Emerson Spice Hotel
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Emerson Spice Hotel

1494, Tharia Street, Stone Town, Zanzibar City 4044 Tanzania
All of the chair cushions were grossly stained
Traveller (886)
Room
Room & Suite (251)
Emerson Spice restaurant
Dining (118)
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About

5.0
#3 of 38 hotels in Stone Town
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Value
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
An inspired and lovingly restored Merchant’s House, this multi-storied small Boutique hotel has an inner courtyard, eleven unique antiques-filled rooms, and two of Zanzibar’s best restaurants. All rooms are equipped with a small fridge, air conditioner, fan, and high ceiling mosquito net. The rooftop ‘Tea House’ hosts one of Stonetown’s most renowned restaurants offering a stylish ambiance amidst the sound of the calls to prayer from the town’s many mosques. The five course ‘Taste Safari’, prepared daily by our Zanzibari chefs, is seafood based and celebrates the freshest and best the market has to offer each morning. The sunset hour is an integral and pleasurable part of the experience so diners are encouraged to arrive at around 6pm to enjoy a ‘Sundowner’ before dinner. On the Ground floor The Secret Garden, set amidst lushly landscaped hidden ‘Ruins’, open to the skies, has a Zanzibari inspired A La Carte Menu.
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Property amenities
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Free breakfast
Airport transportation
Rooftop terrace
Baggage storage
24-hour front desk
Private check-in / check-out
Dry cleaning
Wifi
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Special diet menus
Rooftop bar
Concierge
Mosquito net
Non-smoking hotel
Doorperson
Laundry service
Ironing service
Room features
Air conditioning
Private balcony
Room service
Seating area
Refrigerator
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Boutique
Luxury
Languages Spoken
English

Location

1494, Tharia Street, Stone Town, Zanzibar City 4044 Tanzania
799Reviews12Q+A100Room tips

Reviews
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Detailed Reviews
rinebougainville wrote a review Feb 2020
24 contributions27 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This is a lovely hotel which reminds you of 1001 Nights. You have to walk quite a bit to get to it , so that is something to bear in mind when you book as no cars can reach the hotel. The entrance straight away brings you back to the old days of Zanzibar. The decor is lovely throughout the whole hotel, the staircases (definitely not for disabled people), the furniture, the photos everything is steeped in history. The rooms are very large with high ceilings, fantastic beds and bathtubs, airconditioned and have mosquito nets. Our room was Lamour (toujours lamour) with a lovely balcony with views towards the mosque and a back balcony with an extra bathtub! The wallpaper was very colourful and on the wall there were prints of old movies about Zanzibar. We had a look into the other rooms and they are all as beautiful. Breakfast is served on the roof terrace which has superb views on the town roofs and where the sounds of the muezzin calls can be heard, and is varied and delicious. In the evening you can have a 5 course dinner there ( if booked) or in the secret garden, equally good.
They have a complimentary laundry service which is always welcome when travelling in a humid country. Staff is extremely friendly and welcoming. All in all a very nice hotel that I cannot recommend enough. A real experience not to be missed when in Zanzibar!
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Date of stay: February 2020Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
SurreyUmbrella wrote a review Dec 2020
Addlestone, United Kingdom79 contributions68 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
What a beautiful, characterful old building this is. We were here for 3 nights and felt as though we had been transported back in time to another era.
Our travel agent had reserved the Violetta room for us although for some reason we ended up in Belle which was just as beautiful. The room was large with the bath/shower in one corner and the toilet enclosed in a little structure that reminded me of a confessional box. There was a long verandah with comfortable seating and a small table where we enjoyed watching the world go by. The only complaint was the size of the bed; apparently a standard double in Zanzibar but rather small for our western tastes. We asked to move to a room with a bigger bed but it seems there's only one and it wasn't available.
The service was excellent and all the staff friendly but professional. We ate in the rooftop Tea House restaurant which serves only a set menu. It was delicious although we thought the drinks rather expensive. Although the website mentions that guests are encouraged to arrive early for sundowners, the cost isn't included in the price of the set menu.
We also loved the secret garden where you can just sit and relax if you want, although drinks and food are available. However the menu was fairly limited.
We were pleasantly surprised to discover that a complimentary laundry service was available.
All in all a very enjoyable stay in a gorgeous building. If the bed had been bigger I would have given Emerson Spice 5 stars.
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Date of stay: November 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Room Tip: If you're used to a king size bed make sure you request it when booking, although it does...
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Marketing Emerson Zanzibar, General Manager at Emerson Spice Hotel
Responded 20 Jan 2021
We are so happy you enjoyed our hotel, and thank you for your descriptive review. And Yes, we would also prefer the beds where wider, but in order to be able to use the beautiful antique beds you find here on the island we had to compromise on the size. We hope to see you back
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Karl M wrote a review Mar 2020
Ballarat, Australia8 contributions2 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed here 3 nights during our honeymoon, after 5 days on Safari. It is a stunning hotel, with extremely uniquely designed rooms. Ours was the Violetta and beautiful and a large balcony to sit out on and take in the sights and sounds of Stone Town.

