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“Luxurious space” 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 #1 of 17 Hotels in Nungwi
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Luxurious space”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2014

Zalu is a beautiful place with luxurious space to chill out and unwind. The pool is spectacular and right on the water front. We had a ocean view room which I would highly recommend.great food and very helpful staff.
Great restaurant and bar options with our favorite being the jetty bar and lunchtime restaurant. Prefect for a cocktail for sun downers and friendly interesting staff to spend time with. The spa is well worth a relaxing treat.
Well worth a short walk is a visit to see the turtles being rehabilitated ( great conservation work) and the local village.
Zanzibar as a whole is a great place but really needs to urgently look into its rubbish problem as there are many other tropical islands that don't have rubbish washed up on their beaches and around town.

Room Tip: Ocean from rooms 11-16.
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  • Stayed June 2014, 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
    • 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.
Essque_Zalu, Director of Sales at Essque Zalu Zanzibar, responded to this review, June 25, 2014
Many thanks for your lovely comments. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay. Many thanks for the information you provide me with all the way from New Zealand. It was good to see a feature of us on one your mainstream local newspapers.
With regards to the rubbish around the village, we are working alongside with other hotels to keep the place clean - this is an ongoing process. Best Regards
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305 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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Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2014

I recently stayed at Zalu with my family, and found the place to be magical with a very cool vibe, great food that focused on quality and presentation rather than quantity, excellent design, and incredibly spacious villas. On a more personal note, I truly appreciated the management allowing us to check out a day early without penalty when are daughter fell ill and we had to return to the mainland. We look forward to our return visit and can enthusiastically recommend this place to fellow Trip Advisor readers.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 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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Essque_Zalu, Director of Sales at Essque Zalu Zanzibar, responded to this review, June 25, 2014
It was lovely having you visit and glad that you enjoyed your spacious villa and stay with us. We have kept the same for you and look forward to hosting you again soon.
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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2014

We arrived on the 1st of June after our serengeti safari. We were the first guests of the season we pretty much had the hotel to ourselves. We were given a fantastic upgrade and we're treated like royalty for our whole stay. The hotel had just had the reception repaired after the storm damage and had the rest of the hotel had a coat of paint. I found the hotel in fantastic condition and was well worthy of a five star resort. Food was great, Zanzibar is a small island with not much on it so the hotel makes everything itself including like bread, jams, and honey. All the food is cooked fresh and we never had any problems. Other good points are the jetty and pool area. The room we stayed in was also fantastic. Staff were very attentive and nice. We had an incident one day, which was no fault of the hotel and it was handled very well by the management, in particular by Hussein, Julia and Joseph .
Bad points about the hotel I would say was maybe some staff at dinner were over attentive, sometimes you would just like to be left to eat you dinner but maybe that's just me.
Also there was no entertainment which we didn't mind but others may, and there isn't anywhere else to go out and eat at night, we didn't leave the resort but that's not the hotels fault, I would say it's the same for all of the island other than stone town and even then I didn't fancy eating there either.
I loved Zalu and was the perfect rest after a gruelling safari and I would recommend staying there to any one visiting Zanzibar but I was disappointed with the island it's self.
Thanks guys for a wonderful holiday.

Room Tip: If you can afford it go for a room on the sea, this made our holiday
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  • Stayed June 2014, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Essque_Zalu, Director of Sales at Essque Zalu Zanzibar, responded to this review, June 25, 2014
Dear Charlie and Nic, it was great having you here as our first guest just after our soft refurbishment. We here at Essque Zalu work hard to make every guests experience personal and memorable and we are glad that you left happy. Look forward to seeing you again, maybe for your anniversary. Best Regards
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2014

first of all i want to say that ZALU is one of the most magic places on this planet .
the location is grate but what really dose it is the manager Luke and his very well trained staff .
the service is first class and the food is amazing .the architecture of the main building is so authentic and beautiful !!!! the pool is the best pool ever (ocean water )
we really enjoyed staying in ZALU if you looking for high quality and total relaxation look no more book your stay right now !!!!! rally we recommend it over and over to all the people we know that choose to visit zanzibar !!!
the location is good you can stay @ the hotel and do some chilling or you go across the road(10 min walk or take a taxi ) to the beach for a drink ,sun set ,people watching and have a bit of a party ). ZALU is so chilled and quiet so if you looking for mega party time do not expect it @ the resort . we enjoyed the stillness and high quality service and no one gets in your face !!!!
soooooooo we recommend ZALU totally and go and try it out 100%

Room Tip: beach front rooms are fab.if not front row try upstairs rooms better view villas are amazing for...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2014

My fiancé and I have visited this hotel a few times now, and we adore the restaurant on the jetty! One of our favourite lunch spots in Zanzibar! Exquisite food, outstanding service, glorious setting, and the most amazing views!
We are planning to stay for a few nights during the new season!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2014

