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
Jafferji House

Jafferji House: Our full report

Opened in 2012, Jafferji House is a boutique hotel located in the heart of Stone Town.

This building was the childhood home of locally renowned photographer, publisher and tour operator, Javed Jafferji. He wanted to transform his home into a hotel without losing its historic charm and style.

Entering the reception lobby 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.

Jafferji House has been finished with the same pride and attention to detail with which Javed Jafferji applies to his masterful photography and the overall effect is both interesting and artistic. Indeed, his pictures adorn the walls throughout the hotel, and you can happily spend some time just wandering around looking at them. They include many regognisable local scenes and images, as well as journalistic and celebrity portraits.

The two restaurants at Jafferji House are on the ground floor and roof terrace, and Swahili styled, with silk fabric covering the ceiling, and beautifully carved chairs. The ground floor 'Mistress of Spices' restaurant, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the rooftop serves breakfast and is then open from 12 noon to 10pm.

Each of the hotel's ten suites is unique – named after iconic people in Zanzibar's history, or island themes.

There are five Signature or Standard Suites, three Superior Suites and two Superior Deluxe Suites.

On the first floor:
  • Spices House Suite (Signature Suite)
  • Zanzibar Kabisa Suite (Signature Suite)
  • Stanley Suite (Signature Suite)
  • Out of Africa Suite (Superior Suite)
  • Adnan's Suite (Superior Suite)
On the second floor:
  • Livingstone suite (Signature Suite)
  • Princess Salme's Suite (Superior Suite)
  • Mercury Suite (Signature Suite)
  • Kama Sutra Superior Suite (Superior Suite)
  • Jafferji's Sultan suite (Superior Deluxe Suite)
The bright and bold colours in the Freddie Mercury Suite reflect his personality, and Queen posters hang on the wall. The Princess Salme suite is lavishly decorated, much like the houses she would have lived in as a child: light and airy, with steps up to the bathroom and a large sunken bath, stained-glass windows and a large four-poster bed. Out of Africa is safari-themed, with wildlife photos and appropriate print fabrics. The Kama Sutra Suite features a beautifully lit and rather flamboyant décor and erotic wall carvings around the outdoor bath (beware: you're somewhat overlooked). And Jafferji's Sultan Suite is perhaps the piece de résistance of Jafferji House, the highlights being a large, brass, stand-alone bath in the lounge, an outdoor rooftop shower and sweeping views of Stone Town's rooftops from the windows and extensive balcony.

No matter which room you stay in, they're all very spacious, and well designed to a high standard. The furniture is sourced from around the world, meaning each piece is distinctive, and individual. Some rooms are designed as a twin, whilst others have queen sized or double Zanzibari beds; the larger suites can easily accommodate up to three people. Each room has a flat-screen satellite TV, air-conditioning and fans, WiFi and an electronic safe, but it's the small touches such as coffee-table books, and Zanzibari chests dotted around which really make this place stand out.

Directly opposite Jafferji House is the Cinnamon Spa; here they offer a range of treatments which include massages, scrubs and facials. Beauty products are produced using natural and local ingredients to leave you feeling totally relaxed. It has two pedicure chairs, a roll-top bath and a breezy massage room. Treatments are reasonably priced – with a Swedish massage costing around $65, an hour-long body scrub around US$75, and a scented bath about US$30.


Our view

Jafferji House is an excellent recent addition to Stone Town's boutique hotels. With a good location, great design, friendly staff and comprehensive facilities, we think that it offers great value for money. For a relatively luxurious option with a real sense of character, then this is a good choice.

Jessica Plumb

Jessica Plumb

Zanzibar expert

Geographics

Location
Stone Town, Zanzibar
Ideal length of stay
Many people stop in Stone Town just for one night, but you could easily spend 2 to 3 nights here exploring Stone 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

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Bed & Breakfast
Food quality
Over the years we sampled the food at Jafferji House several times, both on the ground floor Mistress of Spices restaurant next to the lobby, and also the rooftop restaurant for dinner. Both restaurants serve an al à carte menu which feature a range of international and locally influenced dishes.

Breakfast consisted of a platter of fresh fruit and pastries, this was followed by a cooked breakfast with eggs cooked to your preference.

The rooftop restaurant offers some of Stone Town’s best views, overlooking the House of Wonders and the sea beyond. For dinner we enjoyed a tasty Swahili style curry that included fresh vegetables and cooked green bananas; this was served with chapatti. The food was well spiced and very tasty. Also on the menu were several western dishes such burgers and fish goujons.

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 this boutique house.
See ideas for Honeymoons
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 ideas for Cultural experiences

Children

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.
Generally recommended for children
Jafferji House has a very calm atmosphere which would be better suited to couples than families. However, two young families were staying when we last visited in 2016, and appeared to getting on fine.

Communications

Power supply notes
There is a backup generator.
Communications
There is free WiFi throughout the hotel and cellphone signal available on the rooftop, or out in the street.
TV & radio
Each room has a DSTV TV.
Water supply
Mains
Water supply notes
Bottled drinking water is supplied to each room.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
Yes
Medical care
Jafferji House has a first aid kit on site and staff stated that some of them are first-aid-trained.
Dangerous animals
Low Risk
Fire safety
Jafferji House has fire extinguishers in all the main areas.

Activities

  • Boat trip

    Boat trip

  • Cultural excursion

    Cultural excursion

  • Snorkelling

    Snorkelling

Extras

Disabled access
On Request
Laundry facilities
Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge of about $2.50 per item.
Money
There are safes in each of the rooms.
Accepted payment on location
Jafferji House accepts both cash and card payments. You can pay with Tanzanian shillings, US dollars, euros or pounds. It is also possible to pay with either Visa or Master Card, although there is a 5% surcharge for card payments.

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.


92% (64 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.


83% (61 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% (48 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)
Emerson Spice

Emerson Spice

Emerson Spice is a beautiful small hotel in the heart of Stone Town with individually designed rooms adorned with gorgeous fabrics.


93% (20 reviews)
Kholle House

Kholle House

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


81% (18 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