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“Relaxing stay but certainly not top notch”

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Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Bazaruto Island
Certificate of Excellence
Channel Islands
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Relaxing stay but certainly not top notch”
Reviewed November 25, 2009

Stayed recently as an add on to spending time in South Africa. We flew from Nelspruit which was great for us as only an hours flight to Vilanculos and then a further 10 minute flight to the island. This is a good airport to use if you have been on safari in this area.

On arrival in Vilanculos it is a nightmare to get through immigration - they do not hand out the forms you need to complete on the plane so by the time everyone stands in a small hallway to complete the forms and then waits in line for the one immigration officer to stamp and put stickers on everything it takes some time. Things like this being very frustrating when you are with a baby!

We then had a problem with the connecting flight to the hotel - basically no one at the hotel had told us we could get a free allowance on our scuba gear, so hefty surcharge. Nor had anyone asked if our son (15 mths) would like a seat so he had no luggage allowance either. To buy him a seat would have been much cheaper than paying excess luggage. While trying to sort this out the airline gave our seats away to someone else and the plane went, great when travelling with a baby and you just want to get there. we had to wait a few hours for the next flight. The service from the Joburg head office was very disappointing in all respects including non response to emails when asking about food for the baby etc..

On arrival the resort, although only having 40 rooms, is very spread out, almost too big with a long walk from the beach bungalows to the scuba centre and gym. The staff were very friendly but a lack of english on many occasions gave us many problems with the local staff. Babysitting was available although we changed after a few days as the lady was not following our instructions and not meeting us on time. The second lady was much better and we had no problems.

The management staff were very efficient and often came round to check things were ok and were good at keeping up with your daily plans. I felt they were having to double check everything the local staff were doing. A few of the management staff were exceptionally helpful and this made life much easier as they were able to be very flexible - i.e. providing in room dining which isn't usually an option at lunch as it was a long walk with the baby to the lunch restaurant and too many steps on the boardwalks with the buggy, arranging the baby's food to be brought to the room at certain times, checking up on the babysitter and changing our departure flight to a later time to save us hanging around.

The scuba centre was disappointing and very expense. We have dived all over the world and in far remoter places and have not paid this much. One of the divemasters was very good but the other a little distant and not really interested in being flexible or suggesting different dive sites. Shame as we had contacted them beforehand to explain we would be doing 2-3 dives a day for 10 days. We were thankful we took our own scuba gear as on one of the days a newly qualified chap had his regulator break under the water - not a nice experience for him or his wife to watch. One of the divemasters also did not wear a dive computer and skipped a safety stop after a long dive.

Food was fairly good, but far too many buffets. Wine selection was not too bad.

We chose a beach bungalow to be practical with the baby and this worked well. Great size room, comfy bed, access to the beach, nice garden, big bathroom with indoor and outdoor shower. The suites on the higher level seem even better but not suitable for us on this occasion.

The hotel has two nice pools and an internet room which is free. Wifi only available in the reception area. The beach is stunning and quiet and no hassel from the locals (it is a public beach), really beautiful.

Trip home was a nightmare, the flight from Vilanculos to Joburg with Pelican Air was running late and after listening to the usual 'yes the plane has now left Joburg to collect you and you will make your international flights' we then missed them. We have only been to Mozambique once before and this happened to us then too. We were delayed for 7 hours but the airline did put us up in a hotel once we got to Joburg, we demanded a late check out, they also rearranged our international flight for the next day and also subsequent domestic flight once we reached the UK.

All in all we had an ok stay and generally enjoyed ourselves. However, being used to really good service and considering the problems with the flights and the disappointing scuba centre with the resorts location there are too many other places to try before coming back again.



The spa was also very good and have a nice range of treatment and a stunning view. Ideal for relaxing.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank MFT25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (96)
Date | Rating
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English first
Stavanger, Norway
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 17, 2009

We loved Indigo Bay as the final stop of our honeymoon. A great place to just relax and not having to do anything. We stayed at the beach chalet, and was amazed by the room itself and the location at the beach.

The tennis court and golf court are superb, and we never met anybode there, even though we used them every day.

The only thing we thought of was the ubelievable high prices for the other activities. We did an island trip, sunset cruise and dune boarding. The spa was wonderful and the prices all right.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Stuenisj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
87 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed October 20, 2009

It has been hard to leave the hotel and go back home. We would have spent even a month at the Indigo Bay.
The rooms, the service, the restaurant and the food quality were amazing.
The hotel staff surprised us every day with an incredible attention to details!
Every room is surrounded by a tropical garden and has its own private access to the white beach. It's an explosion of colours and birds.
I strongly suggest to try the wonderful SPA and its breathless view.
It's a peaceful place, a piece of paradise on earth.

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank The_Roosters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2009

I was here for a week and despite its remote location I could've stayed 2. There is everything you need, gym, internet, great Spa, friendly staff, nice pools, lots of activities (I did not think prices were unreasonable) - a few of them free and the most amazing sea. Technically it was winter which meant darkness descending quickly, but the days were beautiful and the sunsets. Unreal. The new Manager, Andy Conn is friendly and often present. During the week we did a scuba diving course, fishing, snorkelling, gym, spa, dune boarding, a visit to Paradise Island which turned out to be private as it was only us 4 plus 3 staff who set up tents and a barbecue on the island and did us lunch, walks on the beach etc.

