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“Excellent Hotel near fordhani gardens”
Review of Maru Maru Hotel

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Maru Maru Hotel
Ranked #9 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Kenner, Louisiana
Level Contributor
414 reviews
78 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
“Excellent Hotel near fordhani gardens”
Reviewed 1 June 2014

Just steps from the Fordhani Gardens, seaside, and fort is a great boutique hotel - Maru Maru. The hotel is situated next to Fordhani Gardens and the Fort and you walk to anywhere from here. We stayed here for 4 nights and it was a great hotel. I had booked the hotel online and communicated with the general manager via email who was very responsive and nice. I had also booked an airport transfer from hotel, and they were there when we landed. Check in went smoothly and we were shown to our room.

We had booked 2 rooms as we are 4 people and the rooms are either 2 twins or 1 Queen. We got one of each. Booth rooms were decent size but the 2 twin bed room was a little bigger. Both had nice comfortable beds, with an armour closet, and a desk and chair. Both of them had nice size bathrooms as well. In the bathrooms, the hotel provides soap made by a local women's business cooperative which was a nice local touch. The Queen could fit 2 people, although it was tight.

Breakfast was included and that is served on the rooftop lounge/restaurant which had amazing views of Stone Town and the ocean. This is also where you can come and enjoy an amazing sunset (the only downside at night is that there is not enough lamps/candles/light so its pretty dark up there). Breakfast was standard cereals and toast, with fruits and an egg station. Coffee, and hot chocolate, were made by a machine.

Service at the hotel was very nice and attentive. There was free wifi in the hotel which was a major plus.

The hotel is located only a couple of steps away from Fordhani Gardens and the only negative thing about the hotel is the entrance/lobby. To get from the seaside/Fordhani Gardens to the hotel, you have to walk up a road that a night is dimly light (during the day, this is where all the taxis hang out so creates easier access to taxis). There are plenty of people walking and we never had a security issue, but it is something to consider. The lobby is right off the street so there is no major entrance or sitting area; not a big deal to me but some in my group cared about that.

Overall, location was good and hotel and service was excellent. The only downside would be the entrance but other than that, a great hotel.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank 0504Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Frankfurt, Germany
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 May 2014

We liked Maru Maru hotel from the first minute we arrived at its beautiful and stylish lobby! The staff is very fiendly and super professional. The location is great! Maru Maru is a magic place, it's completely restored keeping it's authentic arabian-african style. The terrace is fantastic, you can enjoy life music and one of the most amazing views from Stone Town! We really recommend it to travelers to Zanzibar.

Room Tip: Our room was located on the second floor and it was really nice.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Elizabeth H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Africa
Level Contributor
57 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2014 via mobile

We visited Maru Maru in April 2014 with another couple. We spent 2 nights there and found the hotel to be great value for money.

The rooms were clean and crisp. There is a small fridge in the room and the aircon worked really well. The safe and Wifi worked well.

The staff was helpfull and friendly. There was a band at the rooftop terrace and restaurant on Friday evening, and they stopped at a reasonable time to allow for a good night's rest.

Breakfast was really good and the view from the roof is great.

The hotel is situated almost directly behind the old fort, and not more than 200m from the sea

In all it was a very pleasant experience.

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Hardus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nairobi, Kenya
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2014

My family of 9 stayed at Maru Maru for 3 nights and it was absolutely wonderful. The rooms are really nice, clean, air conditioned, with a spacious bathroom and great open shower. The rooms are a tad bit small but really didn't bother us. We never experienced the noise others have complained about. The biscuits and the chocolate truffles they would leave in the room in the evening was a really nice touch.

The staff were really friendly, from the front desk, to the servers at the restaurant, to cleaning ladies, to the manager. One of our rooms had an issue with a water leak on the first night. They offered to change the room but none of the available rooms would fit the rollaway we had in this one, so we opted that they just fix the leak. It was fixed on that same night. You get to know how good service really is when there is an issue that needs fixing, and Maru Maru staff was on top of this one.

Service at the hotel restaurant was slow, but, hey it's Zanzibar, you would take it slow too if you lived on this gorgeous island. The restaurant is also quite expensive; any seasoned traveller knows it is never a good deal to dine at hotel restaurants, so I won’t hold it against them.

We can't write a review without mentioning the breathtaking views of Stone Town and the ocean from the roof top lounge. Also... location, location, location. I think Stone Town hotels should also be judged by their proximity to Forodhani gardens, and to Lukmaan restaurant, because, why would you eat anywhere else? Maru Maru is a block away from Forodhani, and a refreshing 10 minute lazy walk from Lukmaan, through the amazing heart of Stone Town.

We probably need to try another hotel on the next visit, just to have some comparison, but I can tell it will be difficult to book any place else if Maru Maru is available.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Harold N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Antwerp, Belgium
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 22 April 2014

Hotel was very clean, bathroom and bedroom was also very clean friendly staff, restaurant was slightly less in our opinion, little expensive for small plate of food.you can hear sounds of the working staff in the room that we had, I think it is so in every room (not a good isolation)

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Vjee2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kigali
Level Contributor
255 reviews
95 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2014

The rooms were a decent size as were the bathrooms. However, we stayed in a room overlooking the courtyard and were up from around 6.30 am as you can hear the kitchen at work and doors slamming. The management should also take note that although the rest of their staff was really helpful and friendly, the receptionist who greeted us at the beginning was bordering on rude. I think her attitude made us did not make us feel welcome and made your charming hotel seem cold and unfriendly.

The hotel is right next to the old fort and you can walk anywhere easily from here.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank anuka9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arusha, Tanzania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 31 March 2014

We spent 2 nights at maru maru hotel in March and it was a great experience. Right from the check in where you are welcomed with cool and nice smelling face towels and fresh juice to the service at the Restaurant and the rooms. The rooms are clean and the room attendants were always helpful and smiling. The food was great and they serve nice Indian dishes with a touch of northern and southern cuisines. The location of the Hotel is good; right in the middle of stone town. The Hotel staff and management are very helpful and always smiling when providing service! We will definitely go back to maru maru. There is no swimming pool but we did not need it as we had just spent a whole week in a beach resort.

Room Tip: the first floor and second floor in the new wing are more preferable
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Monaiddi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Maru Maru Hotel

Property: Maru Maru Hotel
Address: 397 - 400 Gizenga Street | Shangani, Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Zanzibar City > Stone Town
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Stone Town
#6 Luxury Hotel in Stone Town
#10 Family Hotel in Stone Town
#10 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Maru Maru Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 44
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in the heart of the UNESCO world heritage site of StoneTown, Maru Maru Hotel is just a few steps from the city’s historical wonders, colourful markets and labyrinth of shops. Once a town house famous for its marble floors and tiles, it has now been lovingly restored to offer 44 bright rooms blending classic Zanzibar style with iconic design and modern luxuries. Its roof terrace offers one of the best views in the city with a 360° panorama and is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail as the sun melts into the Indian Ocean. The relaxed ambiance at Maru Maru continues long into the night as people come to enjoy a vast variety of Continental, Chinese Indian and Swahili cuisine, view art in Maru Maru’s gallery and enjoy the captivating sound of Tahareb music as it floats into the night. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Maru Maru Hotel Zanzibar Island/Stone Town

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