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“Zanzibar charm”

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Essque Zalu Zanzibar
Ranked #2 of 17 Hotels in Nungwi
Certificate of Excellence
Saar, Bahrain
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Zanzibar charm”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2013

Our 6 nights at the Essque were relaxing and peaceful. All our needs were immediately addressed and the staff went out of their way to ensure our trip went smoothly. The service at this hotel is notable with the General Manager making regular appearances but I was disappointed that the Tours Manager was not available everyday. The quality of food and variety was really good even with three children who are choosy eaters. Extras, like fresh juices, are quite expensive. Ok the room decor was nothing spectacular, but with a large closet, large bathroom and big balcony, we really didn't mind. At times we felt the hotel to be too quiet, while always beautiful, and were disappointed that the gym was not functional.

Room Tip: Definitely choose a sea view suite
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank LAJ2013
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 15, 2013
dear Friends from Bahrain. Thank you for your wonderful comments. I do recall your visit clearly as it was remarkable to see 4 ladies getting along so well and enjoying each other's company! We are waiting for the new gym equipment to arrive and being on an island, that is not a small challenge. Too quite: Most of our guests value the peace and calm at Essque Zalu; However, i will meet with our colleague who is handling excursions to be more visible and alert. Once again, thanks for your comments and looking forward to seeing those "four sisters" (best girlfriends) soon back here on Zanzibar. Sunny greetings from Unguja, a.k.a. Zanzibar. Luc
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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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London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2013 via mobile

I arrived home today after spending 10 wonderful days at essque zalu in zanzibar and can honestly say it was a holiday of a life time.
From the moment we arrived to the moment we left we loved every minute. The staff including cleaners, gardeners, pool guys, navigators and waiters were on hand every minute of the day to make you feel welcome and tend to your needs. Nothing we asked for was too much trouble. It was good to see the general manager around every day too and was appreciated that he enquirer about the holiday and was there to greet us on arrival and say goodbye on departure.
Our suite was in the garden (number 33) and was our own private paradise set amongst the beautiful shrubs and flowers. The bed was massive and very comfortable and the private terrace out the front was lovely to sit on in the evening. Our room was cleaned to a high standard every day and we enjoyed coming home from dinner each evening to a turned down bed :-)
The food was to die for. Plenty of choice at breakfast and lunch on the jetty admiring the wonderful views is a must as is watching the sunset from here too. The evening meals were varied every day and was simply wonderful. We loved the presentation of the desserts especially and took many photos of them!
As part of our honeymoon package we had a couples massage. This was the most relaxing thing I have ever eexperienced and my husband who does not normally enjoy massages came out looking forward to his next one.
Everything about our stay was a true wow moment from the food to the views to the service that we received and we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone at the resort for making our honeymoon a truly magical and memorable moment.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Michelle 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 review, August 15, 2013
Dear Michelle. Thank you for your wonderful compliments! It gives us a feeling of achieving our goals when reading your comments. We strive to provide the most personalized service possible, without of course intruding on the guests' privacy. Our team composed of many Tanzanians and Zanzibari, are dedicated and proud at the same time to be part of the success Essque Zalu has achieved. We will leave no stone unturned to maintain these standards. When are you planning to come back? Sunny greetings from Unguja, a.k.a. Zanzibar. Luc
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Ghent
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2013

This hotel is OK but so overpriced. Atmosphere is very cold - you feel as you have to talk in a hush way not to be judged by the other guests or staff. You could be anywhere in the world as this is such a typical hotel that shuts you off from the real world. Very poor on advice and organization of out-side activities. Food OK - drinks not, so better order a beer here and stay away from the cocktails.Don't expect a nice beach here neither. A disappointment.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Rita V
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 10, 2013
Dear Rita van Ghent. Thank you for your comments about your stay and we're sorry to read your disappointment. Please note that we do not advertise ourselves as a beach resort. On the other hand we have a makuti roof of 38m high (makuti is the typical Tanzanian roof structure). Throughout the resort we have used hardwood from reforestation sites on the mainland. In our opinion, we've done our best to make you feel in Tanzania/Zanzibar. We will review the issues with the Cocktails with our team and ensure that original recipes only are being used. Excursions are handled by a third company and they promote all the interesting and typical attractions worthy of any destination: Stone Town (UNESCO Heritage site), Jozani Forest, Spice Gardens; furthermore we have a PADI licensed scuba diving agent as well as snorkeling around the world famous Mnemba Atoll. Would you not agree that all this could keep you busy for a while? But i must agree, the beer in Belgium, Augustijn, Piraat & Gulden Draak, to name but a few are far superior than any beer or cocktail, no matter where in the world. Best Regards, Luc van Ertvelde
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Alton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
86 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2013

