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“A taste of Heaven”

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Essque Zalu Zanzibar
Ranked #2 of 17 Hotels in Nungwi
Certificate of Excellence
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
41 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“A taste of Heaven”
Reviewed October 28, 2012

What a beautiful hotel, with exciting architecture in a magnificient landscaped garden. Walking into the hotel was like walking into heaven. Fantastic view of the beach and ocean. A beautiful terraced pool giving a visual feeling that it was a part of the ocean. Fantastic service; friendly, charming and always present. In a personal way. We were treated and felt like kings and queens. At the same time we got good contact with the people and could learn about their background and culture. Interesting and rewarding. And the general manager was giving a personal touch to our visit by following us up regularily during our 7 days stay. Well done. The hotel facilities, with the restaurant, bars and in particular the jetty was excellent. The jetty was built almost 100 meter out in the ocean and gave a breathtaking view of the coast and the hotel. What a sourrounding for lunch and the sundowner. Our spacious villa was very luxuries. Beautiful bedrooms and bathrooms, own living room and a large, private terrace were we had dinner one night. Magnificient. We will never forget our first impression with the beauty, the incredible luxury villa, our private whirlpool where we enjoyed chilled champagne. What a start. Last, but not least, the food was of very high quality, exciting, different, fresh and delicious.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank straume
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ezz11, General Manager at Essque Zalu Zanzibar, responded to this review, October 30, 2012
Bonjour and warm greetings from sunny Zanzibar!

Our heartfelt appreciations for your astounding review of your recent experience at Essque Zalu Zanzibar. It is heart warming to receive such fabulous remarks on the architecture, decor and ambience of Essque Zalu and of the accomodation and its overall feel - the lifestyle component of the hotel combined with the contemporary African feel, awes many of our guests who fall in love with Essque on arrival.

We also hope that you had a wonderful time diving around the fantistic waters of North Eastern Zanzibar and further your kids enjoyed their introductory diving lessons? The waters and reefs in this area is abundant in under water flora and fauna giving divers a multitude of experiences in their dives; I personally love diving here and always recommend many of our guests to atleast once venture out on dives or snorkelling trips as it is amazingly beautiful.

With this, thank you once again,

Warm regards

Nicolas Konig
General Manager
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584 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (119)
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English first
East London, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 24, 2012

After seeing this resort feautured on Masterchef SA, we decided to treat ourselves to our first Zanzibar visit, and what a magical time we had!! The resort is one of the most beautiful places we've ever seen and been to - from the amazing architectural layout, the specatcular view, the turquoise water, the incredible service and attention to detail, to the culinary delights awaiting at every meal. We were made to feel like royalty by all the staff ( love the concept of "navigators") with exceptional service from Edgar, Sadam, Dau, Fortuna, Maria, Merci, and all the barmen, waiters and poolhelp. The manager, owner and security manager add their special personal touch. The atmosphere is calm, relaxed and exclusive, with every whim being catered for. Plenty of personal space, beautiful gardens, meals served at the table ( no buffet style) with plenty of choice. Michelin star meals are served at the upstairs restaurant - a truly mouthwateringexperience and the presentation a feast for the eyes. This is a very special place !! Sitting at the jetty watching the dows go out across the reef is a picture we will never forget. We will rave about the people of Zanzibar and this resort for ever, and highly recommend it to anyone. We hated leaving and will be back. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!!!!

Room Tip: sea view room, you do not need a sea facing room
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Janet E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ezz11, General Manager at Essque Zalu Zanzibar, responded to this review, October 25, 2012
Jambo and warm greetings from Zanzibar,

Your wonderful feedback is sincerely appreciated by my team and myself. I have taken the liberty to personally thank all the member of staff you have mentioned in your review and I must say that everyone had this beautiful smile of appreciation on their faces, which for me is one of the best sights to see.

As a matter of information, the design and architecture is by an Italian architect who specialises in luxury villas and when the owners approached him to design Essque Zalu Zanzibar, he was overjoyed with excitement to take on this mammoth project. He suggested that the design should be minimalist and one that has open spaces to give guests a feeling of openness and space. He assured the owners that once he is done with the designing of the resort, the feel and ambience will leave guests and visitors speechless - Allow me to say that when we saw the finished structure, it surely left us speechless as the real thing exceeded our expectations by far! Therefore it is really nice to hear some fabulous things about the design and structure at Zalu.

