Essque Zalu Zanzibar

Zanzibar, Tanzania

The hotel

Imagine watching dhows drift by as you dine above the Indian Ocean on a romantic jetty. Or cooking Swahili dishes with Chef Rose, as she shares recipes passed down through generations. Or experiencing a pampering Maasai Ritual, before sipping sundowners around an old Baobab tree, or along the wooden jetty. This hideaway delivers the real Zanzibar experience. Near the northern tip of the island and Nungwi village, it’s authentic from its lobby (set in the island’s highest makuti thatched hut) to its 48 suites and residences, each with dazzling ocean or garden views (and also a private deck or patio and plush bathroom in each detached suite). It may be utterly genuine, but Essque Zalu Zanzibar also provides those ‘musts’ every international island-hopper is after – like an oversized lagoon pool, a cocktail-driven poolside bar, and water sports like snorkelling and kayaking.

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Romantic
  • Spa
  • Swimming Pool
  • Honeymoon
  • Room Service
  • Internet Access
  • Beachfront location
  • Restaurant

Where is it

In the village of Nungwi, 50 minutes drive from Stone Town. Transfer time from Zanzibar Airport: 1 hour.

Hotel information

40 Suites and 8 Residences. All with private patio/terrace, air-conditioning, TV, tea/coffee-making facilities, personalised mini-bar* and safe. Garden Suites enjoy garden views and sleep maximum 3 adults.

All Inclusive/All Inclusive Plus options: are available at a supplement.

Full Board includes: breakfast, three-course lunch and 3-course dinner, excluding beverages.

Superior Garden Suites are located on the upper floors and sleep maximum 3 adults. 

Ocean View Suite and Seafront Suites are also available. 

Market Kitchen (restaurant and deli). The Jetty (restaurant and bar). Pool bar. Boabab bar. Lagoon-style pool. Spa*. 24-hour fitness centre. Water sports centre. Yoga. Complimentary WiFi. Room service*.

5 nights between 23 Dec-3 Jan.

* Denotes local charge.

Rating summary

  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Value Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Cleanliness Image of the Tripadvisor rating

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (596)
  • Very good (140)
  • Average (38)
  • Poor (19)
  • Terrible (10)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Visited the spa twice

Jun 14, 2019 Gracia K

I really had the worst experience ever in my life. The personnel is not really professional, after finishing a couple's massage, we went to pay and they made a mistake we paid for 1 only which I mention to them it was for 2. we had previously told them the hotel we were at 500m away and they contacted us there, we agreed to return later on in the… Read more
I really had the worst experience ever in my life. The personnel is not really professional, after finishing a couple's massage, we went to pay and they made a mistake we paid for 1 only which I mention to them it was for 2. we had previously told them the hotel we were at 500m away and they contacted us there, we agreed to return later on in the afternoon to rectify their mistake and they showed up 2 hours later with the police treating us like thieves as if it was our mistake...worst experience ever. Feeling insulted,mistreated and shamed due to their incompetence and not a single apology. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Never again

Jun 14, 2019 Nigelmac700 London, United Kingdom

I do not recommend the hotel or the service After my experience I felt insulted and was treated like a common criminal because of a mistake that the hotel had made on the billing of a massage service. After calling my hotel 500m away and after agreeing to return to resolve their mistake in the billing 2 hours later they turned up at my hotel with… Read more
I do not recommend the hotel or the service After my experience I felt insulted and was treated like a common criminal because of a mistake that the hotel had made on the billing of a massage service. After calling my hotel 500m away and after agreeing to return to resolve their mistake in the billing 2 hours later they turned up at my hotel with the police as if had stolen from them Never but never again Will I go to this hotel Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Disappointing Experience

