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Dhow Palace

Zanzibar & the Coast

Rating: Modest    

Dhow Palace overview

Dhow Palace is a small, luxurious hotel in the heart of Zanzibar's historic Stone Town, where East meets West. The hotel is a 19th century Omani merchant's mansion that has been elegantly converted. Located down a quiet alley, just a few minutes' walk from the centre of old Stone Town, the Dhow Palace is a 10 minute walk from the beach and a ten minute drive from the airport. The lounge has an impressive selection of antique ornaments and furniture, and this Sultanic décor, combined with the Arabian architecture and excellent, friendly service, adds to the relaxed ambience that is a Dhow Palace trademark. 

There are 30 self-contained and spacious rooms, furnished with traditional Sultan-size 4-poster beds. All are ensuite and have air conditioning, television, free Wi-Fi and minbars and are tastefully furnished with Zanzibari artefects. Rooms in the old wing tend to have more charm and original character. All rooms have large balconies overlooking an attractive and cool central courtyard or the swimming pool. This creates a tranquil atmosphere, making the Dhow Palace a perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of Stone Town.

The restaurant is in the main courtyard by the pool and offers a variety of seafood, local and international cuisine. Soft drinks and ice cream are also served. Like its sister hotel over the road, Tembo House, Dhow Palace does not allow alcohol to be consumed on the premises, something that used to be the norm on the island. There's a roof terrace, perfect for quiet relaxation.

The Dhow Palace is an ideal base from which to explore the winding alleys, bazaars, and ancient buildings of Stone Town (recently made a World Heritage Site). Guests can cool down in the fine pool, while watersports, picnics and spice tours can be arranged as desired.


Open: Dhow Palace is open all year.

Location: The hotel is in Shangani, in the centre of historic Stone Town, the capital and main port of Zanzibar. It is about 10 minutes’ drive from the airport. Shops, restaurants, bars and the waterfront are within walking distance.

Rooms: There are 30 en-suite guest rooms arranged around 2 courtyards. The decor is Swahili-inspired, but rooms have modern conveniences including air conditioning, TV, Wi-Fi internet access, tea and coffee making facilities and minibar. All are en-suite with 24-hour hot and cold running water.

Activities: The hotel is superbly positioned for exploring Stone Town's alleyways, bazaars, markets and waterfront. The hotel can arrange various excursions to places across the island of Zanzibar. There is a swimming pool in the main courtyard, which is a wonderful way to cool off on a hot day.

Facilities: The swimming pool is popular with guests. Dhow Palace has a restaurant which serves buffet-style breakfast and a la carte lunches and dinners by the pool. Special meals can be enjoyed on the rooftop terrace on request. Dhow Palace does not permit the consumption of alcohol on its premises, but does have a range of soft drinks. There is a roof terrace. The hotel has a computer for guest use and offers laundry and currency exchange services.

Dining: Meals are taken at separate tables.

Children: Children of all ages are welcome.

Health: This is a malarial area.

Communication: There is Wi-Fi internet access in guest rooms and a computer in the reception area.

Map for Dhow Palace

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Tracy Edwards
Christine MacDougall
Dave Lock
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customer rating

81% from
14 reviews











client reviews

Tracy Edwards

"Impressed! This hotel is pretty cheap in nothing but the price. The décor, feel and ambience is great and you really feel like you’re in the heart of a bustling Zanzibarian town. The swimming pool is a welcoming relief from the sometimes stifling streets of Stone Town. "

Mr. Nick Hay
"Rooms are quite small and no wardrobe. However, great central location, stunning building and staff were helpful when organising tours although we were aware they received kick backs from the tour guides. "
Mr David Fellingham
"Well positioned. Interesting historic building. Great views from the rooftop. Water pressure on top floor was very poor Staff were all pleasant and helpful. Food combinations available for breakfast a little bizarre. Never found out what \"Beef Fighter\" contained,even though I ate it twice. Pretty sure there was no beef in it"
Polly Nightingale, Tribes

Surprisingly quiet given its location in the heart of Stone Town. Pretty central courtyard with a pool. The location is the real plus, just a short walk to the waterfront and Foordhani Gardens.

Mrs. Elise Le Mer
"good location in Zanzibar Stone Town."

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