Zanzibar Palace Hotel
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Travel Blogs from Stone Town
Flight left a little late and we hit the Tarmac around quarter to nine, incredibly humid and very, very warm. Paperwork is a bit of a nightmare, followed by one hundred US (which we were expecting) for the visas. I grab the bags and Deb grabs a few hundred thousand Tanzanian Shillings. This time we get two guides for the fifteen minute ride to our …
... Our guide tells as as many as three million east and central African slaves were traded via Zanzibar by Arabs until the abolition of slavery. Interestingly the Arab influence and religion persisted even after the people were free of slavery. One only has to look at the hundreds of men and women in traditional dress, listen to the call to prayer coming from mosques every kilometre, or read the numerous Arabic signs to grasp just how strongly Arabic ...
... for lunch, still run by Freddie Mercurys family, (he was born in Zanzibar), which is on the beach and overlooks the Indian Ocean. Had a really good fish masala.
We meet up at Africa House for sundowners and to get the best possible view of the sunset. Everyone else goes to Mercurys, but I am a bit grouped out and opt to go out to eat on my own and found a really upmarket Indian, which cost about £12.
Friday 26 October
... very relaxing. There I have done some snorkeling as well as diving. I saw many tropical fish. Now onto a different story, as you know I am travelling on my own. Guess what, I was never on my own, I met so many interesting people along the way, AMAZING. Everyday you meet someone new. God if I had the time and the money I would carry on to do a world trip. This world is amazing and there are so many ...
... free to explore - an urge that was quickly crushed by the extreme heat and humidity of...winter?! (In my world, if you can eat outside, it's not winter. Most certainly it's not winter if you need air conditioning...)
After settling down in our hotel, we went to explore the crumbling narrow streets and alleys of this incredibly atmospheric town - being followed all the while by an entourage of vendors hawking everything from CDs to scarves to coconuts. Because we are in ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Zanzibar Palace Hotel Stone Town
Small, personal hotel
Sebastion, of Sebastian and Marion the owners, met us at the airport and from that moment on we felt like friends of the family being welcomed to their very special home. The Zanzibar Palace Hotel offers a personalised service in beautifully restored and furnished surroundings.
We stayed for three nights in one of their top floor suites with an alfresco bathroom overlooking the roof tops and harbour of Stone Town and returned a few nights later staying in a first floor room with balcony overlooking the street.
A charming town hotel with a restaurant for residents that must be experienced.
Sebastion helped plan and then booked our onward schedule, pointed us in the direction of evrything we should see, where to eat and shop and made our stay in Stone Town and on Zanzibar very special. Highly recommended.
This is an amazing hotel with superb service. The staff is is friendly and helpful and the location is perfect - I could not ask for more!
Home Sweet Home!
I chose this hotel and contacted Sebastiaan directly because I read wonderful reviews from previous guests. It's always important for me to stay in a charming place during my travel and hopefully with charming experience throughout as well. And Zanzibar Palace Hotel delivered exactly just that.
Marion and Sebastiaan are the best hoteliers you could ask for. They know your schedule by heart, they personalized recommendations for your stay in Zanzibar, and they provided extended services to the most little things to make sure you have everything you need.
Once you walk into the hotel, you'll see all the small details that make the difference. On our last day Sebastiaan just finished mounting a framed glasses cabinet to store some reading glasses for those who might have forgotten their pair on the plane. All furniture pieces and beddings are handpicked and most woodwork are made to order.
I stayed in Sherali Suite with a couple friends. The layout is romantic with arabic motives carved windows. The window panels are screened for flies but otherwise open for breeze and street noise. I must admit with it comes some dust and at odd times excessive noise, but at the end I'm glad to have all those as part of my Zanzibar experience. The view from this top floor suite is amazing - you'll see rooftops of Stone Town and the waterfront view from the window.
Breakfast is great and my favorites are the herbal sausage, perfect sunny side-ups and crepes with nutella and banana (and yes, Marion and Sebastiaan did provide nutella :P). You'll also get to taste the best passionfruit juice complete with pulps. I forgot to ask them but I suspect this juice is homemade since the flavor and the texture are so distinctly extravagant.
