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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 5 February 2014

This hotel is like something out of a Casablanca movie. We arrived late and the driver stopped where the roads ended and porters dragged the bags the rest of the way through the narrow winding alleys. The hotel is luxurious--with unusual decor around every corner. Our room--VIOLETTA--was HUGE with 20 foot ceilings, all draped, with a gorgeous 4 poster with mosquito netting, sitting area, beautiful double sink bathroom and spa tub. This was one of the most exotic hotel rooms I have ever had the pleasure of sleeping in. Only warning I will give is that you will be awakened by the call to prayer at 5:30 (they do supply ear plugs) which I find to be part of the ambiance. Staff bent over backwards to accommodate us. We arrived too late for dinner so they booked us down the street and walked us over. We did not have any Zanzibar currency so they said,"No problem, catch up with us in the morning." Imagine that happening anywhere else. Breakfast was on the roof 3 flights up overlooking the city. Gorgeous.They also booked us on a wonderful walking tour of Stone Town which I heartily recommend--it is a fascinating place and the markets are vibrant. Don't miss this place.

Room Tip: Did not get to see the other rooms but they all seemed unique and gorgeous. Ask about street noise.
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Principalcheryl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2014 via mobile

First off the hotel is beautiful. The decor captures the spirit and style of Zanzibar for sure but...
Regarding the Roof Top Terrace dinner. .. They are not consistent.
We had dinner there twice, the first time was fantastic and because of that good experience we decided to go again. ..mistake :(
A real pity. The menu selection / combination second time did not work. The waiters couldn't have cared less, one in particular spent the majority of his time texting on his mobile phone.
The food service was incredibly slow and drawn out that we elected to forfeit dessert. .. 3 hrs just too long for a dinner service.
Sadly I can see why there are both positive and negative reviews.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Laurenatsea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2014

Its no wonder that this is the top hotel in stonetown. It really was fantastic; the rooms were absolutely romantic and the uniqueness of each makes for fun exploring around the hotel. Admittedly there are a few rough patches, but in my time in the region, have learned that a few wobbly fixtures is par for the course. The food is top notch - even if you are not staying there, you still must get a reservation for the tasting menu.

But for me, what made the hotel was the staff. The manager was ever present and attentive; and whenever we had a question ("Where is the best place to buy fresh vanilla?"), the response was generally to send us with someone on the staff who could help us navigate the very confusing streets ("At my brother's stand in the market; let me show you."). A nice personal, welcome touch on an already great place.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Bethany G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
babuemerson, Owner at Emerson Spice, responded to this reviewResponded 30 January 2014

Thank you for the glorious review. There is nothing better than someone who would like to return again and again and we would hope to do even better the next time you come. My staff and I very rarely forget our guests but let us know that your next is a return visit. One thing I really hope that you understood is how much my staff love interacting with guests. It's a pleasure for all of us and it will be a pleasure again the next time. Thank you.

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Reviewed 23 January 2014

We spend an evening at the rooftop with splendid view over Stone Town. The food was served in five rounds, every one with 5 small and well composed dishes of spices, seafood, seasoning, and a variaty of tastes which matches the impression of the town and the island.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
1  Thank jobaaroy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
babuemerson, Owner at Emerson Spice, responded to this reviewResponded 31 January 2014

You're right! It's good Swahili cuisine made by several crazy "foodies" playing in the kitchen. We're having serious fun and we're so glad you like it. Thanks, Emerson

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Reviewed 15 January 2014

We stayed at Emerson Spice over Christmas. When we walked into our suite, the Aida room, my daughter said, "Can I live here?" That about sums it up. Beautiful, very creatively decorated rooms, spacious well- supplied bathrooms, and about the best service i've ever had in a hotel. I mentioned a few things- meal preference, etc.- in my email when we reserved the room, all of which they remembered when we arrived. Guests are given a mobile phone programmed with the hotel's numbers in case you get lost while wandering around Stone Town. We had Christmas Dinner on the rooftop restaurant, and the food, while creatively put together, wasn't as good as hoped- but the service was outstanding, and our en suite breakfast the next morning was superb.

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