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“staff steals”
Review of Dhow Palace Hotel

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Dhow Palace Hotel
Ranked #13 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 September 2012

I wish to share my experience in dhow palace hotel in stone town. together with my wife we stayed for 2 nights. the room and bathroom is clean, breakfast is quite bad, the way how it is presented does not make you feel very safe about cleanliness. the inner part of the hotel creates echo and in the late evening and early morning the citchen staff create an enourmous noise, apparently a clear lack of discipline. If you can not sleep in noisy environment then your night will be short.
Be careful. Hotel staff is stealing: When we packed our luggage before departure I recognized that a glass jar with a cork cover was lacking. This jar was not locked in the suitecase and has no commercial value but of importance to me. As I new exactly where I had put it I called the reception informing them that it has been stolen. After some hassle which I skip finally the manager was involved and he asked me for half an hour time with follow up. Within the promised time he returned telling me that the cleaning lady had taken it !!! and it in her locker !!! She will come early in the morning and will give it back.
My evaluation:
- Hotel staff is stealing, be careful, even non valuable things, do lock everything away or do not stay here
- Follow up by management is excellent. I could not believe my eyes when the stolen good was returned in the morning.
A strange, tanzanian experience.

If not for the theft I would have given a 'satisfying' note. finally: location is good

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank tthhoommaass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dhowpalace, Manager at Dhow Palace Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 1 October 2012

Dear tthhoommaass

Thank you very much for your thorough and very detailed review of Dhow Palace Hotel. We do apologize for the lack of discipline some of our members of our restaurant / kitchen staff. This is being addressed, and will be rectified to the benefit of guest coming to stay with us.

It would also be of great help to us if you could give us further and clearer details as to what made you feel that our kitchen / restaurant is unhygienic. Please feel free to email us at manager@dhowpalace-hotel.com with the details.

However we need to get a few facts on the table when it comes to the big, eye catching heading, and its critique of Dhow Palace and accusations against our staff.

After your check out, and a good week before this review on Trip Advisor, we did a thorough interview with our member of house-keeping staff who was responsible to tidy and clean your room. It is also worth mentioning that this particular house-keeper has been with Dhow Palace for roughly 20 years now, and is well experienced and knows the particulars of her duties very well.

The glass jar of “(...) no commercial value (...)” was placed on a table with empty plastic water bottles (note: the complementary water bottles found in the fridge).

House-keeping enters room, discovers the bottles (and the jar), and like any cleaner in any hotel concluded that the items on the table were litter, and of “no commercial value”, and decided to take them out of the room along with other rubbish found in the provided room bins.

We do encourage our staff to be environmentally conscious, so any plastic waste, bottles etc are recycled. So your empty jar, along with empty bottles from all rooms were taken down to the Housekeeping office, and locked in a cupboard at end of shift. This is also where your jar was found in the morning of your departure, and given promptly to you.

We are curious as to why an empty bottle/jar of “(...) no commercial value (...)” but of importance to you was placed on a table along other empty bottles, and could so easily been taken for rubbish? (As was the case here).


If the jar in your opinion, clearly has no commercial value, apart from a personal value, would not then a potential thief, who also saw the jar , arrive at the same conclusion as yourself?
(And try instead to steal something that is commercially valuable, and which he/she could get real good money for? That is, if we had the thieving sort of staff working for Dhow Palace.)

To take this as far as accusing members of staff of stealing is farfetched; however, as we do practise freedom of speech, your opinion is well noted by us and by many more on this forum.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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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1  Thank Andrew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
1  Thank Laliqueent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Aamir86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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1  Thank KerryAnne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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1  Thank bella c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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1  Thank Bertrand X
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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: £55 - £96 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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