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“The choice is easy, stay at the Dhow Palace”
Review of Dhow Palace Hotel

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Dhow Palace Hotel
Ranked #13 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“The choice is easy, stay at the Dhow Palace”
Reviewed 29 September 2012

I have stayed at the this hotel twice in the last 4 years and I can honestly say that both my visits have been very memorable.
From the moment you walk in, the atmospheric appearance of this original and well maintained building filled with genuine antique pieces, 2 inner courtyards and curved arched ways charm you back to a time when life was simple and beautiful.
It's so authentic infact, it's on the list of places shown to visitors on guided walks!
When you enter the room, the ornate wooden zanzibari furniture and windows (and balconies in some) continue to charm you. The sweat on your brow will be releaved to see a small fridge in the corner and even more so 2 bottles of cold water inside.
With reasonable prices, it's location in the middle of town is not far from any thing but far enough not to hear any thing till the heat of your alarm clock wakes you up first. Make it before 10.00am though bc breakfast is served daily from 7.00am - 10.00am including sweet and savoury local delicacies not to be missed. And if you must use the internet when on holidays, there is availability but be warned, grandma is watching!!!
I noticed on my second visit many familiar faces. This means there is low turnover of staff resulting in a family feel. This same approach extends to it's visitors which is typified by the owner who often mingles with the guests.
Inconclusion, if you want to stay in banal luxury, go to the Serena Inn but if you want an authentic Zanzibari experience, stay at the Dhow Place.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Andrew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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616 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (106)
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Varazdin, Croatia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2012

The fist sights of interior it made me gasp in amazement...its filled with well preserved cradles, gramophones, chests and antique furniture. There are even old china figurines in the hall and framed pieces of jewlery on the walls.Quite a few pieces you find here, you wont find in the National museum where the objects are dusty and frequentlly appear neglected. The first, double room on the second floor I stayed in was lovelly,spacious, beds with baldachine and fans, very reminescent of traveling in colonial times. The bathrooms are interesting, oriental looking. The pool is lovelly and you can eat breakfast or play pool just next to it. The food, I must say was average, both here and in the sister hotel, Tembo house; I dont like my shrimps in the avocado salad drowned in mayonaise and ketchup. The second room I stayed in was single and that one wasnt exaclly bad but it was a bit small and claustrophobic even if it had a better wiew than the first. It was also quite noisy as there is staff quarters behind it and the recreational space just above it and the wooden wall is thin. All in all, if you are looking for a double room, I would recomended but keep in mind that, since its a very old edifice, the stairs are quite steep and if you are not all that fit, it might be better to stick to the first floor.

Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Laliqueent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leicester, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 25 September 2012

The Dhow Palace has excellent location in middle of Stone Town. The hotel had beautiful exceptional interior. The hotel had piano on first floor to mess around with. We enjoyed the comfortable indoor sitting place on terrace including Arab style sofa on one side. Outdoor on terrace had table and chairs with an amazing view of the stone town and other side was sea view. It was good place to relax at night having fresh air. The staffs are friendly and welcoming. The room was clean and tidy, inside the room had WiFi and good big flat screen TV with alot of channels. The bathing place had decorated tiles which looked very cool. Breakfast was nice with different varieties of dishes served everyday with fresh juices. Another good thing about breakfast, you can eat in restaurant area or pool area or near fountain, also, you can take it to your room as they are well furnished with table and chairs apart from big comfortable bed and fridge. A lot of shops are nearby including to exchange and restaurants, you can go walking around Stone Town including to Palace and Art Museum. I also stayed in big Luxury Hotel on the east coast (no name mention) paying more than twice the Dhow Palace but this hotel was brilliant compare to another hotel i stayed by facilities, staffs, service and definately location. Me and my wife did regret leaving Dhow Palace as it felt like prison as there was no where to go for a walk outside that hotel. If you want to socialise, the Dhow Palace and the Stone Town is the best.

Room Tip: If you don't mind climbing stairs, book top floor room with outdoor view.
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Aamir86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cork, Ireland
Level Contributor
49 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2012

The Dhow Palace is well located in the heart of Stone Town and the staff are friendly and welcoming. Our room on the third floor was clean, comfortable, and beautifully decorated, although the lack of a lift might be a problem for some guests. The tiled bath was cute! Breakfast was excellent with a variety of hot and cold dishes to choose from and delicious bread. The main shopping street is close by and there are lots of nice shops and restaurants in the area. The Forodhani Gardens are a 10-minute walk away. There is no bar at this hotel but the Africa House Hotel is just a two-minute walk away where you can enjoy a sundowner or two at the balcony bar. Although we had a full-sized fridge in our room - perfect for chilling a beer - guests are requested to respect the religious beliefs of the owners and not to drink any alcohol in their rooms. We stayed during Ramadan so I'm not sure if this request was due to that or if it's a year-round restriction. So if you're a thirsty traveler, this hotel may not suit you! We would definitely stay here again if we return to Zanzibar.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank KerryAnne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
320 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2012

We loved the feeling of antiquity in the Dhow Palace - there were beautiful objet d'art everywhere & the inner courtyard with the pool & the balconies overlooking it was spectacular. It was very centrally located on one of the larger lanes which made sightseeing easier as it is difficult to navigate the smaller alleyways. The rooms were nicely furnished with large beds & mosquito nets. The only drawback was the mosque next door which woke us up every morning at 5am but there are so many mosques in Stone Town that you are bound to be near one of them! We didn't eat in the hotel as the menu was completely aimed at tourists with burgers, pizzas etc. The breakfasts were boring but so were the ones in the next hotel we went to, so maybe it's just an African thing!

