At the heart of historic Stone Town - Zanzibar
The Swahili House has stood at the heart of historic Stone Town for 125 years. Built as a traditional Indian merchant's house, it was also home to members of the ruling Omani Sultan's family until being renovated and turned into a Boutique hotel in 2008. Built on five floors around a central courtyard, which features both a traditional Zanzibari staircase and a lift, it offers 22 rooms and a rooftop dining and bar area (with Jacuzzi). Ideally located at the heart of this unique Swahili town, it is within walking distance of all its sights (guided tours can also be arranged).
To enter the world of Zanzibar is to step through the looking glass into the world of a thousand and one nights and black eyes that smile from behind deep veils. There's a House of Wonders and a street of food, a Palace Museum, an ancient slave market, an age-old fort, a ruined harem and the house where Dr Livingstone once lived. There are Red Colobus Monkeys and dolphins and a bright tapestry of Arab, African and Swahili culture, folklore and cuisine that are as mesmeric as myth.
Zanzibar, the spice island of Tanzania is one of the continent's most famous destinations when it comes to beach travel, beach vacations, beach resorts and Tanzania holiday options. Offering excellent beach hotels, coral reef discovery, water sports, family holidays, spice tours and ocean paradise islands.
Location and season
The Swahili House stands in the centre of historic Stone Town, some 10-15 minute's drive from the international airport. There are daily air connections between Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam, Pemba and Arusha as well as to the Selous Game Reserve and the northern parks. There are also regular flights to Mombasa and Nairobi and a ferry service operating between Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam and Pemba. Dhows also link Zanzibar with Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Bagamoyou and Mombasa.
When to go: Zanzibar enjoys a typical Equatorial climate. From December to March the weather is hot and relatively dry. The cooler, dry period from June to October is also pleasant. Heavy rains can be expected from March to the end of May and short rains during the month of November.
The island of Zanzibar is known as the ‘Spice Island' because of its long-standing association with the clove industry. A low-lying stretch of land, approximately 37 km off the coast of Tanzania, it is a place of wonder, magic and mystery. Zanzibar Town, on the western side of the island is made up of a labyrinth of winding lanes, ancient stone houses, Arabian arches, heavy carved wooden doors, circular towers, narrow latticed windows, overhanging balconies and a fascinating selection of bazaars, curio shops, art galleries and spice troves. To the north of the town lie mile upon mile of pristine beaches, which end at the northern tip of the island with the dhow centre and tourist resort of Nungwi. Yet more stunning beaches lie along the eastern shore. The Zanzibar archipelago also includes the neighbouring island of Pemba and numerous small islands off shore to include Changuu (Prison Island), Bawi, Cahwani (Grave Island), Tumbatu, Mnemba, Chumbe and the sandbanks of Nyange, Pange and Murogo.
All rooms are presented in traditional Swahili style with carved furniture, four-poster beds, air-conditioning and ceiling fans. Most rooms have both shower and bath and fall into the following 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.
Services: laundry, WiFi (ground floor only), non-smoking rooms, smoking area, bar, restaurants, Jacuzzi, roof terrace. No TV, safe or telephone in room.
Dining and bars
A feature of most traditional Swahili Houses, the Rooftop Terrace is a place of cool breezy relaxation, with fabulous views over the old town and the sweep of the bay. It offers a bar, restaurant and Jacuzzi. The á la carte menu is a combination of Eastern and Western influences and includes Mediterranean-styled Tapas and a wide variety of freshly caught fish and seafood. A full continental or English breakfast is also served from the rooftop buffet, while the bar offers an international selection of wines, spirits, beers and cocktails.
The Swahili House can provide additional beds for children.
What to see and do
The activities on offer include swimming, snorkeling, sea kayaking, diving, water sports, dhow trips and nature trails plus visits to a dhow workshop and the brooding caverns of the Mangapwani Slave Caves where slaves were hidden after the abolishment of slavery made their shipment illegal. Other places of interest in Stone Town and around are: the Portuguese Fort, the Sultan's Palace, the old Dhow Port, the Old Slave Market, the House of Wonders, the Old Dispensary, the home of the slaver, Tippu-Tip, the Livingstone House, The Hamamni Bath, The National Museum, The Chukwani Palace, The Jozani Forest - the last red colobus monkey sanctuary, The Mtoni Palace ruins, The Maruhubi Palace ruins and the Persian Baths of Kidichi.
Go snorkelling: take a 25 minute trip on our traditional Arabic dhow and visit 3 different locations for guided snorkelling along the 5 mile Ukombe Reef. All snorkel equipment is provided.
G o diving: we offer a wide variety of diving excursions (for beginners and advanced divers alike) as well as access to ten dive sites ranging from 8 metres to 30 metres with coral gardens and reef wall dives. Open Water Certifications to Dive Master Certification are also available.
The Komonda Island Day: travel on our motorized Dhows to the reefs, coral gardens and mangrove forests of the petrified coral islands of Komonda. We provide all snorkelling equipment, refreshments and a buffet lunch.
The Pungume Sandbank Picnic: on this trip our dhow takes you snorkelling on the coral reefs, then to your own private island, surrounded by tropical ocean, where our chef will serve a sumptuous picnic lunch.
Go deep-sea fishing: we offer big-game fishing and traditional hand-line fishing in the Zanzibar channel.
Kayaking: we also hire out both double and single kayaks.
The Swahili House - Stone Town • Zanzibar Hotels & Vacations • Indian Ocean Beach Hotels & Resorts
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