The rooms have an old world and traditional feel, and you feel like you have stepped back in time to when the Sultans rules Zanzibar.. There is also a free laundry service which was highly welcomed after our safari!

The hotel has two great restaurants....two of the best in the city! The rooftop Tea House restaurant has amazing views of the city with delicious breakfasts. We did dinner one night, and it is well worth it. It is a set menu, but if you have dietary restrictions they are very accommodating. Outstanding meal! The Secret Garden restaurant is also very cool and unique with great meals.

We highly recommend the Emerson Spice for anyone visiting Stone Town!
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Date of stay: March 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Peter M wrote a review Dec 2020
Vienna, Austria163 contributions102 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I spent two nights in the hotel before moving to the beach and enjoyed it very much. The room (Kate, top floor with 2 terraces) is furnished in perfect style, everything is clean and well maintained. I enjoyed especially the (extra) outdoor shower and the flower decorated terraces!
The restaurant is on the very top of the building, a 4 course dinner is celebrated starting at 7 PM, right after sunset. Drinks are served as well along the sunset.
Service and food quality is excellent, I would rate it as EU/US 5 stars standard.
Be aware, there is no elevator, as it is an original old restored building, so if you are not fit you better go for rooms in the lower floors.
The price is relatively high, but consider you get half pension, excellent service and perfect views.
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Date of stay: December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Marketing Emerson Zanzibar, General Manager at Emerson Spice Hotel
Responded 20 Jan 2021
Thanks you very much for your review, Hope to see you back!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Salimah wrote a review Nov 2022
Dubai, United Arab Emirates2 contributions3 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
We were a family of 3 staying 2 nights in Stonetown after a fantastic beach holiday at The Level Melia in Kiwengwe . I had read so many fabulous reviews of Emerson Spice so I booked and paid in May 2022 for 2 nights 2 rooms starting October 26,2022. After reading many reviews I selected 2 rooms Turandot and Desdemona based on proximity with each other, and location of rooms based on noise level. The day before we were to arrive I contacted the hotel and confirmed to them our arrival. I also requested for them to organize a walking tour for us. Their response was "Thank you for letting us know. Walking tour is confirmed for tomorrow". Great I thought, everything organized!
When we arrived and checked in I see we were assigned two different rooms (Camille and Belle) which were located on the first and second floors facing the front square and mosque. I questioned them and asked why the specific rooms I chose and paid for 5 months earlier were not being given to me. They said they started painting Turandot the day before and the paint was still wet and not available. For Desdemona nobody could provide an explanation. Why would you start to paint a room when you know a guest who booked that specific room was about to arrive?
Anyways we went to our two seperate rooms on two seperate floors 1st and 2nd. These rooms face the front, the 1st level room can get very noisy given the foot traffic right outside the room and you will be awakened very loudly by the call to prayer at 4am. There is also construction directly outside so know that after 6am you will not be able to sleep or rest.
I paid Sulemain who gave our walking tour directly, I was not told to directly pay the hotel. In fact I only knew how much to pay Suleiman ($40 usd) as it was written as a side note on my check in card that we were doing a walking tour. Anyways, at check out we could not leave until they contacted Suleiman directly to confirm we paid??
The hotel itself is very nice, the breakfast absolutely wonderful and if you can book the evening 5 course dinner at the rooftop teahouse restaurant, do it, you will not be disappointed. A pure culinary delight!
I regretfully can only give 2 stars because of what happened with the rooms and with the noise we experienced . The staff at the restaurant I would absolutely give 5 stars
Really a shame to end our wonderful holiday this way.
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Date of stay: October 2022
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
Room Tip: If you do not want to be woken up at 4am do night take Belle or Camille rooms which are directly...
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Wanderlust wrote a review Aug 2022
7 contributions4 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We arrived and we immediately had dinner in the Secret Garden restaurant, which was delicious and in a very beautiful setting. All rooms are decorated with their unique personal touch and each have their own story to interpret. Our room was called “Aida” and it was grand and special, albeit a bit dark. They provided us with fresh towels and cosmetics, as well as mosquito spray (which is extremely necessary in Zanzibar!).
The breakfast on the rooftop was incredible with fresh local fruit, eggs to your choice, local pastries, juice and coffee or tea.
