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Dugong Beach Lodge

4.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

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!

We cannot recommend Dugong beach lodge high enough! We are a couple in our 30's who went there for our honeymoon. We were worried about it being so remote, but soon came to realise that's the beauty of it! The food was outstanding! The chef Roberto, cooked anything you desired, and the seafood is out of this world! The portions are huge! And so wholesome you will not go hungry! The staff are all so friendly, nothing is too much of an ask. They make each dining experience special. Especially with the quirky napkin displays, and seating wherever you like (including privately in your lodge if you prefer). The pool is warm and very clean, the bar ideally located behind the pool, facing the gorgeous ocean. Canoeing, snorkelling and walking around the animal sanctuary, (if you can stick the heat long enough), filled our activity requirements, (well my husbands, I would have been quite happy lounging by the pool all day!). The animal sanctuary is huge, they don't have the big 5, but have buffalo, giraffes, zebras, monkeys and many more that we didn't get to see as we got too hot! The lodges are very clean, the generator was not an issue as long as you leave the duvet off you wouldn't notice the power going off as it's very late in the night. You are greeted with all the staff singing when you arrive and again as you leave, which is so amazing. There is a small shop in the hotel in case you need sun cream (factor 50 is advisable) or paracetamol, however I strongly advise in getting lots of Tabard mosquito repellant for the evenings. We were there a week and went through two lotions and a spray, we would have liked more! The Mosquitos are really only a problem in the evening while you dine, the day is fine. Your room has a net over your bed and you do feel very safe in there. You will not regret going here Ernesto, Henriques, Alfonso, Artur, Samuel, and Grace are all amazing and make your stay memorable! Cannot recommend it high enough!! 5stars

Just a short thank you for the brilliant lunch under your grass roof on the jetti with a beautiful view. We thoroughly enjoyed our brief time at your stunning resort and very much appreciate the warm and friendly manner in which your staff received and treated us. Keep up the good work !!

Your flight in to Vilanculous have a choice of 3 airline operators from OR. Tambo,1. 5hours airport exit takes 30 minutes with a shuttle waiting for you, 25 minutes drive and you are on the beach where a boat is moored ready to take you to the resort, Your suitcases gets taken from the vehicle onto the boat. The boat trip is 40 minutes with drinks on board to the resort, on resort arrival staff are clapping their hands and partying on the extended Jetty welcoming guests, they even wash your feet upon entry. All staff are totally friendly and all speak English and nothing is effort for them. Then there is the Food.... Oh My..The Food is awesome! The portions are really big and the seating is totally on request. We have had our table set just where we wanted it. The Shef was left to prepare what he wanted and this yielded really cool results. O.k the Food was just faultless, not fine dining, but really wholesome and enjoyable. The Room, If you can get the Room with the Private splash Pool, That is the best result. The Pool water temperature is really warm and swimming 10p.m is a must do. The Sea temperature is also really warm, also there are almost no waves and the sea is really clear, we had a yellow canoe and this became our daily commute with 2 km from the resort. The fish jumps out of the water right over the canoe in schools of a 1000+ and makes for an awesome experience. Also get a pair of Goggles, The sea clarity and the fish visible whilst snorkeling is really good, there is a mini reef under the Jetty but it is best viewed as the high tide peaks so currents are almost still then. Also we participated in catching the most colour full crabs 1.6 kilometers in the sea at low tide, water was knee height, not keen on holding the crabs myself but a cool experience, also get a really strong torch for night times. Using the torch in the sea reveals other fish not seen during the day. Keep in mind that the place does run on a generator so if you have energy left past 10 p.m then the torch will be handy for that as well. Safety wise we didn't feel unsafe at all during the whole trip from Airport to Airport again. Drinks was cheap where the Coldrinks worked out less than we thought, Tips was dealt with in group tip at the end of the holiday where the manager used his discretion on the distribution thereof. The essence of this holiday is to appreciate a quiet paradise setting and Dugong didn't disappoint. We have rated this as the best holiday resort we have been to and would like to return to Dugong hopefully in 2017 again. We were there in October 2015 and the Humidity wasn't an issue and mozzies not a problem. I would recommend in taking your own dive goggles and own torch with and even if you are not a diver of sorts just lying in the shallows at night with an underwater torch is really entertaining. Cellphones are pointless there but seasonal Wifi when working does allow whatsapp but then the point is not to use your phone. Also cannot recall if there was any TV's although we didn't watch TV at all there. Simply put if you are a tourist this place gives you the essential island feel without the crowd's and the beggars. Again thanks to all the staff, your humble yet effective service was top drawer.

It seems its all been said before but I am going to repeat and endorse all of the previous reviews anyway. We cannot believe what an amazing time we had in this very special place. Away from it all, it's the ideal place to relax and unwind. The scenery is stunning with turquoise sea and endless white sand. The staff are freindly, welcoming, respectful and curteous. Our room was clean, spacious and very well equipped and refreshed every day. From waking up directly on the waters edge to watching the spectacular sun sets and everything in between and after was a delight. Amazing snorkeling on 2 mile reef, dolphins swimming close by and the sundowner drive through the wildlife sanctuary were just a couple of the things we experienced. We met lovely people and are sure to return. The central lodge area provides another space in which to relax and unwind alongside the pool area. The is a TV area with games and books if you really can't survive without and wifi available in this area! Food was varied, fesh and delicious and I can confirm that we too ate far too much, but that's what holidays are about! The fresh fish was excellent and the chef goes out of his way to please. Great cocktails too...You can do as much or as little as you want and the staff are happy to advise and tailor make your break. We were advised to take beach towels with us but this is not necessary. Fresh towels by the pool and beach towels are provided in the room. A bucket list location for us!! Thank you.......

Our family of 4 (2 teenage girls) enjoyed such a relaxing and fun filled holiday at Dugong Beach Lodge. The management was outstanding, the staff were friendly and helpful. The Self Catering Lodge was well equipped, clean, had air-conditioning, house keeping and was set in luscious, tropical gardens with a beautiful view. A trip to Paradise Island is a MUST. You will not be disappointed. Thank you for a wonderful holiday, personal touches and good company.

Stayed 4 nights at Dugong and the service from first to last was outstanding, from the lodge manager to the barman and waiters. Food was SERIOUSLY GOOD - especially the seafood. The lodge is on a quiet peninsula, about 45 minutes from Benguerra and Bazaurto, which makes a great day trip (including the two mile reef for snorkelling), however there is plenty to do locally including kayaking, hobie cat sailing, walks and just relaxing. There is also quite a bit of game in the wildlife sanctuary too.

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 Magaruque Island Beach and Municipal Market. 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 Vilanculos Beach and Benguerra Island Beach.


Dining

Start your day off right with a free buffet breakfast. 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 (available on request) for USD 85 per person one way. Front-desk staff can help secure valuables, and provide local restaurant recommendations. 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 4

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

78% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 65 reviews