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“Great location and service but has some flaws”

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Flamingo Bay Water Lodge
Reviewed December 26, 2013

We had a wonderful time at Flamingo Bay. The location is unparalleled on the Inhambane Bay smack bang in the Tidal estuary with mangroves all around. It is frankly just awesome to walk to your cabin across the walk way and see the tide changes with the associated life going on and then jumping of the verandah in to the water and having a swim at 4:30 am or whenever the tide is in. Fantastic. Another big bonus is that it is age 12 and above and this makes the hotel which is small much more intimate. The food was very good and considering the location and remoteness that impact supply lines quite excellent. I do not understand some of the complaints voiced by other reviewers. There are however some issues that I have. The excursion to Inhambane and general transit are resort sanctioned and the vehicles used lack basic safety equipment as local 3rd world taxi operators are sub contracted. These vehicles have no seat belts for passengers, and I would hazard no insurance. At the best of times the roads in Africa a hazardous an and this area is no exception. Accidents are frequent and quality medical care is hundreds of miles away likely requiring air transit for serious injuries. My point being that Barra resorts needs to rethink how they transport passengers as some of this ad hoc third world country does not do for the prices charged not the expectation of quality we expect from a 4/5 star resort. In addition to the local travel problem we had a complete disaster with the local excursion to Inhambane. We would not believe that the resort would even sanction something like this. I did discuss this with the local GM and he was adamant that he would correct this aspect of the resort services and to their credit did offer another excursion to make good. If not for the local travel experience this likely would have been a 4 or 5 star review. While not a reflection on Barra resorts Mozambique is not the easiest place to travel to. LAM is a TERRIBLE airline to be avoided at all cost. The airline is not allowed to fly in EU airspace and fly SAA as bad as they are instead or drive. We were advised that driving has its own risks and dealing with the local police can be challenging. Be sure to register your trip with the US consulate when traveling on a US passport with the SMART traveller program.

Room Tip: All are good. We like our NE elevation as the sun streamed into the room at around 4:45 in the morni...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Robert B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BarraResorts, Public Relations Manager at Flamingo Bay Water Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 29, 2013

Thank you for the very candid review. The staff go out of their way to offer the service required and it is pleasing to note that in your case Flamingo Bay delivered. Road transport can be challenging and we are doing our best to overcome using outside suppliers for this service however at times and particularly in busy times we need to call on these services. There is a growing demand for air transport into the region and we are in constant contact with our suppliers in terms of service levels and standards.

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59 - 65 of 208 reviews

Reviewed December 16, 2013

One of the best places we have ever stayed!!!!! Located in a mangrove area with huts on stilts and a wonderful view. The service, staff and food is an experience in itself - this is definitely not the last time we visit this little paradise....

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank dgs1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BarraResorts, Public Relations Manager at Flamingo Bay Water Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2013

We are so pleased you enjoyed your stay with us and look forward to welcoming you back. Take care and safe travels

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Reviewed December 7, 2013

This is Africa’s only lodge situated on a tidal estuary in a mangrove zone. You can drop into the sea from your stilted bungalow and emerge to have a shower on your patio. It is very peaceful and private. You can see why it is popular with honeymooners. (They offer discounts to honeymooners.) It is a wonderful place worth visiting and the staff are very kindly.

You must be careful about booking though. It will not be evident but a google search will take you to several sites hosted by South African travel companies who charge far more than the rates posted on the lodge’s site. Note that even when you book via the official website you will still be charged a 450 rand booking fee. They do take credit cards for a surcharge which is convenient. Their office made several errors in our booking, so I recommend checking all communications closely. We had arranged to be picked up at Caso do Mar in Tofo (see separate review) and the driver was late as he informed us that he had only been advised about our pickup an hour before. So please reconfirm all your pick up times a few days prior to arrival.

However, once we got to the lodge the service was exceptional. Flamingo Lodge is managed by the same owners of Barra Lodge (the centre of all activities for Flamingo Lodge too), Pomene Lodge and Bamboozi Lodge. You arrive at a huge bungalow overlooking a mangrove complete with infinity pool dropping into the estuary and all meals are served in this location, unless you want your meals served in your bungalow. Breakfast and dinner are included in the room rate and are delicious and portions generous. Breakfast buffet is copious with lots of fresh fruit, yoghurt, cereal and hot and cold dishes. Dinner is a four course affair and they cater to vegetarians very well. Paulino, the waiter, is a lovely man who arranged a beautiful flower bedecked table for us one evening.(Standard on your last night it seems.)

They offer riding on the beach (horses just walk so it was a bit tame), diving (which we didn’t do because conditions weren’t good) , mangrove walks, village tours, catamaran and kayaking. Laundry service is next day. Wifi is free and available in the reception area only. It is very slow. I had to wait 30 minutes just to be able to enter my password. However, one of the managers let me borrow her personal laptop until the I could connect.

The rooms are long walk along a stilted walk way over the mangroves. They are spacious and very clean and beautifully designed and maintained. They have an African thatch and wood design, fan, air-conditioning, terrace overlooking the sea, large bathroom (we had no hot water but it was refreshing) and blessedly no TV.

We spent three nights here and loved it and highly recommend the experience, but we were very pleased that we also spent a few nights at Tofo Beach so that we could experience village life and sample local food and restaurants.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank poleinahole1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BarraResorts, Public Relations Manager at Flamingo Bay Water Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 9, 2013

Thank you for your detailed review of Flamingo Bay. We are pleased to note the experience was enjoyed. One point about the booking fee though as on the barraresorts.com site the price you see is the price you pay and there are no booking fees charged on top of the lodge rates.

