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“The pool was great and the hotel is charming but not great value.”
Review of Kholle House

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Kholle House
Ranked #16 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“The pool was great and the hotel is charming but not great value.”
Reviewed 8 January 2013 via mobile

The website makes this hotel look better than it really is. It is pleasant but seems overpriced. Entrance area is cramped buy courtyard with pool is nice. There are several other alternatives in town. We were glad we booked the suites which were spacious. Number 15 is especially nice and has a huge bathroom. We enjoyed the small but lovely pool on steamy afternoons which was our main reason for choosing this hotel. Breakfast is now the only meal regularly served and it was just ok. We had a special new years dinner that was disappointing with exceptionally slow service. Location is great between the center of stonetown and the market in a neighborhood with local flavor. The biggest hassle is the need to pay in cash especially at the end of a long trip. Access to ATMs is unreliable. Better to pay by wire in advance. Guide provided for a half day tour of stonetown was very good. Service at the hotel was a mixed bag. Some great some not.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank gottago2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mwasaju, Owner at Kholle House, responded to this review, 15 January 2013
Dear Guests,
Although your overall rating is not that positive for Kholle House, we note that your comments are mostly positive about the House.
It is a fact that offering standard services in a 150 years house is not that easy.
Sincerely,
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232 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 (33)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Lier, Belgium
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 27 November 2012

Great value in big contrast with Stonetown itself, highly recommended.
Sleeping in the Sultans house. Very near to the harnour en towncenter. But a bit to close to the iman tower from the mosk.
The owner has done a great job in restoring this house with cultural background. Nice small garden en swimming pool

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Verhepa1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mwasaju, Owner at Kholle House, responded to this review, 17 January 2013
Dear Guests,
We appreciate your comments and thank you for your appreciation.
Asante sana!
Francis
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
95 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 November 2012

We stayed for a couple of nights, and then another night on our way back home. We didn't get to take advantage of the stay-two-get-the-third-free deal, but they did upgrade us for our second night, and for our return stay. The furnishings were beautiful, the building was gorgeous, the small pool, garden and salon, as well as the rooftop lounge were all great.

The staff was generally very accommodating and helpful, except for a couple minor issues. For our return trip, we had specifically asked if we could check out late, as we had a late flight, and other hotels had agreed to our request. Kholle didn't answer this question, and then informed us that day we had to check out at the normal time, which might have changed our choice. Then when we checked out, they tried to pull some games on us with currency exchanges - we were paying in a mix of dollars and shillings, and they wanted us to pay the drinks bill, charged in shillings, in dollars at one exchange rate, and the room bill, charged in dollars, in shillings, at another rate. It wasn't a big difference, but there was a lot of confusion and it just seemed cheap and petty for a quality establishment

One really nice touch was the glasses of juice on arrival - they were fantastic, and different both times. We had them later as cocktails, which were also fantastic. The breakfast was quite good, although a bit confusing - there is a list of options and it is not clear whether you choose one item or whatever you want. It turns out you can get everything you want off the list without paying extra, but you seem to have to ask for each individual thing (i.e. it says eggs with bacon, tomato, beans - if you ask for the eggs, you just get the eggs, not the whole plate).

The negatives were actually rather minor - we'd definitely go back again.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SoreA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mwasaju, Owner at Kholle House, responded to this review, 11 November 2012
Dear Guests,
Many thanks for your kind apprecation.
All the best,

Francis
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Vancouver, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
120 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 November 2012

We stayed at the Kholle House for two nights in their suite on the third floor. We enjoyed the rooftop terrace where we had wine and faluca pipes. The room was very pretty and spacious, although the mattress was a little hard for our liking. It was in a great location, close to restaurants and gardens and the ferry terminal. The breakfasts were top notch with yogurt and fresh fruit, fabulous crepes and omelettes etc. The staff were lovely. The pool was refreshing and hardly ever used as we always had it to ourselves. Five minutes away was Mercury's Restaurant on the beach named after Freddie Mercury of "Queen", fabulous food with a magnificent view. We would highly recommend this hotel which is furnished with antiques and is very Creole.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rheppner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mwasaju, Owner at Kholle House, responded to this review, 21 November 2012
Dear Guests,
We appreciate your comments and thank you for your appreciation.
Asante sana!
Francis
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Istanbul, Turkey
Level 5 Contributor
39 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 November 2012

