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Essque Zalu Zanzibar
Ranked #3 of 19 Hotels in Nungwi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 25, 2013

great rooms, friendly staff, great cocktails, beautiful landscape and scenery. Food was enjoyable for the first 3days then gets a little boring.unfortunately the beach front is rocky but if u take a short scenic walk to the left or right side u will discover beautiful swimming sandy areas.
If anyone wants to take a sunset cruise look for Tambo at the turtle orphanage near the light house. Much more affordable than hotel rates and very trust worthy.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Serwaah
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 reviewResponded August 7, 2013

Dear Serwaah. thank you for your remarks. Sad to read that the food became a bit boring. Our Chef and his team would have loved to prepare anything you would be craving for, that is what we suggest in personalized welcome letter (in your room upon arrival). We need to mention that all excursions booked through our excursion desk are provided by companies in full accordance with the law, as well, the mode of transport as well as all other equipment is properly insured and maintained. This cannot be confirmed for those excursions booked on the beach. In fact, a lot of guests return with immense disappointment after feeling been had by the beach boys. We recommend to pay a bit more, better safe than sorry. Till we meet again here at Essque Zalu, Luc

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Reviewed July 25, 2013

My wife and I stayed here post Safari for our honeymoon. The hotel was kinda enough to offer us discounted rate, a complementary upgrade to full board and a host of other extras.

The property itself was beautiful, with amazing food at each meal and exceptionally friendly staff. However, despite the large number of staff, service was quite slow. It often took 30 minutes for a drink ordered by the pool to arrive (even a simple beer).

The gym was also completely non existent, with an under construction sign. Based on other reviews, this seems like a common experience and really well below standard for a resort of this quality. Even if it had been operational, the space for it was quite small.

Also, it is good to note that trips into Stone town are quite pricey as you are on the northern end of the island.

But aside from these small complaints we had an exceptional time. The Swahili cooking lessons with Chief Pendall (sp?) was a real highlight (she did a great job). As was a half day snorkeling. trip.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Krishna R
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 reviewResponded August 20, 2013

Good day Krishna. thank you for your comments and allow me to apologize for the slow service. Communication is indeed a problem we have recognized and we are addressing it; we have hired an English teacher and we are continuously training and re-training the team. The gym has been out of order for a while. The equipment was too damaged and we have ordered new equipment. Zanzibar being an island, shipping is an issue. Chef Rose is delighted with your compliments about her Swahili cooking lessons. May i add that our Executive Chef Jussi is the only non-Tanzanian in the Kitchen team. All other members that have prepared the delicious (calories-free...) meals, are from Zanzibar or the mainland of Tanzania. And we are proud of it! Looking forward to your next visit! Kind regards, Luc

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Reviewed July 20, 2013

We stayed here for about a week following a five day safari in Kenya. The first impressions were really good, with impressive premises, great welcome, including a welcome drink and a thorough presentation of our room, which was spacious and well decorated.

The room in general was good, except for poor ventilation, against which the AC could not help. We got sick and had to stay inside q lot. By the end of the week the air was stuffed and unpleasant and worsened our condition. It was not very pleasant to sit outside either. We had a so-called "garden view" room, but the garden turned out to be the pathway to the rooms, scattered with palm trees to create an illusion of a garden. Our patio was right next to three pathways which had an almost continuous stream of staffers and guests scuttling to and fro. I would hardly grant them the view part, and just barely the garden path. I suspect the ocean view and top floor rooms had better views and more privacy.

The food ranged from average to good. Dinners were the high point, while breakfast was disappointing and lunch was uninspired. It was also impossible to enjoy lunch outside due to the impressive amount of flies which would descend on the bread basket within minutes. The staff showed no concern in shielding the food from the flies. The dinners were tasty and well presented, but the European style of cooking with local produce made both of us ill. Do take precautions with the food even in luxury accomodations such as this.

The location is far from most anything, the roads are rough and the driving is reckless. You will need at least an hour getting anywhere. To snorkel at mnemba, we spent an hour each way, 40 minutes of which were on a rocky dust road at barely jogging speed. If you get ill like us, any medicine you need, you will have to buy in stone town, an hour away.

The service is good, we had no complaints. We had limited use of the facilities, as we got ill so soon, but the pool was nice, the little time we spent there. It could get windy, and when it did, there were no sheltered places to stay outside, making it difficult to stay outside even when the air temperature was nice.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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Thank evterpe
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 reviewResponded October 21, 2013

dear RG. Although the beach is accessible from our Jetty during low tide, we are not a beach resort and yes you are right, the "beach" is a short distance drive. And you are absolutely right: Nungwi and Stone Town are absolutely worth the visit.
RE; being a vegetarian: as you will recall, we invite our guests to inform us when the have a special wish or diet and i am glad to hear that our Chef Jussi and his team were able to satisfy your appetite. Dubai is not so far from here, so: when are you coming back? Karibu anytime! Kind regards, Luc

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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
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Thank mwsk_h
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 reviewResponded 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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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
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Thank S-Issak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank sriramaraja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank Siddharth C
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 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:
#2 Spa Hotel in Nungwi
#2 Family Hotel in Nungwi
#3 Luxury Hotel in Nungwi
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Nungwi
#5 Romantic Hotel in Nungwi
Price Range: $376 - $802 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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