Essque Zalu Zanzibar is an hour and change in a taxi from the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ) in the coastal and picturesque village of Nungwi. Whilst other hotels in the area reportedly aim to blend in with their local environment, Essque Zalu is more contrarian to its surroundings.
High makuti thatched roofs ameliorate its standing amongst the palm, mangrove, and casuarina trees whilst the seismic lagoon-style infinity pool bleeds into the horizon. From there a serene yet antiquated jetty reaches out from the shoreline, its elongated stilts prize it from the ocean bed and it has the look of a wooden millipede if you stand and squint. Or maybe if you've had a few G&T's.
Once the tide has rescinded you can advance easily across the flattened rocks before you meet a long palm-fringed sandy stretch coastline. Although admittedly we didn't venture far from the complex. If the Essque Zalu Zanzibar has one negative, it's really like Disney Land in the desert; the only thing worth seeing.
Luckily the place is immaculate, there is a cornucopia of food menus with daily specials and nighttime entertainment. The entire menu was artfully presented, and as for the staff, I can't heap enough ebullient praise especially for Solomon who served us most mornings, afternoons and evenings...I mean does he ever sleep! They were all well-heeled, wore crisp ironed uniforms (I know I'm on holiday but I’m still sizing up whether a shirt fits a guy or not) and they waited on us like royalty.
The suites located in thatched cottages are well appointed and boast a maximum occupancy of 3 adults, or 2 adults and 2 children. This ensures that they are the ideal destination for both couples seeking a romantic getaway, and families who do not wish to compromise on luxury.
This time of year (mid-May) Zanzibar is just coming out of the rainy season and unfortunately, we did catch the tail end of it. But regardless, the weather is still humid and it the grey clouds added a little drama to the photos.
For a more spacious stay, Essque Zalu Zanzibar offers 8 Residences ranging from 3 to 4 bedrooms all of which feature their very own plunge private pool, dining room, a private spa, spacious living room and fully equipped kitchen. As expected, the Residences also boast either a terrace or balcony, with exquisite views, upon which to laze.
For more hotel recommendations like these check out the travel review section on my blog.