My wife and I chose this resort for a diving holiday based on previous reviews, particularly one that compared it to North Island in the Seychelles.
The 8 minute helicopter transfer to the island was seamless and flying over the differing shades of turquoise sea was something out of a brochure. We were met by a member of the management and walked the short distance to the main reception area and we were shown around. The resort is beautiful! It set on a lovelywhite powdery beach, the tide was out and two of the dhows were lying marooned on the sand. Our villa was spacious and comfortable with a lovely view of the beach about 20 meters away. Our villa host was exceptional, he quickly arranged for some lunch at our villa and presented us with a bottle of French champagne from the owners estate. He looked after us extremely well for the next six days.
The food, excluding breakfast, was excellent for the duration of our stay - lots of fresh fish. We do not enjoy cooked breakfast and the continental stayed the same for the duration - a lovely home made muesli, great home made bread, average muffins and scones and fruit and yoghurt. We never saw a croissant. At this price point, this was the first of a few let downs.
The next disappointment came when two of the wines that were on the inclusive rate were out of stock, they weren't replaced with something from the charged for wine list.
The next afternoon the biggest disappointment of the trip reared it's ugly head. The villas are too close together and if your neighbors are slightly loud, you have to endure listening to every word of their conversation! We raised this with management the next morning, they said they were aware of the problem. Obviously there is little they can do about it. We got new neighbors that afternoon who were even louder! This resulted in some words......
They moved the next day. We enquired about moving to the presidential villa but it was unavailable.
The dive center is very well run and the equipment looks in good shape, we however had our own gear. The diving is great if the wind is blowing the right direction, if not, the visibility drops rapidly. They only use 10 liter cylinder pumped to 200 bar. Most of the dives we did started at about 20m,so your dive times are about 35 to 40 minutes maximum. This seemed short for $100 dive.
The spa was not much to look at, but I had one of the best massages ever, I went back twice.
The fitness center was small and stuck in a corner, a few dumbbells, 2 rusty bicycles and treadmill. A walk or run on the beach is is much more attractive option.
In summary, Azura has such great potential with it's lovely staff, beautiful beaches and great views. It is expensive and they try and position themselves as a honeymoon destination. Almost all of the guests were Americans finishing of an African safari. They almost get it right BUT It is let down by the closeness of the villas. This spoilt the week for us, we spent a lot of time talking about what to score Azura, should this one fact make us drop the score to a three? I'm afraid the only answer is yes. We stayed at North Island last year and it was spectacular, there is nothing to fault. Even though it is more than twice the price, it is 10 times as good!
If Azura could loose a third of their villas, or have given more thought to the layout (they're all in a straight line), the lack of croissants could be overlooked and they would have an absolute winner only 2 hours from Johannesburg. I'm afraid we won't be back, which is a pity.......
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.