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Maru Maru Hotel

About Maru Maru Hotel

Opened in 2012 following six years of renovation and refurbishment, the Maru Maru Hotel is set in the heart ...

... of Zanzibar’s bustling Stone Town, right next to the Old Fort. It makes a good base from which to explore the surrounding area.

Maru Maru is a smart hotel with polite staff and a friendly welcome. It has a great central location, and is also one of the few properties in Stone Town with a swimming pool – and on the rooftop at that! Maru Maru is one of the more affordable properties in Stone Town, and represents good value for money. The hotel is, however, quite large, which tends to detract somewhat from its character.

Accommodation
51 rooms
Children
Best for 8+
Open
All year

Activities

Boat trip

Boat trip

Cultural excursion

Cultural excursion

Snorkelling

Snorkelling

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Traveller reviews of Maru Maru Hotel

2 real, un-edited reviews from Expert Africa's travellers.


80%
2 reviews since August 2007
Excellent
1
Good
0
Average
1
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Mrs P.fromCumbria

Arrived 28 Nov 2018, 1 nights

"Standard Hotel in Stonetown"

"Although this hotel looked lovely from the outside, and I think some of the …" Read Mrs P.’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Average

HoneymoonersfromLincs

Arrived 11 Jul 2013, 1 nights

"Very comfortable"

"The hotel was very central and comfortable. It has a fantastic roof top bar …" Read Honeymooners’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

See all Maru Maru Hotel reviews

Maru Maru Hotel's location

Look closer at the environment and surroundings of Maru Maru Hotel.


When to go to Stone Town

Our month by month guide: What it's like to visit Maru Maru Hotel in Stone Town


Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Zanzibar in January

As on the Tanzanian mainland, January typically marks the start of the short dry season in Zanzibar. Conditions are likely to be hot and mostly dry, with temperatures exceeding 30ºC, although it is not uncommon to get a tropical shower in the afternoons. January can feel very humid at times, and this is particularly noticeable in Stone Town, although this can be tempered by the cooling sea breeze. New Year is one of the most popular times to visit Zanzibar, with many hotels being fully booked over the festive period. The island generally becomes much quieter after 10th January, and prices drop too.

  • Mostly hot with the occasional shower.
  • High humidity, which can be relieved by the refreshing breeze.
  • Very busy over New Year, with high prices and long minimum stays often
  • Quieter and better value later in the month.
  • Wind from the northeast, and so the southwest coast is more sheltered.

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in January

Zanzibar in February

The weather in February is fairly similar to January, with days typically being hot and sunny although expect the occasional rainy spell. The humidity remains high, however the coastal areas often have a refreshing breeze. Zanzibar is fairly quiet in February, and with comparatively low prices it can be excellent value for money. At this time the wind blows from the northeast, and so the southwest coast is often more sheltered and there can be good diving in the Menai Bay. The northeast winds can also lead to good conditions for kite surfing, with many kite surfers heading to the southeast coast and Michamvi Peninsula. For music lovers, Stone Town hosts an annual African music festival ‘Sauti za Busara’ each February. The dates of the festival change each year, so chat to Expert Africa for details.

  • Variable: mostly hot and humid with some cloud and rainy spells.
  • Fewer tourists and comparatively low prices.
  • Popular time for kite surfing, especially around the southeast coast.
  • North easterly wind, better diving in the south west of the island.
  • ‘Sauti za Busara’ music festival in early February.

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in February

Zanzibar in March

March sees the start of the ‘long rains’ in Zanzibar, although the exact start date varies every year. The weather can be unpredictable, with a combination of hot sunny days, rain showers, and the occasional tropical storm. The arrival of the rains lowers the humidity, and it can also lead to some beautiful sunsets – most obviously on the west coast where you can watch the sunset over the ocean. Prices remain low during March, and the island is likely to be relatively quiet. Diving is generally not recommended during the rainy season, as variable conditions can lead to reduced visibility from rainfall runoff, and choppy water.

  • Hot and humid, leading to heavy rains later in the month.
  • Low prices, and the island is comparatively quiet.
  • Variable weather leads to poor conditions for diving.
  • The start of the rains can lead to beautiful sunsets.

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in March

Zanzibar in April

April is typically the wettest month of the year in Zanzibar, and the long rains are in full force. The average rainfall is more than 250mm during this month, and tropical storms are common. Flooding regularly occurs, which can impact the quality of the roads, and consequently cause difficult, slow journeys across the island. Many of the hotels and beach lodges close at this time, so accommodation options can be limited. Having said this, prices are at their lowest, and if you don’t mind the risk of bad weather you can get some real bargains. Despite the poor conditions, Easter weekend is often popular, and advance booking is recommended. Due to the strong likelihood of rain and poor conditions diving is inadvisable at this time.

