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“Couldn't be better!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Essque Zalu Zanzibar

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Essque Zalu Zanzibar
Ranked #2 of 17 Hotels in Nungwi
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
“Couldn't be better!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 12, 2014

We spend 3 nights at the Sea view Villa, there isn't a better spot on earth than that one! Amazing food, great service if you travel with a child and excellent location. Definitely a place to come back. 10!!

  • Stayed January 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Nickrk
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, February 15, 2014
Dear Nick. We are glad that you and your family enjoyed your stay with us. We do remember your wife, you and your little princess having fun all around. Do not wait till your daughter has to invite you for your silver wedding anniversary before coming back, Essque Zalu is waiting for you. Kind regards, Luc Verschelden.
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573 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 (118)
Date | Rating
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English first
new york
Level Contributor
61 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2014

Essque Zalu is impressive--from the soaring triangular roof line of the main building, to the picture perfect jetty jutting out into the turquoise ocean, to the beautifully landscaped grounds. The rooms are like mini villas and are lovely and generously sized, though the furniture and decor could have been a little better for a 5 star property. Bathrooms are huge. Splurge and book room with ocean view. Overall the food was very good. Lunch out on the jetty is by far the best for atmosphere and menu. Dinner was a little disappointing--the food was good, but ambiance (upstairs) was awkward, as was the service. While the staff are very nice and try to be helpful, there is a little bit of a language barrier, but you get by easily. There didn't seem to be quite enough lounge chairs around the pool so there was always a competition in the morning. I would recommend Essque Zalu, as it's one of the best in Zanzibar, but it's quite expensive and I feel like they could take it up a notch or two on service/decor/food and then it would be amazing.

Room Tip: Book one with an ocean view (numbered in the teens 13, 14, 15, etc)
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jamesk
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, February 3, 2014
dear James. Thank you for your wonderful comments and yes we agree that not all employees are fluent in English. As well, we were hoping that the guests in the villas would stay by their plunge pool, the peak season caused indeed a problem with the pool beds. we bought some extras so that problem is resolved. We appreciate your room type, however, future visitors: WE DON'T HAVE A SUITE NUMBER 13... with Sunny greetings from a warm Zanzibar to a freezing New York... Luc Verschelden
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New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2014

Zalu is a relatively new hotel in Zanzibar in the northern side (about 45min - 1 hour drive from the airport). Been around for last 3 years, owned by an Italian, on the northern beach of Zanzibar. Hotel structure and design, especially around the lobby, bar, and pool is beautiful and breezy, with a modern chic taste and an amazing view of the ocean. (Note that there is no beach in front of the hotel depending on the tide, and if you'd like to lay on the beach, you need to walk on the beach during low tide to another place 10mins away). Great villas for couples and honeymooners, but the family style larger villas were also amazing. The best part of this hotel was the food, which was comparable to restaurant food in NYC or Tokyo. Service of most staff was also very friendly and hospitable. The only downside was service around the pool, which was slow and sloppy, but most high end luxury hotels in Tanzania had some aspect of that, despite the extremely steep prices vs world standard high end hotels. Communal group tip will be asked at checkout. I would suggest getting full board, given the food is very good, and typically you will be staying at Zanzibar at the tail end of your Tanzania safari trip where you are tired of exploring and just want to relax.

Room Tip: We originally got a couple villa on the lower level (garden view), but for $50 a night for two, mana...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank HAPA100
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, January 21, 2014
dear Happa; Thank you for your comments. We must admit that during the peak season the service around the pool was a bit slow, however you will remember the cocktails are made à la minute and of course this takes a while. We are glad you enjoyed the villa and we are looking forward to welcoming you back to Essque Zalu here in Zanzibar. Luc Verschelden
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London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2014

We moved to Essque after a disastrous booking in a nearby hotel. When we arrived we were overjoyed we had made the move.

The staff greeted us warmly and openly, for such a large hotel it has a wonderful family style warmth to it.

We were showed to our room which sadly did not have a sea view but we were still very happy! After a wonderful first night we were asked to check out what they did have available and if we did not want it we can stay put... We were moved to the most amazing villa, it was spacious and set in the most amazing gardens, what sea view?!

Within our honeymoon package we had a massage each, after this I fell in love with the spa and booked some more treatments. The facial I had was amazing, I've been to some of the best spa's in the world and the treatment here was up there with the top ones, I even fell asleep during the treatment which is hard in a facial!!

