Reviews of Jafferji House
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
A Riad in Stonetown
A comfortable stylish oasis in Zanzibar's answer to Marrakesh. Helpful, considerate staff. Lovely rooms and really good food.Read more about the whole trip
Heritage at the expense of comfort ??
Jafferji House is a beautifully restored house in a great location in Stone Town and in many ways is a perfect place to stay. However we left with feeling that "heritage" had for us gone a bit over the top and the result was that it was not a very comfortable place to stay. The Princess Salme suite we had looked beautiful but the very low doorway meant that even somebody less than 5ft 6in risked head damage and the lovely mosquito netting round the bed did not close properly. We had nice looking authentic chairs but they were actually not very comfortable to sit in.
The breakfasts were adequate and the staff friendly we did have some language difficulties.
On reflection, it was our fault that Jafferji House was not quite right for us. We asked Expert Africa for a heritage property and this is what we got. Next time we may think a bit about the comfort angle
Jafferji House review
Did not quite live up to expectations - the room (Adnan Suite) was unusual and looked better in the photograph than in the flesh. It had no windows with a view (the only two were very small and looked out on untidy roofs/condenser units &etc). The room was therefore gloomy and depended on its air conditioning.
Breakfast was good and the one evening meal we had was adequate. The general staff were very willing, but their understanding of English was not good and we had some minor problems in getting what we wanted sent to the room. By contrast, the reception staff were excellent.
The hotel was less than full and the dining room mostly had only one other table occupied while we were there and the atmosphere was flat.
We had the other evening meal out at the Emerson Spice Roof Restaurant which was outstanding.
A short break in the city
We spent two nights here as we wanted to spend some time in Stone Town and doing it on a day trip from a beach lodge doesn't really work. We're glad we did as we enjoyed what the city has to offer, particularly Forodani Gardens in the evening.
The hotel was fine - a little impersonal for our taste and compared to the beach lodges on the island - we think we were the only guests on the nights we stayed so had no chance of interaction with fellow travellers and the staff albeit polite seemed to work to their formula rather than really listen to us - but this may just have been a language problem and didn't spoil our stay in any way.
Our room was lovely, and we were upgraded to one of the suites and the breakfasts were huge.
Perfect spot to explore Stone Town.
We loved it but it might not be to everyone's taste. This is the house of the most famous photographer in East Africa, not a luxurious hotel. His photographs adorn the walls, and his books are to be found in your rooms. The rooms are dark, but distinctive, with individual exotic characteristics.
We were intrigued by the plumbing rather than annoyed. It worked well enough and the stone bath was quite luxurious. A good safe deposit box in our room accommodated all our valuables with ease, along with three camera lenses and a camera. When I asked for someone to take us to a restaurant on the other side of Stone town a guide was provided at no extra cost. The staff could not have been any more welcoming.
We had a very comfortable and pleasant stay here. We ate a good breakfast of fruit, pancakes etc, but chose to eat elsewhere at dinner. Had we stayed longer dinner on the roof was an option we would have tried.
We have very mixed feelings about Jafferji House. We were upgraded to the Karma Sutra Suite – which was beautiful. The suite was spread over two floors and with an outside bathroom! We poked our noses in a couple of other rooms which also looked lovely.
However the service was erratic and left something to be desired. Too often we had to ask for water, tea and coffee and loo roll for the room. Breakfast had the same menu every day; it was serviced at a snail's pace in a dining room that lacked atmosphere. Unfortunately some of the reception staff had poor English (surely a basic requirement) and so sorting out logistics was difficult. On the final day we had an early start and had been promised a take away breakfast – this didn't materialise.
Having said all that we did enjoy ourselves, the staff were very friendly and the hotel is in a great location – it just needs some attention to the detail of the service and it would be great.
Peaceful Oasis middle in Stone Town
We've only stayed in Jafferjii House for one night and were dining outside (hence no comment for food and activities part below). Overall the hotel made a good impression, it is beautifully arranged and rooms were spacious and clean.
Some of the personnel at the front desk had poor English which made the communication a bit troublesome, but it wasn't too disturbing.
Jafferji House review
We enjoyed a couple of nights at Jafferji House and the place is really beautifully done.
The rooms are extensive and immaculately turned out in a lovely blend of colonial and African styles, the staff very helpful and the location terrific for exploring the sites and smells of Stone Town. The food is also excellent.
A big disappointment
A great disappointment!!! We were supposed to have been given the Livingstone Suite, but were given the Spice Room because they said the other room was not ready??? The room had a terrible odor, musty, humid. We could not sleep that night because of the odor, the terrible noise of the street and the hard pillows. I expressed my concerns and did not receive a good explanation other than they knew about the smell!!
Expert Africa comments
Jafferji House were very sorry to hear this feedback. These travellers were given the Spice Room because it is actually a better room than the one that had been booked for them, and so it was meant to be offered as an upgrade. However it had recently been refurbished and the management believe that the plastering had not yet dried out properly, hence the smell. They are very sorry that it affected this travellers stay, when they had only intended to make the stay better. They also say that this issue has now been resolved. They have also addressed the issue with the pillows, by offering some softer ones to travellers when they first arrive at the hotel.
Unfortunately, noise in the street is not an uncommon complaint with many hotels based in the centre of Stone Town. This is a highly populated area with a large number of mosques that sound out the call to prayer at dawn hence nights here can be disruptive sometimes.