Asmini Palace is set in the centre of Stone Town on Zanzibar.
Asmini Palace: Our full report
The Asmini Palace opened in October 2007 and is a small hotel in the heart of Stone Town. It is only a short walk from the waterfront, main shops and restaurants and so is a great base from which to explore.
It is a good value hotel that doesn't charge huge prices, and though it is quite simply styled, it is really comfortable and welcoming. The Asmini Palace has a large open-plan ground floor, where you will find the reception, dining area and a lounge. This then opens up into a large indoor courtyard, around which are the bedrooms. This open plan nature of the hotel makes it feel very bright and spacious.
It is furnished with locally made Zanzibari furniture, bright fabrics and has nicely tiled floors. It also has one of the only elevators in Stone Town!
The bedrooms are set across three floors and there are four room types, including standard, deluxe, a presidential and an executive suite. They are all very similar and furnished in the same style, though differ very slightly in size. The standard and deluxe are almost identical, differing only in that the deluxe has a small outdoor terrace.
Each room is simply furnished with locally made furniture, heavy Zanziabri fabrics and Persian rugs. They have a mini-bar, television and complimentary coffee station. There is also air-conditioning which is welcome in the heat of the day! The ensuite bathroom has a toilet and large walk in shower with toiletries provided.
Day trips can be arranged at the 24 hour reception which is manned by a very helpful and friendly team.
Our viewThe Asmini Palace is not hugely stylish and some of the furnishings are quite dated. However when we were last there in August 2009, we found it to be a really lovely place to stay. All of the staff were extremely friendly and helpful and the atmosphere was relaxed and welcoming.
It is certainly one of the best mid-range options in Stone Town, and is one of the best value places we have stayed in. We heartily recommend it to those on a tighter budget.
Ideal length of stay: Two nights to explore Stone Town.
Directions: The Asmini Palace is right in the centre of Stone Town and so a really convenient base. Travellers should note that you can't take a taxi all the way to the door, and so you have to walk about 2 minutes from where you would get dropped off. That said, your driver and the hotel team will of course help you with your luggage.
Owner: [Community Project] [Independent/Owner-run] [Lodge Management Company] [Property Chain]*
Food & drink
Usual board basis: B&B
Food quality: The food at the Asmini Palace is quite simple but tasty.
For breakfast you have a starter of fruit, followed by a cooked breakfast of eggs, bacon and sausage. You also have toast with honey and jam and a selection of homemade pastries. The Asmini Palace provides coffee and the widest selection of teas we have seen in Stone Town. Breakfast is served in the downstairs restaurant.
Lunch and dinner is then served on the rooftop terrace of the Asmini Palace and is a two course set menu. Lunch costs $15 per person and dinner is $20. These need to be arranged in advance.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Drinks are not included at the Asmini Palace. You can expect to pay US$3 for a beer and US$1.5 for a juice
Attitude towards children: Children of all ages are welcome.
Equipment: The Asmini Palace has cots and high chairs available and the housekeeping can assist with babysitting, though parents should note that no one from the team is specifically trained in child care.
Generally recommended for children: This is a friendly and relaxed hotel which families would enjoy.
Notes: Children up to the age of six are free if sharing a room with a full paying adult.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: The Asmini Palace has wireless in the main areas but you need your own laptop and it is free. If you don't have a laptop you can pop to the internet café next door. You can call internationally from your room via reception for a cost.
TV & radio: There are TVs in the bedrooms
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: Asmini Palace has a first aid kit and a hospital nearby. They also have links to flying doctors for serious cases.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: There are askaris (guards) on the front door all the time and there are lockers in reception.
Fire safety: Extinguishers are dotted around the main areas and the askaris are trained to use them.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Laundry at the Asmini Palace is an extra charge – it is a 24-hour wash-and-iron service and you can expect to pay around US$1.5 per item.
Money: There are banks nearby
Accepted payment on location: You can settle your bill in cash using US dollars, British pounds, Euros and Tanzanian shillings. You can also use Visa or Mastercard though this has a 6% surcharge. Amex and travellers' cheques are not accepted.