Kholle House sits at the intersection of several narrow Stone Town alleys. As manager Abeid will tell you on arrival, the beautiful building dates from 1836 and belonged to Princess Kholle, sister of Princess Salme who eloped to Germany. It's been rehabilitated exquisitely, and is an aesthetic treat. Some original furnishings remain, and the new ones are mostly stylistically right.
The comfortable lounging area three flights up looks out over the rooftops and the container port, as well as the beautiful Old Dispensary building. There's also a pleasant lounging area by the small pool, where wi-fi works (it doesn't generally work in the rooms). The staff were uniformly friendly.
Our deluxe room was long, narrow and rather dark. The windows are fly-screened and the comfortable Zanzibari beds are mosquito-netted. We found excellent hot water and good water pressure in the deluxe room bath and shower.
Breakfast came with many choices: between us, we had a cheese omelette, a sweet crepe, and avocado. The hotel offers dinner, and the menu is displayed daily at the reception - it must be booked by 10 a.m. and costs $20 per head, another $20 with wine; I regret that we didn't try it, but I was indulging an obsession with the crab and coconut soup at Beyt al Chai.
There were minor frustrations, including the lack of wi-fi in the room, the hotel phone being out of order and lackadaisical correspondence with the travel agent. But what just about undid all the loveliness of Kholle House was the noise. Every sound from those narrow alleys carried straight to the ear, even with the windows shut. Children shrieked and kicked a can just below our window for over an hour one afternoon, a motorcycle started up, and the loudspeakered muezzin called to prayer from the mosque next door. But in fairness, and to explain the "very good" rating, let me add that my travelling companion slept through all of this.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kholle House fact sheet:Services & Facilities:• Wi-Fi available• Outdoor swimming pool• Transport to/from airport if required at an additional charge. Zanzibar airport and Dar es Salaam airport – ferry dock• Island tours and sea activities assistance. Kholle House in the heart of Stone Town is an historical and authentic house build in 1860 which belonged to Princess Kholle. Sister of Sayyid Sultan bin Bargash and Princess Salme. The house has probably been there as a showcase from their crystal collection and porcelain.After the revolution in 1964 the house was confiscated and occupied by several families, this period caused severe damages in the house. Three years of restoration has brought us the pleasure to present our town beloved house, the work done in connection with historical monuments and in full respect with the construction methods in the time (coral rubble, lime, mangrove beams, marble…). With a noble and austere facade the building is typically Omani Arabic style while the garden has more Indo-Victorian fantasy rhythms. This style is featured on the covers of the old dispensary which faces Kholle House, that was restored by the Aga Khan Foundation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kholle House Hotel Stone Town
- Kholle House Zanzibar Island/Stone Town