This resort is an absolute insider tip in Africa: an island off the coast of Mozambique with majestic sand dunes rolling gently into the blue ocean on one side and dense green palm trees on the other side of the island. The Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort in Mozambique is a unique hotel with an even more unique location for an unforgettable trip! Find out in this hotel review whether this resort the right choice for you!
My review of the Anantara Bazaruto Island Resorts in Mozambique
Location & Accessibility
Where exactly is the resort located?
The Anantara Bazaruto Resort is located in the south of Mozambique – a destination that very few of us have on our minds when we think of a vacation with “sun, palm trees and sea”. Even though this destination has all that and so much more to offer.
The Anantara is located on the island of Bazaruto, the main island of the archipelago with the same name: the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park. This protected area consists of five islands and numerous sandbanks in an incredibly diverse ecosystem. It is a true paradise for snorkeling and diving.
How to get to the Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort?
Bazaruto is located off the coast of Mozambique, in the south of the country. Unlike the north of Mozambique, the south is very quiet, politically stable and safe. The nearest airport is the one of the coastal town Vilanculos (VNX). We combined our visit to the resort with a longer trip to Africa and therefore took the short flight to Vilanculos from Johannesburg (JNB) in South Africa which is a common route to get here.
At the small airport, we were greeted directly by the Anantara team and driven through the small village to the beach in an open off-road vehicle. Here we boarded a small speedboat and traveled for around 45 minutes across the turquoise-blue water to the resort, where we received a traditional welcome.
Alternatively, the resort also offers a more comfortable transfer from the airport by helicopter. This costs around EUR 200 more than the regular transfer, is much quicker and offers a great view of Bazaruto National Park from the air!
The concept of the Anantara Bazaruto Resort in Mozambique
Surrounded by the unique landscape of the Bazaruto archipelago, you feel very close to nature when you visit the resort. There is no main building with rooms at the resort, only wooden villas on the beach in various designs. All villas and other areas of the hotel are connected by a wooden walkway that leads over the green vegetation. The Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort is located on the “palm side” of the island. This is because Bazaruto Island has a very special layout: While the west side of the island is covered in greenery, with a beach lined with palm trees, on the east side there are sand dunes up to a hundred meters high, which flow into the ocean.
The island is therefore not just a paradisiacal vacation destination for lying on the beach, but also offers a wide range of different excursions and adventures.
The villas at Anantara Bazaruto Resorts in Mozambique
As already mentioned, there are no classic “hotel rooms” at Anantara Bazaruto Island, only villas in various designs with one or two bedrooms.
We stayed in a Beach Villa, which is the entry-level villa category at the resort. However, it is no different in size and design to the higher “Beach Villa Pool” category, which, as the name suggests, has its own pool. But this is the only difference.
Our villa is located in the immediate vicinity of the beach. Upon entering, you first enter a small corridor that connects the two main rooms of the villa:
The bedroom and living room with a large bed and a seating lounge as well as the terrace with access to the beach. Each villa also has its own space on the beach with a parasol and sun loungers.
The second half of the villa consists of the spacious bathroom. This was one of my absolute highlights of the villa. In addition to plenty of space, a rain shower and an additional outdoor shower, each villa has a bathtub by a window front which can be opened completely.
Beach & Pools
The endless sandy beach right next to the resort is a dream for swimming, sunbathing and marveling at the sunset in the evening. Despite the direct location on the water, there are two pools in the resort. The main pool with a view of the sunset at the cocktail bar and a family pool with a great slide for kids at the other end of the resort. So everyone will find their ideal place to relax.
Even when the resort is fully booked, even the public areas are never overcrowded. This is due to the fact that the resort only has 45 villas but is still very spacious. You often get that “lonely island” feeling!
Anantara Bazaruto Spa
The spa area of the Anantara Bazaruto Resort is slightly hidden away, but is an absolute gem in the resort. For me, it is the most beautiful place to enjoy the sunset.
