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The Africa House Hotel
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Reviews (277)
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All reviewschef joeterrace barwatch the sunsetlovely lunchthe sun setsunset viewindian foodsea frontwonderful staydownerszanzibarstonetowncharmrooftop
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Reviewed November 12, 2013

There is something you should do in Stonetown. The sun sets at nearly the same time every night and it's about the time to be holding a drink. So just go to the terrace of an interesting hotel called Africa House, at sunset for a magical experience. Friendly staff, wonderful building and glorious view over the sea.

Room Tip: We didn't stay in the hotel
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank PeterPageGoldsmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded February 16, 2017

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review, We are glade you enjoyed our hospitality & services.

We look forward to hosting you again soon.

Your Host,
Team Africa House Hote

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2013

We had booked a room for two nights with a sea view at the Africa House Hotel. We came in a bit late (9PM), since our flight was delayed and we had made prior arrangements with "Heather" regarding dinner. To our surprise, we were the only guests at the hotel, so the staff was rushing us to our room and then to the empty restaurant, since they all wanted to go home. On the next morning, we have been woken up early (7AM) by the loud music coming from the curio shops located directly underneath our room. As if it was not enough, we did not have any water in the bathroom for the entire length of our stay. Finally, when we were happily leaving the hotel and ready to pay and check out, I noted that the advertised price for our room was 30$ cheaper than what we were asked to pay (They claimed that it was the price for "walk in customers"). So we have been ripped off by 60$ for a stay at a hotel that we regretted. Avoid this hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Jean-PhilippeMtl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded February 16, 2017

Dear Guest,

We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to you at Africa House Hotel , We urge you to try our recently revamped services and give us another chance to showcase our hospitality & services.

Your Host,
Team Africa House Hotel.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2013

On our last day of our wonderful holiday to Tanzania and Zanzibar we thought we would celebrate our trip with lunch on the terrace of The Africa House in Stonetown. This decision turned into a nightmare! My partner and I were going up the stairs along with our traveling companion and her 9 year old son. On the first landing we were met by an expat who I can only assume is "Denise" based on the other emails, - and her
"pet" vervet monkey "Princess". This monkey became very excitable and bit the 9 year old son of our friend in the calf. Denise completely minimized the event, claimed Princess had had all her shots and left the scene. We were all in a state of shock. After the child's wound's had been cleaned we went onto the terrace. As a nurse in New York my mind was running through a list of things to do. I called over the owner, who I subsequently learned was married to or had some sort of relationship with this Denise and asked to see the papers that indicated the monkey had been vaccinated. Within a few moments he brought them to the table where the sticker to the rabies vaccine was attached to the certificate of vaccination with a lot number and date of inoculation. All did seem to be in order and I breathed a sigh of some relief but still furious that a pet monkey was allowed to be in the hotel. The lunch service was abysmal- the waiter brought several dishes we hadn't ordered, he was slow and completely inattentive- and as we returned to our hotel- The Dhow Palace across the street- which was wonderful, we spoke to the concierge there about the incident. "Oh " he said- "Everyone knows about her and her monkeys. That monkey has bitten 5 people already." When we asked why anything had not been done about this animal he shrugged his shoulders and seemed to indicate that Denise got away with things. We returned to New York that afternoon. A few days later I happened to be speaking with a pediatrician at work and described what happened. He mentioned that the big concern was that some medications used in developing countries may be fraudulent and my heart sank again. I called up our neighbor and urged her to speak with a pediatric infectious disease specialist. Long story short- her son started the rabies inoculations two weeks ago even though the risk of rabies is slight (you can never be too careful about rabies.) I remain flabbergasted why this woman is permitted to have her monkeys in the public areas of this hotel when the monkey has a history of biting people. I would advise anyone travelling to Stonetown not to set foot in that hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Service
5  Thank Jollymolly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded February 16, 2017

Dear Guest,

We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to you at Africa House Hotel , We urge you to try our recently revamped services and give us another chance to showcase our hospitality & services.

