The Dhow, being the heart beat of the East African culture, has been carrying people, goods and treasures to and from Zanzibar for hundreds of years.
Today, the Dhow Palace serves as a meeting point for people and cultures from all over the world amidst a decor and artefacts from a time gone by.
Dhow Palace was originally the home of a rich merchant, Sheikh bin Mujbia. Bin Mujbia and his descendants kept the building for more than three centuries before it was sold.
The Dhow Palace building, being right in the heart of the stone town, has bore witness to many events taking place in Zanzibar, before the Dhow building itself became the centre of attention back in 1993 when it was transformed from a family mansion to this elegant hotel. In 2005 it again sought the attention when the new wing was added.
The Dhow Palace can easily be described as a living museum dedicated to furniture, art and oriental ornaments which have found their way to the shores of Zanzibar over the past centuries.
The 17 bedrooms.
ROOM DCOR: Tastefully furnished with Zanzibari antiques and Persian carpets.
ROOM AMENITIES: Some rooms have traditional four-poster beds with painted headboards, others have brass beds. Balconies in the rooms overlook an attractive courtyard with palms and creepers. You have the convenience of an air conditioner, television, telephone, mini-bar and hairdryer. The en-suite bathrooms are interesting, with blue tiled sunken stone baths which have hand-held showers (similar to the characterful ones at Emerson and Green).
SPECIAL FEATURE: There is no swimming pool here, but you're welcome to walk down the road to Tembo House, which has a large pool. Tembo and Dhow Palace are owned by the same group who follow the Muslim code of not serving alcohol.
The new rooftop restaurant is certainly an uplifting place to have breakfast. There's nothing better than sitting above the tin roofs of town and watching the fishing dhows sailing home. The rooftop terrace here is second only to that at Emerson and Green. This is one of the abiding memories of staying in Stonetown and if you are thinking that you might prefer to stay at a slightly cheaper hotel, then our advice is to spend the extra if only to have a rooftop breakfast.
As stated at earlier, the Dhow Palace is really a bed and breakfast hotel, so although this upper terrace remains a nice place to retire with a book in the afternoon, you would probably be best advised to go out to eat ... and not just because they don't serve alcohol