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Reviewed 21 December 2013

Located right in the middle of it all. Terrific view and a very memorable dinner menu. Surrounded by very cool shops and run by an exceptionally friendly staff, I'd definitely return to this hotel.
Things to know: The call for prayer might jog you out of a dream at (and I'll remember this time forever on my iPhone screen) 4:47 AM.
Check prices as soon as you LAND at the AIRPORT because the street vendors charge more than the cleaner airport shops.
Some places close early if there aren't customers, so call ahead.

Room Tip: The Violet Room had balconies and what seemed to be historic furniture. Street noise is throughout the hotel, but ends early in the evening.
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank RudyWformerNYr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2013

This hotel may not be perfect for those of you who like the bland, though sometimes luxurious, sameness of a Doubletree or Hilton, but for those of you who like a little adventure, exquisite beauty, and something uniquely opulent in your holiday accommodations, Emerson Spice is for you. The hotel was a sultan's palace that has been refurbished to its former glory through the stylish eye of Emerson Skeens. It is conveniently located in the heart of Stone Town, which is glorious, and well deserving of its UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. My room, Camille, was simply over-the-top in splendor, with a gorgeous antique bed with mosquito-netting draping it, a large veranda overlooking Stone Town, gold floor-to-ceiling drapes, a large sitting room, and the antique tub and shower in the room, which though I stayed alone in the room, I found to be sexy. I also stayed in the Desdemona room (we stayed at the beginning and end of out trip), which I found to be equally charming and delightful. The hotel itself is magnificent, with huge wooden staircases and banisters that shine even in the dim glow of night somehow. Our dinners at the rooftop restaurant were world-class, with five unique dishes being served that seduced all of our senses. the breakfast each morning of fresh fruits, eggs, and bread was also fantastic. The service was top-notch in every way, with reception being happy to set up any tour, sightseeing, or service that we asked for promptly and courteously. In all truth, I have heard that several famous people have stayed here, and I honestly don't think they could have been treated any better than we were. I loved everything about this hotel.

In full disclosure, I am Emerson's niece, and it was my first time getting to come and stay here. I had read all of the Trip Advisor reviews with pride for what my Uncle Emerson has been able to accomplish. Now, I am happy to report that not only does his hotel live up to all the hype, but that I can fully recommend this hotel without any hesitation to anyone who is looking for something a little different in their already off-the-beaten-path experience.

Thank you to everyone who made our stay so special. We will never forget it.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Defiantmonkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2013

This hotel is absolutely fantastic...probably the most beautiful hotel I have ever stayed. There should be an extra star for places like this. If you're in Stone Town, it's completely worth the extra splurge, it will definitely be a memorable stay. What a beautiful place full of history, impeccably decorated, each room with special touches.... Particularly recommend Violetta room and especially the Kate room. Wonderful and hospitable owner and staff, and a fantastic rooftop with city view for breakfast or dinner to boot. Really a world class hotel, couldn't be more highly recommended!

Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
Thank Sarah R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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