After much reading and researching in guide books and on trip advisor I decided to settle on the essque for a special 40th birthday surprise, the hotel were great before I arrived and the previous GM Nicolas was really helpful in sorting everything for me before we arrived and then subsequently handed over to Luc the new GM. We were met on arrival at zanzibar airport and taken on the hour and 15 minute journey upto Nungwi, an interesting journey as the scenery changes a lot from stone town to the north of the island. On arrival we were met and offered a cool drink and towel and whisked to our room by our 'navigator' who checked us in to our ocean front suite. The suite was stunning really beautiful situation right on the cliff edge with the waves crashing beneath. So the suites first, they are very spacious, lovely furniture, a great bed with mozzy nets all around, good ac and fans, a huge bathroom and walk in dressing room, toiletries etc what was missing was a kettle and a coffee machine, a hotel at his standard I would expect a nespresso coffee machine or similar, I think it's quite odd they don't have anything in the room, also they have fridges but they are empty, you have to call to fill them, they are missing a trick here, as we would of used the minibar a lot for drinks on our terrace but just didn't bother. I would change both of these things, I queried and they said just call for a pot of coffee but when I wake at 6am I want a coffee, I don't want to wait 20 minutes, anyway small point. There are 5 ocean front villas, I would really recommend paying the difference, the location is stunning and the grounds of the hotel are simply beautiful, flowering trees, shrubs flowers everywhere, you have a large terrace with sunbed and chairs, table looking o it to the wonderful Indian Ocean, stunning, the pool here is incredible, it's cold as its seawater but in the heat of the day is really refreshing, it really is stunning and at night is lit up beautifully. There are ample sunbeds and they are very spaced out so you always have privacy, a rarity in hotels these days and a really important point for me. The dinng as everyone else says here is superb, we booked half board and I have to say was slightly apprehensive about the quality but couldn't of been more wrong, it's amazing, breakfast superb, but dinner is really WOW, a 4 or 5 course fantastic dinner with the choice of western or Swahili, we tried both and both were fantastic, we were there for 7 nights and every night we ate something different, twice we had the extra ala carte option which is worth doing on a night or two for yet more variety and a more intimate setting, it's a supplement of 50dollars but you then get a reduction for your half board option. I cannot complement the chef at the hotel highly enough, the food really is superb. Also we ate almost every lunch on the jetty, a fantastic setting on a pier with a bar and lunch restaurant sat in the middle of the ocean, beautiful with really delicious food, BBQ squid kebabs, Cous Cous etc all washed down with an ice cold Kilimanjaro beer. This venue is also great for sundowners as you get a perfect sunset every evening from the end of the pier lounging on lovely sofas, perfect. You can swim from the pier but it was too choppy whilst we were there. As many people have mentioned the beach disappears with the huge tide here, it varies by about 6 metres so you have to get it just right but with such a wonderful pool it didn't matter at all. You can walk from the hotel in either direction when the tide is right with interesting local life just minutes away and the turtle sanctuary and local fishing village of nungwi and we took a taxi across to the main resort of nungwi one night for drinks on the beach. We had a special occasion whilst there, after some initial hiccups the hotel really pulled out all the stops, they set us up a private table by the pool, we had an amazing dinner, all the staff came out singing and presented a beautiful cake, they made it a very special evening. We had drinks with the GM Luc on one evening in one of the 3 bars and Luc is always visible around the Hotel chatting to guests and making sure everything is ok, this is great to see and makes a big difference in a hotel of this size it makes it very personal and nice to know that the management are visible and care about their hotel. What really sets this hotel apart from others is the fabulous staff, within a day every one knew our names, they are genuinely lovely people who care about their work, the hotel they work for and the island, they are essque' s biggest asset and really made our holiday special, from the jetty staff, to the waiting staff, the bar staff to the cleaners, everyone has a smile and is so polite and friendly. I would highly recommend the essque zalu zanzibar, it's the best hotel in the Nungwi area and probably one of the best on the island, the views from the hotel are simply outstanding, I have never seen the sea in such a variety of colours, the hotel it is very suited to couples and families and although there were some children there whilst we stayed they didn't disrupt the atmosphere at all. I believe the hotel offers a children's club which probably keeps the small ones amused by day. Thank you all at the Essque for a wonderful stay. I really hope we return one day and would certainly choose the essque to stay at.

