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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.

In it's 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 is no lift, so this hotel is not suitable for those with mobility problems. 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 bathrooms with hot and cold running water. 

There is a lovely roof top area with a bar, restaurant, small pool and sunloungers. Great views across Stone Town and catch a breeze from the top of the house! Breakfast is served on the roof top and can be a light continental meal or a full English brekfast. 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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Amanda Marks
Tracy Edwards
Sinead Bailey
Christine MacDougall
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customer rating

77% from
11 reviews











client reviews

Kimberly Robinette (19/07/2018)

"Great location, very nice room, excellent staff. The rooftop restaurant and bar were amazing. We loved Stone Town!"

Ms. Bronwen Gill (27/12/2017)
"The ambience was amazing, a bit tired in places; some of the staff a little lack lustre, and disinterested. "
Sarah N
"Stonetown one night stopover was the low point of the trip - glad I did it now but definitely would advise others to not bother and avoid. The old town of Stonetown is very crowded, the streets were filthy and the place clearly suffers from much poverty. It had been raining and as a result the streets were awash with filth (dead rat outside entrance to hotel). Too much of a contrast after the peace and solitude of Ruaha. The Swahili House hotel was a bit of an oasis. Rooms had good mosquito nets, good bathroom facilities and beds etc - but the downstairs area & reception reminded me of my backpacking days. The roof terrace was lovely and a huge relief and we had a nice dinner and drinks there high above and away from the squalor below. I was keen, on arrival to abandon this place and head straight for Echo Beach but we stayed out one night there - which was a mistake as a dog (locked out of its house) barked from midnight solidly till 6 in the morning, causing me to get up twice in the night and descend three floors to the nightwatchman to try to get him to shut it up. Unsuccessful we got virtually no sleep that night (call to prayer kicked off at 5.30 and then Church bells at 6am, but they were welcome relief from the barking!!) We left as soon as we could next morning. Apparently the same happened to some other guests we met who suffered exactly the same experience with the dog on a different night. In our opinion, Stonetown is NOT a place to stay on a two week holiday - fine if on a longer trip."
J Nash
"Attractive and stylish hotel. A welcome haven in busy Stone Town. We enjoyed the rooftop terrace for relaxing with good food and cocktails. They boys (13 and 11) enjoyed the roof top pool. "
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!"

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