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“Nice place, seems to be going downhill”
Review of Shangani Hotel

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Shangani Hotel
Ranked #22 of 30 Stone Town B&B and Inns
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Nice place, seems to be going downhill”
Reviewed 28 June 2011

The Shangani Hotel has the unmistakable air of a hotel that's sinking into disrepair. It clearly used to be a pretty nice place, and it's still OK, but the place needs some work and attention.

As soon as I checked in, I tried to take a shower, and the faucet handle came off in my hand -- it was so corroded and rusty that the metal had become brittle. The front desk sent someone up to take a look at it, and they determined it couldn't quickly be fixed, so they offered to move me to another room. That was fine, but they didn't even offer to have anybody help me move my stuff to the new room. No big deal, but I thought that was a little lazy.

My second room was all right; nothing was broken (except for the mini-fridge, but I never once encountered a working mini-fridge in any African hotel room, over the course of a thirteen-month trip through Africa). The bed was comfortable, and the nice satellite TV was a big plus. Someone came around every evening to spray the window frames with mosquito repellent; this technique seems to work, as I never saw a mosquito in my room over the course of a four-night stay.

Aside from the fact that they didn't offer to help me move rooms, the service was fine, and everyone was polite and helpful.

I would stay at Shangani again, unless I had the money to stay someplace really nice. Shangani was much nicer and more comfortable than the budget-level backpacker places, without being super-expensive, and that's what I was looking for.

It would be a good thing, though, if the owner would put some work into the place -- I got the distinct impression that maintenance isn't a big priority there, and the building and its fixtures could use some attention.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dumpendebat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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49 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 (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2011

This place was fine-not great, but fine. We stayed for two nights and have been to Stone Town multiple times. I was bummed by the lack of character and simplicity of the rooms. Our bed was so squeaky my daughter was woken up if we breathed. The location is good-just mind the cars when you step out, but I'd rather be in the town's warren of roads and pay 10$ more for some old stone town appeal.

Water was mildly salty, but that did not bother me-good pressure, hot water...a/c with no knobs. Luckily we travel with mini tool kit so could adjust it to be cool. Breakfast was lack luster for sure and I have certainly had better views elsewhere. Will not stay here again as I can get more for that rate elsewhere.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Worldtravelor2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 July 2010

the price fit the hotel and the location was very good no doubt but I was so disappointed to find out that water in the bathroom was salty, I felt like I was bathing in sea water! I used the the bottled water in the fridge to wash my face and brush my teeth but of course it wasn't enough for all the 3 in the room and little did I know that we were being charged for the bottled water. Once we got there we were not happy with the water so we just left our bags in the room and went down to the reception to ask if we could check out and they wanted us to pay for the full day, we were in the hotel for 20 minutes only, we ended up staying. I recommend seeing the rooms first and tasting the water before deciding you are going to stay there. The only time we were in the was at night and it rained that night and the power was out. our AC was out till morning when power was back. We did not sleep at all because of the rain and wind which caused shattering/slamming of the roof! At 5 am we could hear prayers from the mosque. Our stay was horrible. I don't know what to say more. We rather spend more money and be comfortable than suffer!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank astute88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Stone Town hotels

Maun, Botswana
Level Contributor
70 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2009

I stayed with my friend for a few nights there for about $55 per night B&B. The rooms are ok, basic but clean, have mossie nets, tv and fridge. We stayed in 309, very nice with a large balcony. Later we stayed also in 309, not so nice as you have the mosque speaker facing the room. The breakfast on the rooftop is very basic, but the coffee was outstanding. Staff is friendly and helpful. The hotel has a great location to reach other sites in a few minutes by foot. I would stay there again.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ProHospitalityCons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester
Level Contributor
24 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2008

The first problem occured when we arrived, they did not have our booking. Once we nipped to the internet place next door & printed out the confirmation they were OK.
The rooms were nice, clean, good size en suite, mosquito net, fridge & TV. Unfortuantely the electricity failed a few times. The second time it happened was our last night. when we asked for a discount they were very rude and refused as we had not told them during the night (like I was going to get up at 3am and change rooms only to leave at 7am), they then insisted I paid for the bottle of water which we had to open because of it........no discounts to be had at this place!
Breakfast was OK, egg & fruit, lovely roof terrace. The staff overall were friendly. We had our bags lost on the plane and they were extremely helpful at passing on messages etc.
The location is what really makes this place, couldn't have asked for better.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — inconsistant staff service
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank bagh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dorset UK
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2007

A really comfortable hotel with friendly and helpful staff. It's not the height of luxury but exactly right as a base for exploring Stone Town.
It's great to have air conditioning and the view from the rooftop restaurant was beautiful.
The hotel is a few minutes walk from the nearest beach, where you can hire a boat to Prison Island, and close to the evening fish market.

  • Liked — Air conditioning in my room
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank muffingoternie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
28 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2006

This hotel is not on the beach, so if you are looking for something like that, this is not the place to stay. However, it is a short ride away to numerous beaches and will save you hundreds of $$. Also, it's located in Stonetown, a very cute town with narrow streets and white older buildings with red roofs. There are tons of shops within walking distance, and this was actually my favorite place to shop in Tanzania, mainly because it was so scenic and had so much variety to offer.

The hotel itself was above my expectations. The outside looks like a quaint older, but architecturally rich, hotel. The lobby is nice, and there are no elevators, but since there are only 3 floors to stay on, an elevator isn't really needed. The rooms were very clean, and actually came with a king sized bed and a twin bed. The bathrooms were clean and small. The cable plays a few English channels, and for the hot season, the A/C works great.

We stayed with another couple, and one of our rooms wasn't ready upon check-in. This wasn't too much of a problem with us, but it may be if you're a stickler for that. Also, the rooftop restaurant has a magnificent view of the city, the rooftops, the ocean, and fishermens' boats. It's extremely picturesque. We only had the breakfast, which was included in our rate, and my husband and I thought it was tasty enough. Eggs to order, toast, fruit, juice, and coffee/tea. It was a good hotel experience.

P.S. Shangani is a short walk away to the nighttime dinner fish market. Tons of fishermen selling surprisingly delicious fish and meat on tables, and you pick out what you want and they cook it right there for you. It's also the cheapest seafood you'll probably ever eat, and definitely worth checking out one night.

  • Liked — The price, the view, the location to shopping
  • Stayed August 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
5 Thank emilyrenae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shangani Hotel

Property: Shangani Hotel
Address: Kenyatta Road | Opposite the historic Old Post Office Building, Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Zanzibar City > Stone Town
Amenities:
Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 30 B&Bs / Inns in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Shangani Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 4
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Shangani Hotel Zanzibar Island/Stone Town

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