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“Probably best hotel in Zanzibar”

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Zanzibar Serena Hotel
Ranked #7 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Calgary
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Probably best hotel in Zanzibar”
Reviewed 24 March 2013

My wife and I stayed for 3 nights in February 2013. Excellent staff and service. It is a boutique hotel and has very nice rooms furnished in a colonial local style. Their restaurants had the best food that we had in Tanzania . The pool and deck area were excellent, far better than at the beach resort that we went to following our stay in Stone Town. In fact, we wished that we had avoided more travel and just stayed at the Serena following our Rwanda gorilla trek and Tanzanian safari!

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank voyageur87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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682 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 (183)
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English first
Ottawa, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviewed 24 March 2013

I've been wanting to visit Zanzibar for so many years. I finally made it and this hotel made all the difference with my first experience in beautiful Stone Town. This is a charming and superbly decorated hotel. The nicest and most charming hotel I have ever stayed in. Just wow!! It remains true to its arabic roots - it reminded me of hotels in Morocco and Tunisia. The pool and grounds overlooking the Indian Ocean are fantastic. It made me feel special to be a guest there! WOW! WOW! WOW! Service and food were excellent!

Room Tip: All the rooms are charming and each is very distinct in decor. I stayed in two rooms - one on the g...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Andy155004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2013

My second stay within three months. Most staff are superb, polite and helpful but some are not. There is a particular one seen around the restaurant who seems not to be fond of non-white guests and has asked me everyday if I am a resident guest at the hotel and immediately for my room number before even accepting an order for food or drink. At breakfast, I have observed that, the attitude and hospitality of staff is super nice if the hotel manager is around otherwise not so much....The rooms are nice, internet is erratic(probably not the hotels' fault!), pool side is very nice, location of the hotel is superb but the hotel does not have its own beach area. You can view beautiful sunset views from the hotel !

Room Tip: Ask for seafront rooms overlooking the pool ! other rooms will give you a sideview of the sea which...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HotelCritique111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2013

I have stayed in this hotel since it was built and run a number of seminars at the hotel. Although the conference room is a bit pricey and the only one available, that I have found, within Stone Town, the facilities are comfortable.

The rooms are adequate and are a welcome break to the hot and humid conditions. The beds are not the most comfortable in the world but look the part with the carved wooden headboards and mosquito nets. You have to try the Kuku Wa kupaka, chicken cooked in coconut milk, ginger and garlic, with tomatoes, tumeric and onions, my favourite dish in Zanzibar.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Peter_Driessel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nairobi, Kenya
Level 6 Contributor
180 reviews
98 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2013

This hotel is converted from the old telecommunications building, and one finds exhibits of pre-independence equipment used by the old telecomms service.

Ask for room 52 if you want yourself and your significant other to be serenaded by a different musical group every night at sunset. Room 52 is right above the bar. One or another different talented local group will set up right below your verandah, a musical backdrop to the sunset, the surf , the sand, and the sailing dhows.

Views are all. Make sure you get a room with a view.

Breakfasts are excellent. Arrive early for a table by the window. Eat out for lunch and dinner, since eating in is quite costly. Lots of good restaurants within easy walking distance.

Use taxis arranged by the hotel. The hotel shuttle is a bit pricey, at USD40; a good taxi will run you much less.

Room Tip: Insist on a room with a view over the water.
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank constanttraveler71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2013

Staying at this hotel is a joy....great staff, wonderful ambience and a superb setting make a stay worthwhile. Having stayed at this hotel around ten times or so, it always has an allure of times past and history is always around a corner. Internet works fine, rooms are cool and a haven from the heat. No fitness centre which is an inconvenience. The one area for clear improvement is the restaurant, particularly the dinner service. I have eaten there twice at night and won't return. This is such a shame as the facility has a premier position on the seafront and is crying out for an overhaul. Unfortunately nothing has changed in this department and with the abundance of eating establishments within a short walk of the hotel, there is no reason to dine in!!!

Room Tip: Have dinner out of the hotel. No elevator so if you cant walk up two long flights of stairs, ask fo...
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Scottoz99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bangui, Central African Republic
Level 5 Contributor
45 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2013

I stayed in Serena for 2 noghts, only, but enjoyed and would go back! "Big Joe" is the most welcoming person, that you have to remember! He would welcome you at the entrance/exit, with his great smile, every time...
The room was great, the bed was great, but I liked the view from the restaurant, during the breakfast, the most. Great experience!

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Naila M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Zanzibar Serena Hotel

Property: Zanzibar Serena Hotel
Address: Kelele Square, Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Zanzibar City > Stone Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Stone Town
#2 Spa Hotel in Stone Town
#3 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
#4 Luxury Hotel in Stone Town
#4 Business Hotel in Stone Town
#5 Family Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Zanzibar Serena Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 51
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Zanzibar Serena Hotel Stone Town
Zanzibar Serena Stone Town
Zanzibar Serena Hotel Zanzibar Island/Stone Town

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