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“A rare splash of the exotic ambience Zanzibar's ancient Stone Town exudes”
Review of Emerson Spice

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Emerson Spice
Ranked #1 of 34 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level 4 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A rare splash of the exotic ambience Zanzibar's ancient Stone Town exudes”
Reviewed 28 October 2011

If you are in Stone Town, quite simply Emerson Spice is THE place to stay. When we were staying there, there were only two rooms finished and available, but WHAT lovely rooms they were...magical, mysterious with that combination decor of Arab/African, comfortable and yet at the same time, splendiforous...if you can imagine that combination...for example, comfortable four poster beds! The rooms had vernandas where one could sit enjoying a scrumptious breakfast looking down on to the hub of Stone Town's intriguing maze...in fact, you could spend hours just sitting there watching the ebb and flow below of interesting people! The few photos I have do not do it justice...look for Mambo Magazine on the net for some better and more recent shots. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful as well.

Room Tip: I believe there are more rooms available to stay in now, but if you can get a room with a veranda, a...
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  • Stayed November 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Sarah007007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Durban
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 October 2011

My wife and I stayed here for our first night in Zanzibar on our honeymoon. We found the hotel on tripadvisor and it really does live up to the great reviews it has received.

The decor is is a whole cultural experience on its own. Each room has a unique arabian style to it - no time or effort was wasted in its creation.

The staff are what made our stay the best. Everyone is just so helpful - on two occasions a hotel staff member escourted us to 2 different places in stone town that we didnt know how to get to. Gray, who sits at the front desk is so warm and friendly on arrival and always called me by my name.

We would have loved to stay more nights if we had time.

The price is really reasonable - but I expect as they develop their reputation, the hotel can justifiably cost a whole lot more. Glad we got in there in the beginning!

The hotel is highly recommended.

Room Tip: All the rooms are incredible! I believe the room on the first floor is the nicest though.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank James B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuala Lumpur
Level 6 Contributor
221 reviews
133 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 198 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 October 2011

The Emerson Spice hotel is an incredible find - a small boutique hotel in the heart of historic Stone Town. And the way it's been done - like stepping into a fairy tale of flying carpets and magic lamps. This seems like you're more of a private privileged guest than a paying hotel guest.

There are 6 rooms, all individually themed. My room was the Belle – high ceiling, antique furniture, an open bathroom with a concrete bathtub, diaphanous curtains and a colour scheme of sky-blue walls in a feathery finish, peach curtains and yellow floors. There’s a wooden balcony outside from which to watch street life below or to have breakfast at. All very exotic.

The room had modern bathroom fittings and air-conditioning and there’s wifi in the lobby as well, but overall it's the way the room decor so convincingly carries off the period theme that makes it so charming and outright exotic. There's a small fountain, Arabic style, at the bottom of an airwell, to cool off the building.

The building is old and majestic, with a long history, massively thick coralstone walls, teak floorboards and ornate carved wooden doors.

The hotel also serves a degustation-menu dinner on its rooftop pavilion. This is an experience not to be missed. You can watch sunset over Stone Town, while each course is prepared by a group of chefs. Our dinner featured fresh seafood and spices - things Zanzibar is best known for.

Staying at the Emerson Spice was the highlight of our visit to Zanzibar - just stepping outside puts you smack in the warren of alleys and streets of Stone Town - it's a great place from which to explore Stone Town. Stay here - you won't regret it.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Leeyuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 October 2011

My friend and I were traveling through Zanzibar and booked into Emerson Spice (9/24/11) based on a recommendation. It was the best decision of our entire trip; our only regret is that we didn't get to spend more than one night in this gorgeous hotel. Our room (Violetta) was beautifully appointed and we had a gigantic wrap around terrace -- it was stunning. The service was 5 star and the dinner on the roof was probably one of the best meals of my life. I do not have one complaint about this fabulous hotel. I travel quite a bit for work and for fun and have stayed at some of the "finest" hotels in the world -- they have nothing on Emerson Spice.

Room Tip: we loved "violetta"
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Jimmy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hermanus, South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2011

Brilliant and 100%. Thanks Gray and Mbwana. We loved your jewel in Stone Town and felt very special for 3 nights. Try breakfast up or down and take a City Tour to experience the history, the fish and meat markets, Indian and Arab doors and dhows - not to mention the bikes in the narrow streets! Our sunset Dinner was memorable-especially the homemade ink pasta and black pepper banana. WE JUST LOVED EMERSON SPICE. Thank you and well done to the whole team.

  • Stayed October 2011
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Helpful?
1 Thank EJC0551
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leipzig, Deutschland
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 17 October 2011

We stayed one night in the hotel and loved the nice large rooms. The rooftop dinner was the best food we had in one week on Zanzibar. Delicious fish, superb spiced, good atmosphere above the city...
Unfortunately a muezzin megaphone directly infront the window of our room. But this is nothing, the hotel management could influence.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Martin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 16 October 2011

Emerson Spice hotel is one of the best hotels I've had the pleasure of staying in. The rooms are absolutely incredible, each one beautifully and uniquely decorated and named accordingly. The service was amazing and the luxury of having breakfast served on the balcony each morning was not lost on me! The rooftop restaurant (overlooking Stone Town) served the best food in Zanzibar, with great cocktails to match. Emerson himself is the perfect host and an inspiring individual. I couldn't recommend this place highly enough.

Room Tip: I stayed in the room called "Belle" - absolutely exquisite!
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank JenniferJ437
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Emerson Spice

Property: Emerson Spice
Address: Tharia Street, Kiponda, Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Zanzibar City > Stone Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Stone Town
#1 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
#5 Business Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 10
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

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