We stayed for 3 nights in Kholle House in a deluxe room. The room was located in the second floor opening to a veranda.
The location was great, just 5 minutes walk from the ferry station and also from Forodhani Gardens.
The building was very well renovated, the decoration is very very nice.
The staff was very friendly and helpful.
The breakfast was very nice, the courtyard which the breakfast served was very peaceful.
Overall, we enjoyed our stay very much and I will definitely recommend Kholle House to everybody !

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank homemadetravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mwasaju, Owner at Kholle House, responded to this review, 11 November 2012
Dear guests,
Many thanks for your kind appreciation.
See you soon in Zanzibar!
Francis
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 November 2012

We stayed here for one night whilst visiting Stone Town. We found it to be a good well appointed hotel with lovely rooms and very helpful staff. Our two rooms were amply sized with comfortable double beds and antique furniture. We loved the yellow baths. We particularly liked the outside seating area on the ground floor next to the swimming pool and the roof terrace with view over the port. The hotel was well located being within easy walking distance of most of Stone Town's attractions. The only downside was that the only close restaurant (Mercury's Restaurant) is very poor.

Room Tip: The rooms on the top floor are quieter
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Englishguy49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mwasaju, Owner at Kholle House, responded to this review, 11 November 2012
Dear Guests,

Many thanks for your kind apprecation.

We obviously can't do much about Mercury's management ! However, please note that we have a restaurant in the Hotel, with fine Creole - Swahili fusion cuisine and you can enjoy it in the dining room, in the garden or in the roof top tea house.

All the best,

Francis
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Concord, New Hampshire
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2012

We picked this hotel because it had rave reviews and looked really nice on the pictures.

This hotel is a very boutique style and quaint place. The interior decorating is very African/Arabic and very charming inside. Most of the staff were very friendly and the included breakfast was good and hotel/rooms very clean.

The downsides: The size of the rooms are very small for what you pay, We got a deluxe room and was still pretty small. This did not bother us that much as we knew it was a small hotel. However, the price they charge for the rooms is pretty steep.
The other issue was with the owner. He was a westerner and was pretty rude. We came back from a day of exploring and just asked the front desk and kitchen if they could make us a snack. The African staff were happy to help, but when the owner heard of this, he kind of flew off the handle a little bit for no reason, which was annoying.

Also, the Kholle house is not in the greatest location. All the other hotels are nestled further into town and the Kholle house sits more or less on its on, up by the port.
Don't get me wrong, it was a beautiful inside, but we saw much nicer looking hotels walking around that would be cheaper for more in return. Will stay somewhere else next time.

Room Tip: The standard rooms are a box. Go for a deluxe for more space.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank DanHobs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mwasaju, Owner at Kholle House, responded to this review, 28 January 2013
Dear Guests,
Thanks for your comments, overall quite positive.
Actually whan I asked the kitchen staff not to prepare a meal for you it's because I knew it would take ages since nothing was ready and they had to start from scratch.
I might have been too straight to the point and for sure I should have explained to you why I did it this way. But precisely, it was to avoid you a long wait to get basic food. I know our kitchen staff you see...
I think I remember suggesting you to go to Mercury's (which is 50m from Kholle House - we are not that badly located after all and Malindi, where the hotel is, is one of the oldest part of Stone Town) to get the kind of fast food you requested from us.
All the very best,
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Additional Information about Kholle House

Property: Kholle House
Address: Malindi 607 / 608, Stone Town, Zanzibar City 642, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Zanzibar City > Stone Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#7 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kholle House 3.5*
Number of rooms: 10
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

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