My friend Marc has recently spent 4 days at Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort in Mozambique and below is his review of the hotel:
You know you are in for a treat when the place where you booked your vacation is featured in several documentaries and is even talked about by David Attenborough himself who was amazed by the lush marine life and some of the world’s finest and remote beaches.
About 15km off the coast of Mozambique is the Bazatuto Archipelago, a collection of 6 remote island paradises, and on the largest island Bazauto you can find Anantara’s luxury island resort blended into the tree line with its straw roofs and pristine white sand beaches.
The Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort has 44 beach, sea view and pool villas, all of which face the beautiful blues of the Indian Ocean that can be enjoyed from your bed, your bath or even your indoor and outdoor shower.
After a 40 minute boat ride from the sleepy fishing town of Vilanculos, you are greeted by the harmony of African singing, drums and dancing, a traditional Bazaruto welcome, and that’s when the adventure begins. Anantara says this resort “inspires travellers with a sense of adventure” and never have I experienced a resort that delivers ‘adventure’ like this.
The Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort is member of DISCOVERY Loyalty, an incredible hotel loyalty programme that covers 550 hotels in 76 countries. by joining DISCOVERY Loyalty, you immediately start earning perks at places like The Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort. My favorite perks are early check in and late check out which come in handy for those flights with weird timings.
From the moment your feet hit the water as you get off the boat (yes there is no jetties, this is real island life), the warm and friendly local staff greet you on to their island with a sense of pride to share its beauty with you. Throughout our stay all the staff went above and beyond to make sure we had the best time, and even secretly ran us a bath on our last day after a day on the ocean exploring the reefs. Many of the staff were born and raised on Bazaruto Island which gives them a wealth of stories to tell at the bar, like how Bob Dylan wrote the song “Mozambique” on Paradise Island and the piano he used is now in the bar at Anantara.
From horseback riding on the beach at sunset and sand boarding on huge dunes to diving in crystal clear waters to watch schools of snapper and zebra fish, Anantara Bazaruto has it all.
By far the one of the highlights of the trip was our day exploring the reefs and oceans with our Anantara guides Diogo and Eddy who were both born and raised on Bazaruto. The day started by walking out at low tide to our boat for the day, and then heading out to the open ocean to find migrating Humpback whales. Seeing these gentle giants circle our boat working out if we were another whale or not is a memory that I will tell my grandchildren. After playing with whales, it was back towards the shore to explore Pansy Island which gets its name from a rare shell only found on this island that has a mark like the flower. Next up was snorkelling at a 2 mile reef with dive master Diogo and a delightful private picnic on Santa Carolina (aka Paradise Island, and believe me you’d be able to see how it earned its name). After a tour of Paradise, it was time to head back to our island, and as if by magic as we were leaving a small pod of dolphins came to see us off. Unfortunately, we didn’t see the rare Dugong but it really was a day I will never forget. Check out the hotel website for the full low down on all the experiences.
So there are prawns and then there are Mozambique prawns, which were literally the size of my fist — perfectly BBQ’d and tasted like no prawn I have ever had. The rest of the seafood offering is equally as good and fresh, with the option to try traditional Mozambican curries and specialties, to more European influenced cuisine as it was once a Portuguese colony, you will not be disappointed with the food offering. The resort offers 6 options for dining including Dining by Design, where you start your experience perched above the resort at the spa with a glass of champagne as you watch the sun set over the bay, and from there you can enjoy your fine dining menu on a deserted sand bank in the Indian Ocean.
The Spa at Anantara Bazaruto is one of the most unique spas I have ever been to. Situated on a hilltop overlooking the whole bay and the resort they offer an array of treatments of which I highly recommend the Rasul Treatment as you get a private steam room to unwind in, which turns in to a rain shower to wash of the body scrub, followed by you own private jacuzzi to sip whatever drink tickles your fancy, as you contemplate what to do next in paradise.
The Bazaruto Archipelago and its lush tropical climate is a place worthy of Attenborough. Its natural beauty and Marine National Park status will leave you in awe even if you are not a wildlife and nature aficionado. It also gives you the opportunity to detach yourself from the rest of the world and give you a real experience of paradise.