Kisiwa House Hotel Zanzibar is in an ideal location in the centre of historic Stone Town, just off Shanghani Street. It’s a five-minute walk from here to the Old Fort and Forodhani Gardens, and you’re ideally placed for exploring the city’s maze-like streets, filled with small shops, cafés and curious sights. Transfers from the airport can be arranged by the hotel and take about 15 minutes.
Style and Character
This elegant mansion was built in 1840 by a wealthy Omani merchant and is still owned by the same family today. The original brass-studded, hand-carved wooden door, a symbol of the wealth and status of its original owner, leads to a small, quiet reception hallway and lounge filled with potted palms, historical photos and babbling water features. Like most such traditional houses it has an impressive, and very steep, wooden central staircase. The upper hallways are riddled with small staircases and little nooks filled with books, antiques and squashy sofas.
Service and Facilities
Service is discreet, adding to the feeling of staying at a family home rather than a luxury hotel. The small, quiet hotel has just a few staff around at any one time, and reception is not always manned. But staff are friendly and courteous, and can help with directions or booking tours and excursions if needed. As can be expected at a historical city-centre property there are not a lot of facilities within the hotel, but there is everything you would need.
Most rooms here are very spacious and airy, with the exception of two small double rooms on the ground floor. It’s much better to take one of the suites upstairs, which very in price depending on their size and location. All rooms feature large and comfortable four-poster beds, wooden floors, beamed ceilings, and chic, minimal décor in a mix of European and Zanzibari style. Rooms are equipped with televison, hairdryer, safe and fridge. Bathrooms too are very spacious, with modern fittings and locally-made Inaya toiletries. Most have double basins and a bathtub.
Food and Drink
Kisiwa House Hotel Zanzibar rooftop restaurant, with indoor and outdoor seating, has a tranquil atmosphere and views out to sea. Breakfast is a simple but high quality à la carte affair featuring fresh pastries, homemade jam, eggs and plenty of fruit, with exceptionally friendly and thoughtful service. The restaurant also serves dinner, but both the atmosphere and menu is uninspiring. Most guests prefer to eat on Shanghani Street or visit the food market at Forodhani Gardens instead.
Not particularly given the steep stairs and quiet, romantic atmosphere. However, cots are provided free and extra beds can be added to some rooms.