I have had the opportunity twice now, in different years, to stay in the large room called Belle at Emerson Spice. My point of view is unique also in that 24 years ago I lived in this same hotel for a month when the government ran it and it was called Spice Inn. Hotelier Emerson Skeens' restoration of this building and the added extravagances are to die for. His eye for design and his attention to detail absolutely delight me. I am very familiar with Zanzibar history and culture but can still learn something from Emerson each time we speak. If you want the service standards of Northern hemisphere establishments but with empathy, love and concern for a traditional African place coupled with a dedication to community service and involvement, you cannot find anyone or anything that will surpass the hotel and dining experience provided by Emerson Skeens at Emerson Spice. Emerson is a long-standing and respected member of the Zanzibar community. Spending your money at Emerson Spice means supporting local craftsmen and women and a host of charitable projects.
Emerson's fanciful descriptions of the artistic concepts conjuring art, history and myth that inspire each room’s name and décor at Emerson Spice are fun to read, but the reader should not think that is all that undergirds the ambiance of Spice’s rooms. This hotelier is a master of pragmatic design as well, and he has taken fully into account the flows of air, light, weather, and sound in each suite. For example, while luxuriating in a 19th Century antique bed, one still has a brilliant modern reading lamp whose off switch is there to be accessed without lifting one’s head from the pillow. And why didn't I, or 100 other someones, think about putting the overhead fan INSIDE the mosquito net before? Practical AND beautiful, just like everything else in that excellent room.
None of your senses is neglected at Emerson Spice. From fragrant blossoms on your pillow to piquant flavors in your lunch, from dramatic lighting in your room to the melodious call to evening prayer floating in, from the large soaking tub to the comfortable gorgeously upholstered antique chairs, from top quality bedding and fixtures to wonderous architectural detail and sumptuous colors, the attention to sensual detail at Emerson Spice is unparalleled. I've had many lunches at Emerson Spice and they never disappoint and extremely reasonably priced.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC