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Emerson Spice

Reviews of Emerson Spice

Wildlife sightings and reviews

26 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Emerson Spice and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa

Showing 1-10 of 26
Duration
Arrival date
Mr & Mrs G
Colorado

"Emerson Spice review"

2 nights Arrived 11 Oct 2023
"The rooms and hotel design are very cool, and the front desk staff are welcoming and eager to help. However, we didn’t love this place for a few reasons.

The biggest being that there were a bunch of rats running around the rooftop at dinner (which is supposed to be one of the top local restaurants). I understand that rats are normal in a city but these rats were bold and running under the table - one even brushed my husbands leg. It was hard to enjoy the meal when you were on alert for the rats (and the meal took 3+ hours). We also ate at the other restaurant and found the food to be not very good, but we didn’t see rats there.

Also, the water pressure was SO low sometimes the shower was just a trickle. Overall this place seems more about the aesthetics than the quality. For the price, we expected more.

Lastly, on our way there and out, our drivers got lost. We were particularly nervous wandering the streets with all our stuff for the flight home at midnight as everything is closed and it’s very dark. Plus it was very hot so we got all sweaty right before 26 hours of travel. Maybe the hotel should offer the guard to walk guests to their taxi instead? Or provide a map with directions to drivers? This was not necessarily the hotel’s fault but must be a common experience." See all these reviews: 12n in Tanzania; 2n in Zanzibar
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Average

Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Poor
Service:
Excellent
Facilities:
Poor
GERRY COPSEY
Frome

"lovely atmospheric hotel but............"

2 nights Arrived 11 Sep 2023
"The hotel is an amazing building and we had a great room with two terraces and views over the Old Town.

The shower was a bit primitive but it was a welcoming and comfy room.

The rooftop dinner was a huge disappointment. We were given an exotic cocktail menu only and had to ask if beers and wine were available - which they were. We ordered a bottle of wine and the wrong one arrived. The tasting menu just wasn't very good. A chef trying to be too clever and we thought it was mostly pretty poor. The first three courses were served at breakneck speed so we asked if we could have a pause between course - the waitress (who was awful) refused but we insisted and then had a few minutes between course as requested.

Breakfast was disastrous with service even worse than at dinner. Everything had to be asked for at least twice - the worst presentation of a fruit plate we have seen in 35 years of world travel and undrinkable coffee. The whole performance took an hour and ten minutes." See all these reviews: 6n in Kenya; 4n in Zanzibar
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Average

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Average
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Terrible
Mr B
Ireland

"Emerson Spice review"

2 nights Arrived 25 Jan 2023
"Emerson Spice is a stylish hotel full of character, quirky art and antique furniture.

It is located in the heart of StoneTown close to everything and has a great reputation for food.

We enjoyed our stay here with a chance to do some last minute shopping before returning home." See all these reviews: 11n in Tanzania; 7n in Zanzibar
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location:
Good
Service:
Average
Activities:
Average
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Average
Dav & Kay
Manchester

"Emerson Spice review"

2 nights Arrived 29 Jul 2022
"We enjoyed our stay at Emerson Spice, it was very central, but that meant that it was quite busy, and it was strange to go out onto the balcony and have lots of tourists looking up at you and taking photos. Also the mosque across the road meant we had a very early wake up call, but that wasn’t the end of the world for us.

The building was historic and interesting, which made a change. The bed was very, very tall, we had to move a box for me to climb into it and did worry me slightly.

Although the restaurant is highly recommended (and has views across the rooftops) it turned out to be a set seafood menu, and as neither my partner or I like seafood we gave this a miss, but we got to enjoy the rooftop view in the morning for breakfast, where we got all of our five a day in one sitting. Trying to guess the fruit was an interesting game!

We visited the Forodhani Gardens night food market and ate there, which was fascinating.

Overall the hotel was quaint and interesting, and ok for a couple of nights.

In hindsight It was so easy to walk into and around Stonetown that a hotel overlooking the sea would not have been an issue." See all these reviews: 7n in Zanzibar; 5n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location:
Good
Service:
Good
Facilities:
Average
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Average
Ms C.
Seattle

"Emerson Spice review"

3 nights Arrived 22 Feb 2022
"OMG I love love love this hotel.

