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“Incredible luxury for honeymooners, couples or families. Perfect end to a safari!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Essque Zalu Zanzibar

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Essque Zalu Zanzibar
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Nungwi, Nungwi 3151, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 18 Hotels in Nungwi
Philadelphia, PA
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“Incredible luxury for honeymooners, couples or families. Perfect end to a safari!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

We spent the last three nights of an incredible 16 day itinerary here. We had bad luck with the weather (i.e., a fair amount of rain each day including some real downpours) but still had a wonderful time.

We arrived to find that we had been upgraded to a oceanfront villa. This home was absolutely stunning with incredible views, a plunge pool, kitchen, living room/dining room and even a massage room. More of a castle than a hotel with modern decorations and local art combined with every comfort you could imagine.

The property is really incredible. The infinity pool is breathtaking and the main building visually stunning. Everywhere you look, there is a sense of beauty and design. The staff is always on the lookout for a need or desire that they can help you fulfill. This is a really spectacular place that combined amazing luxury with a personal touch.

The food was extremely good whether in the main restaurant or on the jetty or upstairs. The seafood, in particular was superb but so was the dik-dik. The staff were clearly trying to insure you had a fantastic experience but could be a little slow or disorganized at times. If you are patient and not high maintenance, you will be fine but if you place a high value on immediate and accurate service. you may be frustrated at times. For us, the setting and care and interest in our experience, trumped a few minutes or a misunderstanding here or there.

We enjoyed a half-day snorkeling trip to Mneba island where the snorkeling was fantastic but the ability to repeatedly swim with dolphins was a once in a lifetime event. We spent most of the time just relaxing at the property or by the pool. The massage/spa experience was serene. We also walked on the beach, enjoyed a tour of a spice farm and some shopping in Stone Town on the way to the airport. Given the distance of the property from the airport, we would definitely recommend the spice tour and shopping visit as an add on to the trip out leaving late morning or after an early lunch for a late evening flight.

The only negative quibble we would highlight is that the water pressure was relatively low so filling the giant bath tub which is so visually stunning and inviting would take over an hour by which time the water would no longer be hot.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM-Essque_Zalu, General Manager at Essque Zalu Zanzibar, responded to this review, August 20, 2013
Dear Pensylvanians. thank you for your comments.Filling a bathtub is luckily not a priority when on holidays, but it is an issue that i have reviewed with our technicians. The problem has been rectified. thank you for the other comments and we are indeed satisfied that we have achieved our goals: giving our guests, you, the satisfaction, peace and tranquility they expect when coming to Unguja, a.k.a. Zanzibar. Kind Regards, Luc
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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355 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Mombasa, Kenya
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

Absolutely STUNNING.... location and the hotel is beautiful. Luxury villas..... very nice rooms, strong A/C ...... had a villa facing the ocean , was breathtaking..... could see the jetty with a restaurant at the end..... food is excellent especially if u love sea food. Exquisite. very modern architecture . loved the place, very quite and peaceful. A place to relax. Very friendly staff ,and very efficient. A perfect place to get away with family or your spouse and spend quality time and just CHILL.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chennai, India
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

We stayed 3 nights after a Safari trip here. It was one of the best we have stayed. Luc the General Manager and other staff ensured our stay was memorable. As vegetarians we had a limited choice, but on our request they made some special orders.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dar es Salaam
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

