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“Location, Location”
Review of Motel do Mar

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Motel do Mar
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
102 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Location, Location”
Reviewed January 24, 2012

Motel Do Mar, has got the best location. The rooms are very basic, but clean, serviced daily, and meet your basic needs, we were plesently surpised. For the price you are paying this is value for money. Literally, a few second and you are on the beach. The hotel is a great location if you are interested in night life, it is a short work to a number of bars and to the night club. You are also able to make noise at the resort, which is great if you are in a group of friends. The breakfast is fair, dont bother ordering bacon as it is R10 for two peices and take ages to be served. The restaurant at the motel in general is overpriced and service is very slow. I would recommend going to the Fishmonger restaurant it is great. You must also got to Fernando's for an R&R.

Room Tip: Take extra fans with you as there is only one ceiling fan and the ceilings are very high.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Thank SamTravel68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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30 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
44 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2011

Before i say anything about the hotel i think one has to say something about Mozambique in general. Similar to Lesotho, the inaccessibility (need 4x4, far away from our most populated province) somehow translates to much higher accommodation rates in general. For instance Sani Top chalet (lesotho) is amazing but very expensive comparatively, but its the only place to stay, the views are amazing so that's what you pay for. In Moz, you pay more for just being there, because south africans flock there instead of the overdeveloped KZN coast on the N3 (big highway). Compared to said coastline (Ballito, Shaka's Rock, Southbroom, Margate etc) is is a LOT less developed and way more pristine in Moz. Also the water is warm all year round, unless you hit a cold front with a few days of overcast weather. (Our other really undeveloped and beautiful coasts in the Cape provinces for instance, has generally super cold water!!!.) A natural sand bank in Ponta also makes it safer for swimming and the hot water also means more corals and life so the diving operators are appearing like mushrooms. Combine all this and one can see why half of gauteng goes there in winter - and the demand has meant spiked prices. Also consider that most refined goods are imported, most alcohol except the 3 brands of moz beer, etc, wich also inflates the costs. Issues between SA and Moz also makes the import taxes a lot higher these days. Never forget its a third world county, so some things are going to work great and others not so great!!!

The kosi bay border post is at least a lot less traumatic than the komati poort one!! yes, its incredibly important to abide by all the traffic rules and laws etc as unfortunately some members of the Moz traffic force is on a mission to find things to bribe you for. We saw none of this at the kosi bay border side though. The citizens are generally far more law abiding than in South Africa, and things like violent crime a lot less prevalent, even burglaries are not so common (comparatively).

the other rules - generally stick to them. There were no officials around Ponta to dish out fines but u never know. There is one large dune at the end of the bay which is already suffering form erosion so i totally agree nobody should be climbing it. Its just a giant mountain of sand with shrubs holding it together after all, and provides a lovely wind break for the bay. As most visitors are south africans, I suspect the inflated fines are necessary - generally we tend to be a disrespectful rowdy bunch, its become part of SA culture to break the rules etc. Just look the way we drive ... jeez, really, those fines have to be that high otherwise nobody would heed them!

some of the newer and nicer lodges might also be owned and run by south africans. I really feel that the moz economy is struggling a lot more so its important to try and find a spot that's owned by Moz people - goes for restaurants as well.

Back to Motel do Mar: the food was terrible. The place does look a bit run down. But we expected as much - i did lots of research online first, looked at hundreds of images so i knew it was going to be spartan. But it was spotlessly clean, serviced every day. The restaurant prices are pretty much identical to SA , but we self-catered mostly. If you want to "barbeque" take your own portable one - the communal ones are not enough during peak times and are falling apart. We were very lucky we got one of the front units, closest to beach, on the first storey. The bottom ones have NO privacy whatsoever with a lot of pedestrian traffic walking by. So insist on a top unit, close to beach (we were in third row). That way, the view is awesome!! and the beach really is super close :-)

Remember in SA and our neighboring countries, "fully equipped self-catering" could mean anything - call and find out EXACTLY. Be prepared, you will enjoy it more. take your favorite peeling knife and bottle opener.

The units sleep four but i would not recommend it for 4 adults. The top unit has a nice double volume ceiling but this also means no privacy between rooms. So either 2 adults with their own kid(s) or 4 students having a jol (if you're used to commune living). Remember the kitchen and second bedroom is in fact the same space! (2 bunk beds in your kitchen area). So rather just go for 2 people and not feel so cramped. I thought the beds were comfy. Ceiling fan in bedroom. You are very much at the mercy of your neighbours though, as the units are close together so noisy neighbours = no sleep. good neighbours = great sleep!

Easy to self cater as the market sells onions, garlic, cabbage, greenpeppers, cucumber, lettuce , potatoes, tomatoes. I even saw bags of rice. And lots of other random things, cigarettes, soft drinks, local rum, nuts, sugar, oil etc. Pack your own coffee & long life milk and speciality booz ie nice wine. Can always buy fresh fish or prawns form the local fish shop. Just bring your own (vacuum sealed) meat like beef from SA. They even sell charcoal (not sure about firelighters) and lots of wood. Extra loo paper always a good idea.

Basically the thing with Ponta is you need a bit of experience and need to chat to people who has been, if its your fist time, to get your expectations in order. The weather will also make or break it, and that's got nothing to do with the hotel.

Room Tip: Ask for top storey room close to beach, no further than the third row from the sea. that way you hav...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank Jeanine J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2011

We just returned from a weekend in Ponta and had the best time! Motel do Mar is one of the more affordable accommodations, probably because it is due for a much needed facelift. The rooms are clean but nothing fancy. The best part is the beachside location. The hotel is RIGHT on the beach right behind the "shopping center" of town (if you can call it that) and right next to a great restaurant Florestinhas (get the chicken and/or fish!). Don't come expecting anything fancy and you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank dnavarro12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2011

We were in South Africa on a long vacation and decided to travel to Moazambique for a long weekend. I would not recommend doing this at all! The border is quaint but we were surprised at the huge visa cost ( $70 per person) for a single entry for anyone from out of the Southern African area. There were 5 of us. Then the motel cost over $125 per night. The beach is great but be careful of doing anything like climbing a dune. They will try and get you to pay a "fine" of up to $7000 (that's thousand! dollars) for doing something that is not well marked. Then when the wind turns the ocean delivers thousands of dangerous stingers (blue bottles). Don't go to Mozambique! Its not worth it!

Room Tip: The rooms are excessively priced. An equivalent US hotel would charge $25 per night
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank KLACE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Motel do Mar

Property: Motel do Mar
Address: Main Beach, Ponta do Ouro, Mozambique
Phone Number:
Location: Mozambique > Maputo Province > Ponta do Ouro
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Ponta do Ouro
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Motel do Mar began to be built in stages in the 50's . Right at the beach it offers 68 rooms with a capacity for four people. It was recently refurbished and furnished thus providing a greater comfort to its guests. Operated by the majority shareholder SODEPO – Sociedade de Desenvolvimento da Ponta do Ouro, Motel do Mar has plans to install during the year 2011, a casino and a pool, to ensure more opportunities for fun and satisfaction to its guests. :: Scuba DivingPonta do Ouro is the best place south of Mozambique to dive. It is famous for its coral reefs, abundant marine life and a variety of dive range. Come and dive with us! :: The beach: It offers a lot of sand and sun, fresh air and plenty of entertainment. The bay is very safe for swimming. Don't forget the sun protector and get the tan of your life! :: Kitesurfing: The bay of Ponta do Ouro offers world-class kite surfing, water level and smooth inside and outside waves. Come, jump into your board and let the kite be taken by the best wind! ... more   less 

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