Zanzibar Coffee House

Zanzibar Coffee House: Our full report

8 bedrooms
Traveller's rating
Good (83%) From 61 reviews
Best for 8+
1st June to 31st April

The small Zanzibar Coffee House Hotel sits above a coffee shop down one of Stone Town's narrow streets. All their coffee comes from the owner's plantation in southern Tanzania. The beans are roasted on site at the hotel, and as a result the entire hotel has a lovely aroma.

Zanzibar Coffee House has few of the usual facilities you might expect from a hotel; there are no phones; there's no television or radio (although there is Wi-fi); and there's no swimming pool. However, all of these are within easy reach if you need them – and we found that the lack of these commercial touches resulted in the hotel having a really calm and relaxed atmosphere.

The Zanzibar Coffee House Hotel has a wonderful little coffee shop on the ground floor as you first enter. The coffee shop attracts a mix of locals, tourists and expats, so the atmosphere is usually friendly and buzzing, if a little hectic at times. Delicious home-made fresh croissants, cakes, muffins, and cookies sit behind glass display cases whilst fresh coffee, smoothies and milkshakes are also on offer.

The café is decorated in a traditional Swahili style, with arched doorways, heavy wooden furniture and polished stone floors. Whilst a little table with hand-painted tiles displays ground coffee for sale. The coffee shop is a lovely quaint place, which is perfect for a drink and a snack. It is only open from 09:00 – 18:00, so there will never be any disturbance caused to the guests.

Behind the coffee shop, set to one side of a small courtyard is the roasting room. This cooled air-conditioned room is where all of the coffee is stored, roasted and then ground – coffee lovers will be in heaven!

From the coffee shop, a set of stairs leads up to the 8 guest rooms, and then up onto the roof-top restaurant. The restaurant is reached through an outdoor terrace and there are large French windows on all sides, which means that you can enjoy the view in all directions. This is a real feature: the views from here are fantastic – you can see for miles across the roofs of Stone Town.

The roof-top restaurant is furnished with very low (almost floor-level) chairs, all covered in comfortable cushions. Between pairs of these are little tables for two which face in to the centre of the room, in traditional Swahili style.

The rooms at the Zanzibar Coffee House are all of a reasonable size, though they do vary depending on the cost, and not all of the rooms have an en-suite bathroom. Though they are all beautifully furnished and spotlessly clean. Ask us – we can advise you on the best rooms.

Our view

This small hotel is not flashy and stylish, but is instead wonderfully low-key and atmospheric: quiet, charming and quaint. It is one of the friendliest places that we have visited in Stone Town and is excellent value. Given the quality of its rooms and service, we regard it as being a great alternative to Stone Town's better-known mid-range hotels.


Location: Stone Town, Zanzibar

Ideal length of stay: Give yourself one or two nights to explore this fascinating town full of culture.

Directions: It takes around 35 minutes to fly to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam, and then it is a further 10 minutes to Stone Town and the Zanzibar Coffee House. Sometimes it is not possible to drive up the narrow the streets, and so you driver may park a short walk away from the hotel and help you carry your luggage to your final destination.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Bed & Breakfast

Food quality: Breakfast is served as a buffet on the roof of the Zanzibar Coffee House Hotel, in a lovely partially open terrace, between 7.30 and 10am. Everyone sits on low cushions facing into the centre of the room, whilst they are served homemade muesli and fruit.

Lunch and an early dinner can be grabbed from the Zanzibar Coffee Shop downstairs (it closes at 6.00pm), which serves simple snacks such as burgers, baked potatoes, samosas and sandwiches. On our last visit here in September 2019 we didn't have time to eat, but on a previous stay we enjoyed a tasty mozzarella and basil sandwich with a fresh homemade lemonade with ginger and mint leaves.

Zanzibar Coffee House, is obviously a clear favourite amongst local Zanzibarians and expats. The place was full of people who had stopped to read the paper and have a coffee, or gossip over lunch. The atmosphere is relaxed and cozy, though at the same time buzzing with chatter.

The food is all homemade and very tasty and although the menu is quite simple, it is excellent value. It is also probably the best place in Stone Town for a first-rate coffee and a piece of home-made cake; we rate the fruit smoothies particularly highly! Even of you are not staying here, it is a delightful place to rest your feet for an hour or so whilst exploring Stone Town.

The roof-top area is for the use of hotel guests only so you can relax up here with a drink and enjoy the views. Guests can also enjoy a light lunch on the rooftop terrace.

The Zanzibar Coffee House does not serve evening meals, however staff can happily direct guests to a local restaurant. There are several fantastic dining options in Stone Town, give us a call to chat to one of our Zanzibar specialists and they can guide you through some options.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £5-10

Drinks included: Drinks are not included

Further dining info: There is no room service at the Zanzibar Coffee House


Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at the Zanzibar Coffee House Hotel

Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions at the Zanzibar Coffee House Hotel

Special activities & services: There are no special activities for children.

Equipment: No

Notes: There are no special services or activities for children, however this is a very relaxed and friendly hotel which will happily welcome children to stay. There are steep stairs, so parents must keep an eye on their children.


Power supply: Mains Electricity

Power supply notes: There is a backup generator.

Communications: There is wireless internet at the Zanzibar Coffee House Hotel and plenty of internet cafés and telephone shops nearby. The staff will happily direct you, or even show you to a nearby place where you can email and make international calls.

TV & radio: There is no TV or Radio at the Zanzibar Coffee House

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

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: Staff are trained and there is a first-aid kit onsite. The Zanzibar Coffee House Hotel in the heart of Stone Town, there are plenty of doctors nearby as well as a private hospital that they can contact for you.

Dangerous animals: Low Risk

Security measures: After 18.00 there is a night-guard on reception.

Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in the corridors


Disabled access: Not Possible

Laundry facilities: Laundry is an extra charge and is organized through local women from outside the hotel. They will charge a small fee and return it to you within 24 hours, depending on the weather.

Money: The Zanzibar Coffee House Hotel cannot offer any currency exchange, though they can direct you to a nearby bureau. There are safes in all rooms for guests to store valuables.

Accepted payment on location: You can pay for any extras at the Zanzibar Coffee House, in US dollars or Tanzanian shillings cash. Zanzibar Coffee House does not accept cards.

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