Zanzibar

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Apr 6th, 2000, 07:40 AM
  #1
Vicky
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Zanzibar

Does anyone have any information on Zanzibar. I am particularly interested in info. on hotels in Stone Town. I have heard that the Emerson & Green Hotel is an experience not to be missed - has anyone stayed? I am also interested in recommendations for beach resorts, interesting day trips, great beaches. etc.
Thanks for your help.
Vicky
 
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Apr 9th, 2000, 10:04 AM
  #2
April
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We stayed at the Spice Inn but as this was some years back, I don't know if it's still there. It's worth splurging a bit here to get a place with "atmosphere" as it was part of what made our stay in Zanzibar so special. The Emerson & Green may be such a place. Another I saw in a magazine that looked interesting was the Omani Palace Hotel.

The studded doors of mysterious and exotic Stone Town are a sight to see and there are several shops with brass items. If you like chocolate take lots of your own as it was hard to come by.

Take a tour of the island which is very pretty, either on the spice tour or on your own, and stop in to see the horrific slave caves.

Oddly I did not spend time at beaches on the island but went to surrounding islands. Prison was one and the other I can't remember the name of the other.

I think the website http://www.zanzibar.net/stonetow.html is quite good.
 
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Apr 10th, 2000, 10:57 PM
  #3
Anna
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Try Marc Harris at Africa Archipelago - he is an expert on Tanzania & Zanzibar ([email protected]).
 
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Apr 11th, 2000, 08:26 AM
  #4
observer
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Travel tip of the millenium!
(from above response)
By April also in the month of April:
When in Zanzibar - "if you like chocolate take lots of your own as it is hard to come by."
Without a doubt the greatest travel tip I have ever encountered. I would have been so lost. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much!
 
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Apr 11th, 2000, 09:55 AM
  #5
Jackie
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I was in Zanbibar last fall and stayed at the Dhow Palace and the Serena. Although I loved the Serena, which was beautiful and offered excellent service, it was overly expensive. The Dhow Palace is a renovated home of royalty that has been refurbished to its original state. I would definately stay there again. Ask for a room with a view, not one of the two on the street level (there are 3 or 4 floors). There is a restaurant that you must try -- Sambusa Two Tables. It is a family's home and is like being invited over for dinner. Call or stop by earlier in the day to make reservations. It is a fun experience -- a must. A good spice tour is offered by Mitu near Cine Afrique (at lunch there are Henna artists that were the best I've ever seen). As far as the beaches go...beware of your accommodations. I went to Jambiani Beach and stayed at the Sau Inn, very beautiful, simple and nice. By far the ONLY place to stay on Jambiani Beach if toilet paper and sheets on your bed are important to you. Unless you have a recommendation do not book anywhere at any beach! If I were to go again I would try one of the northern beaches with a little more going on -- get a guide book, as I'm sure you've heard Lonely Planet is great! Email me if you want more details. And to the guy with the rude rebuttal to the chocolate advice -- grow-up.
 
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Apr 11th, 2000, 09:17 PM
  #6
April
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Maybe he/she doesn't like chocolate. Here's another good tip for Observer or anyone, which Jackie's post reminded me of. In Tanzania, take lots of toilet paper.
 
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Apr 11th, 2000, 10:24 PM
  #7
April
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A couple more thoughts Vicki. In case you weren't planning on it, be sure to take clothing that covers your legs and arms. I foolishly left my long sleeved shirt back in Dar es Salaam. We went out to dinner one night and in my long, sleeveless dress, I felt quite uncomfortable... and rude.

Also I would take waterproof footwear. Most of the beaches I went to were lovely but one on a surrounding island was too prickly for bare feet. If you go to see the giant tortoises, they will gladly take bananas off of your hands.

 
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Apr 13th, 2000, 01:56 AM
  #8
Vicky
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April

Thanks for your advice - and, as I am a chocoholic, I will take precautions! As a matter of interest, did you stay in Dar es Salaam? I would like to visit Dar for a couple of days prior to Zanzibar and am wondering where to stay?

Have tried to find reference to the Omani Palace Hotel without success, but the Dhow Palace mentioned by Jackie looks amazing.

Thanks for all the info.
Vicky
 
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Apr 13th, 2000, 11:41 AM
  #9
Jill
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I agree with everybody on the forum, Emerson and Green was great. We ate dinner there. Learned that the owner was from Kansas?? We toured a few of the rooms all varied, but nice. I recall a range of $80 to @200. We stayed at the Tembo which I beleive is a sister hotel to the DHow palace. We paid $85 last September for our room at the Tembo. We walked to the Spice Inn and were very disappointed . It appeared very, very run down. We also stayed at a all inclusive Beach Resort called Breezes. While the resort was wonderful, and the beach gorgeous, it had the feel of a cruise. Drinks, dinner upstairs, massages were extra and expensive. We went snorkeling and I think it cost around $15. Anyway Zanzibar is great even when the termites comeout at dusk. I am looking forward to going back someday!!!
 
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Apr 13th, 2000, 03:08 PM
  #10
Scott
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Stone Town is just amazing. Yes, Emerson & Green is an incredible hotel, probably the most exotic in town, although probably also the most expensive. Their rates have risen a lot over the past year, I think (?) they're well over $100 a night nowadays. That's a LOT for that town. Each room (they have about 10-12) is huge and decorated in a different way, and some have private balconies. A mini palace. See http://www.zanzibar.org/ for more, and http://www.zanzibar.net/ for still more.

Also check out their nightly rooftop dinner. One of the most memorable meals I've had, ever. The menu changes every night and you have to stop by to reserve a seat (and pay) by early afternoon, so definitely stop by and check out the menu. If you don't like what you see, try back the next day, but I would definitely eat there once if you have the $$$ to blow.

Dhow Palace's is almost like E&G, only a little bit cheaper. Also only a handful of rooms, so again you'd have to book in advance. The Serena is a huge modern hotel, expensive, and more Ritz-Carlton flavored than Arabian Nights. I stayed at the Tembo, about $70 a night and pretty fancy. It's recently-built but with traditional rooms, it's big, and on the beach. You can easily stumble around and find less touristy, not-listed-in-the-guidebooks places for much less $$$, but of course that's hit or miss as always.

Finally, remember that this IS still Africa - so flexibility, tolerance, common sense, and respect for the inhabitants are as important here as anywhere. Be very polite to everybody, don't go in the mosques if you're not a Muslim, don't EVER take somebody's picture without asking permission first, and dress conservatively. It's a VERY warm and welcoming town. Good luck!
 
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Apr 13th, 2000, 03:12 PM
  #11
Scott
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Hey, wait a minute - is that my girlfriend who made the post just before mine????? Yeegads!

(Hi Jill...
 
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Apr 13th, 2000, 07:34 PM
  #12
April
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That's too bad about the Spice Inn. Sorry, Vicky, I can't for the life of me remember of the hotel we stayed at in Dar es Salaam (& my notes are in storage). It was a large one - not bad but nothing special either. On the internet I'm only finding the Sheraton. In Dar es Salaam we were advised to not wear any jewelry as it could be ripped right off your finger, neck, whatever. Most dire warnings were given about mainland beach areas; however we didn't experience problems anywhere. Tanzanians rate high on my niceness scale.
 
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