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“Totally different hotel experience”
Review of Ibo Island Lodge

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Ibo Island Lodge
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Ibo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 22, 2013

Ibo Island Lodge is one of the loveliest hotels I have stayed in. Forget about standard hotels or lodges; this lodge is the tastefully restored house of the old Portuguese governor and has no signs of stereotypical hotels or lodges. You won't feel like you've stayed anywhere similar before and the views of the changing blue hues of the sea or the lush green of the gardens instantly instill a sense of peace.The decor is restrained colonial with all comforts and guests are treated as family by the hosts and delightful staff. One is woken to a tray of delicious Ibo coffee to enjoy in bed or,far better, on the verandah outside one's room gazing at the early morning sea. Breakfasts and dinners are served on the rooftop overlooking the tidal plains of the Indian Ocean stretching across to the African mainland. What a romantic setting where one can imagine being a Sultan for the night. The food was outstanding; 5 courses including delectable seafood, soups made from local ingredients, interspersed by sorbets and salads. How they manage to source so many fresh and varied ingredients on an island is remarkable.
Lunches are served in the shade of the lovely tropical garden.The gardens of the house are lush and tropical and brimming with birds who dip into the inviting pool overlooking the beach. A second smaller pool offers privacy at the back of the lodge. Locally trained staff were on hand to answer questions, recommend walking tours of the fascinating old town or bring cooling drinks to the pool. Exploring the town can take days but one is quickly convinced that Ibo Island Lodge is the best accommodation on Ibo. While one can happily laze at the pools a must is the kayak trip. Using graceful and stable glassfibre PaddleYak craft we paddled around the edge of the island to the Old Fort and also into the mangrove forests. Cosmo was a perfect guide, offering information and interpretation but also allowing us our own private enjoyment. The snorkelling trip takes one on a dhow to a pristine white sand bank. Coming out of the warm water a delicious lunch effortlessly appeared under a shaded tent. Ibo Island Lodge offers a truly memorable holiday with the best in food, service and activities.

Room Tip: Ask for a front facing room so you can wake up to sit and gaze at the sea from your own little veran...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank teresa a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 10, 2013

The Ibo Island Lodge Hotel is just fantastic – you can’t get away from that fundamental truth. Situated on the coast of Ibo Island, facing west to enjoy the dramatic sunsets, it’s beautifully placed to capitalise on the beauty of the Quirimbas Archipelago.

The converted Governor’s House is beautifully renovated using traditional methods and local manpower, and offers very spacious rooms with large bathrooms and beautiful colonial style public areas. There is a lovely spacious garden where lunch is served, and a fantastic roof-patio and restaurant for breakfast, sun-downers and dinner. There are also two swimming pools, both lovely and shady.

We stayed in one of two guest rooms in the main building – which has a door to the front of the building onto the patio under the main portico – and was very convenient.

The food is excellent – lots of fresh local seafood and lovely salads – and the service is pretty good, if a little slow at times. You’ve just got to relax and accept that things happen slowly in this part of Africa. Do that, and you’re certainly staying in probably the best place in Mozambique.

There are also good trips available that are organised by the lodge. We did the fantastic 4 day Kayak Safari, staying in tents on some islands of the archipelago and enjoying great food (freshly baked bread every morning for example!) and amazing beaches, snorkelling and kayaking, and also scuba-dived and took the tour around Ibo (very interesting). All excellent! We’d love to visit again.

It's expensive - maybe the most expensive place I've ever stayed - but it's gorgeous! And worth the long trip from Hong Kong to experience it.

Room Tip: The 2 rooms in the main house are very convenient. Maybe those in the garden block are a bit larger...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Keith R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2013

We booked the sea kayak/dhow safari and Ibo Island lodge adventure and what a great experience! The safari was great and we especially loved the first island we stayed at (Mogundula?) Cosmo, Nito, Lily, Shira (?), Mambo were great!

The safari staff did an amazing job with various dietary restrictions and the operations of moving us all around from island to island while accommodating our desires for sailing, snorkelling, kayaking and relaxing.

The lodge itself was wonderfully restored and is the best place to stay on Ibo. We loved our ocean front rooms with towering ceilings.

Ibo Lodge also cares for it's local community and hires the locals who may be serving you lunch one minute and guiding you around on the island tour that afternoon. What that means is that once in awhile the service may not be perfect, but you know that these "once fisherman" have a an additional lifeskill which offers sustainability for them and their family in the long run, which makes you feel good about it all.

And what a place to watch the sunset! Make sure you get to the roof by 4:30 (in early April anyway) and settle in for a gorgeous view with a glass of great South African wine. Oh, and the meals are very tasty too.

I would highly recommend a stay at Ibo Island Lodge and the safari - what a nice break from the busyness of life!

Room Tip: We were in the main house in the "dhow" room - Ngawala - and it was lovely
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank sdchick1027
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2012

Stayed there two nights in between Quirimbas and Vamizi. It was an interesting experience! The town is deserted from the original splendour of the old trading times. Empty warehouses and buildings of decayed elegance line the shore.
The hotel was very nice with two welcoming swimming pools and air conditioned large bedrooms. Service was very good and Rob the host very accommodating. We had a kayak tour of the mangroves as well as historical walks around the town.
Service was very good. If you want to experience something unusual and learn about the historical culture, then Ibo Island Lodge is a great place.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank vic_levy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2012

Rob and the team at Ibo Lodge delivered excellent laid back service for the 3 nights we stayed. Exceptional Food, architecture (rooms are great) and recent addition of diving with Serg (also a musician and painter) rounded off the experience. Sunset drinks on the roof bar watching spectacular sunsets an additional bonus. If I had realized it was going to be so good I would not have moved to another island for the next 4 nights.

Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank Llew N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2012

The family recently visited Ibo Island Lodge (thee days) and spent four wonderful days with Cosmo on the dhow safari. It was a wonderful time of reconnecting made incredibly special by the team - Rob at the lodge (with Ibo the dog) and Cosma, Lilie, Armane, Nita and Shira. Cosmo found the best snorkelling spots, patiently taught us how to kayak, gave us informative island tours of Mogundula and Rolas and taught us astronomy on the most beautiful star studded sky. Armane's food was outstanding and the dhow sailing took us back in time. The smiles and service was wonderful and it was an experience of a lifetime.

Room Tip: All the rooms are beautiful!
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Diane M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2012

We have just returned from Ibo Lodge (Dec 12) after a fantastic 2 nights in the Lodge following on from their three day Dhow Safari (camping on the islands on the way out to the lodge).

A well run and beautiful place. The rooms are large and comfortable (quiet AirCon). Food is fab too (on the best roof terrace I have seen for years). Do bring some spending money for the locals silver work ($10 - $30 per item average).

We also dived with the Lodge and saw some massive corral seascapes that looked completely untouched by previous visitors.

All in all 5+

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank MichaelScogley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ibo Island Lodge

Address: Rua Bela Vista, Cabo Delgado Province 3212, Mozambique
Phone Number:
Location: Mozambique > Cabo Delgado Province > Quirimbas Archipelago > Ibo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Ibo
Price Range: $643 - $867 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Ibo Island Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ibo Island lies in the Quirimbas Archipelago of northern Mozambique. Nominated for World Heritage status Ibo has been described as one of the most unique and atmospheric islands in the world. Ibo offers pristine beach excursions, snorkeling, sea kayaking, dhow sailing, birding, mangrove forests, sumptuous seafood, romance, simplicity, tranquility and a perspective that will change your life forever. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ibo Island Hotel Ibo

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