Maru Maru Hotel

Maru Maru Hotel: Our full report

51 rooms: 1 Family, 16 King, 24 Queen and 10 Twin.
Traveller's rating
Excellent (100%) From 1 review
Best for older children
All year

After 6 years of renovation and refurbishment, the Maru Maru Hotel opened in January 2012. It is set in the heart of bustling Stone Town, right next to the Old Fort, making it a great base from which to explore the surrounding area.

Maru Maru has two separate but connected wings; the 'classic wing' which was originally a town house with marble floors and it has now been restored; and a new wing, which is larger and gives the hotel a clean and smart feel. The designers set out to build something that has modern comforts whilst incorporating classic Zanzibar style; they have managed to achieve this.

The hotel has 51 rooms spread across three floors; these can be reached either by the lift or a flight of stairs. Maru Maru has 1 family room, 16 King rooms, 24 Queen rooms and 10 Twin rooms (the main difference between these is the bed size not the room size). The rooms are simple, stylish and elegant and include: air-conditioning, fridge, a safe, TV, mosquito nets, furniture and an en-suite bathroom. The rooms in the classic wing are far more traditional in feel and design, these have high ceilings with wooden beams as well as an old hammam bath. Those in the new wing are similarly sized, however have a modern bathroom with a walk in shower. The rooms are bright as they benefit from lots of natural light, which helps to make the place feel spacious.

The best part of the hotel has to be the roof terrace. From here you can enjoy 360-degree views of Stone town; from the Old Fort to the Indian Ocean. If you want a drink whilst the sun goes down the staff at the lounge bar can make a vast selection of cocktails. The terrace restaurant serves food which tends to be a blend of both northern and southern Indian cuisine, the ingredients are sourced locally where possible.

Maru Maru Hotel have recently built a new swimming pool next to the rooftop restaurant. This is a lovely addition to the hotel and to the best of our knowledge is the only rooftop swimming pool in Stone Town. The pool is surrounded by a number of shaded loungers, and as with the rooftop restaurant it affords excellent views over the old town and seafront.

There is a star shaped fountain in the middle of a lovey courtyard where the Fountain restaurant serves a buffet breakfast each morning. This is also a great place to have a coffee or a cool drink in the middle of the day.

On our last visit in 2017 Maru Maru told us that they were in the process of building a small gym and as well as a conference suite; it is hoped that these will be operational by December 2017. Next to the ground floor gym Maru Maru are also planting tropical gardens that will provide a peaceful spot to rest and relax with a good book.

There are a variety of activities possible from Maru Maru such as: tours of stone town, diving, water sports and visiting neighboring islands. Please speak to one of our Tanzania specialists for more information about excursions around Stone Town and Zanzibar, and we can happily book these for you.

Our view

Maru Maru is a bright, new and modern hotel with polite staff and a friendly welcome. The food is good and it is in a great central location; it is also one of the few properties in Stone Town with a swimming pool. The hotel is however quite large, which tends to detract somewhat from its character.


Location: Stone Town, Zanzibar

Ideal length of stay: 2 nights

Directions: By road transfer from Zanzibar Airport.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis: B&B

Food quality: Although booked on B&B, Maru Maru's rooftop restaurant is well worth a try at at least once during your stay. The food takes its influence from India, with a variety of curries, flatbreads and rice dishes on offer at the rooftop restaurant. We did not eat here on our most recent visit here in 2017, however on a previous visit we tucked into a delicious (and spicy) fish curry.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £10-15

Drinks included: Drinks are not included.

Further dining info: Room service is available between 7am and 11pm – drinks are available but you cannot order food.


Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at Maru Maru.

Property’s age restrictions: There are no restrictions on age but there is only one family room.

Special activities & services: A children’s menu is available.

Equipment: The hotel can provide cots and high-chairs.

Notes: As with many old Stone Town hotels Maru Maru has steep stairs. We would recommend that children are supervised whilst using the swimming pool.


Power supply: Mains Electricity

Power supply notes: There is a backup generator.

Communications: There is Wi-Fi and telephones in all the rooms.

TV & radio: There is a TV in all of the rooms.

Water supply: Mains

Water supply notes: Bottled water is provided in the bedrooms.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: There is a small first aid kit at the hotel and several members of the staff are trained.

Dangerous animals: Low Risk

Security measures: There are security guards outside the hotel 24 hours a day.

Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers dotted around the hotel.


Disabled access: On Request

Laundry facilities: Full laundry service, this is at an extra cost of around $4 per item.

Money: There are electric safes in all of the rooms.

Accepted payment on location: All major credit and debit cards are accepted, this includes Visa Cards, Master Cards and American Express; there is a 4% surcharge for card payments. Tanzanian Shillings and US dollars are also accepted.

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