  • Heavy rain and tropical storms expected throughout the month.
  • Areas of flooding leading to poor travel conditions.
  • Many hotels close for refurbishment at this time.
  • Low prices and few other tourists.
  • Diving inadvisable due to heavy rain and reduced visibility.

Our view

A time to avoid if possible

Weather in April

Zanzibar in May

The long rains continue into May, and as with April you can expect thunderstorms and heavy showers, although these typically ease up towards the end of the month. Parts of the island can experience flooding, causing damage to roads and impacting travel times. The temperature typically drops a little in May, with a daytime average of around 25ºC. The rains lead to a lower humidity too, and mornings and evenings can feel a bit cooler. Many of the hotels and lodges are still closed, however a handful stay open and prices remain low. While diving is possible, the rain and storms mean that diving conditions are not at their best.

  • Continuation of the long rains, with thunderstorms and lightning.
  • Flooding common, but conditions becoming drier as the month progresses
  • Drop in temperatures, with cooler mornings and evenings.
  • Prices low, and many hotels remain closed.

Our view

A time to avoid if possible

Weather in May

Zanzibar in June

June marks the start of the long dry season in Zanzibar. While the island still gets rainfall, especially early in the month, it’s becomes less likely as the month progresses. Temperatures remain steady, with daytime highs averaging 25ºC, and it likely to be mostly dry. Any rain you do experience is likely to be in shorter bursts rather than heavy storms and hours of continuous rain, although conditions vary from year to year. The wind direction switches to blow from the southeast, and the northeast coast is likely to be more sheltered at this time. Diving conditions can be variable, and while they are generally good there can be some rough days.

  • Variable weather: mostly hot and dry, with some rainy showers.
  • Wind from the southwest, and more sheltered in the north east.
  • Diving conditions variable, dependent on the wind and rain.
  • Lower prices and generally good weather can lead to great value.

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in June

Zanzibar in July

July is a very popular time to go to Zanzibar, and this coincides with the long dry season. July and August are the school holidays throughout much of Europe, and Zanzibar can often be busy with families. Weather conditions are generally hot and dry and pretty ideal for a beach holiday, however there is still a chance of an occasional short shower. Conditions for diving are typically pretty good, however this will be dependent on recent weather conditions. The Zanzibar International Film Festival takes place in July, with lots of people flocking to Stone Town to soak up the atmosphere. The dates for the festival change every year, so chat to Expert Africa for details.

  • Typically hot and dry with clear skies, although showers are possible.
  • Can become very busy, with many families traveling during holidays.
  • Zanzibar International Film Festival takes place in Stone Town.
  • Great beach weather result in high prices.

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in July

Zanzibar in August

August is one of the most popular times of year to visit Zanzibar, and with good reason; this is one of the driest months and it is typically hot with clear skies – ideal for relaxing on the beach. Many families choose to visit during August, and the island can be busy, and this is particularly noticeable in Stone Town and around the more popular snorkelling sites. High demand can mean that many of the more popular hotels and beach lodges can be booked up more than 6 months ahead, so advance booking is crucial. Due to the popularity and great beach weather prices are high.

  • Hot and sunny, generally ideal for relaxing on the beach.
  • Popular time for families and the island can be busy.
  • High demand leads to higher prices, and advance booking is essential.
  • With little rain falling and causing soil run-off, the sea is clear.

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in August

Zanzibar in September

September is an excellent time of year to visit Zanzibar. Weather conditions are typically very good, with clear skies and temperatures ranging from 20¬–30ºC. September is also one of the driest months, averaging 50mm of rain during the month, however rain showers are still possible. Due to the great beach conditions prices remain high, however with fewer families travelling in September the island can be a little quieter at this time. September to December are often some of the calmest months at sea, which can result in superb conditions for diving. The wind typically blows from the southeast, and the northeast coast can often be a little more sheltered. You can find some beautiful snorkelling and diving spots around Mnemba Island.

  • Warm temperatures and clear skies, with the off-chance of rain.
  • Fewer families travelling, and the island can be a little quieter.
  • Great beach weather means that prices remain high.
  • Relatively calm seas result in good conditions for diving.

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in September

Zanzibar in October

October is the tail end of the dry season and you can generally expect hot, dry conditions. The short rains typically start in early November, and so this does mean that there is an increased likelihood of rainy spells as the month progresses. October remains a popular month to travel, particularly so during the European half-term school holidays, and advance booking is advised. With high demand and great weather prices remain high, however there are some long-stay special offers to be found. South-easterly winds mean that the northeast coast can be more sheltered and conditions for diving can be good.

