We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Essque Zalu Zanzibar
Show Prices
Like saving money? We search up to 200 sites for the lowest prices
Nearby Hotels
View Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Parking
  • Breakfast included
View Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
View Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
View Hotel
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
View Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
View Hotel
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
View Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Parking
  • Breakfast included
View Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
View Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Parking
  • Breakfast included
View Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
  • Breakfast included
  • Pool
Reviews (704)
Filter reviews
704 results
Traveller rating
536
121
33
11
3
Traveller type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
536
121
33
11
3
Show reviews that mention
All reviewsmarket kitchensalt water infinity poolbeautiful jettyour honeymoonmain buildingkids clubpier restaurantmassage roomlow tidethe general managerstone townindian oceanprivate dinnerlarge poolbeautiful hotelrooms are spacioussea urchins
FilterAll languages
Updating list...
396 - 401 of 704 reviews
Reviewed 2 June 2013

I can say, without a doubt, that this was the best vacation spot we have ever picked and we travel at least twice annually to different vacation destinations. I am unable to put into words exactly what this resort felt like, but will try my best to capture the essence.

First, let me say that we stayed through a resort exchange and did not benefit from the half- or full-board options. That said - on to the review.

The resort itself is located on the northeast side of the island. It takes a good hour to get to by car from the airport and the roads are hit and miss on repairs. Be prepared for a long ride. The sights and sounds along the way, however, will likely provide great photo opportunities and a look into the lives of the local Zanzibaris.

The town where the resort is located is a bit economically depressed, but do not let this alter your opinion of the resort or the local opportunities. Upon seeing the resort in the distance, you'll immediately realize that you are about to enter paradise on earth.

Immediately upon arrival you are greeted by your personal "Navigator", which is the hotel employee (they prefer to be called Hoteliers - as this is their profession, not their job) who will guide you around the resort, get you settled, and take care of your needs during your stay. From the moment you arrive, you'll see that this place knows what the customer wants. Bags are delivered to your room, welcome beverages are served, beds are turned down, and the list goes on.

As the resort is a bit secluded (again, one hour from Stone Town, which is the main town on the island), we opted to eat onsite each day - and are we glad we did. The meals are divine. No, not kidding - each meal was an experience. Breakfast, lunch, dinner - nothing was done sub-par, nothing was overlooked, and everything was FANTASTIC! Again - full disclosure - we were pay-as-you-go for meals, since we traded in, but we didn't mind the expense at all - once we realized we were going to be fed gourmet food at each sitting. Prices, to be honest, were not bad - but may be a bit high for some (unless you are on half- or full-board). Average meal prices were: $20 breakfast (all you care to eat); $20-30 lunch; $25-70 dinner (depending on restaurant) per person. But again, the food was worth every penny. We tried local flavors (listed under the Swahili menu section) and the choices of the day. We were NEVER disappointed with our meals, drinks, or service. There are three restaurants onsite: the main Market Place restaurant, the Jetti, and the Ala Cart Restaurant ($70/meal, but worth every penny). We visited during "low" season, so at times it felt like the resort was our own private establishment - but the Hoteliers tell us that during "high season" the restaurants are full and busy. Eat early, eat late, eat inside, eat outside, the choice is yours. Disclaimer - I love food, so I tend to hit it first in my reviews - but don't assume the rest of the resort isn't mentioning - it follows now.

The room we stayed in was a 1-bedroom suite. The room itself was very spacious for two people and was elegantly furnished, from the living/sitting area, to the king-size bed in the bedroom (with netting, that they arranged each evening for you while you are at dinner). Internet was available, satellite TV with English, German, French, and more language channels, and an in-room safe provided peace of mind for your valuables while you are out on an excursion (not that we ever felt it was necessary). The bathroom is larger than my apartment (or at least close) and includes a walk-in shower, individual sinks, and towels that are worth taking home (no, we didn't steal, but man...those were some good towels). The walk-in closet (almost as large as the shower) had plenty of storage space for our clothing and other knickknacks from our trip. The bed was extremely comfortable and with AC in every room, it is easier to configure the temperature to your liking. Want to be fed in your room - order room service and avoid ever stepping foot outside.

The grounds of the resort are immaculate. From the infinity pool to the pier that extends over the Indian Ocean, the attention to detail was fabulous. Every morning we were greeted by countless dragonflies over the pool area. Not once did we see a mosquito. The pool is salt water, but feels great and even has a jacuzzi area right in the middle to relax. Rather take a refreshing dip in the ocean or stroll along the beach - that's an option too right from the back-steps of the resort. The gift shop is well stocked with local gifts and artwork. Nothing is overly priced, but not much is "cheap" either - in quality or price.

Additionally, there is an onsite excursion coordinator that you might find helpful. They can book or assist you in booking snorkeling/scuba trips, tours of Stone Town and Prison Island, hikes through a forest (with monkeys) or a tour of the famous spice farms of Zanzibar. The choice is yours. They offer half- and full-day trips. If you book a half-day, we recommend booking two on the same day to get a discount on the overall trips. Personally, we enjoyed the Stone Town/Prison Island trip and the Jazani Forest/Spice Farm trip (all half-day, but booked in pairs to get the most bang for our buck and to fill up the day).