Our culinary team, headed by our executive chef Mr. Jussi, who has immense experience on the island, loves to create a fusion of experiences when creating the menus and your enthusiastic feedback always encourages the team to bring more creativity to their work spaces.

Thank you once again and hope we all see you soon in Zanzibar again,

Asante Sana

Nicolas Konig
General Manager
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Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2012 via mobile

After a weeks safari, we finished our honeymoon with a week at Zalu. Booked through Imagine Africa, our driver met us at the airport and took us straight to the hotel.

On arrival, we were greeted warmly by one of the teams and shown to our room - or maybe cottage would be a more accurate description! The cottage was gorgeous, and very large!

The pool and jetty were amazing! The view of sunset from the jetty is definitely worth the walk! During low tide you can get down to the beach and walk along to a turtle sanctuary.

The food was very good, and as honeymooners we got a free upgrade to full board. My favourite meal of the day was breakfast- lots of choice and they even cook pancakes and waffles!!!

Overall, definitely a hotel I would recommend.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Kellie_Gareth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ezz11, General Manager at Essque Zalu Zanzibar, responded to this review, October 22, 2012
Dear Guest,

Warm greetings from Essque Zalu Zanzibar,

Thank you for your recent stay at Essque Zalu Zanzibar which was booked through Imagine Africa.

It gives my team and myself immense pleasure in receiving your positive and encouraging feedback on Tripadvisor on your stay at Essque Zalu Zanzibar. We always share all Tripadvisor feedback with our team who also wish to extend their appreciaitions and warm wishes to you.

Your feedback is extremely valuable to us so thank you for taking the time to write and share your experience on this site.

With thanks and warm Wishes,

Nicolas Konig
GM - Essque Zalu Zanzibar
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warwick
Level Contributor
53 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed October 16, 2012

First visit to Zanzibar for a long two week holiday, after seeing the photos of the hotel online I couldn't wait to see it for myself. It is just over an hour to drive there by taxi from the airport, but it is well worth the journey! As we arrived we were warmly greeted by the staff, we were shown around while they quickly took care of the bags. There's a great choice of rooms depending on your budget and party size.

The hotel, rooms and restaurants are beautifully designed and furnished, giving it a lovely clean, comfortable and special feel. The staff are polite and friendly, they learnt all our names, made us feel at home and it really makes a difference.

There are three restaurants, the market kitchen where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. The nightly menu is fixed with three, four course options: normal menu, vegetarian or swahili. The normal menu and vegetarian change every night and the staff will gladly mix and match a little if you fancy more than one dish on a paricular night. You can eat the normal nightly menu upstairs underneath the full expanse of the large thatched roof. They also have a special menu upstairs with more game meat options and the biggest chocolate dessert...! Then there's the jetty, sat out above the water where we would have lunch, it is more of a swahili menu with chapati wraps, kebabs, beautiful salads and seafood. The food was absolutely delicious and we didn't tire of it at all even after two weeks. It was great to explore the different cuisine and fruits of the island.

People have commented on the beach, there is one, but you do need to make an effort and consult the tide planner! Zanzibar has quite a large tidal range, over four meters on spring tides. When sunbathing does it mater if you're bed is on sand? We had hours to walk all the way up the beach to a beautiful sand bar surrounded by the crystal clear seawater. If you head the other way you get to Nungwi in less than 10 minutes. As the tide comes in, it does stir up the sand and so the water is not clear at high tide. You can swim off the end of the jetty where you can also lounge on sunbeds by the bar!

