We recently stayed at the Essque in a Sea View Suite, and were very happy with our room (# 24) which had an unobstructed view of the ocean. The suite itself was spacious and if not for the abundance of beautiful nooks around the resort in which to relax and unwind, we would have just relaxed on our patio overlooking the blue ocean.
As other reviews will attest to, this is one unforgettable place. The architecture is stunning, the ambiance is remarkable, and the service is almost impeccable. Nicholas, the GM, also makes a point to greet and check in with each guest. This is highly appreciated, especially for a resort of this caliber and style. So long as you are comfortable with the fact that there is not a beach on site (and it can be quite taxing to swim around the jetty, I tried), I would very much recommend staying at the Essque.
Food was exceptional, all around.
Two areas of dissatisfaction:
1) Prior to arriving, we had extensive e-mail correspondence with Godfrey, one of the reservations managers, about booking a one-way airport transfer ($100) for our departure. It was important that we had all our transport sorted out before arrival, so as to maximize our time at the resort before having to leave for the airport. At check in, we confirmed our transfer and the gentleman who checked us in said it would arrive at 2:30PM. But at 2:30, no transportation arrived. Turns out the transfer was never booked, despite our best efforts to ensure that it was. We waited about 15-20 minutes until the van showed up and thankfully made it to the airport just in time. This is a small issue, and it was likely the result of some very understandable miscommunication or clerical error. Those things happen, I know. But they really shouldn't at a place like this.
2) Prior to leaving, we asked for a small bottle of water to take on the 1.5 hour journey to the airport. We were told that it must be purchased from the bar, and that the only complimentary bottle of water is provided during the morning cleaning. We said no bottle had been provided, and following a check with her superior, the receptionist graced us with a complimentary bottle of water. This was kind of ridiculous. I understand that bottled water is not complimentary at this resort ($4 for a large bottle) (although it is free at some other resorts), but most standards of hotel courtesy (not to mention common sense) would provide a departing customer upon request with a small bottle of water for a long road journey. We shouldn't have had to negotiate for water.
Neither of these things would dissuade me from recommending this place, and I hope to have the chance to visit again. These are merely very small areas for improvement at a hotel that is on the path of becoming one of the most distinctive in the world.
- 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