The food I could not fault, great choice, great chefs/waiters & great locations on restaurants. The local menu was my husbands favorite!

My favorite was my iced coffee by the pool, we loved our smoking waitress each day!

I cannot recommend this restaurant enough, the General Manager goes out of his way to make your stay a memorable one and ours really was. I want to come back one day when we have children!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Katy 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 review, January 10, 2014
dear Louise; thank you so much for your very flattering comments. It is true that the treatments in the Wellness Center are great (I am a regular there, but not for a facial though). But you need to come back: Our Chef is composing a new local menu; your husband will gain a few pounds with this one. The lemongrass soup will stay on, for sure. Looking forward to having you back with the little ones or even before! Happy New Year. Luc Verschelden
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Addis Ababa
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2014

Just imagine - you are taking a sun bath , on the cliff above the Indian Ocean, roaring turquaze waves are sharing miriads of splashes with you. This is Esque.
And then you are having an amazing dinner, listening to a soft music of a nice live band. No Buffett here in this hotel. Everything is made for you, tailored to your taste.
In the morning, when there is a low tide, you walk along the endless seabed , finding shells, watching crabs and star fish in little lagoons . When water is up, you can jump from the jetty straight into the wild waves of the ocean. In between - don't forget to taste some grilled calmari and sword fish and some amazing cocktails , cooked for you in the Jetty's restaurant.
Kids are so busy with activities, we have to look for them. You are still connected to the "real" world, as wifi is everywhere and it's free.
People here are friendly, attentive and just determine to make your stay the best ever. When we felt that we have not enough space for kids in the room , we were upgraded for free to a much bigger place, villa. Feels like a Xmas present!!!
And one more thing - if you want to buy a tanzanite, ask Mr Luke, the manager, he can recommend you the best place to get it (tailored made jewelry just in 2 days, delivered to your room, if you don't like it - you just return it).

This place is a real gem of East Africa!

  • Stayed January 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank NiginaMuntean
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, January 21, 2014
dear Abu Dabi friends; thank you for your wonderful comments; indeed the first days i did not realize that you had come with your kids; i saw them on the third day for the first time having breakfast with you. As for the Tanzanite: i hate it when people are cheated and told "this is the real one". that is why i want to make sure your tanzanite comes with a certificate. (no i don't own the store...LOL) When are you coming back. Warm (but windy) greetings from Essque Zalu on Unguja, a.k.a. Zanzibar. Luc Verschelden
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Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
107 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2014

We were staying elsewhere in Nungwi beach but for our last dinner in Zanzibar I wanted something special so I booked dinner at the jetty in Essque Zalu. From the moment we entered, the service was impeccable, with good security and prompt servers. The property itself is the best in Zanzibar with a double level infinity pool, various bars and multiple restaurants. The walk to the jetty is incredible and sitting there feels like you're literally in the middle of the ocean. Watching the sun set from the jetty as we sipped our wine was incredible. This was the best meal we had during our stay. Altogether a very special experience.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jasreenmayal
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, January 3, 2014
dear Jasreen. Thank you very much for your wonderful compliments on our Jetty Restaurant. It's Manager, Chacha, recalls your visit and thanks you as well for your encouragement. Only one question: when are you coming back to stay with us? Happy New Year. Luc Verschelden
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Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
146 reviews
119 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 353 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2013

15 years after our first visit to Zanzibar a lot had changed but Essque Zalu is a wonderfully positive addition to the island. Stunning buildings, beautiful interiors and great facilities. The location is to die for and the jetty is a creative addition which makes the most of the amazing water and gives the complex some nice extra space. Breakfast and dinner are lovely and service is top class. Spa is also of a very high standard - overall a great place for a luxury holiday and very highly recommended

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank KL_Sue
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, December 27, 2013
Dear Sue. Yes indeed in 15 years lots has changed. And lots of improvements as well. 15 years ago it would have taken you 5 - 6 hours to reach Nungwi, now only one hour. We trust that you will not wait another 15 years before returning to Ungunja, a.k.a. Zanzibar! We have been told that in 2015 we'll have a brand new airport! One thing that won't change is the beauty of the island and the friendliness of it's people. Wishing you a Happy New Year and till we meet again. Luc Verschelden.
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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 Luxury Hotel in Nungwi
#2 Family Hotel in Nungwi
#2 On the Beach 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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