Jun 10, 2019 brett2710

Hello, Myself and my fiance visited Zanzibar in June 2019 for a short six-day drip. The first part of our trip was spent in Stone Town, the second part of our trip was spend at Essque Zalu in Nungwi. In this review, I will cover our overall experience and also cover the following: Location, Accommodation, Food and Beverage, Hotel Facilities… Read more
Hello, Myself and my fiance visited Zanzibar in June 2019 for a short six-day drip. The first part of our trip was spent in Stone Town, the second part of our trip was spend at Essque Zalu in Nungwi. In this review, I will cover our overall experience and also cover the following: Location, Accommodation, Food and Beverage, Hotel Facilities and Service / Staff. Overall Experience Our overall experience of this hotel was poor, the hotel lacks quality, service and is outdated. The hotel structure is amazing, however the biggest disappointment of the trip was the food and entertainment. This is an expensive hotel (we paid $458 per night) to stay in and is certainly not worth the money. I would not recommend the hotel and believe that there are other options that should be explored. Location Essque Zalu is located in Nungwi, from stone town by taxi it took us approximately two hours to reach the hotel. The roads from stone town to Nungwi are not in the best condition and gets worse as you make your way to the hotel. The hotel itself is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, therefore when travelling to this hotel you should consider that you will be reliant on the hotel and their activities etc to keep you entertained (activities/entertainment is non-existent). Accommodation During our stay, we booked a seafront suite with the half board (breakfast and dinner package). The room itself was located on the seafront and the views were incredible, however, the small seafront villa itself was not. The villa had quiet a nice little varanda with a small table and chair set outside. There was also a sun lounger for a bit more privacy. The accomadation seemed to be outdated and was in need of renovation. Cleanliness also was not as good as it could be, there was a squished dry cockroach on our floor for the duration of our stay and the timing of room cleaning was inconsistent which made me confused on when I couldn't go back to our room. We also had constant issues with the power cutting out (particularly annoying at night as the emergency lighting comes on and off), WIFI not working and the shower not going hot. There is a small TV in the room, kettle with instant tea / coffee and empty fridge. There is no iron or ironing board in the room, however can be provided if you request. Food and Beverage This was the most disappointing of all the topics covered in this review. I have travelled quite a lot around Europe, Middle East, Asia etc and this is the first time that I felt nervous about eating the food. On the first night we wanted to eat at the restuarant on the pier, however this was closed. The restaurant in the main hotel area was open, however the menu that is shown on the website was not available and there was limited options. The next morning we went for breakfast, this was once again not as per the pictures online and options were limited. The bars were okay, however we weren't asked once during our stay if we wanted a drink whilst sitting by the pool. The overall service, quality and cleanliness of the food/restuarant areas was not up to standard. Hotel Facilities The hotel itself is spectacular, however there is not a lot to do once you are there. The pool area is nice, beds are okay but other than that there isn't a lot to do. There is a small gym area around 15sqm with basic equipment, massages are also available. Maintenance of the hotel is pretty good/clean, however the overall feel of the hotel is that it feels outdated. For the price point of this hotel, in my opinion the hotel should do better. Service / Staff Service in the hotel is not what is expected in a five star hotel. Staff are friendly, however they do not seem well trained / professional. The staff seemed to hang around a lot in groups and didn't seem to be doing much. We were also kind of pestered as to why we weren't having a starter or dessert which became annoying. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Amazing experience

Jun 9, 2019 nantanattt Thailand

Since we stepped into the hotel, we felt very welcome by all the staffs! After a long flight and long drive on the road, they gave us cold towel and delicious welcome drink which made us very happy. Then a staff took us to our garden room which it was spacious. There were bathrobe, slippers, safety box, tv, and balcony with partial sea view. The… Read more
Since we stepped into the hotel, we felt very welcome by all the staffs! After a long flight and long drive on the road, they gave us cold towel and delicious welcome drink which made us very happy. Then a staff took us to our garden room which it was spacious. There were bathrobe, slippers, safety box, tv, and balcony with partial sea view. The room is always clean. We noticed that they made our room twice daily in the morning and at night. Buffet breakfast and dinner were included in the room rate which it was very convenient and foods were good! We have seen bad comments about flies during breakfast. I think the hotel has fixed the problem since we did’t see any flies during our breakfast or dinner. The best thing about this hotel is their beautiful, huge and clean swimming pool! Including the long jetty in the middle of the sea. We love it sooo much. Sunset can be seen from the jetty which is absolutely stunning! Our only regret was we didn’t book it longer! I see photos of this hotel and fell in love but decided to stay for only 2 nights because some bad reviews we read earlier. However, our stay went so well that we were so sad to leave for another hotels. So far Essque Zalu is the best hotel we stayed in Zanzibar. All the staffs were very friendly and helpful. We would like to thank all of them for our memorable experience. Everything was perfect and we would love to come back! I highly recommend this resort for your holiday!!! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating An unforgettable stay

Jun 8, 2019 JEROMEDNX

We stayed in the hotel during 5 days in June 2019 (for our wedding anniversary). We will never forget our stay and advise everybody to stay in. Even if we arrived during low season, the hotel was very well maintained (congratulations to the gardeners), our suite room was very comfortable and clean with a very nice room service. We enjoyed a lot… Read more
We stayed in the hotel during 5 days in June 2019 (for our wedding anniversary). We will never forget our stay and advise everybody to stay in. Even if we arrived during low season, the hotel was very well maintained (congratulations to the gardeners), our suite room was very comfortable and clean with a very nice room service. We enjoyed a lot the location, the jetty, beach, big swimming pool and restaurants. We appreciated the half board package and the organized events for Eid and night barbecues. Our massage in the spa was very nice. Our best thanks are for the staff: they are so friendly and professional. Many thanks to Alfred (reception), Zainab (restaurant) and Huzima (Kids club) who took care of us so well! We hope to come back! Read less