Jafferji House

Jafferji House: Our full report

10 suites
Traveller's rating
Good (87%) From 15 reviews
Adult atmosphere, but accepts children.
All year

Opened at the start of 2012, Jafferji House is a new luxury boutique hotel located in the heart of Stone Town. It was formally the childhood home of locally-renowned photographer and tour operator, Javed Jafferji. He decided to open up his house by creating a high-end boutique hotel and adding modern luxuries, without losing the historic Arab charm and style of the house which he has loved for many years.

Jafferji House has been finished with the same pride and attention to detail which Javed puts into his photography – the overall effect is both interesting and artistic. Indeed, his pictures adorn the walls throughout the hotel, and you could easily spend some time just wandering around looking at them!

Entering the decadent reception from the hustle and bustle of the streets of Stone Town, you’ll feel instantly relaxed. The blend of deep reds and yellows, gold furnishings and wooden floors works really well, and the outcome is warm and homely, luxurious without being too over the top. Intriguing ornaments such as a lamp base made from a twisted tree trunk and intricate carvings add further interest.

The restaurant at Jafferji House is on the ground floor, and has a distinct Arab feel to it, with silk fabric covering the ceiling, and beautifully carved chairs. Locally referred to as the ‘Mistress of Spices Lounge’, it is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The hotel’s ten suites are each unique – named after iconic people in Zanzibar’s history, or traits of the island. The bright and bold colours in the Freddie Mercury suite reflect his personality, and ‘Queen’ posters hang on the wall. Conversely, the Princess Salme suite is lavishly decorated, much like the houses she would have lived in as a child, with a large sunken bath, stained-glass windows and a large four-poster bed. The Jafferji Suite, however, is the piece-de-résistance of Jafferji House. The highlights being a large brass stand-alone bath and sweeping views of Stone Town’s rooftops from the windows.

No matter which room you stay in, they’re all very spacious, and extremely well designed to a high standard. The furniture is sourced from around the world, meaning each piece is distinctive, and individual. Each room has a flat-screen satellite TV, air-con and fans, WiFi, telephones and an electronic safe, but it’s the small touches such as candles, coffee-table books, and Zanzibari chests dotted around which really make this place stand out.

At the very top of Jafferji House, the open-sided Cinnamon spa boasts some of the island’s best views of the House of Wonders and to the sea beyond. It has two pedicure chairs, a roll-top bath and a breezy massage room. It was reasonably priced – with an hour-long body scrub around US$75, and a scented bath about US$30.

Our view

Jafferji House is an excellent new addition to Stone Town. With a good location, great design, friendly staff and comprehensive facilities, it may be at the higher end of the price range, but we think that it offers great value for money. For a luxurious option with a real sense of character, then this would be a good choice.


Location: Stone Town, Zanzibar

Ideal length of stay: Many people stop in Stone Town just for one night, but you could easily spend 2–3 nights here exploring the town.

Directions: Stone Town is about a ten-minute drive from Zanzibar Airport, which in turn is about 20 minutes’ flight from Dar es Salaam.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

Owner: Javed Jafferji

Food & drink

Usual board basis: B&B

Food quality: On our last trip in 2014 we sadly didn’t get the chance to sample the food at Jafferji House. The restaurant here serves a range of international and locally influenced dishes from an à la carte menu.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor Dining

Drinks included: Drinks are not included.

Further dining info: Yes. There are phones in the suites, and the staff will happily set up a table so you can dine in your own room in private.

Special interests

Honeymoons: A night or two in one of the very romantic suites at Jafferji House, with a private dinner in your room, and a massage in the rooftop spa, would be a superb way to finish a honeymoon in Zanzibar. Enjoy the historic Arab charm of the boutique house, and expect friendly service!

See more ideas for Honeymoons in Zanzibar

Cultural experiences: Jafferji House is, in itself, somewhat of a cultural experience. Owned by the renowned photographer, publisher and gallery-owner Javed Jafferji, the hotel was his childhood home and is full of traditional character and historic charm.

See more ideas for Cultural experiences in Zanzibar


Attitude towards children: Jafferji House does not actively encourage children, although there are no specific age restrictions.

Property’s age restrictions: There are no specific age restrictions.

Special activities & services: There are no special services.

Equipment: There is no special equipment.


Power supply: Mains Electricity

Communications: There are phones in each room and free WiFi throughout the hotel.

TV & radio: Each room has a DSTV TV.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: Jafferji House has a first aid kit on site.

Dangerous animals: Low Risk

Security measures: Jafferji House has a first-aid kit on site and they can call a nearby doctor in case of serious emergencies.

Fire safety: Jafferji House has fire extinguishers in all of the main areas.


Disabled access: On Request

Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge

Money: There are safes in each of the rooms.

Accepted payment on location: Payment may be made in cash only; Jafferji House can accept Tanzanian shillings, US dollars or euros, but not British pounds. There is an exchange bureau just next to the hotel where guests can change money. They also accept Mastercard and Visa - there is a 5% surcharge for this.

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