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Dugong Beach Lodge

4.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

Myself and my husband just spent 8 nights at the beautiful Dugong beach lodge for our honeymoon. And it was by far the most amazing holiday we have ever had. Everything from the view, location, food, staff and accommodations are beyond amazing! The staff made sure our every need was met, Especially Arthur & Samuel at the dining area and bar. The food was the best seafood we ever had and Roberto the chef prepared every meal according to our tastes and needs. The island is beyond breathtaking and all the activities was well organized and worth it! Especially the snorkelling and picnic on magaruque island. The rooms are luxurious and spacious and just what you need on this beautiful island. We loved walking down the stairs in front of our villa, right into the ocean on high tide! Dugong is most definitely worth every dime spent!

Lovely Remote Place with Lovely staff and good Food. The a/c is unfortunately not Running 24h but you get used to warm Nights. Water activities are amazing but Extremely costy so that you rather share them. Also be aware of the mosquitoes. Warm People and Beauty of Nature and Fauna are Most striking !!

We spent a fantastic and very relaxing week at Dugong Beach Lodge. The location is stunning, the staff (Afonso, Henriques, João and colleagues) who work under the competent management of Ernesto are very friendly and helpful and the food prepared by the chef Roberto is simply delicious. One week wasn't enough to do all the activities on offer, but we thoroughly enjoyed what we managed to fit in: snorkelling by the lodge and on Two Mile Reef, diving, kayaking in mangroves, birding and a fishing trip with sightings of several pods of humpback whales, dolphins and turtles. We highly recommend Dugong Beach Lodge!

We just spent 3 nights at Dugong on a quick school holiday getaway from Cape Town. It’s idyllically remote, accessible only by boat from Vilancoulos. It’s not ultra posh but that makes it even better. Simple luxury. The rooms are huge and well equipped, the food is fabulous and the staff are so good you will be disappointed with anywhere else you go.

The first thing about the Dugong Beach Lodge (DBL) that strikes you is the quietness. Going to sleep at night all one could hear is the soft rustle of palm fronds and the waves softly lapping the beach outside our villa. Secondly were the magnificent ocean views and spectacular sunsets. DBL is reached by flying to Vilanculos and then a 30 minute speed boat ride to the lodge. We had a small hiccough in that there had been some miscommunication between travel agents and the Lodge was not expecting us. A few phone calls from helpful people in Vilanculos to the Lodge and the Ernesto the hotel manager greeted us and escorted us across to the Lodge. When we arrived we were welcomed by staff singing on the pier and our villa was ready. Our villa, Room 1 King Mackerel was at the end and this suited us perfectly. It was very spacious with two outside decks, one with a small pool, overlooking the ocean. There was a separate plunge bathroom and shower. (Very large) The very comfortable bed was covered in a large mosquito net that was put over the end at night to protect you from the mosquitoes and bugs. There were many areas beside your villa where you could relax including a poolside bar. The weather we encountered was cool and at times too windy – you are at the mercy of the weather. Therefore we didn’t use the pools, however the cooler weather kept the mosquitoes at bay. Unfortunately due to the winds our planned fishing trip didn’t eventuate. There is no air-conditioning and the rooms are not screened. I could imagine that on very hot nights, without fans, and with closed doors/windows to keep the bugs out of your room, it could be stifling. Be prepared to live around the fact that the lodge is powered by generators which do not run 24 hours. It ran in the morning and then later in the evening. Wifi was only available in the lounge areas when the generator was running. This didn’t worry us too much. Solar power provided fans and some lighting during the day. Roberto our chef prepared a simple fair – usually fresh fish / seafood and the portions were generous. There was no shortage of food. There was no menu per se as Roberto would visit you each day and ask what you would like! So the meals were built around the fresh seafood and your tastes. Superb! Only 3 or 4 other couples were there and then for a few days we were the only guests. This didn’t worry us. I can see the DBL may not suit everyone however for us it was a perfect start to our African holiday. The staff were always on hand, ever helpful and friendly. On our last night we were treated to a very special seafood feast around the camp fire after watching dolphins feed along the pier and seeing the magnificent sun set. If you are looking for solitude and isolation – this is for you . We enjoyed the remoteness, without fanfare and fuss. The staff were amazing. Highly recommended.