A really impressive hotel that seems unique as it settles into it's landscape with the thatched roof designs of all the buildings. The food was outstanding that it was very easy to order far more than you can manage! I didn't take a close look at any other hotels around the island, but I don't know how they could come anywhere close to the quality of Zalu.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sn00pycat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warwickshire
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2012

Having read all the rave reviews from previous guests from the Zalu, I was doubtful that any hotel could actually be that good. I was wrong! We stayed for 2 weeks and I can honestly say that the hotel is flawless, and one of the best that I have enjoyed anywhere in the world.
The food is outstanding and world class. The architecture of the main building deserves a visit from Kevin McCloud from Grand Designs. The staff are polite, friendly, professional and very helpful. For those few previous guests who criticised the staff's grasp of the English language, I have some advice - please stay at home. I would recommend that if you have not visited Zalu, you should do so as quickly as possible.

Room Tip: All are excellent and the choice depends on the size of your party and the size of your budget.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Fivestarpete
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phuket, Thailand
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2012

As a professional hotelier for the last 17 years I had the chance to work and see my share of luxury hotels around the world. I have to say that Essque Zalu has fulfilled all my expectations. Not only the location was splendid with amazing view of the Indian Ocean with the fishing boat in the back ground but the staff were doing their upmost at all times to ensure that you were having a great time. The General Manager, Nicolas, gave us a warm welcome on arrival and was present at all times if needed from breakfast to dinner which is quiet rare nowadays. The food was excellent, the products fresh, surely organic, tasteful and perfectly cooked. The fish was to die for with a perfect moistly flesh and firm without being overcooked.
Thanks to Essque Zalu and its team we had one of our best holiday ever and trust me being from the industry it is hard to please us as we tend to have the eye on all the details around us.
Nothing looked too difficult, the staff were beautifully dresses and always welcomed you with a honest smile "Jambo".
I would not recommend any other hotel in Zanzibar and would ask Nicolas to recommend some local restaurants nearby so that you have the chance to experience Zanzibar with all its charms.
I almost forgot to mention the spa, my wife thought it was the best massage she ever had. The therapists were friendly, professional and very well trained using beautiful natural African products.
Thank you to all the team and to Nicolas for a better holiday that we could have imagined. We will keep fond memories of Essque Zalu and hope to be able to come back one day.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TonyBellony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed October 4, 2012

This hotel is by far the best we have stayed in and deserves its place at Number 1 in Nungwi on Trip Advisor. Every part of our stay was excellent from an efficient check in (very fast with no paperwork!), beautiful accommodation, helpful and friendly staff and faultless food in the restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The pool is large and perfect to relax by. There is plenty of space between the sun loungers and it was nice to sit and listen to the ocean. We loved the 'special time' mocktails and fruit in the mornings which were always served with a smile and a chat.

Breakfast is 'deli style' which makes a great change from the buffets that many five star resorts offer. There is a great choice of dishes to start the day and the swordfish is particularly good. We tried lunch both in the market kitchen and on the jetty restaurant, each have different menus and specialities to try depending on your mood. The dinner menu in the market kitchen is also worth a special mention, a choice a three different menus each night (a regular menu, veggie menu and Swahili menu). The food was of a very high standard and the wait staff are very attentive.

We had some great evenings at the Jetty bar and the main bar. Cocktails are all freshly made and the piña colada was divine!!! We were served canapés with some of our drinks in both bars which was a lovely and unexpected touch.

The spa treatments were very good, with each treatment starting with a foot soak and massage.

Customer service here is exceptional and all staff want to provide the best service. It was also nice to meet some of the senior staff / management around the hotel to share our feedback on the service and food. It is quite clear that the management take great pride in this hotel and this shines through in all aspects resulting in a memorable stay.

The location of the hotel is around an hour from stone town.

The only one point to note is that the prices in the boutique are high ($25 for 90ml of suncream) so best to be a little more organized than us and take plenty of supplies with you!

Overall we cannot speak highly enough of this hotel, the management have certainly got it right and we would definately recommend this hotel.

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Denise P
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

Property: Essque Zalu Zanzibar
Address: Nungwi 3151, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Nungwi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Nungwi
#2 Family Hotel in Nungwi
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Nungwi
#2 Luxury Hotel in Nungwi
#5 Romantic Hotel in Nungwi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Essque Zalu Zanzibar 5*
Number of rooms: 48
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 
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Also Known As:
Essque Zalu Zanzibar Hotel Nungwi
Essque Zalu Zanzibar Zanzibar Island/Nungwi

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