We stayed at the Asmini Palace for 5 nights after two weeks on safari in Northern Tanzania. Stone Town has enough to keep one occupied for about 3 or 4 days, but if you want a beach holiday, you're better off at one of the beach resorts. It would be best to stay in Stone Town only for a couple of days and then spend a few more outside at one of the beaches.
The hotel was nice, clean and had generally excellent service (with perhaps the exception being the breakfast waitress who didn't look like she really wanted to be there and brought everyone pretty much the same dish - given that breakfast was basically toast, pancakes, eggs and fruit it shouldn't have been too hard to mess up, but if you asked for no toast or eggs sunny-side up, you got toast and eggs over easy....).
The rooms are quite large and fit our family of 4 in one room quite easily. Included is a TV, kettle and fridge. Also there is a ceiling fan and air-con. It was quite comfortable. The rooms are arranged around a central interior courtyard. Our room had a large stained glass window that faced on the courtyard, and since the lights in the courtyard were left on all night, meant a lot of light in our room all night. It didn't bother us much, but could disturb light sleepers.
There is wireless internet, but the signal is so weak that you must sit in the lobby to make use of it. They are right next door to an internet cafe (Palace Internet) which was very convenient. Actually, we didn't use the internet cafe, but it was really convenient because there are signs throughout Stone Town that point the way to Palace Internet. Since Stone Town is such a maze, it was handy to always be able to find our way back to the hotel by following the signs for Palace Internet!
Housekeeping service was a little inconsistent, with a variable number of towels being delivered each day. Also the beds only had 2 layers of sheets and no blankets, which was fine unless you had the air-con on full bore!
There's no real view from the hotel, with the exception of the roof-top bar/restaurant. But the restaurant is very expensive and the service very slow, so you're better off going elsewhere. There's lots of decent restaurants in Stone Town and the night market is within a short walk from the hotel. Streets are poorly lit, so walking at night could be hazardous. Not so much from a chance of being mugged, but more likely tripping over a pile of trash or stepping into an open sewer!
There are several good tour agencies nearby and day trips (snorkeling, spice tours, etc.) can be easily arranged on short notice.
The location of the hotel is excellent for visiting all the sights of Stone Town. Everything is within easy walking distance, and it's close enough to the main road so it isn't far of a walk from the taxi to the hotel with your bags. The taxi drivers know where it is and will escort you from the car to the hotel.
I would certainly stay here again, but next time I would also consider spending time at a beach lodge.
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- Also Known As:
- Asmini Palace Hotel Zanzibar Island/Stone Town