There’s a lot of building and upgrading activity happening on Ilha, probably more than any other time in recent years
We reported that the Pousada de Ilha de Mozambique (formerly government ran Hotel Omuhipiti) is being fully renovated, and that work continues and must be nearing completion. Rickshaws have expanded their accommodation range, Terraço appears to have started to renovate a whole new section, more than doubling its size when its finished? Cafe Central is busy busy and Coral lodge has relocated to Ilha – in a marketing rather than a physical sense.
But the biggest news is the entry of some spectacular accommodation options through Airbnb
There are now around 20 places listed on Airbnb. Some are true to the original Airbnb idea of a spare room in somebody’s house while others are magnificent waterfront properties where you take the whole building to yourself
2 that are already proving very popular are: Magic Ilha which is in a busy street but opens directly onto one of the prettiest beaches behind, and, Casa Da Ilha which sleeps up to 12 and is simply one of the most spectacular places you will ever stay in.
More Airbnb listings are sure to follow as Ilha’s popularity continues to grow. Whether this is good for the island is hard to predict.
Note: Accommodation rates have now been removed from listings. Best that you check prices with management before making a booking.
Escondidinho – Hiding Place
This light and airy place is right in the centre of Stonetown. Rumored to be a former slave market it is now a comfortable mid-priced guesthouse with spacious rooms most with en-suite bathrooms. The swimming pool at Escondidinho is the best on the island, situated in a shady garden. It’s a good place to escape the midday heat and do as the name suggests and hide away.
Nobody knows what the future holds for the restaurant and bar which has had several changes of management and periods of being closed. This was once one of the best places to eat on the island so it would be nice to see it return to its former glory.
Lots of singles, couples and occasionally families stay here, it’s also popular with business people & NGO workers. The rooms are all a bit different which in my mind adds to the appeal, and room 17 is a hot favorite for many returning guests.
All rooms have A/C and most have en-suite bathrooms. There is also a very large room that sleeps 6, good for a family or group of friends but no a/c
Includes: breakfast, use of swimming pool and good wifi
Contact |Ph: +258 843898628 E: [email protected]
More info |www.oescondidinho.net
Feitoria Boutique Hotel
The Feitoria offers “resort style with sophisticated trimmings” and gets 10 out of 10 for ‘Wow factor’.
Located in a very central position in Stone Town, next to the bank and overlooking the sea. The reception and conference facilities are situated in the main heritage building, there’s a large open area with swimming pool and a restaurant / bar on the terrace by the sea. A new chef arrived several months ago and while the menu isn’t very creative the food is good and well presented
While the buildings are distinctly Portuguese Colonial, the fittings have an exotic Indian theme in keeping with the islands eclectic cultural mix.
Most of the accommodation is built into what were once separate warehouses. All have their own front door and window, ensuite bathroom and there’s a choice of twin or double beds. The large suites and conference facilities for up to 25 are located up the magnificent staircase at the front. Car parking is in reserved spaces at the adjacent park.
All rooms have hot/cold water, wifi, TV, hair dryer, robe, sandals and arrangement can be made for extra childs bed in the suites
Standard: 4 rooms, all double beds.
Superior: 8 rooms, 5 twin 3 double
Suite Junior: 3 suites 2 double 1 twin, 1 with sea view
Suite Senior: 2 suites, all double with terrace and sea view
More info |www.feitoria.co.mz
Coral Lodge 15.41
Coral Lodge changed ownership about 2 years ago and is undergoing changes. The story goes that guests Donatella and Fillipe enjoyed their stay so much that, learning that it was up for sale they decided to buy the whole place.
The lodge describes itself as “…a beach sanctuary which tastefully blends luxury and comfort with the authentic feel of Mozambique style and simplicity” and who could argue with that. The setting is world class and the rooms and excellent cuisine guarantee a wonderful stay. There are 10 luxury villas, some facing the ocean the other facing the spectacular lagoon.
Coral Lodge is not actually on Ilha but 3km across Mossuril Bay. The best way to get there is by Swahili sailing Dhow, a gentle and romantic journey which helps with the transition to the slower pace of Cabeceira. Being so close to Ilha makes it a great place to use as a base from which to explore the World Heritage site and the other nearby islands although the lodge transfers are expensive so its worth checking out the alternatives.
