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“Stone Town views” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Maru Maru Hotel

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Maru Maru Hotel
Ranked #8 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
32 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Stone Town views”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 July 2014

Rooms have authentic Zanzibar beds, updated bathrooms, wooden shutters. Rooftop restaurant offers lovely view of Stone Town and sea. Loved the lemon grass incense in the lobby so I bought some to take home. Breakfast offered some Swahili options. Note the photo of the Aga Khan as you ascend the stairs and do a little research on the community's historic presence in East Africa. Service was courteous but some staff seemed a bit aloof.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SayyidaT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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518 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    40
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    22
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (105)
Date | Rating
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 June 2014

The maru maru has good reviews, and if nothing goes wrong, it's a good hotel. However, if something does go wrong (or they endanger your lives, in our case) at the hotel, don't expect them to have any sense of hospitality within them - especially their management.

Our stay started off pleasant, however we asked the hotel to provide us with transportation to various parts of the island for a day trip. At the end of the day trip, the headlights on the van did not work and the driver forced us to travel at night, in the pitch black, with no headlights and no streetlights - using only a powerful flashlight to navigate the roads (that I thankfully brought).

When we told this to the hotel, they were far from sympathetic for the severity of the danger that their driver and the hotel placed five of their guests in. Instead of providing compensation for endangering our lives, they asked us to pay for the pleasure of risking our lives on the roads of Africa.

It was completely unacceptable that the hotel put us in this situation and it is even more unacceptable that there were unwilling to do anything to provide us with compensation for the life-threatening conditions that were were forced to endure for 2 hours.

I have stayed in literally hundreds of hotels and this the FIRST that has placed pure profits over the lives and safety of their guests. Furthermore, during checkout, we finally got them to agree to not charge us for the death van they took us in, but then the next day immediately went back on their word with an email asking us to wire money to their bank account. Unbelievable and unacceptable.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank niravcpatel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MaruMaruDesignHotel, Manager at Maru Maru Hotel, responded to this review, 4 August 2014
Dear Mr.Patel,
Well you and your friends had a really great stay with us even after you came back from the tour. your unhappiness started when manager was not willing for full wavier of your tour. you booked following tour from morning. stone town to Nungwi for $75 . im sure you enjoyed this trip. then you traveled to Paje that was $75. then in the evening you wanted to come back to Town. that was $50. Total $200. in the middle of the road car had a problem with headlight. The driver informed you that he will call the hotel to send another car. you offered your Torch and asked him to drive with the torch. next day you refused to pay for the entire trip. when you avail the service from morning until night how can you refuse to pay the entire amount. the manager was willing to offer a discount for the last trip. this is unfortunate that you prefer services for free and get lucky.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 June 2014 via mobile

Perfect for a nights stay in Stone Town. Rooms are a little small but Stone Town is small and cramped anyway. Perfect location close to harbour, Sultans Palace, Old Fort. Loved the rooftop dining for sunset drinks and then breakfast. As the hotel is new, everything is modern, clean and the staff really go out of their way to make the stay comfortable. Absolutely recommended for a stay in Stone Town.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MichelleDelb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
54 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2014

On first glance Maru Maru Hotel looks great, the lobby area is attractive, the courtyards nicely laid out and the roof bar and restaurant have great views of the city.
Rooms are small but clean, beds firm, pillows very firm.,Bathrooms newly refurbished with showers, not very consistent hot water though, also have to turn on 15 minutes before use.
The real problem with this hotel is that it is so noisy. the inner courtyards act as one big echo chamber to transmit the noise of the kitchen and bar which is on the 4th floor. Our first night we were on the 3rd floor directly beneath the kitchen. We moved to room 202, marginally better but the rooms are very noisy. Bring earplugs.!
Food for breakfast is ok, not much choice but they are obliging if you ask for something they will provide it, at least they
have wonderful coffee, spiced with cardamom and ginger.
The staff attempts to be helpful, everyone is pleasant, you could do a lot worse, especially if you don't want to stay in one of the more expensive high end boutique hotels in Stone Town.
The location is very good, you can walk every where.

Room Tip: ask for a room away from the kitchen, and the front of the property. Do not ask for room on the 3rd...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank snooper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 June 2014

Maru Maru was an excellent place to stay, especially in comparison to the over-hyped, overrated Serena. The staff were professional and friendly, the rooftop restaurant/bar was a lovely place to watch the sunset (happy hour cocktails for 5,000!), and the sweet little cookies brought to the room each night were lovely. The bed was very comfortable and the bed net very hole-free. Every little detail at Maru Maru contributed to making it a lovely place to stay.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank KMG414
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
40 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 June 2014

Fantastic hotel situated on a safe side street just a minutes walk to the main street and lots of great restaurants and bars. All the major attractions in Stone Town are within a short distance. There is a guard on site 24hours at the front door (our dude was super cool). The hotel itself is beautifully decorated with many pictures of celebrities and presidents who've stayed there. The rooftop has a great view and serves up a great breakfast. Would definitely recommend.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Shawn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 June 2014 via mobile

I stayed in Maru Maru hotel for 4 nights. The hotel located in stone town which is very convenient to walk to night market and stores in stone town. Rooms are clean and comfortable. Restaurant located at the top floor of the hotel. Need to walk and take the lift up there. Breakfast and dinner are very nice. The hotel also provide local day tours.

Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Lorettalo908
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
Phone Number:
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
#5 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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