The hotel manager, Rashid, was very kind and courteous in helping us with our boat tour to Nakupenda and Prison Island ( which is not to be missed!), as well as a private tour around Stonetown. Moreover, because we had some problems due to rain for dinner on the rooftop restaurant, he was very proactive and kind in organizing a table in the sister restaurant. Many thanks to him also for organizing a birthday celebration for my daughter.
We had a fantastic stay in this special hotel and enjoyed Stonetown immensely.
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Date of stay: August 2022Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dominique wrote a review Sept 2020
Delft, The Netherlands9 contributions5 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed 2 nights in Aida room. It is was big enough for our party of 5. Initially we thought the bed would be too small but we slept very well. The location is superb. The padlocks on the doors, the breakfast with a view, the historically located dinner, the swing in the reception, all add up to the amazing and unique atmosphere of this hotel. We greatly made use of the free clothes washing service.
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Date of stay: August 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Aryana G wrote a review Aug 2021
New York City, New York6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Emerson Spice is a lovely boutique hotel in the heart of Stone Town. The location could not be better - it overlooks a square and the facade stands out for its elegance. The historical building has been beautifully restored and each room has its own name and bespoke decorations, all of which offer an authentic ambiance. The lodgings were very comfortable and the staff were exceptionally helpful, polite, and accommodating; we felt so welcome. Emerson Spice also boasts a charming garden restaurant in its interior courtyard and a breathtaking rooftop restaurant with a fantastic, authentic prix fixe dinner option (this is also where breakfast is served); the 360 views of the city and the Indian Ocean from there are unbeatable. Thank you, Emerson Spice, for such a special experience! We highly recommend staying here.
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Date of stay: June 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
fudelmer wrote a review Jun 2022
London, United Kingdom20 contributions3 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed at the Emerson Spice Hotel for 3 nights at the end of May and it certainly isn't your run of the mill hotel being a beautifully decorated former merchants house with each room decorated differently. When we arrived late at night the hotel restaurants had stopped serving so one of the staff took us to a nearby restauarant that was still open to get something to eat and stayed with us to guide us back to the hotel. I had booked the room online directly with the hotel but found that the room I had booked was a bit small given that we had been on safari for 7 days and had 3 cases so the following morning I enquired about moving to a larger room. The staff checked what was available and for a small fee upgraded us to a beautiful larger room. The view from the rooftop restaurant was great for breakfast each morning and when we ate there one evening for the fish taster menu you get to view the sunset over the sea. The secret garden restaurant was a great surprise and a lovely place to eat or just have a drink. The staff were excellent and very friendly especially if you made the effort to learn a couple of words of swahili
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Date of stay: May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Josh wrote a review Jul 2021
San Diego, California15 contributions2 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This was our first (of 3 hotel stays) in Stone Town during our 2 - week vacation to Zanzibar. Overall, this hotel has a unique charm with great location and excellent service from the hotel staff. Will will strongly consider staying here again upon returning to Stone Town. Below are just a few pros & cons to consider:

PROS:
Two onsite restaurants available. The Tea House is located on the rooftop of the building which provides mesmerizing panoramic view of the city (perfect spot to catch the sunrise or sunset). Complimentary breakfast was provided here and is of the healthier variety. However, my favorite restaurant in the entire town was Secret Garden (located on the 1st floor of the hotel). Fresh, quality food at good prices and nightly entertainment on the weekend. Fri. night had great ambiance as we caught a jazz band during our dinner.

Staff were extremely friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating as they helped provide quality companies for all tourists needs (i.e. taxi, city tours, etc.)

Rooms were very spacious with unique decor, high ceiling and a corner balcony. Also very clean with complimentary laundry service for 2-4 articles of clothing nightly.

CONS:
Layout of bathroom provided minimal privacy as there is only a short wall between toilet and shower so sounds can be heard throughout the room. Bed also has very firm mattress so it made sleeping a little difficult.

No TV in bedroom (I thought maybe this was normal but all other hotels we stayed at had TVs).

