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All reviewsmarket kitchenour honeymoonbeautiful jettymain buildinginfinity pool overlooking the oceanpier restaurantkids clubmassage roomlow tidethe general managerprivate dinnerstone townindian oceanbeautiful hotelsea waterlarge poolsalt water
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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
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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 reviewResponded 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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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)
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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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 reviewResponded 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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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, managed to upgrade it to an ocean view, which was much better. I would recommend looking for an upper level room if you are in a couple's villa that has a balcony.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank HAPA100
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GM-Essque_Zalu, General Manager at Essque Zalu Zanzibar, responded to this reviewResponded 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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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
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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 reviewResponded 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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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
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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 reviewResponded 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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