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“Great View, Great Get Away from Maputo” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Catembe Gallery Hotel

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Catembe Gallery Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Rua B 77 Catembe | Catembe, Catembe, Mozambique   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Catembe
Spokane Valley, Washington
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great View, Great Get Away from Maputo”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

Summary:
If (1) Travel time (30-60 min) is not an issue, (2) You don't have the budget to stay at the Palano or Cordoso hotels ($200-450) (3) you have accepted you are in Africa so things don't always work/go the way you want, then this is where I would stay

Great:
-The views were spectacular both down on the pier and from my room. I woke for the sunrise and was able to take pictures from my room even. Wow!
-The front desk went out of their way to make it a pleasant stay. They provided a plate of food the night before because I was leaving before breakfast started. The were always willing to help and spoke English when needed. They provided an extra bed in the room for my daughter to sleep in. Electrical adapters were provided when requested. Isabel met me on the Maputo side to welcome me. Thanks Rui and Isabel!
-The trip on the taxi boat/ferry was a fun adventure (I was trying to show my daughter the 3rd world and this added some color) as were the road conditions and taxi cab to the hotel (it is Africa after all). Note this involves a taxi to the ferry/boat, taking the boat as a pedestrian, and catching a different taxi on the other side.
-The hotel organized travel to and from the airport for $30 and it went well (I was able to catch a 7:30 AM flight even).
-The rooms had mosquito netting
-The bath, though not functional, looked cool. :)
-Beach was great!
-I enjoyed going out on the pier to have a drink and sit and watch see the city.

Not so ideal:
-My room had limited light.
-The bathtub didn't work and the shower didn't drain adequately to the point that it flooded.
-The light over the bathroom mirror didn't work.
-The curtain rod was a little rusty and hard to open/close.
-The light was broken. There was no garbage can.
-They forgot to provide ferry tickets/fare on the way home
-Breakfast was minimal (bread, cheese, yogurt, ham)
I think these items would take minimal expense to fix and I strongly believe they will get done in the near future as there is clearly renovation going on. Furthermore, there are some higher end rooms that I believe have already been renovated where these things would no longer be an issue.

Finally, don't forget, you are in Africa after all... embrace it :)

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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143 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Cork
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

We had a nice stay in this hotel and found the ferry trip across the river quite an experience. The rooms were lovely and we had the use of the penthouse with great views. The food was nice but had to be ordered well in advance. When it arrived it was nice and staff were helpful too. Cats do wander around the restaurant but didn't bother us really. The breakfast was actually very good with great choices. One small negative was the shower was broken.

Room Tip: Penthouse for space
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

Tapas lunch, reclining on a couch, looking out over the bay towards Maputo: what could be more heavenly??! Water lapping the shore beneath the deck, fabulous prawn and calamari salad with fresh pao, cold beer and cheerful staff - this is the stuff that beach holidays are made of. Don't bother to take your car: catch the ferry across from Maputo for 10 Meticais, then a chapa (taxi) for 7 Meticais - and you're there! An easy round trip from Maputo for a lunch out - or stay over in one of the stunning new chalet type rooms....

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cork, Ireland
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

The hotel is located on the other side of Maputo bay so the only way across is to use a car ferry. The queue for the ferry can be very long especially at the weekends when we travelled. We were in a vehicle so the waiting wasn't too bad though people selling everything from curios to mats swarmed around the car so if you are planning to queue up on foot be prepared for a pestering that you will find difficult to deal with.
The ferry itself is crammed with vehicles and passengers everywhere and is an experience which adds to a stay in Maputo. The journey itself once it gets going lasts only about 15mins and appears to just move a little bit up along the same side of the bay as opposed to actually cross the bay but anyways it apparently takes up to 4 hours to drive around the bay in a car if you wanted to avoid the ferry.
The hotel itself doesn't look much from the exterior but the inside has comfortable rooms with mosquito nets over the beds.The walls of the stairwell are adorned with interesting paintings and historical facts.
If you want food from the restaurant we had to place our order 2hours before ever sitting down for the meal so be prepared. The meal itself was ok not outstanding just OK edible but plain and i had the catch of the day. The food is also priced ok but avoid dessert, very dear i.e. 300metcais for a kinda stale cake.
The views from the hotel are stunning of the city at night-time.
The breakfast is good and the hotel has access to a nice beach and has its own pool.
To recap my stay was short but taking into account the poverty of the surrounding area this hotel is good.