For our last supper (well, dinner really....) in Zanzibar we decided to stay in for the sake of avoiding more dust inhalation of Zanzibar streets. Marion asked us in the morning what we wanted for dinner and we told her seafood and some rice would be nice. Well, comes dinnertime it turned out we were about to enjoy a grilled seafood fiesta platter enough to feed at least six hungry travelers that includes three giant lobster tails. The three of us managed to finish 3/4th of the plate since the food was amazing and we couldn't stop ourselves. Besides seafood, we had an amazing cardamom spiced rice, vegetable red curry, refreshing salad, pommes frites (we think it's the Belgian crunch!) and great coffee cake. It's just another gesture to show you how many extra miles Marion and Sebastiaan would go to make sure your stay there is memorable.
If I ever make it back to Zanzibar, I would definitely stay here again. There are other hotels in Stone Town but from what I can see when I walked around to check out their architecture, you won't get that extra charm in other places. It feels like I just left a place of a couple old friends...... plus you get to play with Joltsi, Marion's blue skin Chihuahua who likes to show off his hotdog squeaky toy!!
My husband and I stayed at the hotel for three nights over Christmas as a break from our safari. We loved our room, the service, free breakfast and our hosts - Marion, Sebastian and their Chihuahua.
Our room, Farizah, was done in beautiful blue, with a Sultan's bath (a jacuzzi sized open bath with a handheld shower), a TV, DVD (we had free access to the DVD collection), AC and a personal safe. It was done in a beautiful Arabic style...lovely furniture and wooden arches.....all from Zanzibar.
The location is very central...everything in Stonetown is a 5-10 min walk. However, the approach to the hotel left us nervouly guessing about the place when we first landed there. The streets and the surroundings are rustic, unkept and slightly away from the main road, yet safe enough to walk at night (as we later learnt).
Marion and Sebastian have perfected the B&B feel to the place. They take pride in knowing their guests and their daily schedule and provide assistance in booking taxis, spice tours, trips to the beach, foreign currency etc.
Ideally divide your time in Zanzibar between staying in Stone town for a couple of days and a beach resort. Would recommend Zanzibar Palace unequivocally.
Grat little place
This is a great little hotel. It is in the middle of stone town, which is an amazing place. At first I was a bit shocked by the buildings and the roads. Very run down and old. I have to admit I wasn't too happy once we arrived. I am used to staying at nice places and the drive to the hotel wasn't what I had expected. However, once inside I was smitten. Sabastian and Marion really went out of their way to make our stay comfortable.
The rooms were nicely decorated, and the bed quite comfortable. They had a bathtub with a handheld shower. At first this seemed odd, but it really added to the whole experience.
The food was very good and the service was amazing. Sabastian came all the way to the airport to drop off our friends lens cap. We were shocked. Our friend had no idea that his lens cap was even missing. It was even more shocking because we stayed at his hotel the night before last. He somehow tracked us down. Quite amazing.
You would be foolish not to stay here. It is a fun place to stay, and will add many memories to your African vacation!!!!!
Little paradise in Stone Town
We stepped into the hotel by accident in an effort to escape from annoying commission-hunting papasi. The very friendly and warm welcome of Sebastian (the manager of the hotel) immediately made us feel at home. With his romantic, luxury rooms each decorated in a distinct (Arabic) style, and with all comfort (safe deposit, air-conditioning, and clean bathrooms), the Zanzibar Palace hotel in Stone Town resembles a lush oasis in a dry dessert. Prices are reasonable for Zanzibar standards: a generous breakfast buffet is included in the price. The hotel also has two charming, exclusive suites.
The hotel restaurant serves a wide variety of Tanzanian and Belgian dishes, all of high quality and prepared by Marion: the Belgian Stew and Vol-au-vent were even better than the ones we get in Belgian restaurants.
Besides the lovely place and beautiful location, your stay in Zanzibar Palace Hotel gets even better thanks to the enthusiasm, help, and care of Sebastian and Marion. They were always in for a cosy chat, giving us a realistic insight on Zanzibar lifestyle. They helped us planning our trip on the island and gave us good tips and advice. Sebastian even arranged a taxi and boat trip.
Thank you for the pleasant stay!