It is located high up on a hill overlooking the beach, which is a short walk or buggy ride away. The spa reception is an open space with a unique view of the sea. The treatment rooms are located along the hill and also offer great views thanks to large terrace doors.
The special thing is that there is also a small pool here, which is rarely used by guests, and even a hidden Jacuzzi under a pavilion. I can’t imagine a more romantic way to end the day: We first booked a traditional couple’s massage and then marveled at the sunset from the pool and jacuzzi!
Dining at the Anantara Bazaruto Island
There are a total of three restaurants at the Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort as well as the poolside bar. All villas at the resort come with an all-inclusive package – which is excellent! The food and the drinks and wines included were always very good!
In the morning, breakfast is served as a buffet in the main restaurant Golfinho. It is a small but very well equipped breakfast buffet with the option of having fresh egg dishes and co. prepared for you
For lunch, small snacks or full three-course a la carte menus can be ordered in one of two other restaurants. The Clube Naval focuses on local dishes and fish, while Sonhos offers a fusion cuisine of Mediterranean dishes and sushi. An all-day breakfast menu is also available for late risers!
The dinner location changes depending on the day. On some evenings, a themed dinner is offered in the Golfinho with a buffet and live cooking stations, on others a BBQ on the beach with your feet in the sand. This means that dinner never gets boring, even during a longer stay. The wines on offer, most of which come from South Africa, were also excellent! Unfortunately, not all cocktails, but only certain ones on the drinks menu, are included in the all-inclusive concept, but they can be ordered for a small surcharge.
Dining by Design
Our best evening was our “Dining by Design” dinner on the last day. This private dinner is specially designed for a special occasion or simply to enjoy romantic moments together. The team put a lot of effort into preparing a wonderful setting for us right by the sea. With our feet in the sand and the stars shining above us. A four-course menu is served, which either corresponds to the local, vegetarian/vegan or seafood theme. But even individual adjustments were no problem. This was the most beautiful and best dinner of our stay!
The special feature of a stay at the Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort is that it is not a classic beach vacation, but rather a place that offers numerous opportunities for adventure and activities. These were my favorites:
Diving & snorkeling
Exploring the underwater world of the Bazaruto archipelago is an absolute MUST! From dolphins to turtles, colorful fish, reef sharks to manta rays, and even whales (depending on the season) and manatees, everything can be found in the waters of the protected national park! Our diving trip in particular was unforgettable. There is a PADI-certified diving center at the resort where you can even get your diving license or book other excursions.
Sand dunes tour
An excursion to the sand dunes on the other side of the island, which are up to a hundred meters high, is a must during your stay at the Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort. In fact, we liked it so much that we booked two different tours: A sunset tour in the afternoon for sand boarding and a sunrise tour. Despite getting up early, the sunrise tour was our absolute favorite. The sun slowly rises over the ocean and bathes the dunes in a golden light. It is such a unique landscape!
To reach the sand dunes, we drove a few minutes across the island from the resort in an off-road vehicle and covered the rest on foot.
Bazaruto Archipelago boat tour
Another great half-day tour is the boat trip to another smaller island in the Bazaruto archipelago. First we went to a snorkeling spot, met dolphins on the way and finally stopped on an island, which we could explore and swim in the blue water while our guides prepared a delicious beach BBQ for us. We then headed back to the resort. It’s been one of my favorite days duirng the whole trip!
Résumé of our stay at the Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort in Mozambique
During our trip to Africa, the Anantara Bazaruto Island was the ideal place to relax and recharge our batteries. This unique destination is the ideal combination of relaxation and adventure, and you can choose your personal mix of both every day. Whether you prefer to spend the day exploring the island and its surroundings, or relaxing by the pool, enjoying a massage and sipping cocktails.
The resort is the ideal choice for couples as well as families who value their peace and privacy while enjoying great service and food. Each villa has a personal host who takes care of all requests, reservations and similar.
You simply have to put the Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort on your bucket list!