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank bella c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
Level Contributor
34 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 September 2012

Feels like invited at home by a local ruler centuries ago. The place is amazing (worth exploring the rooftop, and the restaurant near the pool).
Good food.
Only caveat was to find quite a few mosquitoes in the room when we first entered (once chased, they are no more than in any other hotel) and to have noise from 5am due to the mosque nearby and some cockerel.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Bertrand X
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Heredia, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
40 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 September 2012

FYI to anyone thinking about staying at the Dhow Palace in Zanzibar. I stayed there with my girlfriend this past summer and unfortunately I had a bad experience. The hotel as a whole is ok and the staff are friendly, but the hotel was not willing to reimburse me for a pair of pants they lost when I sent them in for laundry. I had purchased a $90 pair of convertible pants for my safari and really liked them. Needless to say, I was attached to them, so when they turned up missing, I asked the manager if they could reimburse me partially for the cost of the pants. Since they were used, I wasn't asking for the full amount. After several emails back and forth, the manager told me that they would not reimburse me. Therefore, I cannot recommend the place for anyone looking to stay there. From what I've heard, there are a lot of other nice places to stay in Stone Town.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Ryan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dhowpalace, Manager at Dhow Palace Hotel, responded to this review, 18 September 2012
Dear Ryan,

First of all thank you for your eloquent review of Dhow Palace Hotel, and secondly please accept our sincere apologies for the loss of private property.

There are however a few concerns that need be cleared.
A frequent traveler myself, I have personally used laundry services where and when possible upon my travels, both domestic and abroad.
As a rule, I always make sure that upon receiving my laundry, that all items are accounted for, and there is no damaged before I settle my laundry bill.

Why, upon receiving your laundry was it not checked and tallied up by yourself, or your partner? The signature, on the laundry list suggest that it was tallied up and checked. If that was the case, why was the lost trousers not instantly reported to the receptionist, or to the management straight away?

Most hotels, domestic and international, and any management / administration have rules and policies that need to be followed to avoid chaos and anarchy.

Dhow Palace Hotels is no exception, we have our policies regarding our laundry service, I quote:

“PLEASE NOTE THAT RESIDENTS USE THE HOTEL LAUNDRY AT THEIR OWN RISK, WHILE EVERY PRECAUTION IS TAKEN (…) THE MANAGEMENT CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR LOSS, DAMAGE OR SHRINKAGE (…)”

Below there is a space for clients to sign and approve for the items sent to laundry, and that they have read and understood the policies in regards to the service.

We sent you a scanned copy of the laundry list with your signature on it, thus agreeing on our terms and conditions.

Another aspect, is the time taken from you receiving the laundry, till we were initially contacted being made aware of the fact that an item was missing.
It took almost 5 to 7 days before we were contacted. Could it be that after you left Dhow Palace Hotel you went to another resort / hotel, and used the laundry facilities offered there?
Still we did all that we could do to find your lost item, and it has proven unfruitful, we have communicated with you explaining the situation.

In regards to reimbursement, I refer to our terms and conditions quoted above.

With Kind regards Imtiaz.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dhow Palace Hotel

Property: Dhow Palace Hotel
Address: Kenyatta Rd | Shangani, Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Zanzibar City > Stone Town
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Luxury Hotel in Stone Town
#11 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Dhow Palace Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Dhow Palace is an elegant, boutique hotel in the heart of historic Stone Town, close to all amenities, shops and restaurants. Furnished extensively with antiques in a truly Zanzibar style, this 150 year old graceful building has been modernised to take care of all your desires.The hotel offers an open-air interior courtyard with a spacious swimming pool and snack bar, where guests can relax and unwind in peaceful privacy. Bask in the sun on our serene roof top terrace where you can enjoy delicious local and international cuisine and tropical refreshments. The roof top terrace is an idyllic place to watch life unfold in the busy Stone Town streets below, or to witness the remarkable sunsets on this romantic island. Dhow Palace is a place to find tranquility, eat well and become wrapped up in the best of Zanzibar culture. Many of our rooms have balconies overlooking the peaceful interior courtyard and swimming pool; all have traditional Swahili beds, air conditioning and many other facilities, including cable television and hotspot wireless internet. Let the Dhow Palace sail you through your holiday whilst you enjoy the blissful climate and explore the history and culture that this beautiful island has to offer. Location and amenities:The Dhow Palace Hotel is conveniently situated in central Stone Town, close to the shops, markets and restaurants. The Dhow is also within easy access of Zanzibar's awe-inspiring beaches, watersports, excursions and historical attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dhow Palace Hotel Zanzibar Island/Stone Town

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