To live like royalty, even for a day, is a fantasy for many of us. Unfortunately, we can’t all be Meghan Markle. However, on a recent trip to Zanzibar, I did get to feel like a Princess for one royally exquisite weekend.
Kholle House, located right in the heart of Stone Town, Zanzibar, truly is fit for a queen. Or, better yet, a princess. In fact, the building was first constructed in 1860 for Princess Kholle, daughter of Sayyid Said bin Sultan Al-Busaid, the Sultan of Oman and later the first Sultan of Zanzibar. While the Princess never lived at Kholle House, it served as a place for her to show off her valuables and entertain visitors.
Since then, Kholle House has gone through it’s own restorations, however it still maintains many aspects of the Princess’s exquisite taste, including the same marble accent floor tiles from when the building was first constructed.
Today, the intimate hotel consists of just ten rooms, all uniquely fusing together traditional Swahili and French-Creole influences. In the lobby, golden antiques adorn the warm, dimly lit turmeric hallways. It’s easy to feel transported back in time, to a period of regal luxury. And yet, nothing feels stuffy or overly fancy. Kholle House somehow manages to perfectly balance royal elegance while still remaining cozy and inviting.
I had the pleasure of sleeping in one of the Prestige rooms, which proved to be a luxurious start to my Zanzibar trip. Like the rest of the hotel, the walls were a warm yellow, our private balcony overlooked the hotel’s lush private garden, and the four-poster bed really did make me feel like I should be wearing a diamond-encrusted crown.
Each morning, breakfast was served outside in the garden. From there, I was faced with the truly difficult decisions: relax in the the cozy reading nook or take a dip in the pool? Ah, the tough life of a Princess!
At 4 pm each afternoon, I ventured up to the pillow-stacked roof for a traditional afternoon tea and gorgeous views of the city, as the sun made its way down the horizon.
Located just minutes away from the ferry, Kholle House is a private oasis within the busy, touristic and yet authentic center of Stone Town; it’s a perfect base for exploring the charming alleys of the historic district, and an even better tranquil hideaway.
I was welcomed as a guest of Kholle House for two nights. As always, all opinions are my own.