Dhow Palace, a sister hotel to Tembo House, lies behind a magnificent carved wooden door in the heart of Stone Town. Within, the hotel's reception, lounge and verandahs are decorated with antique ornaments and Zanzibari furniture, creating a relaxed and hospitable atmosphere.
The rooms are set on three floors, around a tranquil central atrium with a small fountain. It is best to avoid the ground floor rooms which open onto the busy streets outside. Each room is furnished with traditional Zanzibari style four-poster beds, carved wardrobes, ceiling fans and Persian baths, but with the recent addition of satellite television and air-conditioning. All rooms have large balconies overlooking the cool, attractive courtyard.
In 2005, the hotel doubled its room capacity, and added a courtyard swimming pool – a great asset. However, the original 16 rooms have more character, and these are ones we book whenever possible.
Food and (no) drink
Breakfast is served in the roof-top restaurant with its panoramic views of the sea and Stone Town. At night, the restaurant serves a choice of seafood, local and international dishes. However, like Tembo House, the owners have adhered to an old prohibition on the sale of alcohol in hotels. This is only a problem in the restaurant, as there are many bars in the surrounding streets.
Less than 5 minutes' walk from the sea-front, old fort, and markets, the Dhow Palace is an excellent base for exploring Stone Town.