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“Perfect”
Review of Ibo Island Lodge

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Ibo Island Lodge
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Ibo
Certificate of Excellence
london
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Perfect”
Reviewed August 19, 2009

I'd have to say this was one of the nicest places I have ever stayed at. It makes me happy just thinking about it. Go as soon as you can before Ibo becomes like Lamu or Zanzibar.

Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank PedroMarshall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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189 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (50)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dublin, Ireland
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2009

We were here for 5 days on our honeymoon. The island is really something special and worth seeing before it changes too much. Go to a local disco if you can! The lodge is very nicely done, same for the room. But...we really struggled with the lack of power at night which means no A/C and so very poor sleep due to the heat and humidity. For the price we weren't impressed by this. The food was fine, but we didn't appreciate the (white) staff joining us for dinner every night (and using the pool), as if it was their god-given right. Other guests thought the staff were helping themselves to wine they had paid for and it did seem quite likely. It just wasn't appropriate them being there. We felt that the pool and sandbank largely made up for there being no beach to hand. In fact the sandbank was really something special - fresh lobsters and good chilled wine under a tent in the middle of the ocean, with exceptionally good snorkelling. Overall, it could have been brilliant but didn't quite make it due to price, staff, and lack of a good night's sleep.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank michaelandsal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2009

At the end of a trip it is sometimes a comforting feeling to know you
have a home where, upon returning, you feel comfortable, secure, and familiar. The best trips, though, are those where you feel instantly at home, or find a piece of heart and home, during your experience in a place. This was my experience at Ibo Island Lodge- the staff was very accomodating and made it their responsibility to see that we were having our needs met at the Lodge and on the island, the food was delicious and every meal was filled with the freshest seafood I have had in my nine months living in Mozambique, and their were many welcoming nooks and crannies at the Lodge and on the Island to relax. All of these contributed to Ibo Island feeling like not just a vacation spot but also a home: at the Lodge and with the people living on this beautiful drop in the ocean. I highly suggest planning a trip to Ibo Island Lodge so that you, too, may find a memorable home in the people and places to be discovered on Ibo Island.

  • Stayed June 2009
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank moz4me
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2009

Ibo was an Ok experience but we where quite disappointed with our stay there. We where there in October for our honeymoon and where expecting a fabulous island experience. What we got was something totally different. I think they make a very good job in marketing the lodge as an island experience which is definitely not. The lodge doesn’t have a swimming beach and although they do free trips by boat to a beach they fail to mention that these trips can get annoying and are subject to many things like tides, winds, etc. We ended up not getting to the beach half the time. The island in itself is worth visiting but would not recommend to anybody staying there for more then two nights or one could do a day trip from Pemba.

Not worth the money if you are looking for a full Island Holiday.

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank WilliNilli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FionaRecord, Owner at Ibo Island Lodge, responded to this review, February 9, 2016
Dear WilliNilli,
I am most sorry to read that you were disappointed with your stay at Ibo. We believe that we do offer a fabulous island experience. Most of our guests stay for at least 7 nights because we have so many typical island and marine activities from diving, to kayaking, dolphin safaris to island hopping dhow safaris. I am puzzled by your comments that we do a good job at marketing the lodge as an island experience as we are on an island and we do believe that we offer a full island experience - so that is what we do promote. I am not sure what kind of island you were expecting but I suspect reading between the lines that you may have wanted a private one palm tree kind of island. These do exist in Mozambique, but at much higher rates than you paid to honeymoon at Ibo.

No one has ever said that they find the sand bank beach excursions annoying and most of our guests love the beach, the lodge and the whole Ibo experience. I'm really sorry you were disappointed and particularly so because it was your honeymoon. All feedback good, or not so good, is important to me and once again I am sorry that we did not meet your expectations. All the very best from the team at Ibo. Fiona Record, Owner, Ibo Island Lodge.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2009

My wife and I stayed here for 4 nights on our honeymoon. The lodge consists of three restored buildings that had previously been administration offices of the Portuguese. The restoration has been thoughtfully and carefully carried out creating a lovely relaxed atmosphere. The high ceilinged room was elegant and had a large bathroom. The veranda was a great spot to watch the tide roll in and out.

