Emerson & Green Hotel
(16 rooms) PO Box 3417, Zanzibar; 024 223 0171; 0777 423266; 024 223
An offshoot of the defunct emerson's House, Emerson & Green Hotel sprawls across two venerable buildings dating from 1840–70, one of which was originally the home of the prominent Ismaili Indian merchant Tharia Topan (who also built the Old Dispensary). The house has been completely restored and tastefully decorated with antique Zanzibar furniture and carpets, and has a peaceful and slightly bohemian atmosphere.
Each of the 16 rooms is different in character, inc the vast Ball Room and the airy island South Room – reached by a small bridge! Each room, very deliberately, has no phone, no TV and no fridge. Some rooms have AC, others rely on natural cooling – shutters, shades, deep balconies and a sea breeze. B/fast is taken in the hotel's Tower Top Restaurant, the second-highest building in Zanzibar Town, with some of the finest views on the whole island. Dinners are also served here; you don't have to be resident to eat, but reservations are essential. US$165–200 dbl, b&b; tpls for families on request.