This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines open now

User menu
Emerson Spice

Reviews of Emerson Spice

Wildlife sightings and reviews

23 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 23
Duration
Arrival date
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: 11n 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

Mr & Mrs L
Herts

"Two 1 night stays"

1 night Arrived 27 Sep 2018
"The Emerson Spice is a very good renovation of an old Stone Town merchants house. The rooms are brilliantly well decorated in the old style but have all the facilities. The staff are very helpful.

Located in the old town and arriving late at night we were a bit culture shocked (having just come off a safari camp) by the walk from the nearest parking area to the hotel through the unlit small alleyways ('roads') to get to the hotel But all looked good the next morning. On our 2nd 1 night visit, we were able to absorb the atmosphere of Stone Town and enjoy the experience of Zanzibar and this hotel.

By the way, there are quite a few stairs in this hotel and no lift. If you have a medical condition, order breakfast in your room as it is served on the roof.

We also had dinner here - relatively expensive tasting menu - although OK it is far from the best tasting menu we have had. However, with my wife's tum having a tendency to get upset very easily, we were pleased we did not have to go out and search the local restaurants." See all these reviews: 5n in Zanzibar; 5n in Kenya; 3n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Average
Facilities:
Good
Mrs C.
Horsham

"a characterful but noisy hotel"

1 night Arrived 21 Sep 2018
"The room was spacious and beautiful. The facilities in the room were good. It faced onto the street and was very noisy. We had dinner on the roof which was excellent. Breakfast on the balcony which was a little sparse." See all these reviews: 5n in Tanzania; 5n in Zanzibar
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Good
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Good
R & J
Richmond Hill

"Emerson Spice review"

1 night Arrived 18 Sep 2018
"A very interesting and unique hotel. The rooms are decorated in local colours and are quite comfortable. Difficult to get to since no vehicles are allowed in Stonetown but this is part of the charm." See all these reviews: 7n in Tanzania; 4n in Zanzibar
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location:
Good
Service:
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Good
Showing 1-10 of 23
94%
23 reviews of Emerson Spice by travellers since August 2007
Overall rating by our travellers
16
7
0
0
0
Filter by month

Holiday styles & special interests in Zanzibar

From birdwatching breaks to walking holidays, find great ideas for your trip in Zanzibar.


Beach holidays

Beach holidays

Discover Africa's coast and tropical islands.

Cultural experiences

Cultural experiences

Get an insight into Africa's cultures and history.

Diving & snorkelling

Diving & snorkelling

Find captivating marine life beneath the waves

Family holidays

Family holidays

Hand-picked camps for an incredible family safari.

Honeymoons

Honeymoons

Romantic safaris and castaway island retreats.

Luxury

Luxury

First-class service, scenic vistas and unparalleled comfort await you during these carefully selected luxury holidays. 

Private villas & houses

Private villas & houses

Enjoy Africa with just your friends & family

Wellbeing

Wellbeing

Wellness escapes in stunning locations

Other lodges in Stone Town

Alternative places to stay in this same area.


Serena Inn

Serena Inn

Now trumped by the nearby Park Hyatt, the Serena Inn, in its historic building, was formerly Stone Town's only international-style hotel.


91% (63 reviews)
Zanzibar Coffee House

Zanzibar Coffee House

The Zanzibar Coffee House is a small quiet hotel tucked away in the back streets of Stone Town, with lovely, simple rooms.


84% (62 reviews)
Zanzibar Palace Hotel

Zanzibar Palace Hotel

The Zanzibar Palace Hotel is a highly regarded boutique hotel with very personal service and just nine rooms, all of them Zanzibari in style.


90% (46 reviews)
Beyt al Salaam

Beyt al Salaam

The Beyt al Salaam is a pleasant, boutique hotel with only six rooms and atmospheric and stylish Zanzibari décor.


82% (44 reviews)
Dhow Palace Hotel

Dhow Palace Hotel

The Dhow Palace is a very good-value, mid-range hotel, full of Swahili character, and the pool makes it appealing to families.


79% (39 reviews)
Kholle House

Kholle House

Kholle House offers an atmospheric Stone Town stay in a historic building, and is very good value for money.


82% (19 reviews)
Jafferji House

Jafferji House

Jafferji House is a converted old house that blends modern facilities with traditional style. The ten, unique rooms are show great attention to detail.


81% (19 reviews)
Swahili House

Swahili House

Swahili House is a traditionally styled boutique hotel furnished to a high standard with a convenient location in the centre of Stone Town.


82% (10 reviews)
Tembo Hotel

Tembo Hotel

The Tembo Hotel is a good-value, family-friendly hotel right on the seafront in Stone Town, with 36 rooms and a good-sized swimming pool.


63% (8 reviews)
Emerson on Hurumzi

Emerson on Hurumzi

Emerson on Hurumzi was Stone Town's first boutique hotel, featuring antique furniture, unique, stylish rooms and a superb rooftop restaurant.


80% (5 reviews)
Mbweni Ruins Hotel

Mbweni Ruins Hotel

Mbweni Ruins Hotel is very convenient if you want to stay on the beach, but very close to Stone Town, or visit Chumbe Island.


92% (5 reviews)
Maru Maru Hotel

Maru Maru Hotel

In the heart of Stone Town, Maru Maru combines contemporary style and creature comforts with a Zanzibari twist.


80% (2 reviews)
Park Hyatt

Park Hyatt

The Park Hyatt Zanzibar is a high-quality example of this group, with excellent facilities and service.


100% (2 reviews)
Kisiwa House

Kisiwa House

Kisiwa's central location in the heart of Stone Town's Shangani area makes it a great base to explore this fascinating town.


No reviews yet
The Seyyida Hotel

Seyyida Hotel

The Seyyida is a characterful old hotel near the seafront in Stone Town, with the rare bonus of a swimming pool.


No reviews yet

Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link


New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Order a brochure
  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team

Africa