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“Peaceful Gardens” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Protea Hotel by Marriott Zanzibar Mbweni Ruins

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Protea Hotel by Marriott Zanzibar Mbweni Ruins
Ranked #16 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
72 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Peaceful Gardens”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 January 2014

We did not stay at the hotel but spent a morning in the gardens surrounding the Mbweni Ruins.
The hotel charges a small entrance fee which is redeemable against a purchase at the bar/restaurant.
Had a lovely morning in the gardens, good coffee on the terrace with a stunning view over the ocean.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Alta_Jhb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DinishAntony, General Manager at Protea Hotel by Marriott Zanzibar Mbweni Ruins, responded to this review, 4 January 2014
Dear Alta W

Jambo from Protea Hotel Mbweni Ruins, Zanzibar. Thank you for visiting us and taking time to review your experience. I am really glad that you enjoyed the garden, beach and the restaurant. We hope to host you on your next visit to Zanzibar. Ahsante sana, karibu tena!

Thanks and regards,

Dinish Antony
Group General Manager
Protea Hotels - Dar es Salaam/Zanzibar
gm@proteadar.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

211 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    99
    73
    21
    13
    5
See reviews for
42
66
39
12
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Shanzu, Kenya
Level Contributor
55 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2014

My partner and I spent a week here over Christmas. I picked this hotel after extensive research on TA. We were not disappointed.
Beach location is lovely and quiet very beautiful grounds are so relaxing. Pool is smallish but adequate.
Hotel is close to Airport (not close enough to be disturbed). It is 10-15 mins from the centre of Stone and the Hotel runs a free return Shuttle bus twice a day.
The room we had (No 2) was very pleasant and adequate and was kept spotless by the cleaner. A.C worked very well.
Food was generally very good and if there any problems the Chef or Manager will have it sorted.
My partner had a massage in the "Wellness Centre" and I was assured it was good value for money and relaxing.
There were a few minor problems that I won't go into here as the Manager Dolf is excellent - always ready to act on "constructive criticism" - and deal with the problems immediately.
The hotel is very small and intimate and after a day the staff know you and your likes and dislikes.
I would like to thank Dolf and all his staff for making our stay so enjoyable.
Would I stay here again - you bet !

Room Tip: As it is a small hotel all the rooms are near the beach/pool and Restaurant/Bar
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 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?
Thank westwoodboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DinishAntony, General Manager at Protea Hotel by Marriott Zanzibar Mbweni Ruins, responded to this review, 4 January 2014
Dear GUEST

Jambo from Protea Hotel Mbweni Ruins, Zanzibar. It was an absolute pleasure to host you recently. Thank you for this detailed review. I am really glad that you had a great stay and that the STAFF ensured your comfort. I will pass your compliments on to the TEAM, and Dolf. He will be delighted to hear the positive feedback. We look forward to host you again soon.

Thanks and regards,

Dinish Antony
Group General Manager
Protea Hotels - Dar es Salaam/Zanzibar
gm@proteadar.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 December 2013

We spent three nights at Mbweni Ruins Hotel and had a wonderfully relaxing vacation. It is a small hotel set in lush tropical gardens. The beach is not the idyllic beach one expects in Zanzibar, but the hotel makes up for it in other ways. If you are staying in Stone Town or want to visit Chumbe Island for a day, then Mbweni Ruins is ideal.

The staff were so welcoming and friendly. Nothing was too much trouble, they really made us feel pampered. Two out of three breakfasts were phenomenal and the other quite mediocre, so it seems they do not have it all sorted out in the kitchen, but are well on their way. The dinner menu is very limited, and after spending further time at other resorts on the island and using this as a comparison, I can say that there is room for improvement in the kitchen.

The most magical time at this resort is in the evening, after dinner, take a walk through the gardens. Truly beautiful.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank purdy37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DinishAntony, General Manager at Protea Hotel by Marriott Zanzibar Mbweni Ruins, responded to this review, 24 December 2013
Dear purdy37

Good day, jambo from Mbweni Ruins Hotel. Thank you for staying with us and taking time to review your experience. We really appreciate your feedback and promise to work on areas which need improvements. I am positive that the TEAM will be able to show the changes on your next visit. I will pass your compliments to them and thank them for their great job. We look forward to host you again soon.

Thanks and regards,

Dinish Antony
Group General Manager
Protea Hotels - Tanzania
gm@proteadar.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
35 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 November 2013

Mbweni ruins hotel is in a process of rebranding, making it part of the PROTEA hotel chain. The positive effects of this process are already showing everywhere: refurbished rooms, remodeling of the beautiful botanical gardens surrounding the hotel, everything spotlessly clean and in good working condition.
All staff are friendly and very helpful, the location in itself is unbeatable.

Only the restaurant disappointed me on too many occasions: while their breakfasts and lunches are fine, the dinners are not: the elaborate dinner menu is not really reflected by what you will eventually find on your plate. "Kingfish in garlic butter sauce" had no garlic at all, with a slice of fish as thin as a wafer. Hardly any calamari to be found in the "calamari salad". The same for mozzarella in the "mozzarella-tomatoe salad". The "chicken in mushroom sauce" entirely tasteless - remember: this is Zanzibar, the spice island!
Tried to point this out to the waiters, but noticed they have no policy to deal with guest comments. Suggestion: charge a few dollars more, thus allowing the chef to buy what he really needs to do his job well.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
    • 5 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
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank kyallo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DinishAntony, General Manager at Protea Hotel by Marriott Zanzibar Mbweni Ruins, responded to this review, 25 November 2013
Dear Kyallo

Jambo from Mbweni Ruins Hotel, Zanzibar. Thank you for staying with us and taking time to review your experience. I appreciate all the positive comments and the constructive criticisms. As you rightly pointed out, we have taken over the property about 3 months back and a lot has been done ever since, but we wont rest until we are positive that we are providing the best value for money for our GUESTS. I apologise for the quality of dinners you had. We are in the process of revamping our menu and adding a few more chefs to the TEAM. I am confident that this will make a huge difference. I sincerely apologise for the lack of a proper feedback system, we will soon introduce the Protea feed back system which has been quite successful.

