it, waking up every morning out looking the beautiful sun rise from the balcony was a amazing experience. The swimming pool was a great bonus, it was clean and cool during the day. The room was very clean, especially the toilets, the beds were very big and comforting. The beautiful antique furniture around the hotel was a great touch to the amazing hotel. I would strongly suggest this hotel, as it is perfectly located next to the beach side and all tourist attractions, and has great value for money as I received a 5 star service for a affordable price.

One quick point for fans of Freddie Mercury, the hotel has 4 apartments available on Kenyatta Street, this was one of the former homes of Freddie Mercury, its a amazing feature to Tembo Hotel which makes it very unique. First choice hotel for the next time I visit Zanzibar, a special thanks to a very helpful member of staff called Mr. Yakub.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank Salman A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2011

I loved my experience at the Tembo hotel. It is really beautiful and nearly every room boasts a view of the ocean. The hotel is right in the middle of Stone town and an easy walk to Forodhani, the Slave market, and the palace. No alcohol is allowed on the premises but honestly, you could walk to a nearby bar and get your fill, if you want. Overall, I was really glad I paid the $130 to get a nice, clean room. All rooms have flat screen TVs and the bathroom is really beautiful. This place got a 4 star rating because some of the fixtures in the bathroom were loose and the shower did not have ANY pressure at all. Breakfast is served in their lovely patio area and I could hang out there all day long, if my hubby would let me!!

Room Tip: All rooms seem to be pretty nice. We had 2 and one had a king size bed and the other double beds.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank dee v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2011

Stayed here for 2 nights. Superb location in central Stone Town, with (small) pool and adjacent to lovely beach (although far better ones exist in other parts of Zanzibar). Service was good, but room was rather spartan, lacking some basics and bathroom felt tired. Can be noisy at night from traffic noise if on the road side. Beds were comfortable.

The hotel felt a bit run-down and would benefit from an update. However, it's architecture is beautiful.

Room Tip: Try and get one overlooking the sea and away from the road.
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank markthriscutt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2011

Stayed in this hotel for the 3rd time. Very convenient for site seeing. Free all day internet access. Rooms and breakfast very good. Manager and staff brilliant. Now expanding to self catering appartments with all facilities of the hotel. Excellent sunset views.

Room Tip: Advisable to request for ground floor if elderly,
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Bardezgoa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2011

The hotel looks like an old antique shop, but it is nice, well designed, and the decors is beginning of 20th century.
It is located just 10m fron the sea, you can have your breakfast almost on the beach. You can swim there or use the swimming pool, which was a good surprise for us. Breakfast was fine, and the room, although small, clean and perfect for its purpose.
The hotel is located few meters from Livingstone bar, maybe the most popular bar among tourists, and just few minutes away from main attractions.

We spent 2 nights in Stonetown, we felt that was the perfect duration, longer would have been a bit boring. After, 1 week safari and 4 days in a resort, visiting Stonetown was the perfect plan to complete our Tanzanian experience.

Please be aware that you can't really enjoy the beach and the ocean in Stonetown, better to go to a resort somewhere else.

The best thing to do in Stonetown is have a beer in Livingstone, on the beach, and enjoying the sunset

We didn't visit any island around and didn't do any snorekelling, as we didn't have time, but people seemed happy about what they saw

Room Tip: it seemed that some rooms were much larger than others, and also some had a balcony with view on the...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank karimoss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2011

Tremendously enjoyed this nicely furnished, lovely hotel with great views, beach front, opportunity for people watching and great, convenient location in Stone City, Zanzibar. The hotel is both in the tourist heart of the city and ocean front . The beach offers great sunsets, a chance to observe the dhows and - uniquely unexpected but interesting process of ferries loading and unloading the goods right on the beach.Breakfast was included in a reasonable price. Rooms air conditioned with mosqutieras and flat panel TVs. Nice small balconies accompanied each room. At night nice restaurants and interesting food bazaar close by. All the main attractions of Stone City walking discount. For sure would consider this nice place again.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank podrozniczka60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tembo House Hotel & Apartments

Address: Forodhani Street, Stone Town, Zanzibar City 3974, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Zanzibar City > Stone Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Stone Town
#6 Luxury Hotel in Stone Town
#8 Family Hotel in Stone Town
#12 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range: $120 - $318 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Tembo House Hotel & Apartments 4*
Number of rooms: 50
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

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