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“Emerson Spice Hotel” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Emerson Spice

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Emerson Spice
Ranked #1 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Grand Junction, Colorado
Level Contributor
2 reviews
“Emerson Spice Hotel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2013

Nine of us had stayed in Emerson Spice from Feb. 27- March 2, 2013. We are all from US. I stayed in Mimi Room. We are very happy to stay the hotel. The hotel provides excellent services , room with unique style , located inside of stone town. We all love it.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Linda D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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497 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (149)
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Berlin
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2013

beautiful place, but staff does hardly talk to women and even refused to shake hands! such a pity that this experience will be remembered the most, although the hotel as such is so beautiful (the mosque next door is not for light sleepers).

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank A R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
babuemerson, Owner at Emerson Spice, responded to this review, 1 April 2013
I would like to thank the writer of this review. It will prove useful in guiding the right guests to Stonetown and to our hotel. It will additionally help to explain something of the laws of courtesy in the Zanzibari culture. It is interesting that the reviewer says "women are not respected." Quite the opposite is true. Respect extends to all guests. By the way, half our service staff and management are women.

If a staff member refuses to shake hands, it is normally because that staff member feels his/her hands are not clean enough. He/she may not have had the chance to scrub up properly after their last task. You will see some lovely rituals around this tradition played out on the streets; people bumping elbows, people touching the backs of their arms, anything to avoid what a person may feel would be dirtying their neighbors' hands. This most easily would be the explanation. Rather than not showing respect, they are showing what is genuine respect to the guest.

Guests should also remember that we hire local staff and educate them to be able to work in our hotel. We do not import pre-trained English speakers from other places, because we strongly commit to our community, culturally, socially, educationally, and economically; hence some faltering English occasionally could lead to an inadequate verbal response. There are probably 150 reviews on this page which mention the outgoing friendliness of our staff.

Another aspect of Zanzibari courtesy regarding the handshake. Women and men do not give each other the " hale and hearty" firm grip handshake. It is more of a light touch, followed by a quick touch over the heart. In many circumstances, this light touch approach is used between men as well. This Zanzibari chivalrous practice is appreciated by all Zanzibaris, male and female. This is the same reason, the common "wolf" has a hard time finding their chance to pounce. If someone breaks these rules, it is unlikely he/she is from Zanzibar. Community pressure does not condone the breach of traditional etiquette.

Stonetown is a World Heritage Site because of the strength of its tangible and intangible culture. When you come, please be ready to learn to absorb a bit of both. The experience is rich and real. There is no one in Stonetown anxious to Disney-fy it for you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Italy, France
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 March 2013

The hotel is nicely located: walking distance from the ferry and the main road but already in stone town core.
Rooms are richly decorated and each with its own oriental character without withdrawing from modern amenities including a telephone that directly connects to the hotel in case one gets in trouble while hanging about in town. Rooms have hardly any view though and that is regrettable being in the middle (so to speak) of the indian ocean.
Personnel is helpful too.
Because of the breakfast the place loose som significant appreciation. In todays Tanzania you can have practically whatever food you like including any kind of pork. even more is the case in Zanzibar that has been colonized by Italian and international resorts producing a wide offer available to more local hotel. In fact you find cappuccino and the likes wherever in Stone Town. So it comes at great surprise that Emerson spice is not capable of serving a decent cup of coffee beside the spicy Zanzibar which is nice curiosity but undrinkable with milk. The offer of bread jam and cake is close to none and juices are clearly watered heavily. Eggs with bacon are unavailable on the ridiculous claim it is a Muslim country neglecting that everybody else is offering pork and that even in the countries that have strict policies on this beef bacon, is always available instead.
The management insisted on being sorry on our dislike without taking any responsibility for their substandard offer. It would have been so easy to procure regular coffee and a slice of something to deal with the matter at least for the second day but management preferred to be unaccommodating, Unlike the other staff breakfast assistants are not easy to deal with.
The terrace where the breakfast is served is on the roof but unfortunately the view is mainly on the ugly tin roofs of the neighborhood. Needless to say we have not tested the restaurant on the same roof.

Room Tip: Ask for top floor west side rooms. Family may enjoy the huge and lovely family room at the first flo...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank FedericoeChiara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 March 2013

I spent one night at Emerson Spice two weeks ago and was extremely pleased with the experience. The welcome was very friendly and very efficient and the iced hibiscus tea was quite welcome on a hot sunny afternoon! My room (the Kate) was huge with one large bed (I forget whether it was a queen or a king) and two daybeds. The bathroom was also quite large and well equipped. There were small terraces off of the bedroom and the bath. Very pleasant for reading while observing the activities and sounds nearby.

The dinner at the rooftop restaurant was wonderful and the views at sunset beautiful. I would highly recommend this but be sure to get reservations as it is quite small.

My rating of this hotel is done in the context of other accommodations available in Stone Town. It is truly an authentic experience, capturing the essence of another time, and I loved it. With that in mind, however, understand that there is no elevator, the steps can be quite steep and narrow, and air-conditioning is more of a suggestion than a reality, much like in Europe.

I would definitely stay here again and have already recommended it to a couple who were interested in adding a day in Stone Town to their trip to Zanzibar.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rcarl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Juba
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 March 2013

Spent two nights, at the beginning and end of a week's trip to Zanzibar. Stayed in the Belle room the first time and Camille room the second. Both rooms were huge, with beautiful furnishings and huge windows, with balconies that ran the length of the room too. Bathrooms were lovely - huge bath, good water pressure, hot water.

The location is great, central and within easy walking distance of shops, cafes, the seafront.

Breakfast is served on the roof terrace and is lovely - eggs and fruit, and great coffee. I ate lunch downstairs one day and it was delicious, and also had the 5 course meal on the roof terrace in the evening - which was excellent food - varied, fresh, healthy, for a very reasonable $30 USD.

It's full of character, the staff are lovely and I would thoroughly recommend staying here.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Anna F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london, england
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 March 2013

We stayed one night here this week. Air conditioning, beautiful rooms, first class service. It was really hot and humid and Emerson Spice provided a five star respite.

The rooftop dinner was terrific but dont have a late lunch as you wont make it through!

Room Tip: We were advised not to have a room on the square because of the mosques but unfortunately they are i...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank remillion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2013 via mobile

We spent 1 night and had a fabulous experience at Emerson spice, they arranged our transfers to and from hotel, provided everything you could wish for and the room & food was amazing.
The rooftop dinner was excellent & chef/waiters extremely friendly and service was best we had in Zanzibar.
Our room had two bathrooms, one outside which was great way to relax, although not private enough as cotton privacy screen blowing in the wind - but fine to cool off in a swimming costume.
The biggest twin room I've ever seen.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Bl19uk
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 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
#1 Family 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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