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“Oasis in frenetic Stone Town”

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Zanzibar Palace Hotel
Ranked #6 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Oasis in frenetic Stone Town”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2013

My wife and I spent 2 nights in the Zanzibar Palace Hotel in July 2013. The hotel is uniquely decorated with a nod to the Arabian history of Zanzibar and contains some lovely little touches both in the rooms and common areas. We were taken up three flights of stairs to the Arabic Suite which was spacious, beautifully furnished and well maintained with views over the rooftops of Stone Town itself. The staff were always very willing to help and the breakfasts were consistently excellent!

The hotel is also well located - a short few minutes walk to the water which you then follow for 5 minutes more to reach Forodhani Gardens and the old fort. It felt close enough to be convenient but just a little bit out of the way to maintain peace and quiet!

One possibly regret was not trying the Swahili dinner that the hotel has started to offer. Rather strangely it isn't the easiest thing to find such a meal out in Stone Town so the hotel decided to do this themselves. The menu looked amazing and seemed to be well rated by those that tried it but it was a little expensive for our budget at the time!

Overall I would thoroughly recommend Zanzibar Palace as a place to stay in Stone Town!

Room Tip: The top Arabic Suite was awesome and you get a good work out going up 3 flights of stairs to get to...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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Thank Molandtang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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554 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (109)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
52 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2013

Pros: 1. Family-owned business with excellent service. They even accommodated our request for two rooms at same level. 2. The rooms are very basic with an Arab theme, quite dated furnitures although clean. 3. Arranged for pick up and also a boat trip although at a premium price. 4. Wifi free for use inside the hotel. 5. The air con in the suite was good.

Cons: 1. It's not located close to the sea. 2. The breakfast was extremely basic, and the restaurant provided very few selection in the menu. 3. No gym or pool. 4. The suite that I was sleeping in had an 'open' wall with curtains over the stairs. Not sure of security but also we could everyone climbing the old wooden stairs.

Overall, a good small basic hotel to use for a short stay to explore Stone Town, but not ideally for long stay. Will come back.

Room Tip: Ask for the rooms at first floor, it's a challenge climbing the old wooden steep stairs to the s...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Atonn_ego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, UK
Level Contributor
28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2013

We arrived at the Zanzibar Palace hotel after 12 nights on the North of the island doing nothing but eating and relaxing(!) and were more then ready to finish off our honeymoon seeing the sights of Stone Town!

The hotel is lovely, very quirky and authentically decorated with Arab and Morroccan themes throughout. There is a small restaurant on the ground floor, just behind reception.

We stayed in the Dunia suite which is on the top floor and has an 'al fresco' bathroom!! The room and the bathroom is beautifully decorated, the bed is huge and stands high off the ground, you have to step onto a beautiful wooden chest to climb in otherwise you'd have no hope of getting into to it!! You have a large TV, which has a good choice of channels and also a DVD player (not that you'll probably use it!).

Now, about the 'al fresco' bathroom!! There are steps leading up from your room and you have a little table/seating area, this is where we ate lunch during our stay, this then leads onto the bathroom which has a huge bath, shower and toilet and also a sundeck with two sun loungers! The bathroom isn't TOTALLY open, there is some screening so you don't feel completely exposed and the walls are high, basically you have a view but no one can see you!! It's lovely to be able to watch the sun set while you shower!!

As we were honeymooners we had a romantic meal on our roof terrace included on the last night night but we choose to have it in the restaurant istead as it was Ramadan during our stay and the speakers from the Mosques were quite loud in the evening! This was a great choice anyway, as we were the only one's in the restaurant apart from one other lady. The food was fantastic, I can honestly say I had one of the best fillet steaks I've ever had!!

We booked a city tour through the hotel and our guide was fantastic. He took us everywhere and knew every single detail about the history and the sights of Stone Town. A guided tour of the city is an absolute must during your stay. We also went to Prison Island to see the giant tortoises, which are amazing and also the slave caves/chambers which was also very interesting.

We found the staff were very helpful and friendly. We felt pretty guilty about them having to lug our cases and bring our lunch up and down the very steep stairs, probably around 6 flights up as we were at the top! (there is no lift at this hotel!)

We really enjoyed our stay at the Zanzibar Palace, the staff were very friendly, helpful and attentive.

