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“They wouldn't barter!”

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Zanzibar Coffee House
Ranked #3 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 2, 2013 via mobile

So, we read reviews of this place and headed straight there after being dropped off by our taxi. Despite being completely out of the tourist season (we arrived on the 2nd November, the day after the low-season started), this hotel would clearly rather have an empty room than negotiate - even $10 lower. So, we turned, walked away and found a way-better hotel (read Emerson Spice) who were prepared to offer us a room at a negotiated price. So, I'd suggest give ZZB Coffee House a skip. Head straight to Emerson. This is Africa. I'm an African and we negotiate.

Strangely these people think we Westerners are stupid, and in some respects, we are certainly ignorant; but to tell us this is high season when, we'd looked up that 1 November is the start of a month-long low season time is taking us for fools!

Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank zinkeldonk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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371 - 377 of 544 reviews

Reviewed October 13, 2013 via mobile

Service was warm and friendly and the coffee outstanding.
we tried carrot cake and banana choco crepes.
After chatting with the lady my other half wanted to go dress shopping, the woman was kind enough to take her to a local shop and help her with prices and language. Meanwhile I sat in the cafe with a cup of tea.

doesn't get much better than that if you ask me.

  • Stayed: October 2013
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Thank Yamess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2013

I guess anything looks great after 2 weeks of camping, but my gal friend and I had a great time at this hotel!

We booked the airport transfer with our travel agent (kind of pricey at USD15 but I wasn't sure what to expect so still worth it!) and arrived with no problems. Cars can't come in here, but you could pay a small tip for the guy with the wooden pushcart to follow with your luggage to the doorsteps after you parked nearby. Got brought up to our twin room (Moccachino) - thankfully on the next floor only - and we just loved it! The rooms are kept in very traditional style but the bathroom was very modern looking. Warm shower (seriously, after the trickle and lukewarm water we had in Arusha, this was heaven), strong ceiling fan and aircon for you to choose, bottled water, mozzie nets on the beds (we didn't need it) kept us happy! It is also very central, although one might get lost in the maze on the way to the waterfront!

The welcome drink was any drink off its cafe's menu, which I thought was awesome! And breakfast was free flow cereal/oatmeal, fruits, yoghurt, as well as 1 cooked breakfast (we opted for pancake and waffle for 2 of us) and coffee (including choice of lattes!). The views from the roof top was gorgeous! The breakfast was the best part of the stay, although it is a long and narrow way up. You could opt to sit outdoor or there are huge cushions in the room which looked really comfy.

Wifi works well in the room, although they had different passwords at different floors.

On the other hand, I did find it a little pricey (we paid USD140 for the ensuite twin room including breakfast, and USD15 for the airport transfer) but this could be just the rate for Zanzibar. The reception staff are not the most friendly (they were ok), so I took a star off my rating. Overall, I would still recommend this place!

Room Tip: It could be a tad noisy for the rooms facing the front (ours was the Moccachino room, where 1 of the...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank chayying
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2013

There is little beauty, comfort, or ambiance outside the rooms. It was chaotic in the tiny lobby and no one ever really greeted me or made any effort to make me feel welcome. We moved a half block away, spent $25 dollars more, and found a different world in our new hotel. This hotel was simply much too expensive for what it provided.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank ajiiccharlie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2013

I can't really judge the quality of the rooms and food at this place, since my fiancee an I stayed at a different hotel in Stone Town, but, we would make a stop here every day to enjoy the coffee, tea and some traditional Swahili sweets. Definitely, make sure you visit this place when in Stone Town and don't miss their coffee, a spicy Zanzibar tea with ginger and cinnamon and the cookies.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank JankoJerinic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2013

While everything in Stone Town is difficult to find, Zanzibar Coffee House is worth a few wrong turns! The property is basic, but impeccably clean and has great character. The upstairs roof is incredible and the breakfast served is top notch.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Andrew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2013

We stayed here for 2 nights in August and had the Macchiato room. The hotel was built in 1885 and has 10 rooms that all bear coffee style names. Our room was rather basic but we gather this was intentional in keeping the décor traditional. The bed was large with mosquito netting but the ensuite was small and a good tip is to shower in the morning before the hot water runs out. If you are expecting amenities 'a la Hilton' then don't stay here. However the location in the midst of the Old Town is good and you feel you are immersing yourself in the local amenity but if you are not an adventurous traveller this area may not be for you. Try something closer to the harbour.The Old Town is literally a maze of streets and very easy to get lost in - speaking from personal experience but happily we were rescued by 2 local girls who escorted us back to our hotel (with nothing for payment but a smile).
Our tariff included breakfast and this was wonderful. It is served on the upstairs terrace - you have to walk up some windy narrow stairs to get there - and platters of colourful, fresh fruit, pastries and juices are set out for you to enjoy. You are then asked what cooked breakfast you would like and this is individually prepared for you in the kitchen below along with coffee or tea in any style you like. You can eat breakfast on one of the outside tables on the balcony or lounge inside in Arabic cushion splendour. Breakfast definitely was the highlight of our stay here.
At other times of the day you are free to come up here to relax and enjoy the rooftop view and can help yourself to drinks (you pay extra for) from the small fridge close by. There is a coffee house downstairs (open to the public) where you can have a light lunch if you want but for dinner you need to walk to a nearby restaurant. There were not many restaurants to choose from actually but we did go to The Spices restaurants (5 min walk) which was very good and inexpensive and entertaining when there was a blackout midway through our meal. This seems to be a regular occurrence as candles came out quickly but were not needed for long as the power came back on (they were cooking with gas anyway).
Staying 2 nights in the Old Town is enough though - we did a walking tour one morning (streets too narrow/jumbled for cars) and also looked around the harbour and fresh food market. We then headed to the beach on the East Coast for a different type of Zanzibar holiday.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Carolynt23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Zanzibar Coffee House

Address: Mkunazini 1563/64, Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Zanzibar City > Stone Town
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Stone Town
#5 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
#6 Business Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range: $93 - $182 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Zanzibar Coffee House Hotel offers a touch of magic and romance in an authentic Arabic house deep in the heart of Stone Town. Transformed into a stylish hotel with harmonious interiors, antiques and rich fabrics, it is one of the oldest buildings in Zanzibar constructed by the Wazir to Sultan Said Bargash in 1885. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zanzibar Coffee House Hotel Stone Town
Zanzibar Coffee Hotel
Hotel Zanzibar Coffee
Zanzibar Coffee House Zanzibar Island/Stone Town

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