Readers of my other posts will see that I've been around. I love small and clean, and hotels with atmosphere. I've travelled from Micronesia to the USA, across Russia into Asia and to the tips of Africa. I generally try and make my reviews helpful, rather than slamming places, or worst still building up expectations.
But this hotel is beyond me. Someone has gone to town to make this. The beds are comfortable with modern sprung matresses and soft clean white sheets, but the bed.... huge, Zanzibari wooden affair that could easily be 100 years old. (but it's not, do it does not creak). The bedrooms remind me of my Grandmother's sitting room in India. (She decorated in the 1940's and never changed her taste). The chairs, the shutters, the colour of the walls, staying in this hotel is like stepping back in time, but with all the creature comforts (modern showers, fridges, wifi, air con, service) of the 21st century.
best of all, the price is perfect at around $150 a room. This place would cost $500 in Singapore, and be chinzty.
But that is more down to the owner, Mr Emerson than anything else. This guy started off life as a sculptor in NY, now he is a raconteur extraordinaire with 25 years of experience in Zanzibar.
The rooftop restaurant is a little bit too "degustation" for my taste, but after a couple of chilled beers, or a stiff Gin, I got into the scene of many plates and small items.
The spice inn, is not for everyone, sure, but it's pretty close. Great service, excellent food esp lunch, and if you are in doubt or bored, ask Mr E for a short history of his host island.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 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. Look out for live music performed by The Dhow Countries Music Academy. Open for Lunch and Dinner. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Emerson Spice Hotel Stone Town
- Emerson Spice Zanzibar Island/Stone Town