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All reviews the secret garden tasting menu rooftop restaurant mobile phone call to prayer tea house long balcony unique experience sister hotel magical hotel high ceilings memorable stay private balcony outdoor shower each morning our honeymoon arabian nights
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Reviewed 24 November 2013

We stayed for 2 nights in this very original hotel, full of history, excellent location in the middle of stone town, great staff, not too far away from the airport (15 minutes, although last few hundred meters you'll have to walk).

We got the Aida room, a family room with a nice terrace with view on the 'garden', this room offers great privacy, but when you're more interested in a view on the street life, you'll have to go for a room with a balcony at the front . Anyway we had a look at some other rooms and they all look great.

Breakfast is served on the rooftop terrace, we took also twice dinner on it, great food (five course), and a really nice setting... This place really gave us what we were expecting for... And is very romantic !

We booked 2 tours throughout the hotel, the first being a tour through stone town itself, which is always interesting as they let see you places you would never go yourself, second one was the jozini forest, which was a bit disappointing, ok you'll see the red colubus monkeys, but they're so easy to spot (we saw them 15 meters away from the road..) the rest of the 'tour' is about the mangroves and the forest, but they way our guide (we had to take one...) went through it was really not interesting, he was anyway half of the time on the phone...

We had the first day lunch in archipelago, good food, no alcohol (!) , the next day we went to the 'rock', a nice restaurant on a rock, 50 meters in the sea, nice and very original, food was great and of course the locaction is amazing...

Last advice, for sundowners in stone town go to the Africa house hotel (a former british gentlemen's club) and sit down on their terrace upstairs and enjoy the view (there was also some animation on the grass field in front of us when were there : capoeira and more .. Fun to watch)

We would if to come back to stone town, stay immediately again in this hotel, no discussion !!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank yvakat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2013

I struggle to even know where to begin when describing Emerson Spice. Stone Town can be a confusing and somewhat daunting place for foreigners, and this hotel is a complete oasis. The staff were the most friendly hotel workers that I have ever met -- especially the breakfast crew. The hotel itself has charming and interesting architecture, and the rooms are originally and beautifully decorated. (We stayed in a smaller room, Siti, but couldn't resist poking our heads into some of the others.) The rooftop terrace has an unparalleled view of Stone Town, which can be enjoyed during tasty breakfasts (ask for the spiced coffee!), sundowners, and a thoroughly enjoyable 5-course dinner. The hotel is extremely well run, with mosquito spray, flashlight, cell phone, and Stone Town map provided, as well as a friendly person always manning the front desk to assist with any need or request for restaurant, tour, transfer, etc. If you are lucky enough to stay here, you will not regret it!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank sickafoose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2013

After research and reading reviews on Trip Advisor, I chose Emerson Spice for our 2 night stay in Stone Town. I was not disappointment at all. My fiancee was delighted as he had no idea what to expect. We were given room - Camille, which had an amazing balcony overlooking the square. We also enjoyed the restaurant on the rooftop, but preferred a nearby restaurant slightly more! A couple things to take note of: Call to prayer woke us up at 4:30am but added to the Stone Town "Experience", and some bathrooms have no door and the shower/bath is located inside the room - Perfect if you want something unique! Saw many of the other rooms, all have so much character! I loved all of them, and kept taking pictures everywhere!! Breakfast served on our balcony was delightful!

Room Tip: They are all unique in their own way. Ask for a balcony! We loved Camille, the sun set over the balcony in the afternoon...
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank crenee123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2013

This hotel is amazing...and kid friendly. The rooms are all different and make you feel like you are living in the days of the Sultan. Our room had a massive bed, outdoor patio and spiral staircase leading to a loft for the kids. We stayed one night in another room and it had an outdoor shower (indoor also).

The roof top restaurant serves 5 course meals every night. The kids eat for half price. The food and sunsets were incredible.

The staff is warm, friendly and helpful. LAUNDRY IS FREE!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Lastinger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2013 via mobile

We got to Stone Town without a booking; it was the low season after all! After a short search, ES was prepared to offer us a room at a negotiated price (see my review of ZZB coffee house). And what a pleasant stay. It amazes me what a difference people's attitude makes; we could all learn from these guys in our day-jobs. Friendly, courteous, welcoming and a sense of humor. But it was the beautiful nature of the room's decor, the attention to detail (like a cell phone provided with each room) which we could take with us as we wandered around Stone Town (to use if we got lost or to come and fetch us after dark if we went to eat out). The food in the restaurant was great and the people delivering it were fantastic. Thanks guys.

We felt this was an oasis in the midst of an otherwise chaotic street life where nobody hassled us and we could relax and enjoy the sea breeze on the rooftop while looking out over the old city.

Sadly we were disappointed with the beach boys hassling us all the time and being thoroughly ripped off at every turn while in Zanzibar. From buying beer in the bottle store to eating out or buying services like a spice tour or a snorkeling tour. At the prices people charge you would expect you're in a first world country where everything works. Don't think we'll be recommending ZZB as a destination which would sadly have an effect on these guys in this hotel.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank zinkeldonk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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