  • End of the dry season, generally good beach weather.
  • Increased chance of rain, particularly near the end of the month.
  • Popular with families during the half-term school holiday.
  • High demand means prices remain high.
  • Northeast coast generally more sheltered.

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in October

Zanzibar in November

The short rains start during November, however their exact start varies year on year. You are likely to experience a mixture of hot, dry days with the occasional tropical shower, however we find that short showers can actually be quite refreshing. With the start of the rains the humidity can shoot up and while the coastal properties tend to receive a pleasant cooling breeze Stone Town and the island interior can feel quite hot and clammy. Prices drop in November and there are some real bargains to be found. This time of year can be great value for money, especially near the start of the month when the weather conditions are very comparable to late October. The demand is generally lower, and the island starts to feel much quieter.

  • Variable weather: mostly hot and dry but with some clouds and rain.
  • Hot temperatures, with humidity on the rise.
  • Less busy than October, and with lower prices it can be great value.

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in November

Zanzibar in December

December falls in to the short rainy season, and the weather can be variable. Days are likely to be hot and humid, with the occasional patch of rain, although showers can be a blessing in disguise as they help to lower the temperature. Early December is fairly quiet and prices are low, however this changes dramatically over Christmas and New Year. The festive season, from around 20th December to 5th January, is arguably the most popular time to visit Zanzibar. Prices are at their highest, and long minimum stays are imposed. Due to the very high demand booking early is essential, especially if you’re a group or a large family. Expert Africa recommends booking six months to a year in advance, or even more if possible.

  • Variable weather, with a mix of hot, sunny days and tropical showers.
  • High humidity, which may be mitigated by the cool ocean breeze.
  • Quiet with lower prices earlier in the month.
  • Busy and exceptionally popular over Christmas and New Year.
  • Advance booking over Christmas and New Year is essential.

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in December

Zanzibar fact file

Useful information and advice to help you prepare for a trip including Maru Maru Hotel


Excursions from Maru Maru Hotel

Optional extra day-trips and excursions possible whilst you're staying at Maru Maru Hotel. Talk to us: these are usually best arranged before you go.


Jambiani Village Tour

Jambiani Village Tour

Half-day - mornings

Tear yourself away from the soft white sands of Zanzibar to get under the skin of the history and culture of Jambiani village. Join a knowledgeable local guide to discover the intricacies of day-to-day life in this traditional coastal village, with much of the profits being ploughed back into the community.

More about Village Tour
Jozani Forest Tour

Jozani Forest Tour

Half-day or combine with other tours

For nature lovers, Jozani Forest is a must. One of the last sanctuaries of the red colobus monkey, it features a diverse range of habitats, from mangrove forests to salt marshes. Keep your eyes peeled for other forest residents, including Sykes’ monkey, bushbabies, duikers and more than 40 species of bird.

More about Jozani Forest
65% (4 reviews)
Princess Salme Spice Tour

Princess Salme Spice Tour

Half-day

Discover the captivating story of the smart and rebellious Princess Sayyida Salme, the youngest daughter of Sultan Said. Join a knowledgeable local guide to follow in her footsteps through palaces and plantations, as well as the fascinating Zanzibar spice trade on a working plantation.

More about Princess Spice Tour
93% (3 reviews)
Prison Island Tour

Prison Island Tour

Half-day

Escape the hustle and bustle of Stone Town on a 30-minute boat ride to Changuu Island, now commonly known as Prison Island. This is your chance to find out about the darker side of Zanzibar history, as well as to get up close with the island’s Aldabra giant tortoises, and to engage in a spot of coastal snorkelling.

More about Prison Island
Stone Town Discovery Tour

Stone Town Discovery Tour

Half-day

Spend a morning wandering through Stone Town’s maze of alleyways with an erudite Zanzibari resident, meeting the locals, marvelling at its fusion of architecture and cultures, learning about the food, music, beliefs and everyday life, for an utterly fascinating experience.

More about Stone Town Tour
91% (15 reviews)
Swahili Cooking Workshop

Swahili Cooking Workshop

Half-day or combine with other tours

Zanzibar’s cuisine and culinary influences are as exotic as the island itself. This genuinely authentic culinary workshop will take you to the heart of the spice farm region, teach you how to select and blend an array of spices, create souvenir blends, and guide you through cooking a traditional Swahili meal.

More about Swahili Cookery
80% (1 reviews)
Zanzibar Dhow Safari

Zanzibar Dhow Safari

Full day - approx. eight hours

Discover the coast and islands of the Menai Bay from a traditional Zanzibari dhow. Explore this beautiful marine conservation area with a local guide, snorkelling over coral reefs, swimming through mangrove lagoons and keeping an eye out for dolphins. To top it all, you’ll also be treated to a fabulous beach barbecue.

More about Zanzibar Dhow Safari

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)
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)
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)
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

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