None of these things were dealbreakers, just merely a matter of preferences. Overall this hotel was great and a great introduction to Zanzibar and the city of Stone Town.
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Date of stay: June 2021
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Answer from Lars D
Johannesburg, South Africa158 contributions85 helpful votes
Hi. Sorry for delay in response. They serve only a set menu which is through pre booking only so don't think you can just go for a drink. However this is a quiet time of the year so they may be flexible.
Crystal Khlyr asked a question Oct 2020
New York City, New York73 contributions21 helpful votes
Is there WiFi in the rooms? Is there a hair dryer and coffee maker or kettle in the room?
Answer from CPompetti
London, United Kingdom81 contributions8 helpful votes
ask reception they will give
madsion asked a question Nov 2018
Dublin, Ireland885 contributions22 helpful votes
Hi Is there an option for twin beds please
Answer from EmersonSpice
Zanzibar Archipelago, Tanzania1 contribution
Hello Madison, There are two twin set up rooms in the hotel: Mimi and Lamour Toujours Lamour, take a look at emersonspice . com and contact reservations at emerson-zanzibar . com for further info and to book. Welcome to Zanzibar!
Answer from EmersonSpice
Zanzibar Archipelago, Tanzania1 contribution
Hello Debbie, Sorry for the tardy response here, hope it is not too late! Turandot is indeed perfect for single occupancy, but if you don't mind the smaller space the bed is queen size, and there is always space under the bed if the normal luggage area is not enough. Should we not have availability during your travel dates at Emerson Spice you should take a look at our sister hotel Emerson on Hurumzi which is similar in design and feel. Welcome to Zanzibar!
traveldays2000 asked a question Mar 2018
Dublin, Ireland325 contributions103 helpful votes
Hi do you serve alcohol at the Tea House Restaurant?
Answer from Catiehatch
New York City, New York11 contributions6 helpful votes
Yes they do! Delicious cocktails and extensive wine menu. A fabulous experience
Thomas A wrote a tip Jan 2024
Gatineau, Canada7 contributions2 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
"Double check that you are actually getting the room that you reserved. "
Read full review
Steven B wrote a tip Nov 2023
United Kingdom17 contributions15 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Make the trip to prison island, there are 70+ mosques in Stone Town so the morning call to prayer will be your alarm."
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Sonja G wrote a tip Nov 2023
5 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Have someone walk you to and from the hotel."
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Chonee wrote a tip Oct 2023
NY360 contributions131 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"No elevators, only stairs so if you need to, book a room on the first floor (for which you'll still have to climb 1 set of stairs)"
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Lori M wrote a tip Sept 2023
Texas13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Make sure to make your dinner reservations way in advance. "
Read full review
Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Stone Town area.
PRICE RANGE
£104 - £183 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
ALSO KNOWN AS
emerson spice hotel stone town
LOCATION
TanzaniaZanzibar ArchipelagoZanzibar IslandZanzibar CityStone Town
NUMBER OF ROOMS
10
Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect nightly room rates, including all taxes and fees known to our partners. Please see our partners for more details.
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EMERSON SPICE HOTEL - Updated 2024 Reviews, Photos & Prices

Frequently Asked Questions about Emerson Spice Hotel
Which popular attractions are close to Emerson Spice Hotel?
Nearby attractions include Aromas of Zanzibar (0.2 miles), Old Slave Market/Anglican Cathedral (0.1 miles), and Christ Church Cathedral (0.2 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at Emerson Spice Hotel?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include a rooftop bar, free wifi, and free breakfast.
Which room amenities are available at Emerson Spice Hotel?
Top room amenities include air conditioning, a refrigerator, and a mosquito net.
What food & drink options are available at Emerson Spice Hotel?
Guests can enjoy a rooftop bar, free breakfast, and an on-site restaurant during their stay.
What are some restaurants close to Emerson Spice Hotel?
Conveniently located restaurants include Tea House Restaurant, Emerson Spice Tea House Restaurant, and Zanzibar Coffee House Cafe.
Does Emerson Spice Hotel have airport transportation?
Yes, Emerson Spice Hotel offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are any cleaning services offered at Emerson Spice Hotel?
Yes, dry cleaning and laundry service are offered to guests.
Are there any historical sites close to Emerson Spice Hotel?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Christ Church Cathedral (0.2 miles), Mkunazini, Urban West, Zanzibar (0.2 miles), and David Livingstone's place of rest (0.01 miles).
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