I have to say that the most memorable part of my stay here was that it is the only place in the world that was "out of stock" , of any type of Cola.......even as we travelled the central flood plains of Mozambique we found Cola at every little village we came across…..not here!
Let’s start with “reservations”…..having used Trip Advisor to find a beach resort we were delighted that they had availability for the 4 of us travelling. We booked and tried to pay a deposit but were told by email this was not necessary. The day prior to our arrival we tried to contact the lodge to confirm we were incoming, the day we set off on a challenging 16 hours across unmarked roads we tried to call them in the morning and several times when signal permitted during the day, to again confirm our arrival – not once was the phone answered, as intrepid adventurers we pressed on!
We reached Vilanculos just before 9pm, very tired and looking forward to our digs for the next 3 days. Let me say this……if you don’t have a 4 wheel drive , you will NEVER make it here, the last 4 miles to the resort was as bad, if not worse than the interior of the country (which had no marked roads).
On arrival, they had no idea who we were……..the owner a charming Portuguese lady eventually appeared and apologised to us for having given our rooms away….. myself and James ( a good friend) shared a double bed that night (we are closer now than we ever wanted to be) and my other two friends shared a twin – these things happen I guess….
For the record the location, beech, rooms and general ambience of the place are great……the attention to detail and service at times was maddening!
Having discovered the lack of coke of any description, as well as the lack of tonic we presumed this was the African way and stayed pretty calm, they assured us the situation with the accommodation and the drinks would be rectified in the AM and offered us a round of free beer….(something at least!)
In the morning we requested they clean out our chariot, including two cooler boxes and return one of them with ice to our room as we had some “special drinks” we travelled with …..Hendrix Gin, Tonic, Cucumber , a magnum of vintage Dom………the cooler box stood for several hours largely ignored by the staff and requesting ice became a joke, both for the cooler box and drinks that they served….
We also noticed there was a reluctance for staff to bring salt and pepper to the table, this happened every day, at every meal, it was because there was only one set for the entire place! By day three we would go fetch it ourselves, frustrated by the fact that when they did bring it to the table they would bring the salt and not the pepper or vice versa….bizarre….
The biscuit for me was when the new manager Xavier appeared and introduced himself. Whilst welcoming and friendly he clearly had something on his mind……he pointed out that we would not get ice for our cooler box as this was a “hotel” and that they had a bar and restaurant and didn’t want guests drinking in their rooms…………..I pointed out that the “drink” was Dom Perignon, Hendrix Gin and a Magnum of fine red wine, and as he didn’t even have coca-cola what were the chances of getting any of the above for sunset? The ice eventually arrived……
Another new member of staff, recently arrived from Lisbon was the chef, his food was excellent but the choice was limited, again largely down to the fact he, like Xavier the manager was getting his “feet under the table”. Food was good though!
I hope they get their act together as it’s a nice spot and not bad value , you have to really want to go there and really want to get in touch with them to actually make a reservation !
Xavier recommended we try the Cabana restaurant on the beech in Vilanculos and they showed that service from a well stocked bar with cracking food (including relevant condements) is available in Mozambique – Not sure if it was training, language or a combination of the above at Villas Dos Indicos but the poor service was other wordly!
We flew off to Bazaruti Island , stayed at Indigo Bay (not a fair comparison, so I’ll review that separately), on our return through Vilanculos 3 days later we attempted to get in touch to enquire about a garment that was left in one of the rooms……again no response on the phone! We drove a round trip of an hour to fetch the garment….which was “Not found”, disappointing as it’s a small resort with a handful of staff and few guests…….
I am sure there are better places to stay for the money……..
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