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“Perfect location in Stone Town.”

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Tembo House Hotel & Apartments
Ranked #8 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Corpus Christi, TX
Level Contributor
58 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 186 helpful votes
“Perfect location in Stone Town.”
Reviewed April 29, 2008

The location is great--right on the beach. We had several really good meals in the restaurant but breakfast was not one of them! The staff is very helpful with booking tours, etc.
I tried to book this hotel on their web site but all of the replies came from a sister hotel that I was not interested in. I gave up and booked through a travel agent.

  • Liked — Balcony with view of the sea, friendly staff.
  • Disliked — Small bathroom.
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JaneB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Edinburgh (Scotland)
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2008

We spent 3 nights in Tembo hotel between Christmas and New Year 2007/2008. We'd spent the previous 4 days in a tent on safari and after Tembo moved onto the lovely Mapenzi beach club for a week. It was lovely to arrive in Tembo after our stay on safari. When the taxi pulled up outside we were very pleased with what we saw from the outside. At the reception we saw the lovely pool but headed straight up the polished wooden stair case to our room. The room was a perfect size and lovely and cool with the air conditioning. Through the gorgeous zanzibari doors and onto the small balcony we were overlooking the pool. I must add that there were no local children in the pool at all apart from one day. I had actually seen a father with 3 children come to the reception to ask if the kids could use the pool and they were turned away. I got the impression that they were being told that it was too busy for the moment. There were about 5 European kids in it and a couple of adults. When I came past the pool a few hours later I could see that the pool was much quieter and the 3 local kids were playing happily. They weren't causing any bother at all. I don't suppose they would be allowed back if they did.

We were very hungry when we arrived so ordered king fish which came with an amazing masala sauce, rice chips and salad. It was absolutely gorgeous. After that I didn't think any other meal on the island could beat it. In fact so much o the food on Zanzibar is amazing that my mouth is watering at the thought of it.

Walking past the pool you go past a lovely wall-less lounge area with a couple of steps down to the beach were you enjoy a glorious breeze. From there you see lots of local children playing in the waves and having great fun with plastic bottles.

Breakfast was lovely! Plenty of choices of lovely local fruit, pancakes, cereal, croissant, juice etc. I'm vegetarian so I don't remember the other things.

The man in the restaurant was lovely. He was Indian but had been born on Zanzibar. He was friendly and quietly spoking and unimposing. He seemed to be the manager and like all local people on Zanzibar was very interested in our culture and very willing to share his with us.

I loved Tembo and would recommend it to anyone. It's far from plush but is clean and welcoming and in keeping with the local style. We stayed the very last night in the Holiday Inn in Dar es Salaam which was nice but too close to home. Tempo is from another world. I loved it.

  • Liked — The location, the breeze, the nice man in the restaurant, the king fish, the sound of the waves
  • Disliked — Would have been nice to have a gin and tonic in the lovely lounge area.
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Chessari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2008

Tembo fits a nice middling region of Zanzibar hotels. Everywhere else seems to be boutique 5 star or 0 star dive. Tembo is a little Basil Fawlty but if you get past that it is perfectly comfortable for a couple of nights. I didn't try the pool as it looked a bit dingy, the breakfast was only just passable, and the shower a little eccentric, but somehow I enjoyed it and would stay again if I returned. The location is good and safety fine.

Stayed March 2008
Helpful?
Thank ipaytostay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Lincs, UK
1 review
Reviewed March 15, 2008