Ahsante sana, karibu tena!

Yours truly.

Dinish Antony
gm@proteadar.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 November 2013

I spent 5 days staying at the Mbweni Ruins hotel following a trip to the summit of Kilimanajaro. The hotel was small with only 12-13 rooms, and when the other guests were enjoying their day excursions you had the run of the hotel and the beach practically to yourself! The hotel was secluded and you felt as though you were miles from anywhere. It was only a short taxi ride from the airport, and was close enough to Stone Town where you could enjoy your culture fix! The staff at the hotel were extremely helpful and friendly, and no request was too much trouble. The food served in the restaurant was lovely and fresh, and the portions were very big - so no-one will go hungry here! I hope to return here again soon

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Clare L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DinishAntony, General Manager at Protea Hotel by Marriott Zanzibar Mbweni Ruins, responded to this review, 25 November 2013
Dear Clare L

Jambo from Mbweni Ruins Hotel, Zanzibar. It was an absolute pleasure to host you recently. I am really glad that you had a great stay and that the STAFF ensured your comfort. I will pass your compliments to the TEAM, especially the kitchen. We look forward to host you again soon.

Thanks and regards,

Dinish Antony
General Manager
gm@proteahotels.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 November 2013

We spent our last 2 nights of our holiday at the Mbweni before returning home. Its so relaxing with beautiful lush surroundings and lovely staff. Its not in Stone Town but thats the beauty of it! Free shuttle service to town, more then good enough. Close to the airport. I would honestly come back here! NOTE: we, from the NE coast booked our transfer $50 each which included the Spice & Stone Town tours. (Spice farm prices way over priced). Work your tours out between transfers.

Room Tip: Beach/Garden view. Close to beach.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Yunus M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DinishAntony, General Manager at Protea Hotel by Marriott Zanzibar Mbweni Ruins, responded to this review, 19 November 2013
Dear Yunus M

Good day, jambo from Mbweni Ruins Hotel. Thank you for staying with us and taking time to share your experience here on TripAdvisor. I am really glad to hear that you had a pleasant stay and that the STAFF ensured your comfort. We look forward to host you again soon.

Ahsante sana, karibu tena!

Thanks and regards,

Dinish Antony
General Manager
gm@proteahotels.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colchester United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 November 2013

For a mid priced hotel we found it excellent. The location, staff and overall feel of the place really was good. It's extremely relaxing and nice to be away from the busy heat of the town. The shuttle bus service is fine. The gardens are tropical and location quite romantic. Lovely wedding location. Including the traditional open rain tree restaurant. The wildlife was a bonus. Admittedly the hotel is a little tired but it's obvious that the new management are working hard to address this and the issues raised. Overall, value for money and location I would definitely recommend and return. The staff are super and the management friendly, keen to listen to the guests comments and improve. Really fabulous location.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank evansj7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DinishAntony, General Manager at Protea Hotel by Marriott Zanzibar Mbweni Ruins, responded to this review, 16 November 2013
Dear evansj7

Jambo from Mbweni Ruins Hotel, Znz. Thank you for staying with us and taking time to share your experience with the travel community. I am pleased to hear that you had a fantastic time and found us of great value for money- which is what we are aiming for. As you rightly pointed out, we have been putting in a lot of effort in overall refurbishment & STAFF training. The results are already showing, but wont rest until we bring everything up to the standards that discerning International travelers expect.

We look forward to host you again soon. Ahsante sana, Karibu tena!

Dinish Antony
General Manager
gm@proteadar.com
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 Protea Hotel by Marriott Zanzibar Mbweni Ruins

Property: Protea Hotel by Marriott Zanzibar Mbweni Ruins
Address: Plot number 143/93, Mbweni Street | Kiembe Samakie, Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Zanzibar City > Stone Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Stone Town
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Stone Town
#4 Spa Hotel in Stone Town
#9 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
#11 Luxury Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Protea Hotel by Marriott Zanzibar Mbweni Ruins 4*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The only Protea in the beautiful Zanzibar, Protea Hotel by Marriott Zanzibar Mbweni Ruins provides the perfect choice for both beach and Stone Town holidays in Zanzibar. We are located amidst Mbweni Ruins dating back to 1870s and a beautiful botanical garden. The hotel is ten minutes away from Stone Town, airport, ferry terminal and the CBD of Zanzibar. Protea Hotel Mbweni Ruins is a cozy boutique hotel offering serene accommodations amidst a rare blend of history, greenery and ocean with a beautiful beach. Traditional Zanzibar hospitality at its best is offered at an affordable price. It's a hotel that complements your travel style. The site where the hotel is built was once an old Arab house, which was then bought by UMCA missionaries in 1871 to build a school for girls. The hotel makes a perfect base for exploring Stone Town. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Mbweni Ruins
Protea Hotel By Marriott Zanzibar Mbweni Ruins Zanzibar Island/Stone Town

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