Zanzibar already boasts some of the worlds most spectacular hotels, form the underwater rooms of The Manta Resort, to the garden paradise of the Tulia Unique Beach Resort.
Maybe the most iconic all these is the Essque Zalu, known for its’ iconic African thatch hut entrance, endless infinity pool and romantic pier.
We were invited to visit the Essque Zalu resort and jumped at the opportunity. Little did we know that we would be treated to a sneak preview of the next evolution of the hotel as it hurtles towards a merger with another icon of Indian Ocean luxury hotels: the PER AQUUM group.
PER AQUUM are the operators of some of the most luxurious and extraordinary hotels in the world boasting eye-popping properties in Dubai and the Maldives. Trust us, they are on our list.
The name PER AQUUM is Latin for ‘Ridiculously nice’. Of course, that’s not true, but the fact you believed that is proof that this group of properties are in the business of suspending disbelief.
So imagine our excitement when we’re told that we will be given a sneak preview of some of the new PER AQUUM touches that are coming in as part of the merger.
We were led to a villa towards the edge of the resort, inconspicuously tucked away amid the palm trees and long green grasses of the hotels gardens. The key card slipped in and out of the lock and the reassuring click unlocked the secret hotel room. The door opened and the secret was unleashed.
It’s a sad thing to type, but the room was everything that I had hoped for and then some. The design was very authentic and African. The furniture was often rustic wood and decorated with runners and cloths made of local materials. The whole room looked like it had been handmade by local master craftsmen.
The real surprise was how the room felt. Gone was the sleek yet emotionless hotel room that most four and five star hotels offer. Here was a room that felt warm and homely. It’s almost the house we would dream of… if we were incredibly wealthy and lived in East Africa.
The new room design fits beautifully with the ethos of the hotel. Essque Zalu offer a range of East African experiences within the hotel grounds such as Masai Warrior shows, massages in Maasai tents whilst being serenaded by local songs and local food cookouts.
With the transition to PER AQUUM’s new vision, it looks like the Essque Zalu hotel will be able to give the full East African experience from inside luxurious and safe confines of the hotel.
We weren’t given any details of the further changes the hotel will go through as part of the merger but we’re pretty sure that once it’s completed this hotel will have an even bigger claim as the most luxurious and outstanding hotel on this little paradise island.
The merger and refurbishment is planned to be completed for summer 2017. We visited the hotel in September 2016 and would highly recommend going on safari and visiting Zanzibar at this time…. Especially as this hotel will be making its’ bid to become the best on the island.
Thank you to Essque Zalu resort for hosting us and showing us around their show-villa, however all opinions are honest and our own.
Last modified: 27th February 2017