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The Swahili House

Zanzibar & the Coast

Rating: Mid-range    

The Swahili House overview

Opened at the end of 2008, this beautifully restored house in the heart of Stone Town is an ideal base for a night or two to explore the area. It is also one of the few Stone Town hotels that has a lift!

In its 125-year history it has been home to many Sultan families and is now authentically modernised as a hotel. There are 22 air-conditioned rooms over 5 floors which centre around a traditional courtyard. There are 3 different room categories: Sultan Suites - large, spacious rooms with balcony. Approx. 45m2. Suites: medium sized spacious rooms with or without balcony. Approx. 33m2. Deluxe Rooms: standard sized double or twin room. Approx. 21m2. All rooms have TVs, tea and coffee makers, mosquito nets and en-suite shower rooms with hot and cold running water. 

There is a lovely roof top area with a bar, restaurant, plunge pool and sun loungers and offers great views across Stone Town. This is a perfect place to catch the breeze! Breakfast is served on the roof top and can be a light continental meal or a full English breakfast. The a la carte menu which changes daily and features fish, seafood and Mediterranean tapas, all made with fresh local produce. There is a full wine list and other alcoholic beverages to order.

Shops, markets and the water front of Stone Town are all within easy walking distance of the hotel.


Map for The Swahili House

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customer rating

78% from
12 reviews











client reviews

Tracy Edwards

"A beautifully decorated hotel with local décor and Zanzibari style but be of the stairs. Like most hotels in Stone Town, Swahili House is built upwards but the stairs are very steep in part and quite uneven. In saying that, the rooftop restaurant and bar afford a wonderful view of the town and ocean and the pool is a refreshing place during the heat of the day."

Stephen Moyes
"Only go here if you are physically fit as the stairs are very steep. The rooms are unusual and really nice, and the a/c was a bonus. Was not impressed with the kitchen where 4 staff were totally incapable of boiling eggs. After two disasters I gave up and had toast. Take a compass for finding your way back to the hotel. You will need it!"
Laurie Hartnett
"We were a little removed from the waterfront and all its sights and consequently seemed to be lost quite a bit of the time and trying to find our way back to the hotel. Food and service were satisfactory and the room was comfortable but the ambience not as memorable as in the other places we stayed. The staff were always polite but the warmth and enthusiasm were missing."
Malcolm Prentice
"This is a very new hotel (the lift not yet installed, so be prepared to climb several flights of stairs to your room and to the beautiful roof top restaurant)! We only stayed one night and had to leave very early and so enjoyed only a rudimentary breakfast. Our dinner the previous evening was good."
Bill Hurtley
"Very interesting and attractive ex-sultan's palace. The amount and steepness of the steps to access the rooms and rooftop restaurant, in particular, is foreboding! The room was equipped with air conditioning but the bed was uncomfortable and broke during the night! We had a good quality evening meal but choices were limited (unable to supply some of the menu) and breakfast was adequate. Great location for exploring Stonetown but expect to get lost many, many times!!"

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