The Essque Zalu is an excellent resort (described well in detail in other reviews) and I would return there. It does however, have a few shortcomings:
The Ocean View Room category: This is probably the biggest shortcoming of all. They advertise this room category at booking as having magnificent views of the ocean, but it’s really not the case. The ocean is only viewed from one window, and from there it’s behind some plants, and not really visible. I have posted pictures of the view from each window to give a better idea. I did let the manager know how I felt and he agreed and tried to make up for it by pointing out that this room category received less wind than the Sea Front room category (which are the ones with the real ocean views). It’s really a bad feeling to pay a lot extra for a room category and not be delivered what was advertised.
Credit Card Fee: The hotel charges a 5% fee for paying your balance by credit card at check out. Though this is typical of lower grade accommodation in Africa, it is not typical of fine hotels that charge high rates. It’s not nice when you have to pay an extra 200 bucks because you didn’t happen to have over 3,000 dollars in cash on you. None of the finer hotels in Africa do this. Also, they took my booking with an American Express, but wouldn’t accept it at check out saying they only take Visa or MC, which was strange.
Service: The staff at the hotel is extremely pleasant and tries extremely hard. They just need a bit more training and a bit more time to get in the swing of things. I would say that this is typical, but it’s really not as all the other nice hotels we stayed at in Africa seem to have a staff that understands what their guests want a bit better. Things like ordering drinks and getting poolside chairs take a little longer to explain than they should. For example, we had to point to every item on the menu in order for them to understand what dish we were requesting. We would also often wait for 20 minutes just for a drink by the pool. Again, the staff is extremely nice and is putting in lots of effort, so you won’t find this bothering you much while there.
Beach: While the dock is a great thing to have at the resort (and has amazing food at the restaurant I should add), this hotel isn’t on the long white sand beaches you think of when you think of Zanzibar. It gets a little sand during low tide, but you’ll have to walk more into Nungwi to get a wider beach. This is something I knew going into it, so no points deducted for this.
In closing, I really did enjoy the resort and I would go back next time I was in Zanzibar (though I’d like to try the Palms hotel first), but I’d make sure to either pay more for a Sea Front room category or pay less and get a Garden View room. I’d also be sure to take cash to avoid paying more at checkout. Hope the above info helps!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Take a deep breath of fresh Indian ocean air, relax and unwind. Essque Zalu Zanzibar is an intimate boutique destination nestled in a natural cove in the north east coast of Unguja (alias Zanzibar). Essque Zalu Zanzibar combines contemporary luxury with a real sense of place. This boutique hotel has the turquoise waters of the Indian ocean to one side and lush green forest to the other, and there is just a hint of spice in the warm and fragrant tropical air. At Essque Zalu Zanzibar, create your own personal paradise, your own kind of luxury, an experience of a lifetime. Choose from 40 individual suites and 8 villas all with picturesque views over the lush tropical garden or the ocean turquoise blue. Our suites offer a luxurious-styled space crafted from local materials, adorned with native artwork and housed under a traditional pitched makuti roof. From farm to table, we take great pride in our sumptuous cooking. Satisfy your taste buds with a choice of two unique restaurants, three well stocked bars and a variety of destination dining experiences. Unashamedly indulgent, the Spa comprises of two couples treatment rooms, four single rooms, vichy shower, a sauna and steam room - a haven of restorative and rejuvenating perfection. Using only 100% truly organic and natural ingredients, our focus is on capturing the intelligence of nature in the restorative process. We know that the essence of nature can synergistically interact with the energy system, and this knowledge forms the basis of our Africology creations, all orchestrated to help you lead a more holistic lifestyle. Essque Zalu is your outpost into the first steps of the wildness and tranquility of Zanzibar. Reconnect with nature and experience a land rich in life and uninhabited space. We offer guests the opportunity to partake in activities to experience some of the islands most Spectacular and scenic excursions. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Essque Zalu Zanzibar Hotel Nungwi
- Essque Zalu Zanzibar Zanzibar Island/Nungwi