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Reviewed December 6, 2013

Accommodation was very good - and the walk from room to reception was always interesting, with flamingos, ruffs, cormorants, plovers and redshank, and magical wee red-clawed crabs to attract our attention. Add bulbuls and various yellow weavers bustling about their business by the pool/open-air dining area, and a lovely evening cat, and every day was a delight. Every meal was first-class - breakfast had full range of choice, lunch menu was full and varied, and evening meals always offered main course choice of seafood or meat or vegetarian, as well as delicious soups, entrees and desserts. And the service was splendid, too. All staff - room cleaners, meal attendants, bar staff and reception staff - were pleasant, helpful, efficient and welcoming.

Room Tip: Rooms 116- 120 have direct views of the sunset, but every room has very good location and interestin...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Hamish W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BarraResorts, Public Relations Manager at Flamingo Bay Water Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 9, 2013

The nature surrounding Flamingo Bay is incredible and it is pleasing to hear you were able to experience and appreciate this. Your review is certainly appreciated as it give others who read it more knowledge of this special location in Mozambique

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Reviewed December 6, 2013

Our honeymoon was truly fantastic and we enjoyed every moment of it. The rooms are truly breath-taking and we spend most of our time on our veranda looking at the stunning views. Both low and high tide brings with it the most wonderful sights. We were lucky to have room 119 which has stunning views of the sunset. The resort has the rustic charm of Mozambique with added luxuries and hospitalities.The staff are amazingly friendly and we loved getting to know many of them and hearing their stories. Special mention to Francisco and Sacramento for being truly amazing.

The activities that we did were the Pansy Island Trip (out of this world amazing), quad biking and the village tour. All of them were wonderful and well organised.

On our last night, our final dinner preparation was so beautiful and the table was draped with tinsel and flowers. Everyone made us feel so welcome.

A few notes for consideration for management, we did find the management staff very aloof and if we spoke 5 words to them all 8 days we were there it was a lot. It actually felt as though they purposefully ignored us. I do also feel as though the spa should be better managed - it feels like a little added extra (not even properly staffed) and not as the Wellness and Treatment Centre it professes to be.

Nonetheless, we had an amazing time and would definitely return. Thank you kindly to all at Flamingo Bay for making our honeymoon spectacular.

Room Tip: Rooms 117 - 120 have by far the best views
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MegCr0sby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BarraResorts, Public Relations Manager at Flamingo Bay Water Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 9, 2013

We are so pleased that Flamingo Bay was able to give you the experience you expected on your special occasion. Your review will certainly receive the attention of management and we wish you both well on your journey of life

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Reviewed December 5, 2013

An over-water bungalow was on our bucket list and we loved it. The place was quiet and the room was very spacious. The tides really flow in and out with large variations in times and water levels. The people are friendly and service is good. Breakfast was plentiful and we skipped lunch. Dinner was adequate - I would have liked more local food and local flavors.

If you stay here you can also eat in their sister lodge a 10 minute drive away - Barra Lodge,

All room have small porches where you can hang out and look over the bay. There are steps off your porch that lead you to the water below giving you the opportunity to enjoy the quiet coastline.

Room Tip: The higher the number the closer to the bay. Rooms are in sets of 4. We were in 116 and it was one...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank kashgo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BarraResorts, Public Relations Manager at Flamingo Bay Water Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 9, 2013

Ticking off another bucket list item and enjoying the time spent at Flamingo Bay certainly makes it all worth while. Thank you for reviewing our property and we look forward to welcoming you back in the future

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Reviewed December 5, 2013

I booked Flamingo Bay as part of a romantic getaway for my fiance (proposed on the balcony of our Flamingo Bay chalet) in October. We didnt have too long to stay, so we booked a fly-in package from Johannesburg. The lodge was truly fantastic, and was everything I had hoped for when planning the trip! Obviously being quite nervous about the whole trip, as soon as we stepped onto the wooden walk-way leading into the reception, I knew I had picked the right place! The lodge has an understated luxury, while keeping its relaxed Mozambiquean beach-vibe - exactly what I was looking for! Yes, some of the chalets look as though they could use a neatening up of the thatching, but this did not effect us in the slightest. The fact that the chalets are quite a distance from the main lodge has been commented on quite a bit in other reviews, but we enjoyed the strolls along the walkways, taking in the quiet scenes of the estuary, as well as using the walks back from the restaurant in the evenings to walk off the food. On that note, the food was extremely delicious, well-prepared and each night there were different items on the menu (although we took the opportunity to sample the seafood platter on a number of occasions). The breakfast buffet was always fresh and well prepared, and had a selection for every taste. Our 2 waiters who looked after us for the week (Remi and Fernando) were brilliant and we got to know them quite well. Special mention must also go to the management staff, who were always ready to help and had great advice for the local activities (diving, other beach restaurants, etc), which just added to our enjoyment of the Inhambane area. If you are looking for a quiet, romantic getaway, then this is the place! If you are looking for a party vibe, with loads of people, then Flamingo Bay's partner lodge (Barra Lodge) is probably more suitable. We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of our stay, and would love to go back again!

Room Tip: The rooms numbered 17-20 do have a slightly better sunset view, but other than this all of them seem...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Andre B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BarraResorts, Public Relations Manager at Flamingo Bay Water Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 9, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to publish a review. It is always great to have happy guests at the lodge. Management and staff do also appreciate hearing from you.

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Additional Information about Flamingo Bay Water Lodge

Address: Inhambane | Inhambane, Mozambique
Location: Mozambique > Inhambane Province
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #32 of 111 Specialty Lodging in Inhambane Province
Price Range: $175 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Flamingo Bay Water Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Also Known As:
Flamingo Bay Water Hotel Inhambane
Flamingo Bay Water Lodge Mozambique/Inhambane

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