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“Possibly the best Hotel in Stonetown”

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Zanzibar Serena Hotel
Ranked #7 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
113 reviews
105 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 186 helpful votes
“Possibly the best Hotel in Stonetown”
Reviewed 8 July 2009

This Hotel is a very impressive Hotel to arrive at right on the Foreshore in the Stonetown of Zanzibar. It is built in 2 historic old buildings, one which used to be a telecommunications centre and the other an old house. The finished Hotel is a very impressive and opulent place indeed. There is a more relaxed air about the place than you will find on the Tanzania mainland.

We were fortunate in having a corner room on the second floor of the main Hotel building right on the front of the Hotel virtually on the sand of the beach!
Although the room was only of average size the balcony was absolutely huge. There was even a Hammock to relax in and 2 comfy chairs and 2 dining style chairs. You could see a door leading onto this balcony from another adjacent room so you would be able to share the balcony with others if you were say a group of 2 couples. It was a wonderful place to relax with a G & T & watch the sunset. We took so many of the classic dhow photos as the dhows sailed by into the sunset that we lost count of them. A word of caution that the mosquitoes do come out here at dusk so don’t leave your room door open as we did one night. The rooms do have mosquito nets over the bed & the maids do spray the rooms each evening but you don’t want to risk a bite from one of the little beggars if you can avoid it.

This Hotel is the flagship in the Serena chain and it shows. Service is exceptionally good everywhere with the exception of the rooftop dining terrace where it can be a little slow. However, it is such a wonderful experience to dine al fresco so close to the Ocean it is worth it and the food is excellent if a little on the pricy side. We had one lunch in the main Restaurant and that was also excellent food and not so pricy. There is a nice bar near the main Restaurant on the same terrace that the pool is on and this is also very nice and service is definitely efficient and with a smile as it is elsewhere in the Hotel. We loved having the huge balcony so much that we took our 2 breakfasts out there and they were delivered bang on time and all was exactly as we had ordered & piping hot, even the coffee.

The rooms were spotless, ours had a huge and very comfy King bed. The bathroom was small with only a shower but that was high pressure and once you worked out where to put your toilet bag, etc…. it worked OK.

The location of this Hotel is definitely un – matched in Stonetown and so close to the old centre of Stonetown if you go for a walk you are in the old narrow streets in less than 5 minutes. We only had 1 full day here so we decided to use the services of a guide to maximise the time and we were very glad we did. If we had another day we would have gone off walking on our own but with only 1 day I recommend you get a guide to show you around as there is a lot to see.

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank KiwiExplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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676 reviews from our community

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Falls Church, Virginia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2009

Comfortable room, beds a bit hard. Staff excellent, very helpful. Nicely situated for touring Stone Town. Seafood restaurant (fixed price meal) - excellent. Amazing options for breakfast. Had a great massage by the pool.

Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank LngNCongo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nairobi
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2009

I stayed her for 5 nights and was very impressed with the stunning architecture and the warm welcome from the staff. The food is excellent breakfast, lunch and evening meal. The pool is very clean and quiet with stunning views over the Indian Ocean with Dhows floating past every few moments.
Take a walk down to the African bar and watch the magnificent sunsets over the ocean and watch the barbeques set up on the green, boys showing off as they dive into the sea and local families come down for their evening. It is truly magical.
Thanks to the staff for making this a wonderful experience.
My third Serena experience in East Africa. I will definitely be using Serena again. In particular try the Serena Mombasa.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank spikethemanc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Geelong, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 May 2009

My wife & I spent nights here on 14-15 May. Out travel agent in Dar had alerted us to a special deal for two nights, including flights from Dar to Zanzibar, transfers and breakfasts. We thought it was great value, and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Although there were few guests at the time (due to the economic downturn?), there was no skimping on service levels, meals or staffing. The location is perfect for visiting Stonetown, and all staff were friendly, helpful and well trained. This front office staff, and restaurant staff were particularly helpful and friendly. All meals were great - especially the buffet breakasts and complimentary coffee at dinner. Viewing the sunsets around he pool & bar were fantastic! Would recommend you enquire about rooms with a harbour view if you can.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank icthus51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Ontario
Level Contributor
32 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2009

I loved this hotel. Travelling solo, the staff was attentive and wanting to please at all times. The food was fabulous, the room was cleaned daily to a "T", had lots of help with the business centre. The walking tour of Stonetown is a must-do, and the sunsets were to die for. not many other tourists around, so I got the best of the best. They know your name the day after you check-in.walking around on your own is safe and there are some great shops close by. You can't get lost

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank travellerplus5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sweden
Level Contributor
140 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2009

The check-in started badly and it took took 3 rooms and 2 persons to find the booked room, but this one was beautiful and fullfilled all expectations and a bit more. The food served in the restaurant is very good, but we only had dinner there once due to slow and poor service. The prices exceed the other places and one should expect more. Sunset and seeing the dhows passing by, can´t be watched fom a better place. Wonderful pool.

  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Marthinsen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kampala, Uganda
Level Contributor
57 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2009

This hotel was built in the old telecoms building and a private residence, directly on the water. It is just outside the typical narrow streets and old highrise area of Stonetown. Excellent location overlooking the water and close to all the tourist areas (travel by foot). Hotel is priced very high for service given. Pool is peaceful and private. Some nice entertainment brought in for evenings. Staff vary from excellent to surly and slow. Breakfast is very good but not great. A nice mix between real Stonetown and comfortable modern hotel.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank s_w_on_the_road
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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