The lodge organised a wide selection of activities, some complimentary. The daily trip to the secluded sand bank became an early morning routine. Some interesting snorkelling - it was nice to go out to see the wreck of an old Portuguese ship. The cultural walking tours of the island were excellent and the kayaking tour of the mangroves was good fun.

We really enjoyed the food. With the exception of one night it was exclusively seafood (except for the evening meal on our last night). Always fresh and mostly very nicely prepared.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank schotte300
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
1 review
Reviewed May 13, 2009

Arriving on Ibo Island is either by light aircraft or boat, depending on which lodge you have been staying at before.

For myself, would not have wanted it any other way but by boat. At low tide it is quite an experience, but the boatmen know the tracks so well, before you know it you are safely on dry land.

I was met by some of the team that run the lodge and immediately felt part of the Ibo family.

Consisting of 2 very grand Colonial/Portuguese homesteads, lovingly and very carefully restored to their former beauty. I entered the reception area, full of artefacts, furniture and paintings, which creates a wonderful feeling of nostalgia. My bedroom was just fabulous, with an extra big king size four posted bed, with soft muslin mosquito nets, great ablution facilities. Something very rarely done these days, is a personalised welcome letter. Just to add to the character of the room, valuables are put into a trunk with padlock.

Appreciating the time of year that I was there, dry, hot and not much rain, the gardens are beautifully maintained, very green and lush and full of colour. The pool is to die for, surrounded by huge Coconut palm trees, with a view of the azure blue Indian Ocean in front of you.

The food was very creative; everything I had was fresh, delicious and perfectly presented. Fish being the most obvious, with the ocean right there full of what it has to offer. Breakfast served on the deep covered veranda outside my bedroom. Dinner was served on the pool deck, by candlelight, which was absolutely magic.

The lodge has a extensive range of activties on offer. I decided on kayaking - a lot of fun as I had never done it before. The guides are really so experienced and full of knowledge, and talk you through all the do’s and don’ts of the activity. There are huge mangrove swamps which are full of many interesting birds.

Ibo Island is a must to stroll through. Time lost as you look at what is left of a once very busy port, and capital of the Northern Mozambique region. One can just imagine the hustle and bustle of trade, just by looking at some of the old decaying buildings, some of which are being restored. The people are very friendly, and the Ibo Silver jewellery goes back centuries…fascinating.

When I left Ibo Lodge there was a tear in my eyes, but so happy that I had the opportunity to experience one of the best trips of my life. Very few places left that are so unspoilt with such beauty.

  • Stayed January 2009
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank AdvisorIssy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
1 review
Reviewed April 27, 2009

We visited Ibo Island Lodge last year for 6 nights.
From the moment our little plane bumped down onto the island it was special.
We had a room facing the water (ask for this - not all of them do), complete with four poster bed (which was covered in fresh petals when we arrived) and nice antiquey fittings.
It was simple and elegant and very comfy.
The lodge itself was great. The staff are friendly, especially Kissinger who was our waiter while we were there. The food was excellent, fresh fish and shellfish at virtually every meal, we had crab, kingfish, crayfish, prawns during our stay. There's no beach at the Lodge but most days we took the boat out to the sandbar. We had breakfast out there a few times which was great - being served a big cooked breakie at a table sitting on a sandbar in the middle of the sea - very cool. We spent lots of our time reading by the pool and watching the dhows on the sea. Otherwise we walked around the village - which is one of the things that makes Ibo what it is - all these beautiful old portuguese buildings. Some overgrown and deserted. And some maintained and occupied by the local villagers. We loved the feeling of being on a tropical island with a very African feel.

The nights are particularly stunning with dinner served by candlelight up on the roof deck overlooking the sea and under a beautiful african night sky.

We also took a boat ride to some of the other islands around and did some snorkeling, and kayaked up a river through a mangrove forest.

The best recommendation we can give is that we would love to go back and will do so as soon as the opportunity arises.

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank JMGCapeTown
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

Property: Ibo Island Lodge
Address: Rua Bela Vista, Cabo Delgado Province 3212, Mozambique
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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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