We were lucky enough to stay in Essque Zalu for 7 nights in early January for our honeymoon. From the moment we entered the reception area we were amazed at how the hotel lived up to the pictures on the website. It is very sad to hear that some of the main building was damaged recently as the 'wow' feeling we got when we first walked in and looked out at the pool and the sea will stay with us for ever. We had a garden view room and whilst a sea view would have been nice the villa itself was amazing with a huge bed, lovely big bathroom and plenty of storage space. It did not bother us not having a beach and it is fairly obvious from the website and other reviews on here that there is no beach therefore I don't understand when people give out about that. The salt water pool is lovely although I would have loved to swim off the jetty but the sea was quite rough when we went there. The food was very good in all of the restaurants and in particular the lunch down on the jetty was spectacular. The drinks served in the bar were also very good. It was quiet when were visited and therefore there was not much of an atmosphere in the bar after dinner however with the hotel so quiet it meant we completely relaxed for the whole week. We stayed in the hotel for all our meals as that was what we wanted however you could walk to Nungwi depending on the tides to try some other restaurants. We walked along the beach one of the days and another day visited the turtle conservatory which is well worth a visit. We were very sad to leave Essque Zalu as we know we may never make the trip again as it is so far away. We would definitely recommend it to anyone who is visiting Zanzibar. Pure Bliss

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essque_Zalu, Director of Sales at Essque Zalu Zanzibar, responded to this review, 3 weeks ago
Thank you for taking the time to your experience with us, we are pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay with us and your recommendations are greatly appreciated. We hope that we could again host you as our guest, perhaps for your anniversary... Warm regards from Sunny Zanzibar
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Tanzania
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2014

Well, quite a long list to write about, so will just start from the very beginning,
this review considered for a 5 star resort with price range of $500 per night who claims to have various distinguish awards (one of which is Trip Advisor's resort of the year 2013) which I'm still puzzled how could that be possible unless the reviewers were completely blind or do not have slightest clue what 5 star resort should be like.

The main hotel entrance is nothing impressive and since the main reception 'cathedral-like' structure is under construction (April 2014) from damages occur in February , we had to use alternative entrance to temporary reception area, something that was not communicated on reservation process.
The check in was clumsy, disorganized and seemed more suitable to 2-3 stars hotel in down town.

The property is not very big, the staff are very poorly trained in the various hotel details, the villa is spacious however very weird design with no flow or cozy feel.
Mini-bar is EMPTY, to get a drink you need to call the in-room dining to get it for you, something that took about 20-40 minutes.
They hardly pick up the phone, and if they do- will take them at least 10-15 minutes to reach to you.
Very few suits are facing the sea, the rest are within the garden.

The resort facilities are very poorly maintained, the garden is not groomed , the pool surface paint is pealing off and you can see advanced black algae on the side walls (especially during the night with the pool lights), the wood decks are not painted or polished as well.

Some of the restaurants/bars are not available due to the ongoing construction on the main reception building, as well something that was not communicated on reservation process (aren't they have to?)

The operational restaurants do not have proper manager in place so the staff are quite disorganized and not very attentive to guests needs, we had lunch at the jetty , was hard to get waiter attention, as they were busy FISHING from the back door, and during breakfast, we had to speak to 4 different waiters to understand create dish from the menu, and still none of them properly described the dish correctly (we wanted to know what's inside the Caponata)

The property DONT HAVE A BEACH (you would like to have a white sandy beach coming to a resort in a tropical island, would you ?
And every excursion you may want to take is operated by external company that require picking you, taking you to their launch point and return you after , from any water sport, diving or simply dipping in the water....or you could enter the hotel water through the jetty staircases and risk getting sting by sea urchin.

There are numerous resorts within less than 5km proximity that offer much more for lesser rates, except the fact that you could see both sunset and sunrise from same location on the jetty, we found no reason whatsoever why would such place charge over $400-$600 Per night (full board packages)

The management need to open their eyes and start pulling their act together if they want this place to succeed, potential is there, but not for long.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essque_Zalu, Director of Sales at Essque Zalu Zanzibar, responded to this review, April 25, 2014
Thank you for your comments which we value enormously. We agree that we need to improve on the service in our outlets and, rest assured, this is a priority. The entire management is taking this issue seriously. Surely you cannot blame Essque Zalu Zanzibar for the hurricane that destroyed the roof. We clearly indicated in your welcome letter that we did apologize for the inconvenience. As well, Essque Zalu Zanzibar is not advertised as a beach resort, but as a lifestyle boutique resort. Tastes of colours and foods differ and what you find “weird”, many other guests (please read TripAdvisor) find exquisite and of utmost taste. Who are we to dispute this? The resort is closing in May for one month of refurbishment and this includes the refinishing of the pool. The Paint is peeling off, but there is no algae, rest assured. Please note as well that in the high season, our villas are rented at a much higher rate (and people are happy, again read TripAdvisor); and maybe on your next trip, you should select a 2 or 3 star resort on Nungwi where you would feel more at home. Please do not hesitate to connect with us further on this subject if you wish, by addressing the author of your welcome letter (which you obviously read). Kind Regards
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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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Nungwi
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Nungwi
#1 Romantic Hotel in Nungwi
#2 Family Hotel in Nungwi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Essque Zalu Zanzibar 5*
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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