9 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Brilliant hotel in Stonetown
"After staying in the north part of the island for some scuba diving, a friend and I were lucky enough to find this place. It seems to be the hotel people find when they get lost in the town. However, it is a beautiful hotel and the service was great! We did not have an en suite bathroom but it was private and just down the hall (and very nicely decorated). The included breakfast was filling and their lunches were very good too. We even had sandwiches made to go the morning of our departure to eat on the plane. It is easy to walk to all the places you'd want to visit. I would definitely stay here if I end up back on the island."
- Travel date: Mon 5th of January 2009
Terrific place to stay
"I found this beautiful little hotel through Lonely Planet and asked our Safari Company (Tropical Trails) to book us there for the Zanzibar part of our holiday. It was a perfect place to stay. Even if you have a good sense of direction you'll get lost in Stone Town and when you do, you'll end up at the Zanzibar Coffee House. Our room was stunning, the breakfast area on the rooftop can't be beat (breakfast is good, too) and of course there's the coffee, which is roasted, ground and brewed right there. We had en-suite bathroom and, thankfully, the electricity came back on just before we arrived. (It had been off on the whole island for a couple of weeks.) I really liked being away from the really touristy areas but still close enough to walk everywhere easily. If you want the real feel of Stone Town you'll stay here."
- Travel date: Sat 30th of August 2008
Excellent choice for mid-range hotel in Stone Town
"Found this hotel through a combination of Lonely Planet and getting lost (a common theme in Stone Town), and all three of us were very impressed. The hotel has a lovely chilled-out ambience, great wooden stairs going up to a roof-top terrace and breakfast area, and the rooms we saw were all excellent. Bathrooms are either en-suite or for the dedicated use of one room (i.e. across the corridor), and the furnishings were very tasteful and in keeping with the building. Our twin room was $70 in the high season, and this included an excellent breakfast. So not for the budget traveller, but an excellent choice for those looking for something mid-range.
Oh, and I don't agree that this place isn't good for singles - I've always found Stone Town very safe, even at night, and the hotel is only a few turns off the main footpath (that runs parallel to the waterfront road), so I would feel perfectly fine getting back here at night. Most of the hotels in this price range will have similar characteristics - it's mainly the upmarket ones that are nearer the main roads. But I can see how a newly arrived person might feel a bit unsafe - all I can say is, it's much safer than it looks in the backstreets!"
- Travel date: Sat 23rd of August 2008
Perfect Passionfruit cake
"Though the outside and location are not perfect, inside the Zanzibar Coffee House is stunning. Authentic, tasteful, beautiful rooms/suites - we stayed in Excelsa & Espresso, then the Bourbon suite with attached single room. First 2 had own bathrooms but off the hallway but Excelsa's particularly was fabulous. A/C & fans, mossie mesh on windows, bathrobes, little homemade biscuits on the pillows, lockable chests in rooms. The roof terrace was also lovely - very cool and airy and amazing views (though they did really illustrate the poverty in Stonetown). The coffee house itself had a fairly limited but very good menu of meals and snacks and obviously great coffee, though they did shut at 5.30pm so couldn't really get evening meal there. Staff weren't as openly friendly as we found in other parts of the island, but the night porter was very helpful, escorting us to Mercury's on our first night. Downsides were; lots of stairs, easy to get lost in maze of streets trying to get back in the dark, wake up calls from the mosques starting at 5am wore thin after about 1 minute, cafe tended to run out of many things as they day wore on. All in all though, I'd recommend this place for a stay in Stonetown."
- Travel date: Sat 19th of July 2008
"Really well presented coffee house, that is brilliant for a coffee and cake to escape the papassi of stonetown. The building has retained the Omani feel to it.
Rooms are really well put together and have great ambiance. We stayed there two nights in different suites and so had a chance to look around.
Arabacia suite was AMAZING ! while the Excelsor suite was not particularly romantic - seperate beds and more congested Excellent breakfast on the rooftop.
we were recommended by zanzibar-holiday"
- Travel date: Thu 17th of July 2008
Very good Stonetown Hotel
"The Zanzibar Coffee House Hotel is a very good hotel in Stonetown for a night's stay, particularly for those in transit to someplace else who want to stay right in Stonetown. It is very well preserved architectually. The rooms are various sizes but all are decorated exquisitely. Thankfully it was air-conditioned. The bathroom was quite modern. Breakfast is included and was excellent. It is served on the roof terrace, which is lovely and overlooks Stonetown--a very nice place to observe the morning. The staff was very helpful. We thought it was a good value for our one night there."
- Travel date: Mon 24th of March 2008
Excellent but not for the lone traveller...
"I was booked into the Zanzibar Coffee House for 3 nights as part of a 3 week trip touring Tanzania and Zanzibar, booked through [--]. The accommodation was lovely, clean, characterful and welcoming, but the location of the Coffee House - away from the main tourist areas - meant that as a lone traveller, I did not go out in the evenings. The Coffee House is in a maze of alleyways in a mainly residential area, not far from the tourist areas, but quite difficult to get your bearings... so I did not feel comfortable walking back in the dark. The Coffee House do offer an 'escort service' - phone ahead and the night porter will meet you and escort you through the alleys, but this seemed too onerous and involved planning ahead.
My evenings were spent very pleasantly on the veranda of the Coffee House, overlooking the skyline of Stonetown and listening to the Muezzin from the various mosques... but it would have been nice to be closer to the beachfront and join other tourists for dinner after dark."
- Travel date: Wed 6th of February 2008
Authentic, mid-range hotel in Stone Town
"I stayed at the Zanzibar Coffee House for 2 nights in Stone Town. There are around 8 rooms in a recently renovated home above - you guessed it - a coffee house. With rooms in the $75-90 range, it impressed me as an authentic, quiet, well-priced alternative to the more expensive boutique hotels and the tourist traps in Zanzibar. The hotel is simple, with painted concrete floors and lots of plain white walls, but also had some nice, upscale touches: a 4-star breakfast each morning with what is undoutedly the best coffee on the island, a nice tower with embroidered pillows open only to guests, beautiful big bathrooms with double vessel sinks, a refrigerator with soft drinks, beer, and wine open to guests on the honor system, etc. The hotel is a little tricky to find in the "maze" of Stone Town, but there are signs and the taxis know where it is. I have whole-heartedly recommended it to friends as a fantastic mid-range alternative in Stone Town."
- Travel date: Mon 20th of August 2007
Real good atmosphere
"If you are looking for an individual place to stay with the chance to catch some of the atmosphere of an old Arab House the Zanzibar Coffe House is the right choice. Nicely furnitured rooms in an old building in the heart of Stonetown. A hideaway rooftop teahouse for beautiful breakfasts and an excellent coffee freshly roasted in the ground floor Coffee house. Its a little walk away from the waterfront and the main tourist area, but it is near the lively market."
- Travel date: Tue 20th of March 2007