Reviews of Swahili House
Wildlife sightings and reviews
11 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Swahili House and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Swahili House review"
Easy to get lost without a town map which was not available from reception - we picked one up from another hotel!
The spice farm visit and Stonetown guided walk arranged by the hotel were great.
The bar/restaurant at rooftop level was spectacular but slightly let down by only average food quality." See all these reviews: 6n in Zanzibar; 4n in Tanzania
"Swahili House review"
However, our spposedly superior room didn't have any furniture apart from a bed and bedside tables. It would have been useful to have had a wardrobe in the room or a chest of drawers for clothes and a couple of chairs.
The electricity shortcircuited twice and the first time it took them a whole day to sort it out, despite various reminders and assurances that it was going to / had been done. We saw a rat in the restaurant and although the hotel was supposed to have credit card facilities we were sent out to get cash.
Overall, the service was disappointing." See all these reviews: 7n in Tanzania; 5n in Zanzibar
"Swahili House review"
In a coffee producing country, nescafe was served at breakfast.
If I had been made aware I would have booked Emerson Spice, a lovely new hotel." See all these reviews: 7n in Zanzibar; 6n in Rwanda; 5n in Tanzania
"Swahili house provides excellent views"
The food was good as was the service.
Our room was small compared to ones we had been staying in, but it was adequately equipped with mosquito net and a fan inside the netting should the night be too oppressive.
Fisherman's tours arranged a good prompt pick-up in the morning" See all these reviews: 7n in Tanzania; 7n in Zanzibar
"The ratings choice on [our feedback] form did create difficulty in that there was nothing between Good and Excellent."
"Not there yet"
Now the bad points. Our room was called a suite, but it was an ordinary double room. We had asked for twin beds but were given a king sized bed with a put-up bed next to it. The main bed was uncomfortable with big dips in the mattress. The mosquito nets had huge holes in them. The bathroom was a section of the room with only a half wall screening it off - so no privacy, and actually quite unpleasant.
We had no hot water for the whole of our stay and there was something wrong with the water in our room for most of it, so no cold water for long periods also. This was all such a shame, as we really wanted to like Swahili House." See all these reviews: 4n in Tanzania; 2n in Zanzibar
"Beautiful building in real Zanzibar"
"Swahili House review"
We only stayed there one night but the staff were very friendly and helpful and we had dinner on the roof top terrace which which gave a fantastic view over the town.
There are many 5 star establishments around but it was enjoyable and more cost effective to stay in a slightly more simplistic/boutique place than the much more expensive colonial style hotels." See all these reviews: 8n in Zanzibar; 4n in Tanzania
"Exploring Stone Town from Swahili House"
For us long evenings spent on the roof terrace watching and listening to all the activity of the Town around us was amazing (accompanied with tasty cocktails and delicious food).
Great location to explore Stone Town from." See all these reviews: 9n in Tanzania; 2n in Zanzibar
"Elegant Special Swahili House"
Staff. Receptionist was excellent and arranged for our very early start efficiently ordering friut and cakes for breakfast.
Manager was from Fumba standing in for a week had nothing to tell us about the hotel and sent us off in completely the wrong directionfor our wander thr' Stonetown. pity. The assistant manager at dinner appeared to be on his phone all night by the bar. The dinner staff were so laidback you feared they would forget what was happening. However the setting up on the roof was stunning, the drinks delicious and dinner superb. We were very happy with our choice just very aware how spoilt we had been on safari and I suppose it began to ease us back into real world. We were so relaxed by then that we found it all quite funny, maybe if we had been there longer they would have lightened up and been more friendly.Wake up was on time and very helpful and friendly." See all these reviews: 7n in Tanzania; 1n in Zanzibar
"Swahili House - good for a one night stay"
We ate at the hotel and our pre-dinner drinks service was very poor. The hotel blenders had broken and the cocktails took about 25 mins to arrive, one of these was undrinkable. The quality of the food was excellent although there were a number of items on the menu which were not available (they also had an odd mixture of old and new menus, which was confusing. We discovered that dinner was pretty expensive when we settled the bill and the promised alarm call and breakfast didn't materialise at 5:15. Luckily the call to prayer at 5am woke us. The lack of staff meant that I had to carry all the bags down two steep flights of stairs to the front of the hotel. However we made our flight in time thanks to the excellent transfer service that Expert Africa had arranged." See all these reviews: 7n in Tanzania; 7n in Zanzibar
Holiday styles & special interests in Zanzibar
From birdwatching breaks to walking holidays, find great ideas for your trip in Zanzibar.
Other lodges in Stone Town
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
Now trumped by the nearby Park Hyatt, the Serena Inn, in its historic building, was formerly Stone Town's only international-style hotel.
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.
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.
Beyt al Salaam
The Beyt al Salaam is a pleasant, boutique hotel with only six rooms and atmospheric and stylish Zanzibari décor.
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.
Emerson Spice is a beautiful small hotel in the heart of Stone Town with individually designed rooms adorned with gorgeous fabrics.
Kholle House offers an atmospheric Stone Town stay in a historic building, and is very good value for money.
Jafferji House is a converted old house that blends modern facilities with traditional style. The ten, unique rooms are show great attention to detail.
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.
Emerson on Hurumzi
Emerson on Hurumzi was Stone Town's first boutique hotel, featuring antique furniture, unique, stylish rooms and a superb rooftop restaurant.
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.
The Park Hyatt Zanzibar is a high-quality example of this group, with excellent facilities and service.
Maru Maru Hotel
In the heart of Stone Town, Maru Maru combines contemporary style and creature comforts with a Zanzibari twist.
The Seyyida is a characterful old hotel near the seafront in Stone Town, with the rare bonus of a swimming pool.
Kisiwa's central location in the heart of Stone Town's Shangani area makes it a great base to explore this fascinating town.