- Air Conditioning above your bed (this works really well)
- Electronic safe
- Coffee & tea making facilities
- A fully-stocked private bar
- Indoor and Outdoor shower
Prices: International rates include full board. Special rates for locals
Contact |Facebook https://www.facebook.com/corallodge1541/, email: [email protected] Ph: +258 840 456 058.
Jardim Dos Aloés Boutique B&B
This accommodation strives to provide “elegance and comfort for discerning clientele looking for something special”. Situated in the narrow lanes of Stonetown, entrance is through a wooden side gate.
Here the simple entrance provides no clues as to what lies behind. This property includes several heritage buildings all being carefully renovated to a very high standard by a slightly eccentric Italian/Mozambican couple, Bruno and Judith (who you will see a lot of during your stay). The Jardim Dos Aloés prides itself on old-fashioned style and service and the food is excellent, using fresh, locally procured ingredients wherever possible. “5 star breakfast” is included and additional meals are available by arrangement. (Let them know if you have tours or other commitments so that breakfast can be prepared earlier)
King, Queen or 2 single beds, suite/apartments all with A/C, fans and quality fittings.
More info | www.jardim-dos-aloes.com
Hospedagem Monteiro, A Nivukhu
Situated in a side street between the Central Market and the old Capatania Building. There are 16 rooms squeezed into a fairly small space. I don’t know of anybody that has stayed here but my hunch is that it appeals to government employees and other medium income earners visiting the island for work.
Double with ensuite with or without a/c. Twin or single room with outside bathroom
Contact |Ph: 82 6696880 or 84 9299059
A large Stonetown guesthouse with dolops of character. Situated at the narrowest point of the island, the sea is within 200 meters in either direction. To the left as you step out the door is the Contra Costa and to the right is the Museu beach and the Pontão.
This impressive heritage building has a large upstairs ‘sala’ with period fittings and windows that are open onto the street. Three of the bedrooms also share this view, while the two other upstairs rooms open onto the large and lush garden behind. The downstairs suites have been improved to make them more comfortable, even so they lack the character of those upstairs.
All rooms have private bathrooms with hot water and fans. Suites have A/C and sleep up to 3 or 4. Includes breakfast
Omakuthini – Casa Luis
This was for a long time the only tourist accommodation situated in the south of the island, right in the heart of Makuti Town. For most people Casa Luis is too far from the island’s main tourist attractions but for others, it’s the very reason they go there.
This family run place is very friendly, clean and rooms are all comfortable. It’s one of the cheapest options and consequently attracts the more price conscious travellers along with those seeking an ‘authentic’ cultural emersion. Almira is the owner and guests rave about her wonderful traditional meals which she can prepare for a small extra cost
Contact | +258 824367570 or +258 845631513 | [email protected]
Omuhipiti (Pousada da Ilha de Mozambique)
Temporarily closed, under renovation. Open soon!
Formerly the government run hotel, Om’uhipiti is well situated in a large area of landscaped garden at the northern end of the island. Close to the Fortaleza and two of the best beaches but further away from shops, cafes and most bars. Om’uhipiti’ can boast that all rooms have a sea view, and that’s something no other accommodation has.
Lots of work going on and it must be ready to open very soon.
Contact |Ph: +258 826965500 E: [email protected]
Located to the south of the Slave Memorial Garden and overlooking a pretty beach. When it is fully finished this will be a fantastic addition to the island’s accommodation offerings with 10 ensuite doubles and two family rooms planned.
2 rooms which are kings and 1 room with two twin beds. Private kitchen. shared bath. The same three rooms can be rented as a three room suite with private sitting room, private kitchen, shared bath
The restaurant is open Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Includes breakfast chosen from the menu and free wifi
Contact Ph: +258 82 678 0098
This cosy backpackers is a local treasure. There are Dorms and one double room, a lively public bar, a rooftop terrace and a small shady courtyard garden for guests.
The popularity of this place is mainly due to the sociable staff and dedication of the first owners who lovingly transformed this near ruin into a lively and stylish hostel. Somehow they managed to keep most of its original architectural features and added their own kooky improvements.
The appeal and the importance of this friendly affordable backpackers is set to increase as other accommodation options get caught up in the trend to be Afro-chic, with corresponding upwardly mobile price tags.
No A/C. Shared bathrooms
Includes: Breakfast. Laundry service or wash your own clothes in tubs provided
Contact |Ph: +258 84 8660200 or 82 46 70524 E: [email protected]
Terraço Das Quitandas (T.Q.)