beautiful setting. outstanding staff. good food. brilliant walks.well organised activities. Mozambique is brilliant to visit. the management could not do enough to make our stay memorable. banque island great outing.

took the boat for Sunday Buffet lunch ,what a treat. its not cheap but huge prawns, and everything absolutely delicious. the Salsa Verde is about the best I have tasted. staff friendly and just a lovely spot to hang out for a day

This must be one of the world's best kept secrets. It is not easy to get to as it involves a flight to Vilanculos and then a 40 minute boat trip, which can be longer if the tide is out as a detour around the huge sandbanks in the archipelego is required. If you want an international chain hotel with three pools, a few restaurants and around a hundred rooms together with cabaret entertainment every night, this is not the place for you. If you want a beautiful, unspoilt, lodge in an unparallelled idyllc location, you should consider Dugong Beach Lodge. The photos on Tripadvisor, though very good, do not do justice to what this place is all about. The thatched rooms all have access to the beach which has uninterrupted and virtually uninhabited access for many miles. There is snorkelling whatever the tide below the jetty in front of the lodge, but a boat trip to Two Mile Reef can be arranged in one of the lodge's boats and is really worthwhile as is the picnic and fishing. When the tide goes out you can walk or kayak in total safety for miles. Dolphins are quite common as are a few local fishing boats. There are Dugong in the vecinity, but we did not see any on our visit. Behind the lodge is a nature reserve. So far it is only stocked with giraffe and a variety of buck which we saw on an evening game drive and from the rear of our rooms. The rooms which are tented under thatch are high quality as is the housekeeping. Some reports of the generators going off suggest that this is an irritation. We did not find this the case as the generators were on in the morning until about noon then came on again just before sundown until midnight. Mosquito nets are in excellent condition and they are needed. The public areas are in keeping with the overall traditional thatched and somewhat bucolic look of the place. The views from the public areas are spectacular. Food can be taken more or less wherever and whenever you want. There is plenty of decking as well as a dining area indoors, presumably for when it rains. Alternatively you can eat on designated areas on or at the end of the jetty...all very romantic with uninterrupted views over the Bazaruto Archipelego. The food is all freshly made and not surprisingly seafood such as tiger prawns, lobster and calamari figure often. We never saw a menu as the chef would come out after every meal and ask us what we would like for the next meal. Amazing flexibility and very well prepared in all cases whether it was fish, seafood or meat. At breakfast we all thought the chef, Roberto, cooked the best omelettes any of us had ever eaten, including in France...an accolade indeed. All the staff are friendly and speak good or excellent English. We had a small problem with noise from some planned maintenance but when we complained, they stopped the work immediately. Internet is usable in the main public area only while the generators are on and phone signals are also pretty reliable despite the remote location of the lodge. There were a few minor irritations that one expects in the middle of nowhere, especially in Africa. Our group of four are seasoned travellers all over the world but we all agreed that there was absolutely nothing that we would want to change about this lodge. It took us back to what upmarket lodges in Thailand or the Maldives were like 30 years ago. Tranquil, discreet, in a totally unspoilt location, with great service, comfortable bedrooms...and most important of all, very few people seem to know about it. This is a special place. If this lodge was star rated it would probably only warrant three and a half stars, mainly because the star rating system requires particular criteria to be met that would not lend themselves to Dugong Beach Lodge's ethos and appeal. To the right people, Dugong would warrant a high 5 star rating. In this day and age it is pretty much unique. It was a privilege to still be able to find a place like this in a world that is gradually being seriously overdeveloped.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Dugong. Loved the excellent food, lovely friendly staff that make you feel at home, beautiful spacious rooms opening up onto the sea, enough fun activities to keep you busy, all managed very effectively by a very experienced lodge manager, Ernesto. Thank you Ernesto and thanks to your team. We will be back.

