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“Amazing food and ambience at boutique sea side luxury hotel”

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Essque Zalu Zanzibar
Ranked #2 of 17 Hotels in Nungwi
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Amazing food and ambience at boutique sea side luxury hotel”
Reviewed 12 January 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, travelled as a couple
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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, 21 January 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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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (124)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 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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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, 10 January 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
Reviewed 4 January 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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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, 21 January 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 6 Contributor
115 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 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, travelled as a couple
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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, 4 January 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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London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
146 reviews
117 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 343 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 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, travelled as a couple
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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, 28 December 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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Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 November 2013

We stayed at this amazing 5star hotel ,after it was recommended by imagine africa ,last September 2012 for 8 nights. We arrived there after 4 days safari in the masai mara.It was truly magical in it s setting,the hospitality of the staff and manager. The manager nikola personally welcomes you .One of the finest hotels we have stayed in. The overall facilities, the setting of the seafront private villa ,the architecture ,the beach , design of the hotel was spectacular.the outstanding 5star cuisine at the restaurant and the jetty was delicious .The staff ,the navigators and the manager s hospitality and attentiveness was exceptional. Finest hotel in africa.We toured stone town ,(capital)which gave us a great insight into it s traumatic history. Just be aware of the taxis you use. Always check and agree the amount prior to your journey.The hotel staff will eagerly guide you. We salute and thank you for the amazing experience you gave us. Penny xTerrence E.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Terrence E
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, 5 December 2013
dear Penny, dear Terence. I am glad to read that my predecessor is still doing a great job here (Nicolas left in May this year). And your comments about the food: I am very proud to mention that Rose, our sous-chef, has won the Tanzania Chef's Challenge and her colleague, Dora, junior Garde Manger, came in second. Really proud that 2 ladies are taking the top score here in Tanzania! Well, looking forward to your next visit! Best Wishes for this festive season. With personal Regards, Luc Verscheldn
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Kinshasa, null, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 November 2013

We decided we were worth indulging ourselves with 2 nights and 3 days in Zanzibar.
Essque Zalu is paradise...
The design and architecture of the hotel are stunning and had been so well thought! For instance, from any of the pools, you sight was prolonged all the way to the ocean, so it felt like actually being in the sea...
We took a ocean view bungalow package that included breakfast and lunch or dinner.
The bungalow had nice proportions a well-sized bathroom, view on the ocean, or rather the jetty for us.
The food was delicious and exotic (and we are from Tahiti, so we know about exoctic).
The personnel was gracious, smiling, indulging..
We organized a jet ski tour...Nice!
We also tried the spa. Nice...the downside is that when you book for a certain duration ( 1 hr or 90 min), they include in the time your arrival, filling of the discharge form, feet cleaning and changing, so you actually get a lot less than your planned massage time..:-(

Memorable stay indeed...We have found our retreat in Zanzibar and will definitely go back to Zalu

Room Tip: ocean view suite
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Uea B
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, 5 December 2013
Chers Amis Tahitiens. thank you for your wonderful remarks as well as the one detail about the wellness centre, which i already have addressed with the team. Since you will be coming back, we'll make it up to you! En vous souhaitant nos meilleurs voeux de fin d'année. Cordialement, Luc Verschelden
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Additional Information about Essque Zalu Zanzibar

Property: Essque Zalu Zanzibar
Address: Nungwi 3151, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Nungwi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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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