Were there any negatives? A couple. Andy tried to resolve these and our issue was the food, on and off. Lunch was brilliant, breakfast OK (although I would ask for freshly cooked eggs, pancakes etc, recommend that they keep the birds off the food more efficiently, put sauces in nice little covered jugs, quicker service on specialist coffees although filter comes quickly etc), and the dinner was either waiter service with a menu of 2 choices or a buffet. I do not like buffets, ever, the food always seems unappetising to me and encourages you to eat weird combos like mozzarella on sticks with sushi and a samosa thrown in but if you want to stick to plentiful grilled fish or meat you will be fine. I believe there is an ongoing problem with a slight taste of lighter fluid on the food which they think has been resolved. Not completely. However, they try seriously hard and would cook you the food again, or something to order. At lunch they did us whole baked fishes which we like, having lived so long in Italy, with salads etc. My son often had 3 lunches and they carried on bringing the food. There could also be some child friendly food introduced (not of the chicken nugget variety but possibly simpler ' real' food particularly as my daughter does not like meat or fish) more choice on the waiter service dinner which I felt was overly fancy, sometimes tepid and didn't quite pull itself off.

We found the staff very polite but there should be less emphasis on pulling out of chairs at every second and some time invested in a simple English programme and more efficient service on some things.

Be advised that this really is a primitive island and you will see bewildered islanders walking past who until Rani Resorts arrived did not have a basic school or medical centre. There is part of me that feels all this luxury in front of them is wrong, but I console myself with the fact that it provides employment and the Resort does support the Islanders in many practical ways.
Anyway, thank you Indigo Bay for a lovely time and hope to see you again.........

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank tallulah54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 9, 2009

I can only say great things about this resort and the island of Bazaruto.
Firstly though, it is a journey to get there and Vilankulos airport is certainly not the greatest, it was a bit chaotic when we arrived, but you tend to expect this being a remote area in Mozambique with a few lodges around. If you come with an open mind to that, it won’t bother you as much.

The short flight over to Indigo Bay from Vilankulos was breathtaking, I had never seen water that colour before, have your camera on standby. The island itself is beautiful with massive dunes.

The resort has about 35 – 40 chalets/villas (chalets are divine) but well spread out and it felt as though we had the whole beach to ourselves. The staff are well trained and very friendly.

The food – This really was a highlight and exceeded our expectations considerably, the 5 course meal we had in particular was outstanding and one of the best I have ever had.
Breakfast was excellent and though lunch had a limited menu, it was still all very good.
The restaurant staff were well trained and we enjoyed them all.

There are plenty of activities, the horse ride up the dunes was fantastic. The Spa is a definite must, the views alone are spectacular.

All in all a holiday of a lifetime and we hope to return again sometime in the future. Need to start saving though.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank splurgeout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rushden
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 18, 2009

We went to Indigo Bay on our honeymoon, and were a little disappointed. We chose to go here as we thought it would be really special, and for the price you would expect it to be. Everything is very expensive. The drinks are not included, and it is $3 for a can of soft drink!
Breakfast is a buffet and is cold and not very nice. I opted for the croissants after the first day, but they were not cooked, and so were doughy in the middle. After this I decided against breakfast. Lunch was pretty good as it was something different each day and there was a menu to chose from. Dinner was the same EVERY night. Bbqd fish. It was prawns, lobster, squid and a line caught fish. It was always over cooked and over salted. The prawns were the best thing, but they ran out after a few days.
The waiting staff were pretty good (if a little cheeky - they asked to be tipped in cash), and the starters were generally good. We decided in the end to just eat the starters and none of the main.
There is not a lot to do here, which makes it a great place if you want to do nothing, but there is NOTHING going on in the evening. The things that you can do are generally all chargeable and very expensive ($120 for 2 dives).
The diving was definitely the best thing about this place, although we did have a close call involving a bad skipper and a huge wave. I saw eagle rays, a reef shark and the usual reef fish. I want snorkeling with a whale shark (amazing) and we saw dolphins and a dugong from the boat.
Our room was fantastic. We were lucky enough to get upgraded to a bay view villa for next to nothing, so we had a plunge pool which was lovely. Everyone said that the beach chalets were very nice, but I didn't see one myself.
If you are thinking of going here, I would recommend that you go to Mauritius instead. You get better service, more friendly staff, more for your money and in my opinion it is a much nicer island.
If you do go here, watch out for your luggage allowance. It's 20kg per person including hand luggage and the scales at Vilanculos conveniently are out by 3kg, making your bags 3kgs heavier than they are, but if you're polite you can bribe the officials!!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank pipster_b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2009

We stayed for 3 nights. Enjoyed sailing, horse riding and swimming. The high standard of cooking exceeded our expectations. Beautiful location, friendly staff.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank P12345Uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort

Property: Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort
Address: Inhambane Province, Mozambique (Formerly Indigo Bay Island Resort and Spa)
Location: Mozambique > Inhambane Province > Bazaruto Archipelago > Bazaruto Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Bazaruto Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 44
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Also Known As:
Indigo Bay Island Hotel Bazaruto Island
Indigo Bay Hotel

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