We went there as part of our honeymoon in Jan 2017 expecting to stay for 6 nights... Our experience was not great (an unfortunate combination of weather and the characteristics of the hotel) and we ended up leaving after 3 nights. Awkwardly, we were the ONLY guests at the moment, which made it look almost like a ghost hotel. This is obviously not the hotel's fault but it influenced our stay. Also, we were so unlucky that our whole stay it rained non-stop, which combined with the power issues (more on that below) made the stay unbearable. Let me tell you about the best and worst of our stay. BEST: The food was exquisite, the portions huge. You would definitely not be hungry and it was incredible that the chef asked personally what you would like to eat and prepare it. The lodge itself is really beautiful and the scenery is incredible Staff are very accommodating and helpful (and the welcome and goodbye ceremonies are a nice touch) WORST: Sadly, there is a lot to say about this. First and foremost, the electricity. We were not aware of the electricity being powered by a generator that did not work 24/7. I've read the reviews about it but as they were old and the hotel never mentioned this at the time of booking, I thought it would be fixed. It wasn't. The generator does not work the whole day, at night it gets hot and after being turned off at 12pm, it can get really bad (plus, you can't open the windows because all types of bugs of bats would get in your room) After the first night, the staff kindly offered to keep it working until 2am, which improved the situation. I think it's crucial that the hotel advises guests of this issue upon their booking rather than at the time of their arrival. Windows in the room do not have mosquito nets. This is a shame as it would improve the confort of guests in order to cool the room without depending on the air-con/electricity. As this is a natural area, of course insects/animals are to be expected but if the hotel put mosquito nets on windows it would make the stay a lot better. Housekeeping and general maintenance in the room was not perfect. The net over the bed to prevent mosquitos to bite you while sleeping is not in perfect conditions, it has a few wholes and is not properly attached to the wall, thus not being hermetic and failing it's purpose. Also, one night we woke up to find a kind of fly all over our floor. After housekeeping came twice for the daily cleaning, they had used bug spray on them to kill them but they would not sweep them out (photo included, they were quite a few of them) As I mentioned, it rained during our stay. after the second night, our room started to have leaks of water, which turned out to make a puddle inside our room. Again, poor maintenance and it was surprising that even though housekeeping tried to clean it, management never mentioned a thing about this issue (we even told them it was raining inside our room but they didn't do anything about it) By this point we obviously decided to leave, even if it meant to loose money as the hotel would not offer any kind of compensation. When we checked out, they gave us the bill to pay for charges....let me tell you this has no detail whatsoever. They tell you the amount and the description is a number...we don't know what we paid for. All in all, not a recommended hotel. I mean this is a 4star hotel and it is definitely not cheap. I guess if the weather had been good to actually be on the beach it would have been fine but being locked up due to rain without electricity and the other issues I mentioned really did not make this a good experience. Hope this helps future guests!

Vilanculos Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary Vilanculos

Hotel highlights

  • Free buffet breakfast
  • Free WiFi in public areas
  • Onsite dining
  • 3 outdoor pools

Dugong Beach Lodge is within the area of Vilanculos Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary and Magaruque Island Beach. This 14-room, 4-star lodge welcomes guests with 3 outdoor pools, free breakfast, and a restaurant. It's on the beach and also within the region of Municipal Market and Vilanculos Beach.


Dining

Free buffet breakfast is included with your stay. Enjoy a leisurely bite to eat at the onsite restaurant, or have a drink at the bar/lounge.


Rooms

All 14 air-conditioned rooms feature furnished patios, minibars, and coffee makers. For entertainment, guests can expect to find satellite TV. Bathrooms offer deep soaking tubs, hair dryers, and free toiletries. Free bottled water, ceiling fans, and safes are other standard amenities.


Property features

Guests of Dugong Beach Lodge enjoy features like 3 outdoor pools, free WiFi in public areas, and conference space. Airport transportation is made easy with an airport shuttle for a fee (available on request). The 24-hour front desk has staff standing by to help secure valuables, and answer any questions about the accommodations. Other amenities at this beach lodge include a terrace, laundry facilities, and a picnic area.

Room options

Luxury Chalet, 2 Bedrooms, Sea View, Beachside

Full 2 | Sleeps 6

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

78.0% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 72 reviews