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“A wonderful step back in time” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Tembo House Hotel & Apartments

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Tembo House Hotel & Apartments
Ranked #10 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Muscat,Oman
Level Contributor
81 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“A wonderful step back in time”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 31, 2010

This is a charming hotel full of character, antique furinture in the bedrooms.
Facilites were more than adequate, staff and service were very good and the location couldn't be better, right on the beach and also central to all the exitement of stone town.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank muscatsteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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918 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (188)
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English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
45 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 23, 2010

Loved the central location and character of the building. Beautiful rooms with zanzibari furniture. Great pool in the middle of the building. Right on the beach.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank vanwyk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vienna, Austria
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 17, 2010

We came from a 8 days Safari through Tanzania to relax 4 more days on Zanzibar and just got this hotel for one night on the transit to Matemwe. We got the Tembo Lodge but only from the name you cannot expect luxury. The room was directly at the beach (ground level). In fact when we sat at the terrace people thought we were sitting at the restaurant (which is just three metres away). If you step out of the room you are directly in the restaurant (although open-air). Breakfast was as disappointing as the room's and bathroom's interior. So, just for one night it is quite OK, but certainly not for more than that ...

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 3rni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Key Largo
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2010

This hotel combines history and comfort in a convenient setting on the busy beach front of Stone Town in Zanzibar. The staff are very accommodating and willing to work with your schedule and interests to help provide an enjoyable stay in this interesting city. There are more "high end" places but this one provides the feeling of actually being in Zanzibar with its interesting mix of cosmopolitan people. The pool was very clean and refreshing and computers with internet access were a welcome plus. Being close to the "House of Wonders" Museum, the very old Fort next door (with interesting shops inside), Forodhani Park and the evening food vendors (don't miss the delicious "Zanzibar Pizza" and grilled sea food), and several excellent restaurants - as well as Tembo's own beachfront restaurant - is a plus. We enjoyed wandering the old alley passages behind the Fort back to the old slave auction site now occupied by the Anglican Church and felt quite safe during the day - except perhaps for the motorbikes which pass through also. Many different shops are found here with excellent souvenirs. We also found the Stone Town Cafe nearby with excellent pizzas - we tried them all during our stay! Just past the post office on the left side behind the palms. Enjoy!

Stayed December 2010, traveled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank jemihal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 2, 2010

Was booked for us by Eco & Culture Tours. Seemed alright at first. Good location and a nice colonial looking building.
We were given a twin room and when we said we wished a double the porter told us to push them together! They are big old wooden things that would take an elephant to move.
There was a leak which flooded the bathroom floor. I asked for it to be seen to as we left for a tour. When we returned nothing had been done. I managed to fix the leak myself but had to ask again for the water to be mopped up. I also had to ask for pillowcases for the pillows and for the ‘complimentary bottled water’.
The bedroom floor was dirty.
When checking out I asked for help with our cases There is no lift and the stairs are quite steep. I was told the porter was upstairs somewhere and I should find him myself – a bit annoying.
Restaurant was ok but a bit pricey for all it was. Breakfast promised great things if you read the cards below the serving dishes but they were mainly empty and not refilled during our breakfast – I guess you had to be down first thing to get the full choice.
Really, really would advise against.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank LondonLainey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morogoro, Tanzania
1 review
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 27, 2010

Overall we were very unhappy with our stay. We are missionaries here in Africa and we were looking for a place to stay when family came and visited us. We called and booked reservations three weeks in advance, but when we arrived they told us they did not have a reservation for us and proceeded to blame it on us and basically called us liars and asked questions like, "Are you sure you didn't book with someone else?" and I laughed and said, "Is there really another Tembo House Hotel in Zanzibar!" They then proceeded to act like they were doing us a favor by giving us a room and charging us a higher rate than we were told on the phone and than what is posted on their website. They were even unwilling to give us rooms with double beds for couples to sleep in so my wife and I as well as some of my family had to sleep in individual beds.
On the bed note, I have stayed in villages and small guest houses and the only time my bed has been any harder was when I slept on the ground. The pillows were also terribly thin. Again I have received better sleeping accommodations for one-tenth of the price.
They said they provided complimentary water but when one of our rooms had no water they tried to send me to buy it at their restaurant, only after being very adamant did they provide water.
The air conditioner took seven hours of being on before our room was cooled off.
The view was nothing incredible considering you are right next to the boat harbor, which is dirty and unattractive. The prettiest time was the sunset which you could see from a sunning balcony and no where else.
My list of complaints is near endless as the internet did not work most of the time and when it did it was poorly. The TV did not work for multiple hours, one of the rooms had very little water pressure. The windows sealed poorly allowing mosquitoes to enter. They sprayed a strong mosquito spray in our rooms without asking while we were out.
The restaurant did not have a very wide selection and was 2 to 3 times the price of restaurants just around the corner.
The old historical building and the appearance of the hotel was very unique and we enjoyed that, plus the pool was nice. Also their breakfast buffet was pretty good.
After staying here we went to the East side of Zanzibar and thoroughly enjoyed three more days so I would advise skipping the Tembo House and go to the beach.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank EABman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Yorks
Level Contributor
78 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2010

A thoroughly comfortable hotel located in a charming old building. A wonderful room with super views and all amenities.
We enjoyed our dinner and breakfast whilst seated outside and with the added attraction of myriad activities both on the adjacent beach and out to sea.
As this was only a brief stay we did not have time to sample the full range of hotel activities but would certainly wish to return here for a longer visit.
Note - this hotel is teetotal but the non-alcoholic beer provided was very acceptable.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TomnBobbie
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:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Stone Town
#7 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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