Els & Amedee, Belgium
Amazing place to stay
If you're going to Stone Town, a really fantastic place to stay is the Zanzibar Palace Hotel. It's a beautiful place that is truly well looked after by the lovely owners, Sebastian and Marion. Each room has its own distinct personality and there are different rooms to suit a range of budgets, including a fabulous room that has its own roof terrace and outside bathroom that overlooks the whole of Stone Town.
The rooms were always clean and on request they would bring coffee and tea to the room before heading down to a great Breakfast.
The really important thing was that Sebsatian and Marion really care about the people who stay there, which makes it so much more special. They have a great knowledge of Zanzibar and can recommend interesting things to do, whilst also advising on the best ways to do it. Sebastian also picked us up from the airport (late at night!) so we didn't get ripped off by the taxis that hang around preying on tired tourists!
It's location is excellent as everything is within walking distance and it has a cute little bar if you fancy just hanging around the Hotel and chilling. Go and stay there if you want to stay in fantastic surroundings and feel really looked after.
We have just returned from Zanzibar where we stayed in one of the lovely suites of the Zanzibar Palace Hotel. The hotel is magnificent.
Overall I would say this is a "great" hotel, maybe the best hotel we have ever stayed in on holiday. When you visit Zanzibar you must stay at least one or two days in this hotel before visiting the beachsite. You easely could stay longer, but that's up to you.
Princess in a Palace
Zanzibar Palace Hotel, Kiponda, Stonetown, Zanzibar
Sep 19-21 2006
This hotel, recently opened, lies right in the heart of StoneTown just a few steps from the most popular shopping area. The original building which comprises the hotel was mostly gutted by fire but the present owners (Sebastian and Marion) have created a beautiful haven out of a ruin.
The rooms are all stunning and individual in decor and furnishings. It is like staying in a rich sultan's private 'house''. I say house because the building is tall and slim rather than sprawling; there are just 2 or 3 rooms on each floor. The topmost rooms are suites (Sherally and Dunia )and are so índulgent I guarantee you will be hard pressed to tear yourself away to explore the wonders of StoneTown!!
I stayed in Nadia which is one of the two lowest priced rooms at $95 for bed and breakfast (by the way breakfast is much more generous than the average Tanzanian breakfast and you can get 'real'coffee). Nadia is a sweet room decorated in warm gold and pale blue.
The suites and other luxury rooms range in price from $200 - 280 US but as this is per room, and with breakfast, the prices are reasonable. In any case you choose a place like Zanzibar Palace for the ambience and joy of staying in such a location.
By the way you are not allowed to mention the similarity of this hotel to Emerson and Green's! It offends Sebastian! Personally I think both have created beautiful places but my review is based on personal experience of staying in only one of them. I would thoroughly recommend the Zanzibar Palace to all but the most infirm - the stairs are difficult. By the way, the hotel bar is very cosy and a great place to unwind with a cold glass of wine after you have overdone the shopping!
Exotic Zanzibar Palace
While visiting us in Tanzania my sisters in law wanted to see Zanzibar. My wife and I took our toddler along and we headed off to Zanzibar Palace. The moment we pulled up to the hotel door we were greeted by Sebastian who immediately made us feel as though we were family come to visit. On entering the lobby we immediately got the feeling that we were transported back to ancient Zanzibar. The decor and ambience were amazing and the detail gave the hotel a charming old world feel. Check in was a breeze and as we made our way to our room we couldn't help but observe that the decor was so thoughtfully done that you immediately felt you were being welcomed into a friend's home, rather than a hotel. Each space had furnishings and accents that spoke to the care and attention that was taken for the comfort and pleasure of the guest. We were completely charmed by our room (The Dunia Suite) with the al fresco jacuzzi and shower where you could enjoy the balmy breezes of the Zanzibar nights while sipping a cocktail and lounging on the deck chairs.
Breakfast was a delightful affair and every care was taken to ensure that there were no hungry mouths left at the end of our meal (several trips were made by Sebastian to keep us stocked with grapefruit). An unexpected bonus was the help that Sebastian and Marion gave us in our quest for souvenirs to remind us of our stay in Zanzibar. The rest of the staff were friendly and helpful and we wanted for nothing. Although we had thought that we would only make one visit to this island the experience at Zanzibar Palace was so delightful that my wife and I are already planning our next trip back. Thanks Sebastian and Marion for a truly wonderful experience. You are the consummate hosts!!
Brian & Alayne