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“Fantastic location; quaint extraordinary hotel”

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Tembo House Hotel & Apartments
Ranked #9 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore, Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Fantastic location; quaint extraordinary hotel”
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Zanzibar was a dream for me, and to arrive at Tembo hotel, with its history, and its old world charm, right in the midst of an old world itself, was simply extraordinary. Rooms were nice, and we were lucky to have ours face the ocean, with a nice balcony too!

After my trek & safari, I did not really expect too much out of service in Tanzania. So I wasn't quite disappointed with the staff like some of the other reviewers. Just take it as an old-world place, without any frills..

So what has the hotel to offer : a nice looking pool in the courtyard, no alcohol(!!), fancy rooms with TV (what a treat after what I had experienced so far), a restaurant literally on the beach, awful food, Wifi, - so a real mix of stuff, but who cares? We were in Zanzibar, and in Stone town, and the beach at our feet...

And there are some wonderful restaurants pretty close by. Just don't eat at the hotel! :)

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Rj-spark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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957 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 (195)
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Piraeus, Greece
Level 6 Contributor
100 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

stayed with my partner in Tembo House for a week. Room 205 was spacious with antique furniture, the canopy bed was a piece of art and had a small balcony overlooking the sea.
Housekeeping was very professional and the room was immaculate every day.
The hotel itself is located in the most convenient area of tone Town just minutes away from Forhodhani Gardens and a big variety of shops and restaurants.
The breakfast area is between the pool and the beach and despite the comments of other Trip Advisor members I believe it can get a lot more improvement however the local spiced coffee is excellent.
Staff was always polite and friendly.
Do not miss the sunset on the beach while the local boys are competing in acrobatics every afternoon (between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m).

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank covaltio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level 6 Contributor
158 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2012

Tembo House hotel is in a group of restored buildings right on the waterfront in the centre of Zanzibar Stone Town. The owners have done well to recreate some atmosphere of Zanzibar's past. Tembo is "dry", but in a few minutes you can find Livingstone's bar almost next door along the beach. Our room was too crowded with Victorian furniture, leaving no room for luggage let alone swing a cat. We had to move chairs out on to the veranda. Tembo's downfall is its staff: chewing gum and indifferent at reception, saying there was drinking water in the rooms when there was not, and not keeping the hotel as clean as it should be. Management needs a shake-up.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tosca08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sydney
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2012

I was so not impressed with this hotel. We had just finished the most wonderful safari, tents and wonderful accommodation. Tembo was the only hotel out of about a dozen we stayed in which our group of 6 was dissappointed. Rooms not clean enough, shabby bathroom. Ordinary staff at desk the day we arrived,very indifferent. Ordinary breakfast. Awful pool right in entrance, place needed a good spring clean. It is such a great interesting building in best position, needs better management.Dreadful entrance with old computers taking up space.Would have enjoyed a glass of wine , as the view was wonderful, and the area near beach a great spot to sit and watch local activity. Hard to get small notes and the change man sat at his desk and never had any small notes.

Room Tip: choose another hotel.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank maria e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
287 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2012

Fantastic position, close to shops in stone town, restaurant on beach next door, dhow to an island on the beach front. Great, caring staff, nothing too much trouble. Food sadly a bit lacking, but plenty of nearby places to eat all within walking distance as well. Rooms clean and mosi nets on beds. Pool is great, shame to go home! Lovely showers that you can sit down in as well. Very quiet at night as well.

Room Tip: We had one overlooking a pool with a little balcony with table and chairs on. Very quiet. Better v...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank eggybreadUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed November 1, 2012

Many of the hotels in Stone Town have a tired, sagging feel to them. Since you'll only be there a night of two, you can pick just about any of them in the $125 price range. The Tembo House included.

The staff are friendly enough, though like most experiences in Stone Town, you should be wary of having them "help" with any excursion booking. The front desk booked us a Safari Blue trip at the "best rate". We didn't take the booking and I later called Safari Blue directly and booked at a lower rate. This tends to happen just about everywhere in Tanzania so don't be discouraged.

The other surprise at the Tembo was to learn that they add 10% for credit card charges. While illegal according to credit card company terms of service, the extra fees are often passed on to customers. Usually at the rate of 4% to 6%. The Tembo seems to be taking a bit of a chance with the 10% add on. Now, I think you can see where the front desk staff get their idea to help you get such a good price on excursions.

All that said, you can go elsewhere and the same thing will generally happen. Comes with the territory. The Tembo is just fine. Central location. Nice pool. Good mosi nets on the beds. Safe. just fine for Zanzibar.

Room Tip: You'll likely be blasting your AC through the night and thus all the rooms will seem about the s...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank UnkleUnkle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed November 1, 2012

If you are looking for a really nice, quite and clean hotel in Stonetown visit Tembo House Hotel. The rooms are in arabic style, clean and fresh. Tembo House Hotel has it own pool but if you prefer to swim in the ocean you have the beach just by the hotel (and you can swim there!). No alcohol is served but their milkshakes are superb!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Markus H
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

Property: Tembo House Hotel & Apartments
Address: Forodhani Street, Stone Town, Zanzibar City 3974, Tanzania
Phone Number:
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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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