Zanzibar Palace Hotel is in a typical Stone Town street; distinguished by a sign and smart paint.
Zanzibar Palace Hotel: Our full report
Opened in July 2006, the Zanzibar Palace has quickly gained a reputation as one of the best boutique hotels in Stone Town. The hotel has been renovated with a lot of care and thought, and the owners, Frans and Cootje, pride themselves on great service and personal attention to guests. The result is a lovely friendly boutique hotel, which is highly original and has bags of character.
The entire hotel has a strong Zanzibarian flavour and handcrafted furniture is used throughout. All of the furniture has been sourced locally, and years were spent finding the perfect pieces for each little nook and cranny. The furniture is of a very high quality, and each piece is unique - giving the Zanzibar Palace Hotel a wonderfully traditional feel.
Each of the bedrooms is Zanzibari in style, though all have their own unique interior décor. There are nine rooms altogether, two of which are relatively small Luxury Rooms, five are the larger and more opulent Suites.
There are two amazing suites at the Zanzibar Palace Hotel – the Palace Suite Sherali and Palace Suite Dunia ; both are on the top floor of the hotel, with fantastic views – and both are amongst the best and most original rooms in Stone Town!
The style continues in the communal areas. You enter the hotel through grand Zanzibari doors, where the small reception (with beautiful carved desk), lounge and dining area are all in one open-plan room. A second lounge area, set up on a step, is an inviting place to play a board game or two, while adjacent is a long, thin dining area.
Our viewThe Zanzibar Palace Hotel tries hard to make a good impression – the rooms are beautiful and the service is excellent. One thing that sticks in our minds is the quality of the furniture in the rooms; it definitely made a good impression on us!
However the hotel has already become a very popular choice. With only nine rooms, it might be difficult to get space here during the peak months of July and August unless you book quite far in advance.
Ideal length of stay: One or two nights to explore this fascinating town full of culture.
Directions: It takes around 35 minutes to fly to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam, and then it is a further 10 minutes to Stone Town and the Zanzibar Palace Hotel.
Owner: Owner: Frans and Cootje Manager: Jan Chef: Adam and Jan.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: B&B
Food quality: The food at the Zanzibar Palace is of high quality. The breakfast reflects the owner's Dutch background, with plenty of cheeses, meats, breads and cakes. This is certainly different from the more cursory fruit and bacon & eggs which most other hotels provide. It's a very welcome change.
On our last visit, we couldn't stay for lunch but the dinner was an enjoyable and tasty meal, combining local herbs, spices and produce.
For starters, there was a choice of shrimp platter or leek and potato soup with warm spices. The main course was pork chops with a selection of side vegetables, or fragrant grilled sea bream fillet. The dessert was pancakes filled with ice-cream covered with chocolate sauce.
For a 5-course dinner, the cost is $35 or for 3-courses the cost is $25.
As the kitchen normally caters for low numbers, the hotel requests that you indicate you will be taking dinner by 4pm on the day. There will always be a choice of meat or fish for the main course, and a vegetarian option if requested.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor Dining
Drinks included: Drinks are not included.
Honeymoons: This is a fantastic hotel for the last few nights of your honeymoon. It is luxurious, small and personal, and the suites are absolutely spectacular.See more ideas for Honeymoons in Zanzibar
Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at the Zanzibar Palace Hotel.
Equipment: There is one cot available on request. There is also a games corner in reception, where children will find a few board games to play with.
Generally recommended for children: Yes
Notes: Though this hotel is not specially geared towards children, they are welcome at the Zanzibar Palace Hotel and the Shaba Suite can easily be made into a triple or a quadruple.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: There is free access to WiFi in the main downstairs area, and people are welcome to use the hotels' own laptop in the lounge.
TV & radio: There is a TV with cable satellite in all of the rooms, as well as a large flat-screen television in a lounge area on the second floor.
Health & safety
Malarial area: Yes
Medical care: There is a private clinic next door to the Zanzibar Palace Hotel, where guests can see a doctor.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: There are security guards at the Zanzibar Palace Hotel and a night receptionist and external night guard.
Fire safety: There are fire-extinguishers on every floor.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: The laundry is an extra charge, though when we were last there it was only between $0.50 –2 per item.
Money: The Zanzibar Palace Hotel are not able to offer any currency exchange, though there are lots of nearby bureaus and the staff will be happy to show you where.