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“cute hotel, great location, but be careful which room you get”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Beyt Al Salaam

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Beyt Al Salaam
Ranked #21 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“cute hotel, great location, but be careful which room you get”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2008

We stayed at Beyt al chai for one night at the end of a 2 week safari/beach tour in Tanzania - overall this is a cute little hotel in an excellent location. The rooms are individually furnished in traditional style and, having stayed at 236 harumzi as well, I found this hotel to be similarly decorated, but much nicer overall. A word of caution, though - be careful which room you get - we were booked in a sultan room and were initially given the "Beyt al Ajaib" room. This room was enormous, but had only a double/full-sized bed, and more importantly, it did not have a proper bathroom! The bathtub and toilet were fully exposed to the room with only a small curtain for privacy; this curtain was too small to even cover the space - it was really quite an unpleasant and strange setup. Also, it was not possible to shower standing up in the tub - instead bathing had to be done sitting in the tub holding the shower-head, but still water was splashed everywhere. We ended up switching rooms during the night because of a faulty AC, and discovered that the other sultan room to which we were moved (called "Beyt al Chai") was much, much better - it had a large bedroom with king-sized bed, separate dressing room and a proper private bathroom with a large stone shower. So it seems that there is a huge difference in quality of accommodation at the "sultan" level, which is unfortunate given the rates for these rooms. I can recommend this hotel for the "Beyt al Chai" suite, though advise a bit of caution otherwise.

  • Liked — "Beyt al Chai" room, location is great
  • Disliked — "Beat al Ajaib" room
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank emmyonthemove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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123 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 January 2008

We spent 3 nights at this hotel and really enjoyed our stay. We chose this hotel because it offered the opportunity to stay in a traditional house in the heart of stone town and it didn't disappoint, though it is quite a pricey experience.

The building has been beautifully renovated, on the ground floor there is the reception room and restaurant, then on the first floor are 2 bedrooms and a guest lounge stocked with coffee books and an honesty bar, whilst on the top floor are the remaining four bedrooms. We actually booked the princess room (the cheapest and only small room), but were upgraded to one of the prince rooms on arrival as the hotel wasn't full, much to our advantage. All the rooms are decorated differently, but all offer zanzibar style beds (similar to a four poster but structured to support the mosquito net), and in addition to the usual bedroom furniture, our room also had a sofa. The rooms all have air conditioning and a ceiling fan, though the fan wasn't that effective through the mosquito net and we had to resort to using the a/c every evening. The bathroom in our room was large, though the shower wasn't always hot, and in some rooms the toilet and shower/bath are screened off with a curtain rather than separated by a wall/door from the main part of the room, which may not be to everyone's liking.

The hotel is on the north western edge of Stone Town, close to the sea and in a good area, there are a number of restaurants that you can safely walk to from the hotel and the night market in Forodhani gardens is also within walking distance. The main disadvantage of the location is it's proximity to a mosque, you can't really fail to hear the call to prayer at sunrise, though for me it added atmosphere and it was easy enough to go back to sleep.

Service at Breakfast was a bit hit and miss, breakfast consisted of fruit, bread and cookies and eggs that were cooked to order. The food was fine, but on 2 occasions we waited for more than 10 minutes before anyone came to serve us (and we had made an effort to find someone in that time). Service otherwise was excellent, the rooms were very clean, the staff very friendly and helpful,and every evening when you go out for dinner they come in, turn down the bed, spray mosquito repellent in the room and put the mosquito net surrounding the bed down. We checked out in the middle of a torrential downpour, in an effort to keep us dry on the way to our transfer, the masai guard lent us each an umbrella and then followed us round in the pouring rain to collect them, a nice touch.

  • Liked — The historical building
  • Disliked — Descending the steep stairs with my backpack
  • Stayed November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank womanintokyo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
uk
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 May 2007

I would agree with the other reviews, this is a small hotel, very individual in style. Excellent location near to everything and opposite Serna Inn if you get lost! Rooms are quite big with excellent AC and ceiling fan, windows open onto Kelele Square which is lovely and shaded with large trees.

