Zanzibar Hotels

236 Hurumzi

The 236 Hurumzi is located in the centre of Stone Town. The hotel is in the pedestrian area and so it is not possible to arrive directly by taxi. However, the hotel is not far from the drop off point and it will be possible to pay a taxi driver to help you find the hotel upon arrival. Housed in an historical building, the second tallest in the city and the former home of one of the richest men in the province, 236 Hurumzi offers a very special stay. Every room is unique, and most are surprisingly large. If the hotel is not busy staff will let you choose your own room from a selection. Each floor has its own reception area and kitchen. The hotel is decorated and furnished with genuine antiques giving it a sense of authentic faded grandeur.

Accommodation at 236 Hurumzi

The amenities offered by the hotel are very basic. Rooms are equipped with safes and AC, but the hotel prides itself on offering a slice of history. With this in mind, it is unsurprising that internet access is limited and poor and there are no televisions or radios and no elevator (but plenty of stairs). Hot water has to be switched on manually up to twenty minutes before required. For a traveller looking to stay in enchanting rooms and experience Stone Town’s past this hotel is ideal. For those seeking total modern comfort and luxury this would not be the best choice.

Food and Drink at 236 Hurumzi

The hotel offers a rooftop restaurant where a good breakfast is served. The view over the city is wonderfully clear, though the hotel’s views are of real Stone Town and not just the idyllic coast line. The hotel overlooks the noisy heart of the city and the nearby square is a constant hive of activity. As with most central hotels noise is inevitable from traders and locals as well at the early morning call to prayer. Ear-plugs would not go amiss on the packing list for any traveller wishing to sleep in central Stone Town.

The restaurant itself has a pleasant atmosphere and provides traditional entertainment. It is not the quietest and most secluded spot to eat in Stone Town, but it is a lively alternative to other eateries. The hotel’s restaurant is better reputed for its exotic ambience and location than its food. Those in search of fine dining or a budget dinner might be better to seek alternatives.

Service at 236 Hurumzi

The hotel is generally well-cared for and clean, but, like many of the hotels of the same rating in the locality, reflects the poverty and the “make it last” attitude of the area. Do not expect new bed-linen and towels. Some rooms are more run down than others, but do remember it is usually possible to request a room change if dissatisfied. Many travellers have done so.

Hotel staff do not have the best reputation for friendliness of the region’s B&Bs. However the managers on site are dedicated to solving customer grievances quickly and pleasantly. They also respond very fast to emails, but unless you specifically ask them not to, may pass your email address to local tour firms and you may get unsolicited mail.

Generally speaking, wake-up calls in lower rated hotels in Stone Town are not to be trusted. You are advised to rely on the morning prayers or a travel alarm clock.

How to get to 236 Hurumzi

236 Hurumzi is located in the heart of the pedestrian district of old Stone Town and it is 100m from the taxi drop-off point. Taxi drivers will assist you to the hotel with your luggage for a small fee. If arriving late at night this service is invaluable. The hotel will arrange an airport transfer for you for around USD 15 if you contact them with your flight details. Otherwise the hotel is walking distance from the port.

Stone Town itself lies approximately 7 km from Zanzibar airport. The taxi takes approximately 15 minutes to reach the town. Ferry routes link Stone Town with Dar es Salaam daily and with Pemba less frequently. Passengers are warned to beware ticket touts when buying ferry tickets and advised to take the faster, more expensive ferry as travellers have raised safety concerns with the older slower stock of boats.

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