Essque Zalu is a modern resort on the northern coast of Zanzibar, facing a long stretch of ocean. As you approach the hotel you cannot fail to be impressed by the towering makuti thatched roof of the main building, a suitably grand entrance to this stylish property.
There are 40 suites, each with 85 square metres of space, including an en-suite bathroom and a private terrace or balcony. Make yourself at home as you sip a hot drink or something chilled from the minibar, and gaze out over the gardens or ocean and there is 24-hour room service should you wish to dine in seclusion. Essque Zalu also has 8 large villas including 2 sea front villas, each with either 3 or 4 bedrooms, living and dining areas, roof terrace and a plunge pool.
The swimming pool is set at the edge of the low cliff overlooking the sea. It's flanked on both sides by decks with loungers and shaded day beds, ideal for lazing and enjoying the ocean breezes and a poolside bar providing refreshments and light snacks and lunches. If you fancy a swim the sea, there is easy access from the jetty.
During your stay you can be as active as you wish, choosing from a selection of options at the water sports centre and a wide range of excursions including a spice tour, guided visit to Stone Town, sandbank picnics and dhow cruises, to name a few. Within the resort you can relax with some yoga or a massage at the spa and boost your culinary skills with a cookery class.
The resort has 2 restaurants offering a wide choice of cuisines. The Market Kitchen offers a range of options for dinner that will suit all tastes and is also your breakfast venue. At The Jetty you can savour fresh seafood as you take in ocean views and watch passing dhows. Gourmands will want to take advantage of the chef's table, a once a week chance to sample an 8-course tasting menu and meet the hotel chef for some insights into Swahili cuisine.
Open: Essque Zalu is open all year.
Location: The hotel is on the north coast of Zanzibar, near the village of Nungwi. It is about an hour and a half’s drive from the airport and Stone Town.
Rooms: There are 40 guest suites, each with a bedroom, sitting room, bathroom and terrace or balcony. Each suite occupies 85sqm and can sleep up to 3 adults, or 2 adults and 2 children. All have air conditioning, TV, mosquito nets, tea and coffee maker, minibar, safe, hairdryer, and en-suite bathroom stocked with toiletries. There are 4 categories of accommodation, mainly distinguished by location and view: garden-suites, superior garden-suites, ocean suites and seafront suites. There are also 8 villas with either 3 of 4 bedrooms each, a dining room, kitchen, lounge, terrace or balcony and plunge pool.
Activities: You can go snorkelling, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and go deep sea fishing. PADI courses are available. You can walk along the beach to Nungwi village at low tide. Staff can arrange various island excursions such as the Safari Blue sailing and snorkelling trip, picnic lunches on sandbanks, dolphin watching trips, dhow cruises including sunset cruises, a spice tour, guided visit to Stone Town, and a tour of Jozani Forest. Activities offered include golf although the golf course is situated an hours drive away, yoga sessions and cooking classes.
Facilities: The hotel has 2 restaurants (see below) and 3 bars. There is an outdoor swimming pool, a spa and fitness centre. You can swim in the ocean from the jetty. The water sports centre coordinates all the water-based activities and there is a same gift shop at the entrance to the hotel.
Dining: Market Kitchen offers breakfast and a range of cuisine for dinner, while The Jetty specialises seafood eaten in the open air. The chef’s table experience takes place once a week and sits 8 people, a chance to meet the hotel’s chef and enjoy an 8-course tasting menu. Room service is available round the clock, and private dining can be arranged.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome and there is an excellent kids club.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is free Wi-Fi internet access in all areas of the hotel.
"Truly exceptional surroundings, loved the jetty out to sea. The staff were all so helpful. We did the Maassai Spa Ritual experience which was really quite unique! https://www.carlthompson.co.uk/further-reading-blogs/2018/1/11/experience-the-traditions-of-the-maasai-in-zanzibar-at-essque-zalu"