Often, you’ll hear travelers rave about a place they visited or a hotel they stayed in, saying it was the best vacation they’ve ever had. But these claims are sometimes exaggerated, and not what you experience when you get there.
Well, at Azura Benguerra it’s exactly what you’ll find.
The amazing, “best time ever” mindset is a reality here. If you google this luxury vacation destination, you’ll see nothing but 4- and 5-star reviews on every travel site.
And there’s good reason for this. Azura Benguerra has some of the most unique, private trips in the entire world. A lot of this can be attributed to the flourishing, impressive African environment and local culture which give this location such a rare vibe.
To help you envision why a luxury vacation at Azura Benguerra is just for you, read this post to find out exactly what it’d be like spending your days here:
Your Arrival Feels Like…
… More than what you’d expect a remote, luxury vacation to feel like. Simply put, it’s awe-inspiring.
You arrive by plane in Vilanculas where Azura’s hotel has arranged for you to take a taxi to their port. Hopping on a speedboat, you zoom over the waters of the Bazaruto Archipelago, which is part of a marine national park. Ribbons of sandbars peek out of the water, and over the side of the boat, you can see straight down through the crystalline waves to the ocean floor.
The trip only takes 45 minutes, and suddenly you’re standing on the unspoiled Benguerra Island, surrounded by those white sandy beaches you’ve only ever dreamt about and now feel between your toes (you couldn’t help but take your shoes off!). It’s paradise.
Checking in at the main hotel, you’re delighted to see it goes beyond the normal offerings of gym, bar, restaurant, and library of books and DVDs. Here, you can also visit the spa for relaxation, shop at the boutique selling handmade jewelry, take a diving course at the diving centre, and walk through the breathtaking gardens.
Once you’re checked in, you’re shown to your exclusive beachside villa, full if its own charm.
Your Accommodations Look Like…
… Spectacular versions of traditional African huts and dwellings, full of modern luxuries you can’t wait to use.
Your villa is one of the farthest away from the main Benguerra resort, secluded and romantic. Your king bed is covered in Egyptian cotton linens and surrounded by draped mosquito netting. Top that off with air conditioning, a mini bar, butler service, and outdoor and alfresco showers, you couldn’t be more thrilled.
But it doesn’t end there. You walk out the back of your villa onto a teakwood deck with daybeds and lounge chairs, as well as a private infinity pool overlooking the beach. Which, by the way, is literally steps away. Your mind starts turning with all the ways you’ll be able to spend your time in these spots.
Additionally, you can’t help but notice how well-constructed, and also meaningful,your villa is, as well as the main lodge and all the other residences. There’s natural wood and thatched roofing, with open layouts dotted by afro-chic features and design, like carved statues and seashell-chandelier floor lamps.
After some enquiring, you find out that each villa was hand-built by the local community, which has made Azura Benguerra one of the first luxury eco-boutiques around. Now you definitely can’t wait to explore more of the island and learn more about the area’s lifestyle.
Your Days Consist Of…
… Plenty of fascinating adventures and sights to make any scrapbooker jump with joy.
Once you’ve woken up, taken a quick swim in the pool, and showered off, you discuss what you’ll do over a delicious breakfast. Since you’re surrounded by a marine national forest and some of the most gorgeous turquoise-colored water around, you figure you need to take advantage of it. Snorkeling and scuba diving gets you up close and personal with some incredible ocean life in the coral reefs, and you’re also able to go shore-based and deep-sea fishing in designated areas (because the hotel is dedicated to sustainable fishing) for a more relaxing marine experience. You also take a boat out to see the dolphins who make the Indian Ocean their home.
The next day you decide you want a little more of an adventure, so a guide takes you in a Land Rover on an inland safari where you marvel at the massive sand dunes which give way to the dense African forests. In them, you’re able to see some impressive wildlife, including several exotic species of birds, of which there are over 140 on the island alone. You use the rest of the day to visit the local communities, even catching a soccer match between a hotel staff team and a community team.
There’s a spa at the main resort building that’s piqued your interest. Normally, spas are all the same at these places, right? But this one’s different. This one uses local ingredients and African traditions, like the “Butter Me Up” wrap that uses Mongongo Nut Oil. You opt for this treatment, followed by the massage whose strokes mimic African drum beats as olive and shea butters are poured over your body. Simply ethereal.
At the end of the day, you take a sunset excursion out on a traditional dhow, which is something you’ll never forget. An East African tradition, your guide helps you set the sails and get the dhow out onto the water, where you simply drift along without a single care as the radiant bursts of sunlight faded into the ocean’s horizon. Your butler brings you some sundowner drinks as you get back to your villa to gaze at the crystal-clear stars.
Your Favorite Things Were...
… A few key aspects which, after some reflection, made you realize why your trip to Benguerra was far superior compared to similar locales.
First of all, you’ll never forget the phenomenal service. Your locally-trained Mozambique butler was polite and caring, always seeming to anticipate your needs and accommodate whatever whim suited your fancy each day. He made you feel like you were literally the only two people on the island. On your last day, you couldn’t help but ask for a picture with him!
Next, you’ll always crave the impeccable food at Azura. Because of its prime location right in the middle of the lagoon, you had a choice of fresh seafood dishes every day, caught and prepared daily and served to perfection each time. You could also choose from Portugeuse food using Mozambique ingredients, attend a resort barbecue, or enjoy the 7-course tasting menu. The chefs also made sure to serve up personal meals that wouldn’t interfere with your significant other’s gluten intolerance; plus, you ate most of these meals in various locations around the island which your butler prepared for you, including a candle-lit dinner on the beach and a dining experience right in the comfort and privacy of your own villa.
Finally, though it wasn’t directly related to your trip, you appreciated the huge efforts the entire resort goes to in improving the lives of the local islanders. You donated some of your trip money to the Rainbow Fund, which previously helped establish a school to help teach English and has plans to create a clinic in the future. The resort also uses local ingredients for their menus and hires the locals when possible (your butler was one of them). You can only picture greater things happening down the road for Benguerra’s residents.
While your friends and relatives may not believe you when you say your luxury vacation to Azura Benguerra beat out their trips to Fiji or Mexico, you know the truth.
You know you’ll never forget this trip for the rest of your life, and you want to start saving up to visit again -- it was that unique. Suddenly, all those 4- and 5-star online reviews make complete sense. And you’ll be leaving one yourself.
What part of this trip resonated most with you?