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“Like in a tale of Sheherazade”
Review of Emerson Spice

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Emerson Spice
Ranked #1 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Hamburg, Germany
Level 6 Contributor
85 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 156 helpful votes
“Like in a tale of Sheherazade”
Reviewed 17 February 2014 via mobile

What a place! What a room! We exclaimed when we first set our feet on the floors of Emerson Spice. We felt like enthralled in some fairy tale of Sheherazade with all these beautiful oriental decorations. Emerson seems to have a great eye for the detail - we can't describe all the silk and sammet cushions and curtains, the painting of the wall, the masoned bath tube at one end of the room... just have a look at the photos!
The staff is wonderfully friendly and even helps you to find your way through the maze of small streets. And the food is fantastic. We also had dinner here one evening and very much enjoyed the 6 compositions of western and oriental flavors they served. And you have a very nice view from the roof top restaurant where all the meals are served.
We also booked a private city tour they recommended and we were far from disappointed. Our guide was extremely nice and skilled; he walked us around Stonetown for about four hours. On this tour we also had a look inside other hotels which just gave us the proof: Emerson Spice is the best and the most authentic one!

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Sascha_and_Inge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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517 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (154)
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English first
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 February 2014 via mobile

I am writing this review from the emerson spice . If you want to take the fill of real old stone town then this place for you . Old Arabic house restored & converted into classy hotel . Staff is really helpful , nice & big rooms , complete feel of early 19 th century . Breakfast on roof top was amazing experience . Only draw back of the hotel is quite interior & the small lanes are not made for vehicle you have to walk all the way with your luggage , not good ambience of that small lanes. But all together hotel is good but you do have many options in stone town like serena inn , dowh palace & many of them & that area is classy with real feel of old Arabic & Afro culture . I will not give 100% to this hotel coz there's many good options available in same price .

Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank Prashant8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
333 reviews
264 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 February 2014

This is a wonderful hotel. Even though I did not really like Zanzibar I might consider going back to stay at this hotel. We stayed for 2 nights. Contacting and making arrangements to stay was professional, efficient and courteous. The rooms are quaint and have character. We stayed in Camille. I thought the room was going to be noisy when we first entered as it was facing the front and street however noise was not an issue at night. The service is impeccable. They have complementary laundry, pretty good wifi and clean rooms with hot showers. Actually our shower seem to have a problem running out of hot water for 5 or 10 minutes and then coming back on but we think that was a maintenance issue. We told them about it and they indicated that has never been a problem before and they would look at it. We ate dinner at the roof top restaurant the first night which was a 5 course set menu. I indicated I did not eat sea food and they had no problem accommodating my food selections. We enjoyed our meal unfortunately the restaurant was closed the following night so we had to eat somewhere else. After having spent 5 nights in the Serengeti and 1 night in Arusha at some pretty nice places, none of them could match Emerson Spice for service and professionalism. And to top it all off when we went to pay with our visa they did not charge us the standard “bank rip off ” percentage . That made my day.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CDNTRAVELLERS2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bergen, Norway
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2014

My dream came through - I have finally seen and spent four nights at the hotel of my dreams. Ever since I was in Stone Town 8 years ago and saw Emerson and Green but could not stay there I have wanted to go back. When I heard of Emerson Spice being built I followed the process and the making of all the different rooms.

I was traveling with my 5 year old daughter who felt she had entered a princess chamber. We stayed in Siti which is one of the smaller rooms. One of the very good things about it is that it has a separate lounge and that worked perfectly for us since my daughter went to bed some hours earlier than me.

The service is superb. You even have free laundry and the "bits and bobs" in the bathroom are like nothing I have ever seen. I have to say my daughter went berserk in that box while one of the staff was showing me around the room.

Wifi worked reasonably well. Haven't come across anywhere in Zanzibar where it has been faster. I managed to phone through skype but I never tried to use the video and think maybe it would have been too slow for that.

I had dinner at the roof top one night with a friend. It was superb. They say it is a 5 course meal but for each serving they also give you 3-4 different tastes so in the end it is more like a 20 course meal. A top class experience.

The staff was very friendly to my daughter and even though you might not think staying in the middle of Stone Town would be the best thing to do with a little girl it worked very well. It is a lot to see in the streets and we traveled off to the beaches and pools recommended to us by the staff. They are very helpful. Each room also has a mobile that you can take with you when you go out so that you can call reception if you get lost in the streets etc.

Room Tip: Each room is unique. I would have loved to stay in them all.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Loekis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, MA
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
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.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Principalcheryl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town, South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
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
Helpful?
1 Thank Laurenatsea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bethielynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
babuemerson, Owner at Emerson Spice, responded to this review, 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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