An Indian Ocean paradise
Just behind the House of Wonders in the heart of Stone Town, the 236 Hurumzi is one of Zanzibar's best-known and highly rated hotels. Formerly known as Emerson and Green it was originally owned and decorated in eclectic style by a Mr Emerson, who has now sold it and is building a new hotel, Emerson Spice, elsewhere on the island. Now named after Hurumzi Street, upon which it stands, the hotel occupies 2 restored buildings dating from 1840-70, decorated with antique Zanzibari furniture and carpets.
Each room is magically different, but each, very deliberately, is without phone, TV or fridge. Some have AC, others natural cooling, shutters, shades, deep balconies and a sea breeze. The hotel's Tower Top Restaurant, the second-highest building in Zanzibar Town, has fine views.
Zanzibar, the spice island of Tanzania is one of the continents most famous destinations when it comes to beach travel, beach vacations, beach resorts and Tanzania holiday options. Offering excellent beach hotels and resorts, coral reef discovery, water sports, family holidays, spice tours and ocean paradise islands.
Location and season
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 centr 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.
Beautiful, individually themed rooms in restored house with old Zanzibar furniture and fittings, original stucco decor, ornate carved doors and stone baths, lower rooms have AC. Each room is different, but each, very deliberately, is without phone, TV or fridge. Some have AC, others natural cooling, shutters, shades, deep balconies and a sea breeze. All rooms have a bottle of water and fresh jasmine flowers are scattered on the pillows at bedtime. 2006 saw the opening of a new block of 6 rooms, following the same individual styles as the original ones but larger and slightly more expensive. There is also an apartment next door at 240 Hurumzi where the 6 bedrooms are let out individually and are good value.
Dining and bars
The highlight here is the spectacular open-sided rooftop restaurant Tower Top, which is the rooftop of the original house and a traditional Zanzibar gathering place. The restaurant is styled to recall the old days of the Omani sultans and features floor cushions and fluttering silks.
The hotel is child-friendly.
What to see and do
The activities on offer include swimming, snorkelling, 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.
236 Hurumzi (formerly Emerson and Green) • Zanzibar Stone Town Hotels • Indian Ocean Beach Hotels & Resorts
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