There are hotels in Zanzibar that are good and some which are quite exquisite. The Essque Zalu tops all that and stands apart and is head and shoulders ahead of all other luxury hotels in Zanzibar. The resort is in Nungwi and is at the northern tip of Unguja ( Zanizibar). As such the ocean is just gorgeous. The hotel has a panoramic view over the entire Ocean expanse and the same can be enjoyed from the infinity pool. Its a lovely setting and all you hear are the sounds of the waves crashing into the corals. Priceless!..
There is a lovely jetty that stretches well into the ocean and serves some lovely lebanese food and also lovely cocktails. Its quite an experience to just sit out and gaze at the ocean. Very relaxing. The main Market Kitchen restaurant is very nice too. The menus are fixed and have options of Swahili as well as a separate vegetarian menu. The food is very chic and the presentations are lovely. Quite an effort to put out this quality in Zanzibar. The service is equally good. There are 2 other bars and a private dining restaurant on the mezzanine. So there are additional options in case someone wants a special evening!.
The landscaping is actually very nice and a walk in the morning with the birds chirping in the background is the most relaxing thing to do.
You can walk out on the sandy beach during moderate tide as well as low tide. You could swim in the ocean when the tide is coming in. However once the tide sets in, it becomes a bit rough to swim in. One can walk off the steps leading to the ocean from the jetty. Thats the ideal place to jump off. Do have some beach shoes as there is a fair bit of coral and a having a bit of protection is a sensible thing.
The Villa's are superb quality and state of the art. The rooms are equally good and have a garden feel around them. All very private.
All in all, this is high end luxury in rustic Zanzibar. Quite extraordinary. Considering that most of the island is quite under developed, the hotel stands out like a mirage. However once you get there, it is all so lovely and real.

Thank you Luc and team. You are running quite a show. Well done and god willing, see you sometime soon.

Shanker & Tushna

Room Tip: The Villa's with ocean view are really nice. However the regular rooms are fine too...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

Absolutely stunning location and amazing pier/jetty. Food was fantastic, best we had on our two week honeymoon in Tanzania. Pool was great, everyone was friendly but very slow (we are from NYC so everything seemed very slow!). Rooms were very nice with strong A/C, nice TV and sitting room and comfortable beds.

The staff was very nice but took a long-time for everything. We would not see a pool waiter/waitress for a good hour+ sometimes. I also thought there were a couple of quirks that should not exist at a 5 star establishment: a) 3 to 4% fee for CC charges for your final bill, b) a 10% charge to get cash that is needed to tip staff.

Value - Relative to the other high-end establishments on the island, this property seems like good value as we got a special that resulted in approx $450/nt. We heard that other honeymooners were given special private meals and free full board (we had half board) but we were not.

All in all, a great place to stay but don't expect the same level of services as 5 star hotels or safari lodges.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Red Deer, Canada
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for our honeymoon and this place is incredible we toured Kenya and Tanzania on safaris staying jn various lodging and nothing can touch this place. The best part is the people they are incredible the food is amazing and rooms unreal. Highly recommend

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

Our cottage had a beautiful ocean view. Very relaxing having coffee or drinks on the patio. The weather was not that cooperative for us, only one day of sun, then it rained, so we didn't have much to do there. Who knew! The restaurant was very good for all meals. Nice selection each day. The staff were also very good, especially, Sarah, JJ, and Mussa. Had a special drink one night, with watermelon and amaretto. Delicious. The next day I ordered it and it was different so I sent it back. Guess someone made a mistake as the waiter came back with the drink just like the first one I had. Delicious. Sitting out on the jetty having lunch was spectacular even with the clouds. The salt water pool was cool getting in but once you're in it's gorgeous. We walked the beach during low tide, beautiful white sand. The spa is in an outdoor setting and smelled oh so nice!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Essque Zalu Zanzibar

Address: Nungwi, Nungwi 3151, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Nungwi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Nungwi
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Nungwi
#3 Family Hotel in Nungwi
#3 Luxury Hotel in Nungwi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Essque Zalu Zanzibar 5*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Essque Zalu Zanzibar is an intimate boutique destination nestled in a natural cove on the island’s north-eastern coast overlooking the Indian Ocean. Choose from 40 suites, all with picturesque views over the lush tropical garden or the ocean turquoise blue. Ensconce yourself in luxurious-styled spaces crafted from local materials, adorned with native artwork and housed under a traditional pitched Makuti roof. If you need extra space to spread out, try one of our nine expansive villas; 3 or 4 bedrooms. Stretch out in the spacious living room, rustle up a snack in your own kitchen or just chill in the privacy of your very own plunge pool. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Essque Zalu Zanzibar Hotel Nungwi
Essque Zalu Zanzibar Nungwi

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