Emerson Zanzibar

Emerson Zanzibar is made up of three organisations founded by the flamboyant Emerson Skeens.  He restored Emerson Spice Hotel and Emerson on Hurumzi Hotel, still rated two of the best hotels in Stone Town.  Then motivated by his big-hearted passion for the local community he formed the Emerson Foundation for Zanzibar.  The Emerson Foundation is still making a difference today.  The intriguing story of how the inspirational Emerson Dewey Skeens created three top restaurants in Stone Town and two of the most famous and exotic hotels in Zanzibar, could have come straight from Arabian Tales of 1001 Nights…  Find out more….

Emerson’s Zanzibar Foundation

Emerson Skeens believed in Zanzibar, in Zanzibaris, and their potential to create a vibrant and self-sustaining future that uniquely reflects the rich history and cultural heritage of these islands. So a fund was established to support individuals with exceptional talents in artistic and academic fields.  It assists local organizations that preserve and enhance the culture of Zanzibar. 

The foundation is non-governmental, non-political, non–commercial, non- religious and non–profit making.  But it is certainly changing the stories of many people.

Emerson’s legacy through his exotic Stone Town hotels and top restaurants is still changing the lives of Zanzibaris.   

Read more about The Emerson Zanzibar Foundation here

Emerson Spice Hotel

Stay at Spice

An inspired and lovingly restored Merchant’s House, this Boutique Hotel has eleven stylishly furnished rooms structured around an airy central courtyard.

The hotel hosts two of Stone Town’s top restaurants: The Secret Garden, in the distinctive ruins of the adjacent garden and the Tea House one of Stone town’s most renowned rooftop terraced restaurants.  Emerson Spice Tea House offers stunning sunset views over Stone Town and the harbour.  It offers an authentic stylish ambience, amidst the sound of the call to prayer from Stone Town’s many mosques. 

Find out more about Emerson Spice here.

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Flavours of Zanzibar

Emerson On Hurumzi Hotel

Stay at Hurumzi

In the heart of Stone Town is a beautifully restored palace of one of the richest men in the Swahili Empire – Tharia Topan who served as  principal financial advisor to Sultan Bargash.

The majestic ‘Grande Dame’ of restored Zanzibar palaces has spectacular views.  The building is designed to marry culture and style with the distinct culinary heritage of the era.  The main house has particular historical significance as it is located where the abolition and emancipation of slaves occurred in the 1870’s.

The hotel combines the quality and style of the late 1800’s when it was built, with the colour and comfort of the 21st century.  A strikingly magnificent building with historical significance and unique style.

Find out more about Emerson on Hurumzi Hotel here.

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Let us show you

Stone Town, The Real Zanzibar


Experience Zanzibar

Looking for a place to stay in Stone Town to experience the real Zanzibar?  Zanzibar is like no other place on earth. For centuries, this Indian Ocean island off the coast of Africa has lured explorers, traders, adventurers, and romantics of all kinds.

It is a land of contrasts; a place to delight the senses. With us you will be able to experience the island’s many pleasures, along with Zanzibar’s celebrated hospitality.

Join us at one of our renowned rooftop restaurants, take a coffee in Stone Town’s Secret Garden haven, or stay in one of the exotic boutique rooms in our hotels.  Step into the soul of Stone Town and flavour the real Zanzibar.

Emerson Skeens

The Man with a Dream

“Spaces are magical, always have been for me. Since childhood, often when I walk into a space for the first time, I’m confronted with a narrative, a feeling, a history, some characters. Like Jaques, in “As you Like It,” there is a myth, an opera, a film or a play stretching out on stage before me. These stages present themselves for me to play on and, for even more fun, to play with. The romantic and erotic are always embedded in the space.

May I ask the visitors of Emerson’s Zanzibar’s hotels to indulge with me and perhaps join in by feeling the archetypal stories that inspired the designs of each room. For all the mad romantics that remain among us in a digital age, here’s the scoop”…

 Find out more about Emerson Skeens