Room Tip: Book the Dunia Suite if you want something a little bit special and 'quirky'! Note, there i...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KirstSurrey_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
66 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2013

A very well run hotel, with friendly, welcoming staff. We had the Sultana suite, which was very comfortable and had the added advantage of a verandah overlooking the skyline of the town. It was a lovely shady spot from which to watch the world go by in the narrow streets below.

We ate in the hotel one night and the food was excellent.

The hotel is well located in the centre of the town and within easy walking distance of the shore and the market.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ColintonTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trondheim, Norway
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2013

2 Nights in a very attractive and charming hotel in the center of Stone Town. Amazing and clean rooms, incredible friendly and serviceminded staff - and also nice food!!
Do you want something special, out of the ordinary - and a hotel to remember - choose Zanzibar Palace Hotel!!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Ingrid L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KENTHURST
Level Contributor
38 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2013

We stayed 3 nights in this attractive hotel. We were in the Rosewood room for our stay. Don't request this room if you are near 6 foot tall as the bed is not that long. It was fine for us.

The staff, Mark and Robert at reception are extremely pleasant and helpful. The hotel is spotless and everything works well, including the free WiFi. Apart from a very good breakfast, we ate most lunches in their restaurant and had one dinner, their special Swahili degustation menu. It was ok, but not really to our liking. We preferred their breakfast and lunch food.

The hotel is a good place for all local activities. We did two half day tours, the chaotic market, great and a Spice Plantation tour and this tour was excellent.

As for restaurants nearby we tried what we thought were the towns best, Archepelago and Monsoon. Both had ok food, but it was not up to high international standards. Lucky to give them 3 out of 5 for quality of food. Our BBQ lobster served up was well and truly cooked with a black top. As indicated before, the Palace was much better. Africa House is a nice place to go for a drink and a light snack. Very comfortable lounges and chairs on their viewing verandah that has great views out to sea, especially for sunsets.

Lastly if you want to stay at the 9 room Palace Hotel, be informed that to get to your room one has some steep stairs to climb. If you have access problems, then you might have trouble getting up to your room. We did not mind the stairs and saw them as good exercise. One drawback that we did not like was the call to prayer at 5:00 am each day. The amplified call was quite intrusive for us, but somehow we got used to it and ignore the loudness most.

Room Tip: First floor if you don't like stairs
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank David J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rijswijk, The Netherlands
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2013

After enjoying a wonderful safari on the mainland of Tanzania, our next stop was Stone Town, Zanzibar. On the airport we were picked up by the friendly hotel chauffeur, who was kind enough to give us lots of information while on our way to the Zanzibar Palace Hotel.
On arrival we were warmly welcomed by the management and received refreshing towels and a delicious welcoming drink. After the short check-in was done, we were brought up by the management who explained us everything that is to know about the hotel and also plenty of information on Stone Town and what it has to offer.
We stayed in the Sultana Suite and it was an absolute treat! The room itself is big and has a comfortable bed, a huge bathtub you can almost swim in and a big balcony. But especially the way the room is decorated was absolutely astonishing.

During our stay we also enjoyed a lovely "Swahili Experience" dinner in the hotel's restaurant. Put together by all sorts of Swahili dishes, you could call it the healthy version of Forodhani Gardens. Like the name already says, it was a real experience and a highlight!

Without any doubt I recommend the Zanzibar Palace Hotel to anyone wanting to stay 1 or 2 nights in Stone Town!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PartyRico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Zanzibar Palace Hotel

Property: Zanzibar Palace Hotel
Address: Kiponda Street | 831, Stone Town, Zanzibar City 3392, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Zanzibar City > Stone Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Stone Town
#2 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
#3 Family Hotel in Stone Town
#3 Luxury Hotel in Stone Town
#3 Business Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Zanzibar Palace Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Zanzibar Palace Hotel is a luxurious nine room boutique hotel located right in the heart of Stone Town (an Unesco World Heritage site). It is independently owned and daily under Dutch management and an ideal home to explore and experience all the beauties of this magical town and Island. Zanzibar's rich history is integrated throughout the hotel by Arabian, Indian and English designs, this in combination with all modern comfort (airco, free WiFi, flatscreen TV's, etc). Each room/suite has its own unique decor with many local originating antique pieces of furniture, magical beds, colourful silks, etc. Room rates for every purse definitely makes this a place to stay. As you walk through the front door, you notice the soft aqua blue interior colours along with the antique furniture. You are immediately put into a state of calm and relaxation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zanzibar Palace Stone Town
Hotel Zanzibar Palace
Zanzibar Palace Hotel Zanzibar Island/Stone Town

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