Finally, let me get the wonderful employees at this establishment (again, Hoteliers if anyone asks). They took care of us from the minute we arrived to the very last second of our time at this resort. They greeted us and even saw us off when we left. Not many places offer this level of service. If they heard we were going on a day-trip, we'd get a little bag of treats and a large bottle of water to take along with us. If they saw us lounging around the pool, the brought us our favorite drink (Hibiscus cocktail...a must try, non-alcoholic). If were unsure what to eat for dinner - they provided their personal recommendations and were always spot on. Literally, this team of professionals made a wonderful establishment into a home-away-from home for us...a literal paradise.

I am sure not everyone will have the exact same experience as we did - but if you are looking for a fantastic resort, with relaxation, good food, and beautiful surroundings in mind - you can't go wrong with Zalu Zanzibar. From the General Manager (Luc, at the time of this writing) to the restaurant staff (JJ, Sara, and more) - everyone was wonderful and nothing during our stay was lacking. My spouse had to hold back tears when we left - that is how at-home we felt there.

Room Tip: Every room is nicely furnished and in tip-top condition, but if it is possible, attempt to get a room with an Ocean view...the sights and sounds are worth the effort - from the ladies farming in the morning during low-tide, to the waves crashing on the stone face during high-tide.
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank theapp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2013

I live in Zanzibar and I went there for my birthday with friends. I have to say that it was one of my best birthday.

We had a seafront villa with private pool and rooftop terrace. Our villa had 3 huge bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, a beautiful fully furnished kitchen, dining room + living room, and a massage room. We could nearly run a marathon within the villa.
Staff was very welcoming and friendly and I had a giant birthday cake we couldn't even finish.
Lunch on the jetty is a very good option and food is good.

As we went during low season, we had the hotel nearly for us only. It gives the feeling you're alone in a paradise.

The makuti roof of the main building is an exceptional piece of work. Amazing with the lights at night time.

Some comments regret there is no access to a beach but i didn't feel it as a problem. You can definitely swim in the sea at hide tide from the stairs of the jetty. And water is light blue turquoise. There are some mats on the jetty to relax after the swim.

My only regret would be that we stayed one night only.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Sydznz
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 19 July 2013

Dear SydZnz

Thank you for celebrating your birthday with us! And we are so glad you enjoyed it. Essque Zalu is not a beach resort, we would like to refer to it as a lifestyle boutique hotel. Because of its gardens and serpentine walkways, even in the high season you would feel like the place is yours.

And since you live on Zanzibar, you could easily invent an occasion to celebrate here at Essque Zalu.

Kind regards,

Luc Verschelden
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2013

I strongly recommand the hotel for its architecture and details. The food is amazing, truely a gastronomic experience. Rooms are really nice, we had a seaview villa. All the staff are very professional and friendly. The location of the hotel makes it special and it has a true feel of boutique hotel. We stayed there for our honeymoon and had a lovely time!

Room Tip: Seaview rooms are worth it!
  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank angelique a
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 19 July 2013

Dear Angelique,

Thank you for your comments!

We are looking forward to your next visit, celebrating your first anniversary, why not?

Kind regards,

Luc Verschelden
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2013

We came to this hotel after a week on safari. It was incredibly relaxing to be somewhere where every need was catered for. If you want to relax after safari, this is the place to do it.

The food was absolutely fantastic, especially the delicious breads served with every meal. Memorable amongst the dishes we had was the smoked swordfish, the swahili soup served with dinner and the fresh juices at breakfast. Based on reviews here I had expected good food, but I was surprised at how good it was. The service was great and the wait staff were lovely to talk to. The cocktails from the bar were also very good.

We were not willing to pay $100 return fare to Stonetown through the hotel, so we went out of the hotel, turned left and asked the vendor opposite the aquarium to organise transport for us. They gave us $80 return trip to Stonetown. They were on time with pick up and drop off, and the vehicle was comfortable and air conditioned. It's always a risk booking through a local vendor but everything worked out fine for us and we saved $120.

I used that $120 saved at the spa. I had an aromotherapy massage from Jessica and it was fantastic and well worth the money.

The lack of beach was not a problem. The pool was so beautiful and close to the ocean, it was nice to swim there anyway.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Easy_GoingCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2013

We stayed at Essque Hotel during low season (April 2013) and enjoyed the fact that we were sharing hotel facilities, swimming pool, jetty etc. with very few other guests. This added an extra value to the holiday. Common spaces and rooms are elegantly decorated, staff very professional but the top rank of this hotel is the Cuisine. Breakfast is delicious, a la carte menu with a number of options - on top of that home made confitures, pastries, yogurt, smoothies etc. Lunch can be served at the Jetty restaurant, mostly middle-easter mezzeh and grilled fish/meat. Location is unique in the middle of the ocean. Dinner is the best part - quality of the food is top quality and presentation superb. Restaurant staff extremely professional but with a personal touch. We stayed at Essque with a 2 year old son who was pampered by all staff. Restaurant accomodated any last minute request for a child menu. Definitely recommended - we would say in low season even more, when less guests are around.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank ElisaRadisone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
View more reviews