We stayed at the Tembo for 11 nights in February 2008 for our honeymoon, and loved it.
Our room was spacious, with a huge bed, furnished with traditional Zanzibari furniture, and was cleaned daily while we were there. Our room was in the "new" wing, overlooking the pool, but we still had a view of the ocean.
The hotel is right on the beach, with a beachfront restaurant. The restaurant isn't licensed, which didn't bother us especially; there is a bar/restaurant called Livingstones just next door along the beach if you wanted a sunset meal with drinks. We ate in the hotel restaurant several times, and found the food delicious and the service attentive and polite. It's not the cheapest restaurant around, but a reasonable, easy option if you don't want to venture far.
Location is excellent; near enough to the centre of Stonetown for you to be able to explore easily, yet the beachfront location provided a very welcome sea breeze! Book a tour of the town to help you get your barings in the maze of streets, and to point out things you would otherwise miss.
The pool is nice, although we didn't use it. Other reviews talk of local children using the pool, but we did not see any in the time we were there. In the Rough Guide it says you can pay to use the pool at Tembo, but we heard some tourists being turned away being told it was residents only.
If you are expecting Western home comforts or the 5* luxury of the Serena then you will probably be disappointed, but if you are looking for a reasonably priced, atmospheric base to explore Stonetown and Zanzibar, then the Tembo is for you.

  • Liked — Location and room
  • Disliked — There is no lift
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Feelou27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2008

The Tembo house hadn't been our first choice of hotel in Stonetown, but as we arrived in the wet season without having made a reservation (due to uncerain travel plans) we found that our chosen hotel wasn't open for business and so our taxi driver brought us to the Tembo as an alternative. So our experience was pretty much devoid of prior expectations.
The hotel decor is very beautiful so anyone who is impressed by the old zanzibari style will not be disappointed on that front. Other aspects of the hotel may disappoint depending on their importance to you as a traveller. I don't think this hotel would please those who are overly budget conscious and cheaper accomodation of similar quality (but without the charm) is probably available in Stonetown. From what we could fathom by peering in open doorways the rooms do all differ in size (and maybe quality?) so you really may luck in or out on that aspect. Our room was quite small and in the older part of the hotel but seeing as we were only there to sleep it didn't bother us. There was a gorgeous communal sitting room overlooking the water which we never saw anybody using and it would have been lovely to spend an afternoon reading or relaxing there if anybody had that sort of time!
The location is great being right on the water and very close to lots of excellent restaurants. We didn't eat at the Tembo other than breakfast however - mainly because the hotel does not serve alcohol which is a real pity because it would have been a great spot to enjoy a drink at sunset (however the Africa House Sunset Bar which is very close pretty much has the monopoly on that past time!).
I am not sure if I would necessarily stay there again if I returned to Stonetown because there do seem to be a number of other hotels in this class which I would like to experience, but I would happily recommend the hotel to others looking for somewhere charming and very typical of Stonetown.

  • Liked — Location and decor
  • Disliked — No alcohol served
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank liese17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dundee,scotland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 20, 2007

We have just returned from a truely superb safari/beach holiday in tanzania and zanzibar.
we stayed in the various serena and sopa lodges in lake manyara,Ngorongoro and tarangere followed by an unforgettable four nights in Breezes beach club in zanzibar.
we then moved on to the Tembo house hotel in stonetown- talk about coming back down to earth!
the hotel itself looked quite nice and the rooms seemed reasonable but
the electrics were ancient causing the fridge and the tv to work intermittantly then pack in altogether.
the cooked breakfast consisted of eggs and tinned hot dog sausages
the pool was invaded by dozens of local children who not only monopolised the pool but made an unholy racket preventing residents from resting anywhere in the hotel. when challenged on this the manager was unavailable and the receptionist would only comment that there was an "arrangement"
the strip of beach in front of the hotel was used by 3 cargo boats to unload goods spoiling the view and pumping out diesel fumes.
my advice is if you want a peaceful holiday dont stay at the tembo

  • Liked — sun terrace/ pool when not full of local children
  • Disliked — pay at the door for access to swimming pool
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 7819Dundee_scotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 5, 2007

Our room, in the new section was clean and quiet. The staff were great and went way beyond the call of duty in helping me commission an original oil painting. It's a long story, but most of the staff was involved and took great pride in the final product. We especially appreciated the hotel's location in historic Stonetown, on the beach and close to the gardens (fun and delicious place to eat dinner).

Stayed September 2007
Helpful?
1 Thank AndAway
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 | P.O. Box 3974 Zanzibar, 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:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Stone Town
#5 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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