One of the most charming places I have ever stayed." See all these reviews: 21n in Tanzania; 7n in Zanzibar
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mandolin
Surrey

"What a beautiful building"

3 nights Arrived 23 Nov 2020
"Emerson Spice was a great place to stay for a complete change after our safari. The building has been lovingly restored and is stunning; so evocative of Zanzibar's history. Although Expert Africa had booked us the Violetta room we actually ended up in Belle. I have no idea why but it, too, was gorgeous so we didn't bother to mention it. Our only complaint was the size of the bed; apparently a standard double in Zanzibar but rather small for our western tastes. We asked to move to a room with a bigger bed but it seems there's only one and it wasn't available. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that Emerson Spice offers a complimentary laundry service.
The unoccupied rooms were left open and we couldn't resist having a peek into them to see what they were like. All were unique and beautifully furnished.
The set seafood menu at the rooftop restaurant was fabulous although we thought the drinks quite pricey. We also ate in the secret garden which had a good but limited menu. In fact we could have spent hours in the garden, it was so beautiful and relaxing with all the exotic planting. As is to be expected in a hotel of this standard, the staff were welcoming and professional.
The hotel is a good 5 minute walk from anywhere that a car can park so a taxi can't take you to the door but the staff will meet you and bring you to the hotel. Unfortunately when we were leaving the heavens opened and we got utterly soaked by the time we found our taxi. The water was ankle-deep so if you're staying here in the rainy season bring some waterproof shoes (my Crocs were ideal) or be prepared to take off your shoes and paddle! On the up side, rain in Zanzibar is warm so it wasn't really a problem for us Europeans and it all added to the exotic aura of the place." See all these reviews: 12n in Tanzania; 8n in Zanzibar
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Good
Service:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Giovanni
Biot

"Worth the trip by itself"

3 nights Arrived 22 Oct 2020
"Stone Town was a bit disappointing as most buildings are not maintained and are falling apart. One exception is the Emerson Spice. It has been fully renovated with great taste, preserving the colonial atmosphere. Rooms are spacious and very comfortable, and the staff very friendly. Honestly we were more keen to spend our time at the hotel rather than in the town streets. The restaurant on the roof serves very good (and spicy) food." See all these reviews: 8n in Zanzibar; 6n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location:
Average
Service:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Good
Muz
Colchester

"Great experience"

2 nights Arrived 24 Feb 2020
"what a great taste of Zanzibar city life - dinner in the rooftop restaurant is a must" See all these reviews: 13n in Kenya; 9n in Zanzibar
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Good
Service:
Average
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Good
Damara Dik Diks
UK

"Gorgeous stay in historic hotel"

2 nights Arrived 17 Jul 2019
"We loved this hotel for its architecture, deep sense of history and remarkable food. Our room was stunning, and its décor and furnishings meant that we could feel a strong presence of Zanzibar's past. The balcony which ran the whole length of our room was beautiful, and looking down into the street, we could watch the ebb and flow of Stone Town life. Very attentive staff. Roof top restaurant fabulous. Worth the money for the five course dinner. Also had a dinner in the Garden Restaurant which we loved too, for its crumbling walls and exotic flora. Great cocktails too. Lovely staff. Chefs in particular to be highly praised, which we did whenever we could!

Lovely little details in our room: locally made soaps, locally made towels and a wooden box of useful things one might need!

Appreciated the history of the hotel which was given to us in the folder in our room. We are both very interested in knowing about the history of places and we felt very privileged to be staying at Emerson Spice. Also, so easy to walk out into Stone Town. Had huge respect for Mr Emerson and what he had done to renovate the building and make it into such a special hotel. Particularly, as on our guided Stone Town walk, it became clear to us, how many buildings are in dire need of renovation, and how there is so little money going into restoration. It was sad to see this, and we hope that things will get better as Stone Town is truly unique, and deserves to be preserved for future generations." See all these reviews: 7n in Zanzibar; 5n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Mr & Mrs L
Herts

"See previous stay comments"

1 night Arrived 1 Oct 2018
"No further comment [Ed: See below for their review of their stay earlier in this trip.]" See all these reviews: 5n in Zanzibar; 5n in Kenya; 3n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Showing 1-10 of 26
91%
26 reviews of Emerson Spice by travellers since August 2007
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