The hotel is situated on Catembe Island,and you will need to get there from the mainland by either ferry or water taxi.Transport is provided from the jetty to the hotel. Catembe Island is actually a peninsula and forms the opposite shore of Maputo Bay.
This venue was originally opened in 1958 as the Marisol Restaurante and it as its popularity grew the increase in guests warranted the addition of a hotel.
The grilled Sunday lunch has proved to be so popular that locals often pop in for the meal just to get away from the bustle of Maputo!
The existing jetty has had a new Tappas bar built and although it is open to the public, it is not yet fully functional. Food and beverages have to be brought the short distance from the main hotel building to this venue.
The owner is also considering building a marina that will bring guests directly from the mainland without having to use the ferry or the cramped and crowded water taxis.
The stretch of beach in front of the hotel is reasonably clean and judging by some other guests and locals we watched it can be used for swimming, however diving excursions need to be arranged with local charter companies.
But what we really liked was the fact that we could just chill on our balcony and do NOTHING...and not feel guilty!
Although we got to the hotel in time for lunch we decided to save our appetites for dinner and the prawns and seafood that this hotel is famous for...
And we were not disappointed! I tried the barracuda that was served with chips (French fries) and a tasty green salad. My wife chose the mixed grill that consisted of Calamari tubes, prawns and the catch of the day, which was Barracuda in this instance.
A shared cream caramel and coffee ended our meal...
Our air-conditioned room had a comfortable bed, a sea-facing balcony and working Wi-Fi. The pillows were not as firm as I would have liked them but I ALWAYS travel with my Simmonds pillow. In all fairness to this hotel, very few, if any hotels have passed my pillow test.
It was as we were getting ready for bed that things went somewhat “pear-shaped”!
We had a Jacuzzi bath and my wife was keen to try this out. Only to find out once she was sitting in the bath that the taps and fittings had become “live” as a result of an electrical short on the bath motor.
With much clicking of tongues and apologies from management we were moved to the penthouse, but the drama did not end there.
The four-poster part of the bed was not fixed to anything and it was like an obstacle course to get in and out of bed. The toilet in the en-suite was not fixed to the floor. And the final straw, my wife discovered a used condom on her side of the bed! Richard, the current manager, was told of these incidents and he will hopefully make sure that this type of incident does not happen again. We moved back to our original room with no help from the staff and settled down to a reasonable night’s sleep.
My wife is a late riser so I started my day with a 45-minute run along the beach that I always enjoy when I am at the coast.
Breakfast was a simple meal and the hot breakfast choice was limited but tasty...seems as if everything is served with chips, even breakfast. It was during breakfast we decided to cut our stay short due to the incidents the night before and the fact that no attempt had been made to rectify the fault on our bath.
After breakfast we were both due to try out the ‘on-site’ therapist
as it is always a good way to start the day.
However, as we were leaving earlier than expected I decided to skip my massage and let my wife indulge (there is currently only one therapist working at the hotel)
Gacheke practices a blend of massage styles, but focuses on the Ayurvedic. She used a treatment called Kati Basti that brought up a back problem that my wife has had for a long while. My wife did enjoy the treatment and would recommend it to other guests.
As an aside, the penthouse we were moved to was more suited to a group than just a couple. It does have a great sea view but only from the lounge/dining-room as all the bedrooms face the street.
The problems we encountered are easily rectifiable, and with more attention to detail and a proactive staff and management team hopefully other guests will not find themselves in a similar situation!
I am uncertain if any of the "problems" we faced have been resolved as we have not been back to the hotel.
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