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“Nice atmosphere in a renewed old building. I loved it.”
Review of Hotel Escondidinho

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Hotel Escondidinho
Reviewed May 6, 2012

I had no idea about the kind of place I would find when I got here. What a surprise. Escondidinho is a excellent getaway on a long trip around Africa.
Although they rebuilt most of the place, it still have the nice old style, with pretty large rooms. Added to it, the atmosphere of the place, the good food and a swimming pool. I would definitely come back here, and I do not think you can find a place as good as this for the price in the island or even in other places in Mozambique.Their price table changes from room to room.

Wireless is free and you can connect from any part of the hotel.

As usual in north of mozambique wait for food can steal much of your day. So, wake up early if you have a lot to do and still wants to have breakfast.

You can have a excellent sleep quality in Escondidinho, although, on Saturdays, a dance club with extremely loudly music located about 100 meters away, can end up with your sleep. The Management of the hotel is trying to solve the problem.

Hotel is also connected to a tour agency which operates scuba diving.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Vinidive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 5, 2010

This is the best place to stay on the island if you are looking for simple but comfortable rooms in an old house tastefully done up with French flair (the hotel belongs to an Italian expat doctor but the architect who also manages the place is French) and with a great French run restaurant. There is a garden and a small but pleasant pool in front of the restaurant. It’s quiet during the week even though a few backpackers come in to use it (outsiders pay a small fee to use the pool), but local families come in to use the pool on weekends and it can get loud and crowded then. (Note that all water on the Ilha comes from a well under the Fortress and is brackish.)

They have different rooms at different prices, some with AC, some with ensuite bathroom and some not, so decide what you need and choose accordingly. Room 14 is great: it has a huge (sleeps three) four poster bed with mosquito netting, a desk and chair, side table and chairs and plenty of luggage racks. A simple toilet and shower are attached although not separately enclosed. The room has AC and a fan and looks over the garden and so is very quiet. My room was clean though like all old houses on the island, the limestone does flake off the walls and the soft red floor means you can easily see shoe marks. The whole house has lovely white washed walls and high ceilings.

Continental breakfast is included in the rate. You can order eggs and an omelet for a surcharge, though if it’s muesli and yoghurt you are after you’ll have to walk five minutes to the Italian run Golden Anchor (which also does pizza, pasta, traditional food specials and is considerably cheaper than the Escondidinho). The hotel does great salads and seafood. Each part of the hotel is its own profit center so you pay the restaurant separately from the hotel and laundry service directly to maid who does the rooms who brings you your laundry.

For a super walking history tour try to catch Uwe, the German Manager of Ruby’s Backpacker’s at the hotel bar. (Halfday tour about $50.) He can often be found in the Escondidinho, as he used to work at the hotel. Alternatively, tip a beach boy to show you his place. Beach boys will charge you less for a tour but they invent things. The museum guides are very good though. You can arrange boat trips around the island and to nearby islands at the hotel’s front desk or with the beach boys (who speak English) outside the hotel. I arranged mine through Jamal, the hotel gardener and pool boy, for a great rate but you will need to speak some Portuguese to do this. A trip out to Ilha de Goa enables you to climb to the top of the lighthouse (100 meticais entrance) and do some swimming on a clean beach. I also did a sunset boat trip to the Fortim de Sao Lourenco which takes you past Macuti town.

Ilha de Mozambique is a great place to wander around for a few days and there is no better base than the Escondidinho. The hotel is wired but Internet is sadly not available for guests, though there are a few nearby Internet places open (sporadically during the weekend). I couldn’t find a web or e-mail address for the hotel and therefore booked through Kaskazini Travel in Pemba (very efficient service at reasonable rates) and they also arranged my transfers from Nampula and to Pemba and the Quirimbas.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled solo
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4  Thank poleinahole1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2010

My first visit to Mozambique Island was twelve years ago, so my expectations were low, since the Island had no tourism infrastructure then. The Island has come a long way since then! The Escondidinho is located in an old, renovated villa on the main street. It incorporates local/traditional art in the decor throughout the rooms and common areas. Our room was large, with a high ceiling and simple but tasteful furnishings in line with the Swahili coast decoration theme. The shower had hot water. The air conditioning worked after we asked them to turn it on. The bed was huge and comfortable. The food at the restaurant was excellent, using local fresh ingredients, including sea food. We wished we could stay longer, but they were booked through. Book early!