Bathrooms were clean and large with rainforest shower (at least in room I had) and toiletries. Zanzibari beds and furniture. Lovely to have a little tray with tea and coffee in room. The sitting room was comfortable and peaceful with some lovely books, particularly liked the wonderful "coffee table" cookery books. The honesty bar was a nice touch. I stayed towards the end of the season and I think there were only two guests in hotel, perhaps because of this staff were not on top of making sure there was water and cold drinks in the fridge all the time (it's a small thing but so important in this part of the world). Breakfast area is a funny little "lean to" affair - not unpleasant - just odd - can't really imagine what it would have been like had hotel been full!

As I understand it, the hotel is about to open a restaurant in one of the downstairs rooms so I imagine breakfast will soon be served there. That said I was unfortunate to feel unwell during my stay and I would like to extend my thanks everyone at the hotel who looked after me but ESPECIALLY to Pious who walked with me to find a chemist and then escorted me back to my hotel.

I hope nothing changes too much - especially the staff.

  • Liked — Wonderfully dressed beds
  • Disliked — Breakfast area
  • Stayed March 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank london5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The Hague
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2007

This wonderful boutique hotel is located in the heart of the historical Stonetown.It offers a very personalised touch and service, and just a few exclusive luxurious rooms. We had two fantastic rooms furnished with local antiques, rugs, and lots of other beautiful pieces. We stayed there overnight and wish we would have planned to stay longer to enjoy this little oasis of peace.

  • Liked — The personal touch given to every details
  • Tips/Secrets — This is the best secret in Stonetown - not yet well known and definitely worth knowing!
  • Stayed December 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank ZoeCharlotte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, Scotland
Level Contributor
114 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 254 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2006

Zanzibar was just amazing and Ras Nungwi where we stayed at the North of the island is worth a visit too.

In Stone Town we stayed at a new place called Beyt al Chai. It is really a lovely old B&B. It was a former tea house they told us and looked very colonial in style. It was recommended to us and we liked it very much. It is what Stone Town is all about and is well kept and very well run. Very authentic style and not a big fussy hotel. The staff were super, really friendly and could not have been nicer to us.

The rooms were huge and very much what we had hoped for; four poster Zanzibar beds, cool (with ceiling fans) and well appointed open plan bathroom areas. We also liked the lovely sitting room great for drinks from the little honesty bar or just for relaxing with a book.

The location of Beyt could not be better in Stone Town. Safe and central. Stone Town itself is worth a visit but be prepared it is very poor and not ion a great state of repair. We'd recommend that you do spend a couple of days there though just to get a feel for the real Zanzibar - you will not get that in the beach resorts to be honest.

Overall we had a superb time on Zanzibar.

  • Liked — The huge rooms and friendly service.
  • Disliked — Nothing at all.
  • Stayed October 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank georgewalker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Beyt Al Salaam

Property: Beyt Al Salaam
Address: | Kelele Square, Stone Town, Zanzibar City 3120, Tanzania (Formerly Beyt al Chai)
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Zanzibar City > Stone Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#12 Luxury Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Beyt Al Salaam 4*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
For those who want to experience the charm of a classic Zanzibar setting with a touch of ancient Arabian mystique, the place is Beyt Al Salaam, formerly known as Beyt Al Chai. This is an exquisite 10-room boutique hotel within a traditional Zanzibar house, built on 3 floors in what was once a tea house. Sitting only a few paces from the sea, the house is cool and breezy. On a typical day, guests relax in our beautifully appointed lounge and rooms overlooking a square filled with hibiscus and ancient tamarind trees - simultaneously feeling the pull of the mysterious Indian Ocean that lies just beyond the trees and soaking up the ambiance of this World Heritage Site only steps away from the shops, restaurants and attractions of contemporary Zanzibar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Beyt Al Chai Hotel Stone Town
Beyt Al Salaam Zanzibar Island/Stone Town

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