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“a lovely sanctuary in Zanzi” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Zanzibar Palace Hotel

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Zanzibar Palace Hotel
Ranked #6 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
380 reviews
373 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 687 helpful votes
“a lovely sanctuary in Zanzi”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2010

was at this lovely little hotel for 2 nights, the pros & cons

pros:

~ I'm not into corporate chain hotels when on holiday so while I originally booked the Serena (right on the water, perfectly located in terms of tourist sights), chose this over the Serena instead, this is a cute little older place with tons character tucked away in the alleyways, not possible to find the first time with a map but not far at all from Mercury restaurant or the harbour if you arrive by ferry
~ the service: the owners to the intern to the chef to the friendly and efficient waiters, I loved this place's service and warmth
~ the food was excellent, the first night I decided to stay in for dinner, the chef whipped up dishes for me last minute (not on the menu) that were delicious, the dinner the next night (Neptune's platter) was a little bit too much food for me but that's not his fault
~ spacious comfy room with lots of local decoration (on the top floor, after 3 flights of very steep stairs) with views of the islands (prison island etc)
~ free wifi

cons:
~ the hotel is a short walk from everything but with the electricity out since December (not the hotel's fault, they have a diesel powered generator but you do feel guilty blasting a/c when the rest of the town is basically pitch black
~ the areas around the hotel ... looked ancient and had tons of trash & debris, but again, not the hotel's fault, just come mentally prepared

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Anilegna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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552 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    395
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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
Bristol
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2010

We arrived hot and exhausted to this cool oasis of calm, we were greeted with a ice cold fruit juice of Passionfruit and avocado which was devine and cold face cloths. We stayed in the Kijani Suite which was lovely. We decided to eat in the restraurant, We choose a starter each, which at $18 should have been delicious, they were so mediocre that I'm struggling to remember what they were. For mains we ordered Jumbo prawns and lobster, the prawns were dry and still had the poop shoot in, the lobster spurted water out when I cut into it and was uncooked, I sent this back, when it was returned it had been warmed up, as well as the guacamole, at which point I sent back, the Chef, can't remember his name, but he told me he was a Michellin ster chef and has a Michellin starred restraurant in Belguim, he then started screaming at me and asked me to leave his restraurant. A Michellin star price tag, ego & attitude, but unfortunately not talent or manners, ruinned our stay in a lovely hotel The restraurant is dark and dingy and the management should see the chef, food and ambience as a hinderence to an otherwise lovely place.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Thecrich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
baarle-nassau
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 12, 2010

We had a lovely stay in the room Nadia for 2 nights. We had a very early arrival (07.00) and we very pleasantly could check in immediately in our room to have a little nap.
Very nice decorated rooms with a lot of antiques. The owner, cook and staff are very friendly and helpfull. The location is perfect because you are close to a lot of interesting places to stroll around.
Good Breakfast and very nice dinner made by the Belgium chef.
It was a very nice start of our 14days of traveling around in Zanzibar.

  • Stayed January 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 coonflakes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, OH
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2010

We spent two nights at Zanzibar Palace with our children age 10 and 13 and it was wonderful. Our room, the Shaba Suite, was spacious and beautiful. The food was superb! I still dream about the delicious lobster and guacamole I was served on New Years Eve - absolutely divine. I can't say enough wonderful things about the hotel and the owners. This is the place to stay in Stone Town!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SelCar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2009

We only stayed one night here, but what a great place. Nice, relaxing atmosphere, friendly owners, good personnel. We stayed in the more than cool Dunia suite, where especially the bathroom on the roof is brilliant. Enough privacy, enough open air. We loved it. The bed is very good, food great, staff excellent. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mjos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 28, 2009

My partner and I stayed in the Dunia suite for 3 nights in July 2009. We chose this room in large part for its open bathroom and sundeck that are located upstairs from the bedroom. We were not disapointed with the fantastic view on the rooftops of Stone Town. Besides, the sun deck, although small, offers a lot of privacy - as does the bathroom, and it was a real pleasure to use it every evening to have a last drink and enjoy the coolness of the night. The bedroom itself is very nice too, with a huge zanzibar-style bed, and a nice balcony.

However, this hotel has a big problem as it is plagued with theft problems. Sad to say, but if you decide to go to the Zanzibar Palace, we advise you to take special care about your belongings, as we have been victim from several robberies from the staff.

The first time, we left a piece of luggage under the care of the owner's wife. She first told us to leave the case in the middle of the reception area. Seeing that we were not very comfortable with the idea of leaving a case full of valuable items in the middle of a public space, she insisted about the safety of the place and said that she would personally keep an eye on it (we were a bit surprised, but it looks like the hotel has no locked room). When we came back, the case was half open, and a cellphone was missing. The owner, visibly embarassed, told us he would watch the recordings of the cameras in the lobby to see if some staff had touched the case, but strangely didn't invite us to watch the tape with him... Well, after more than one hour of discussion and a bit of bad faith from the owner, the latter agreed to pay back half of the cellphone (which was brand new). We were ready to forget about this unpleasant adventure. However, the day of our check out, my fiancee noticed that 20 euros were missing in her wallet (the room safe was out of use for 2 days...). Needless to say, there was no reaction from the managers. Last, we gave postcards to the receptionist for him to put in the mail, however none of these cards ever made it to destination, even though we had paid for the stamps...

We know petty theft in a big problem in Zanzibar, hence we would have expected the owners of the Zanzibar Palace to be a bit more professional and responsible in this regard. On the contrary, they didn't seem to really care and that's a pity as this hotel could be one of the best in Stone Town.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank todorico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level Contributor
48 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 20, 2009

We stayed 2 nights here and then 2 nights on the East Coast. This hotel was cheaper than some of the bigger better known places in Stone Town but it was an excellent find.

It's quite a small hotel but the rooms are beautiful (we stayed in the smallest Nadia which was still quite spacious). Bathroom was great. The breakfast was excellent and there were lots of nice touches like free internet and bathrobes. Definitely stay here!

Not much to see in Stone Town but the Serena Terrace Bar is a great place to cool down with a mid-morning glass of lemonade or a light supper.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank London_GT
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 Luxury Hotel in Stone Town
#3 Family 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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