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank Peachymoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2010

I stayed here with two friends for two nights while passing through Ilha de Mocambique. It's a quaint little spot that, in comparison to some of the other options on Ilha, is your safest best. The rooms are clean and bed nets are provided. There's a nice pool in the courtyard area, but bats did tend to fly around at night. The first room we stayed in was steps from the pool and came with a king bed and additional daybed. The bathroom was superb and hot water was plentiful. The second room we stayed in was on the second floor and had three twin beds; it was a bit of downgrade from the first room, but we were on a budget, so it was fine! The room was still clean, although the window faced the main road so you could hear whatever action was going on outside. The beds in this room were a little too soft, and if I recall correctly, were made from the foam mattresses that are typical throughout the country. The bathrooms for this room were not located inside the room, but still pretty clean. The restaurant has an interesting decor concept, and the food was good. I think I had shark for dinner and it was delicious. Also, we hired a young boy hanging around the hotel to give us a tour of the island and paid him a nice fee for his work, which included a tour of the museum. Overall, decent stay; would recommend it.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with friends
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Thank LuxeTraveler_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2010

I lead a small delegation to Ilha and we stayed at Hotel Escondidinho. The rooms were huge and clean. We had three rooms, two of which overlooked the pool/courtyard area (14 and 16 that overlooked the street as well). Those rooms were above the restaurant and thus a bit noisy, but if you are not a light sleeper they are beautiful. Our light sleeping colleague had a room at the top of the stairs and kept the air conditioning on all night so he had no problems sleeping either... just make sure to pick a room to suit your sleeping habits!

There is something romantic about climbing under the mosquito nets to go to bed surrounded by lots of fresh air. While I am not sure that I would call Ilha a great place for romance, it was quite a nice change from cramped "business" hotels and would be a welcome splurge to backpackers or travelers who have been on the road for a time.

The pool and courtyard were pleasant places to hang out, offering a kind repose from all of the bustle of the Ilha (which is packed full of people!).

The restaurant (as others have said) is fabulous food but a bit pricier than other places on Ilha. Their menu didn't have the traditional Mozambique dishes, but the food they did serve was wonderful. The atmosphere of the restaurant, and in fact the hotel, makes you feel as if you are living in a romanticized version of colonial Africa. Makes one feel almost sinfully luxurious without really anything that an American would normally call "luxuries".

Everything is paid in cash, but there are ATMs on Ilha so no need to stock up on cash before leaving a big city. Internet is pretty scarce on Ilha, so prepare to be out of touch (cell phones work but not always).

The hotel does have a car that can pick you up from Nampula and take you to the hotel. We hired them to take us back to the airport and have no complaints about it (although it would have been nice if the driver could speak English so we could have learned a bit more about the countryside and culture). I understand they can arrange other tourist things for you as well, but we were not there long enough to take advantage of this.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled on business
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1  Thank muriellovestotravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2009

The couple who run this old converted portugese mansion are very pleasant and unlike most things in mozambique, everything works. Great food at the restaurant, nice pool and a delightful room( I had number 14 overlooking the pool)

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled solo
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1  Thank goldlo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2009

My wife and I were visiting the Island of Mozambique for a week and were staying at a pleasant B&B. We have a very good experience of Sub-Saharan African travels and know the continent well, but are mostly disappointed by the food we find in restaurants. What a joy it was then to find this lovely restaurant at the Escondidinho, run by a French couple, with mouth-watering food, elegantly presented, with a good wine list and in a charming setting. The menu changed regularly much to our delight, with always something new to discover! We highly recommend it.

Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
Thank ElQuerido
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Escondidinho

Address: Praca das Amoreiras | Bairro do Museu, Mozambique Island, Mozambique
Location: Mozambique > Nampula Province > Mozambique Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Mozambique Island
Price Range: $62 - $65 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Guest house in stone town, the historic center of Mozambique Island. It is an old trade house built at the beginning of the nineteenth century. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Escondidinho Hotel Mozambique Island
Hotel Escondidinho Mozambique/Mozambique Island

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