Your Host,
Team Africa House Hotel.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2013

This review is for the Zanzibar Hotel which is the sister hotel to The Africa House. We were directed from the Zanzibar Hotel to use the services at The Africa House...so the following review consists of both experiences:

I reserved a triple-room with a credit card via e-mail. At check-out,I was asked how I wanted to pay for the room. I indicated I preferred to pay cash since we were close to being done with our trip and we wanted to unload local currency. At check-out, there was no mention of my credit card having already been charged. Either they knew that and intentionally charged me again (fraud) or the staff person did not know that and at the very least demonstrates incompetence. Upon return home and getting my credit card bill, I sent two e-mails explaining the problem. I did finally get a response from someone who said she was new to the hotel and would look into this. A follow-up e-mail and a week later, still no response.

Zanzibar Hotel has a nice video on YouTube. But certainly it fails to live up to it's billing (pun intended). The fountains (which they claim adds serenity to the hotel) were inoperable. We were told to go to the sister hotel (The Africa House) for breakfast which was fine...a short walk and a great view. But the first morning they did not have any coffee and the second morning no flour. The bathroom (as many can be) was its own adventure. With a bizarre step up you had to crouch down so as to not hit your head on the top of the door frame. During the day this is not so much of a problem, but in the fog of night, expletives abound. The usual things don't work such as faucet handles, drain plugs, shower head assembly...and this can be a source of amusement depending on one's mood. But I'm not laughing as the billing fiasco continues...or not as indicative of the hotel's silence.

At check-out, a manager told us that the triple room usual sells for $180 (ridiculous considering the state of the hotel). When I showed her my e-mail that I was quoted $115.00 per night the manager stated that the person who reserved this was no longer working for the hotel. It occurs to me that there is no wonder that we were the only persons in the hotel for the two nights we stayed there...dysfunctional bathrooms, restaurant and billing errors all add up.

Perhaps more disturbing is that my e-mail inquiry has gone unanswered with the exception of one, "I'm looking into it" response that has since gone by the wayside. Any hotel that treats a customer this way serves as an example of poor management...and ultimately a constant "Vacancy" sign.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Service
5  Thank Kevin H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded February 16, 2017

Dear Guest,

We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to you at Africa House Hotel , We urge you to try our recently revamped services and give us another chance to showcase our hospitality & services.

Your Host,
Team Africa House Hotel.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2013

The previous review called Denise, the English wife of the owner, a racist. I can't comment on that but on the last day of our stay, as we were coming up the main stairway, my wife and I saw her having a fistfight with a female member of staff, screaming 'I'll have you!' to the woman who had quite clearly had enough and was trying to quit. This was in a public area of the hotel. It was shameful but sadly, just another incident in a stay that was like Fawlty Towers without the laughs.
We also heard her abusing and ranting at staff like they were sub-human.
It is furthermore astonishing that the hotel charges the equivalent of £100 a night for rooms that are coming apart at the seams. We were due to stay nine nights during the Zanzibar film festival in early July but arrived a night late after missing our ferry and were told the room wasn't ready as their renovations had over-run (the owner blamed 'Africa').
We were instead 'upgraded' to a suite located on the first floor. The furnishings flattered to deceive: plush in a photograph but tired in the extreme. The bathroom fittings were old and the showers were salt water - the least refreshing solution to the humidity.
Our first night we struggled to sleep because of incredibly noisy air conditioning units that turned on and off. So we asked to move rooms, but were told that would be difficult. Eventually, they moved us to a room on the floor up with exactly the same air-conditioning vents audible.
After we suggested we wanted our money back to move elsewhere, they moved us to their nearby sister hotel, the Zanzibar Hotel, though 'it wasn't supposed to be ready yet for visitors'.
Our new room was spacious and pleasing to the eye, but the air-con didn't work and had to be fixed, the toliet cistern broke, the sheets weren't clean, and birds were roosting in the roof, making an almighty noise in the early morning.
At Africa House, the drinks were over-priced, the breakfast disappointing, and there was no chef at the hotel restaurant for the majority of our stay. We would have moved after the first night but had paid upfront (which the hotel had insisted upon, more fool us).
The owner Denise shrugged off our comments/complaints with the hide of a rhino.
Otherwise, the staff were keen to please but they were fighting a losing a battle in a hotel that clearly struggles to keep its staff. From our experience, the main reason is not hard to see.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Rcat871
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded February 16, 2017

Dear Guest,

We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to you at Africa House Hotel , We urge you to try our recently revamped services and give us another chance to showcase our hospitality & services.

Your Host,
Team Africa House Hotel.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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