Room Tip: Ocean front villa/suite
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank AsiaSteve72
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 6, 2013
dear Steve. On behalf of the entire team, sincere thanks for your very generous comments. We also appreciate the suggestions that you mentioned during your stay (and repeated above) and we attempt to implement them soonest. We are looking forward to welcoming you eventually back here at Essque Zalu! Kind Regards, Luc
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Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
36 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2013

It has been almost one year that we stayed at Zalu in August 2013. During the last year, when I was planning another vacation or day dreaming about where to visit, I often yearn to return to Zalu. I don’t miss Zanzibar per se; however, I do miss Zalu.

As you may know, North America is quite far away from Zanzibar. It is an extremely long flight to go to Zalu. Normally, my wife would disagree with me as to vacation destinations. In addition, we cannot justify 24 hours travelling time and wear & tear on the body, just to visit a resort. However, Zalu is totally worth it. My wife and I agreed that next time we visit South or East Africa, we will definitely return to Zalu. In all our vacations, we have never found a better resort than Zalu (in terms of perfect climate, accommodation, relaxed way of life, and most importantly, the friendly staff at Zalu).

Let me briefly explain. We are very adventurous and have travelled extensively for vacation. (Last year, we travelled almost every month, and we have visited over 140 countries). In all our travels, there are only a couple of ‘luxury’ places that I yearn to go back. Zalu is on top on my list. (I missed the exquisite turquoise view of the Indian Ocean, the warm breeze, and the sweet slipper lobster lunch at the jetty, and particularly, the friendly smiles of ALL the local staff, especially the waitresses at the restaurants. Definitely, trust and respectful kudos to the local staff Can’t thank them enough.)

I seldom have a yearning for a resort. For example, as brilliant as the Masai Mara wildebeest migration, although we enjoyed it tremendously, we don’t need to return to our tented safari by the Mara River. However, when I left Zalu after a six-day stay, my wife and I both said to ourselves – had we known about the beauty of Zalu in advance, we would have cut out other African cities and stay longer at Zalu. Next time, we know better.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank AniwaMalakula
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 6, 2013
dear fellow Canadians! Sincere thanks for your compliments to our team members. We take pride to bring your comments to them and of course it makes them smile even more. And all that is left to say: come back soon! The winters in Calgary can be gruesome, so Karibu, anytime! Kind regards, Luc.
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Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2013

The room was spacious and clean. The breakfast wasn't bad but not as good as the dinner. The staff at the Retaurant was eager to help. At the pool, they were a bit slow sometimes. The pool itself was never too busy, but the seats around it fill up very quickly. Many sun beds are in the shed, so you need to pull them out if you want to tan.

Only hiccup was the airport transfer that wasn't waiting for me. It took a couple of phone calls to the resort to get the driver to arrive. To his defense, the flight was early.

All in all, good experience with a great vibe. Especially, when you arrive at dark after a trek.....

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Timetogetserious
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 6, 2013
dear friends of Essque Zalu. Thank you for your beautiful comments and compliments on the meals, especially dinner. With great pride we can inform you and all readers of this review that we have only one Ex-patriate in the Kitchen; all his colleagues are Tanzanian & Zanzibari. The trip from the airport is indeed long, but going back gives you the time to plan your next visit to Essque Zalu. Looking forward to welcoming you back soon. Karibu & Asante Sana (Welcome and Thank you). Kind regards, Luc.
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Accra, Greater Accra, Ghana
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
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 review, 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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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 On the Beach Hotel in Nungwi
#2 Family 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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