Room Tip: Rooms with a view of the bay at the back of the hotel otherwise you will only have a view of a dirt...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maputo, Mozambique
Top Contributor
165 reviews 165 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2013

The Gallery Hotel is situated across the bay from Maputo, encapturing magnificent views of the Maputo skyline. Catembe is the location to retreat from the bustling city, whilst enjoying the advantages of location to game parks, islands, long sandy beaches, and most importantly, peace and quiet. The food here is very nice as well as the pool area of the hotel. An amazing sunset you can see from here. The hotel is modernized and its very clean and the services and staff are great.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malkerns, Swaziland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

I was well impressed with my visit to the gallery Hotel. The last time I have been there was 11-12 years ago. I am currently living in Swaziland so I took my friends and drove to Catembe for the day. The new rooms right on the beach are stunning, the tapas & Cocktails bar over the sea is amazing with a good selection of cocktails and a very nice menu. The service was excellent!
We then went on to the dining room and I had really nice fresh red snapper \0/, that made my day! My friends enjoyed their grilled seafood platter and the choc musse at the end of our meal was to die for...

The road from the ferry to the Hotel might not be as good (believe me I have seen far worse..) but the overall experience overweights the short ride. My friends and I decided that we will def return for longer period, that is for sure. A big thank you and very well done to all the staff. A good memory & experience that will take us back...

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

We are experienced worldwide travellers and booked a holiday to this hotel in August 2012 based on the reviews on Trip Advisor. However I was concerned, when a week before we were due to go (February 2013) I saw some very negative comments had been added. Turns out they were right. We arrived at the airport, having booked and confirmed a transfer with the hotel there was no driver. We had been travelling for 24 hours from London through Istanbul and J’burg so were pretty tired. I asked the man on an information desk who phoned the hotel but told me I had to pay him for the call. The driver said he was on his way and finally came half an hour after our arrival. By this time it was getting dark and the driver spoke very little English. We arrived at the ferry terminal which was to say the least hectic. Loads of cars queuing and the driver couldn’t park so we had a 5 minute walk with all our cases through crowds of people trying to sell us things, down a pier and onto a large car and passenger ferry. There the driver left us saying someone would pick us up at the other end. We were the only white people on the ferry so stuck out somewhat! We were pushed and crushed in between cars and people and had no idea how long the ferry would take. Luckily it was only about 6 minutes. Have to say the people were very nice and we didn’t feel threatened. We got to the other side and walked down another pier to a bustling village with a pharmacy and garage. Men kept coming up to us to ask us if we wanted a lift. There was no driver but how we would have seen him in the darkness I don’t know. Finally after half an hour feeling totally exhausted we took a taxi based on the fact that the hotel would pay. Spencer the hotel manager was very good when we arrived (but my partner did complain rather loudly!) He agreed to pay the taxi and also upgraded us to a lovely thatched cottage overlooking the beach. There was another very disgruntled man at the reception just checking out who said he had had 3 weeks of numerous problems.

There were a few problems like a blocked toilet but Spencer immediately moved us into a bigger cottage. The breakfast was very limited and the same every day but we were only there a week. The setting however was lovely at the end of a pier in the sea. The catch of the day was the same every day and my partner asked for spaghetti bolognaise every day but they never had it! The cocktails were interesting – Catembe was red wine and coke! Bizarrely tasted quite nice.

One day we walked along the beach to the ferry to Maputo and took the passenger ferry and then the bus back which was quite an experience. This hotel is not for those who like 5 star establishments. We went to one in Maputo and frankly we could have been anywhere. I personally enjoyed seeing the real Mozambique (the local people were polite, caring and very considerate) All I would say is that the hotel Catembe Gallery prices were 5 star yet everything was 3-star. I understand the hotel owners are Belgium and live very close by and we understand are experienced hoteliers so can’t be excused for anything. Its a shame because the hotel has a lot of potential.

Our one and only saviour was Sergio a lovely very professional, totally reliable man from Portugal who we met at the breakfast café. He is planning a water sports business at the hotel and had a power boat which took us to Maputo in 5 minutes to avoid the dreaded ferry on our return home. Look him up on Facebook on Moz Boats or email him (mozboats@gmail.com) and contact him to organise a transfer (both ways). Sergio has confirmed that he is about to bring in larger boats for island excursions up the coast and a taxi service to more luxurious resorts further north. Marvellous idea. Want anything done go and see Sergio. He will give you straight answers and a real and reliable service at reasonable prices.

Room Tip: Choose one of the cottages overlooking the beach
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Catembe Gallery Hotel

Address: Rua B 77 Catembe | Catembe, Catembe, Mozambique
Location: Mozambique > Maputo Province > Catembe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Catembe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Catembe Gallery Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Small independent Boutique hotel on the beach with stunning views of the Indian Ocean islands and city skyline. Rooms are tastefully decorated with art featuring local artists. The hotel has 2 restaurants, one famous since 1958 for the best seafood and LM prawns, the other is the new Marisol Baia, a cocktail and tapas bar at the end of the hotel's private jetty. Ideal for romantic getaways as well as family stays. Swimming pool, large garden and direct access to a safe beach. With free wireless and transport to any place in town, we are hosting a growing number of international consultants and business travellers. Easily accessible in 10 minutes from downtown Maputo by car ferry or private boat of the hotel. Safest and most inspirational place to stay in Maputo. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Catembe Gallery Maputo

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