Upmarket hotels in Zanzibar Town
(40 rooms) PO Box 540, Zanzibar; Ø 024 2232115; fax 2231931;
Situated in Baghani St, just off Kenyatta Rd in the Shangani area, this fairly new hotel is decorated with lots of antique-style Indian furniture and Persian carpets, but it's still a little dark and uninspiring. Rooms are fine, although some are a bit small, but all have a large en-suite bathroom, and some dbls have a separate lounge. Upstairs is a restaurant and a very pleasant rooftop bar. Free collections from the port or airport are available for guests. US$80/100 sgl/dbl; US$120 with balcony.
Dhow Palace Hotel
(28 rooms) PO Box 3974, Zanzibar; Ø 024 223 3012; f 024 223 3008; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.tembohotel.com.
In the Shangani area, just off Kenyatta Rd, this is an excellent and frequently recommended renovated old house built around a cool central courtyard, complete with tinkling fountain. Rooms all have ensuite bathroom (complete with Persian baths) and lead off long balconies which overlook the courtyard. The hotel is furnished with real antiques and antique-style items (apart from the incongruous TV in the lounge and the table football upstairs, both of which are hardly used). The whole place is spotlessly clean and the atmosphere is very peaceful and tranquil. It lacks only a sea view, although if it had this the rates would be higher, so you get comfort at a very fair price. B/fast and other meals are served in the lovely rooftop restaurant. Guests from the Dhow Palace can use the swimming pool at the Tembo Hotel free of charge – ask for a voucher at reception. US$60/90 sgl/dbl.
(36 rooms) PO Box 3367, Zanzibar; Ø 024 2233062/2233694/0741 340042; 2233695; email@example.com; www.mazsonshotel.com.
This hotel on Kenyatta Rd in the Shangani area has an interesting history: old records show it was built in the mid 19th century by Said bin Dhanin, who is thought to have settled here about the time that Sultan Said moved his court to Zanzibar from Muscat. Ownership changed hands several times, and during the early part of the 20th century the building was a Greek-run hotel before becoming a private dwelling once again. After
the revolution, the house, along with many others, fell into disrepair. Today, it is once more a hotel. Most rooms are self-contained, air conditioned and well-appointed, but all are a little soulless. The hotel has a good restaurant, satellite TV, a business centre
and bureau de change. Although power supplies are pretty good on Zanzibar these days, this hotel has its own large generator in case of cuts – in fact, it's so big it supplies many surrounding buildings as well. 'Moderate' sgl US$50. Standard rooms US$70/90 sgl/dbl.
(36 rooms) PO Box 3974, Zanzibar; 024 223 3005/2069; 024 223 3777; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.tembohotel.com.
This hotel has a great location on Shangani Rd, just west of Forodhani Gardens. Part of the hotel was a grand old house, and there's a more recent extension, so that the hotel now has a new wing and old wing, both overlooking the ocean and decorated in a mixture of traditional and modern styles. A notable feature is the upstairs landing separated from a balcony by a huge stained-glass window which fills the room with coloured light. All rooms are en-suite, with AC, fridge, telephone and TV. Most have a sea view, or overlook the large swimming pool, but some don't – so choose carefully, or specify a view when booking. It's worth noting that alcohol is not served. Non-guests can use the pool for US$3. US$85 sgl, US$95–105 dbl.Deluxe rooms with seafront balconies US$125–150. US$25/US$40 HB/FB suppt.