A large property overlooking a pretty beach and one of the most expensive places to stay on the island. There are 6 well appointed rooms and lots of cosy seating areas overflowing with fascinating colonial/African and Asian artefacts giving it a Swahili/Indian Ocean style. Currently there is some major renovation taking place which may well see a doubling of rooms.
Terraco is something of a retreat and has a reputation for keeping itself separate from island life with their strictly ‘guests only’ policy in the building. Management try to arrange all activities themselves and focus on profiting from, rather than partnering with, local guides for walking tours etc. Sometimes they offer dhow boat tours to the islands using their own boat and casual crew – this service is not professional and I wouldn’t recommend it.
Terraco appeals to well-heeled couples as well as people seeking solitude and minimal interaction with locals.
4 rooms with king size beds
2 rooms with twin beds, one of which also has a queen size bed, which normally works as a family room
All have A/C and en-suite bathroom. Price includes breakfast and now wifi
It’s not easy to do chic on a remote island but this modern and stylish hotel is giving it a good go. Once a warehouse for storing cashews, it has been completely transformed by Swedish owners into a spacious waterfront hotel. Recent renovations have increased capacity to 12 rooms, there’s a public restaurant, swimming pool, bar and a small conference room.
The hotel lobby is expansive with comfortable seating where you can arrange to meet people or just relax with coffee and a book. There’s also an outdoor deck area overlooking the sea.
For government/business travellers and others not picking up the bill this is a popular choice. It is also gets couples and on the weekends day visitors from nearby Nampula and Nacala.
The management no longer offer in-house tour activities and instead have teamed up with a Nacala based tour operator who specialises in weekend fishing trips, bike, kayak and paddle board hire.
All rooms have A/C, fans, en-suite bathrooms. Some downstairs rooms are without windows. Breakfast is included, as is the use of pool and limited wifi.
A locally run accommodation very conveniently located in Stonetown on the central road between the Market and the Hospital. It’s a cool shady place (hardly any windows), a little bit basic but clean. All rooms are different and the front one on the left as you go in is the cheapest and in my mind the nicest with daylight and a breeze from the street, but may be noisy at night.
Double room with en-suite & A/C
Double room with shared Bathroom no A/C
Contact | Ph: +258 84 8540403 or +258 82 4551420
Casa Das Ondas
Located on the Contra Costa, which, because of its large (and normally empty) official residencies is generally quieter than elsewhere in Stonetown and has the added advantage of a constant cool breeze from the sea. This 3 room guesthouse gets some long stayers and lots of repeat visitors (in fact we often stayed here on our first visits to Ilha). Rooms are large and clean. All rooms have a/c
Laundry service available
Double bed and ensuite
Twin single beds and shared bathroom
Extra mattress available
Contact | Nina 82 4386400
On the Contra Costa, the space is shared with local family. Popular with Peace Corp volunteers and others looking for a truly local, and consequently more affordable option
Laundry service available and Dona Khero can cook for guests
11 Rooms all with a/c
4 twinwith ensuite bathroom, A/C
5 twin shared bathroom A/C
2 double shared bathroom
Contact |+258 26 610034 or 84 48 0366
Casa Dos Quatro Ventos
A large place fully furnished with antique pieces from Uganda and elsewhere in Africa. Located in a peaceful street close to everything. Here guests rent the whole house complete with kitchen. One double room has a/c and all rooms have fans. Large garden, rooftop terrace up a set of wooden stairs, perfect for party or other social/business event
3 rooms, 2 with double beds and private bathrooms and 1 twin shared bathroom
Contact | Email [email protected] Ph: +258 84 5350795 or 82 07 96610
Casuarina Camping Jembesse
On the mainland to the left of the bridge. Situated on a beach with views across the water to Ilha de Mozambique. There’s a simple restaurant on site and plenty of shops and market stalls just 200meters away in the Jembesse village.
Casuarina Camping has ample parking making it suitable for over-landers and camper vans but its location on the ‘wrong’ side of the bridge rules it out for most travellers.
Rooms with double bed and shared bathroom
A small house, double bed, en suite bathroom
A larger house closest to the water, en suite bathroom, several beds that can take up to 5 people
Camping with Casuarina’s tent or bring your own tent
Price includes: breakfast
Contact | +258 824545960