Cardoso is a charming, beautiful hotel. I like that the rooms have terracotta tiles, not carpet. The service in the pool area could be more attentive, other than that I must say staff is well trained and polite. Quite a few speak English well enough.
I highly recommend the Cardoso but want to give a warning to all visitors to Maputo. The city feels very safe, especially the Polano area. But on my last day I was robbed. And this happened on the hill path close to Hotel Cardoso in broad daylight, albeit on a Sunday. Afterwards people told me that path isn’t safe – I wish someone had told me before, not after. The hotel should make it a policy to warn guests. I had spent nearly 2 weeks in Maputo and walked around the Polano area with a friend and alone many times and felt very safe (i.e., much safer than in Nairobi).
In any case, I was walking down the hill, about 50 feet down from the street. Someone was about 200 yards in front of me. Then someone came up from behind me and I thought he simply wanted to pass, so I stepped to the side. He held up a knife in his right hand and threatened me. He hissed at me in English that he would kill me if I don’t give him money. I was carrying my money belt with passport tucked into my jeans, with a long shirt over it. As I usually do I carried smaller amounts of cash in my jeans pocket. I gave him what I had, namely 50 MT. He kept repeating that I need to give him my money or he would kill me. So I pulled my smartphone, which I was carrying in my right hand side jeans pocket in a pouch attached with a string tied to my jeans (to prevent pickpocketing). He grabbed that and pulled on it. I started begging to leave it and I started screaming for help. He then cut the cord of the pouch and again said he wanted money. But I kept screaming and the young man who was in front of me started looking back and calling to people further below. And then the attacker ran off into the bush. Soon more people came to me from the base of the hill and a few from the top. There were several security guards among them, even with guns. But they didn’t exactly hurry after the attacker.
I limped back to the Hotel Cardoso, having seriously sprained my ankle at some point in the encounter. There wasn't much they could do, but I highly appreciated that the manager was sympathetic and listened to me. The hotel called the security company they work with. The security company drove me to the police station on Julius Nyerere (2 Esquadra Da PRM Cidade de Maputo). It took a long time but eventually an officer made a record of the incident and told me to come back the next day between 10-11 am (i.e., this morning) to get the inspector’s report. I did so, but nobody showed up.I went back at 12:30 pleaded to give me the report, since my plane was leaving this afternoon. Despite the language barriers I guess they somehow put up with my pestering and shortly before 1 pm I had the police report.
The loss of the phone is frustrating, more so the loss of the thousands of photos but I am very glad he took off into the bushes before doing physical harm or somehow getting my passport.
Among the lessons learned is that the first thing I’ll do next time I get to Mozambique is to make a copy of my passport and of the visa, then get the copies certified so I can walk around with copies, not the passport as such. And to download photos from a phone more frequently.
By the way, I had been thinking about walking along Friedrich Engels but now learned that that road is not safe, either
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The famous Cardoso, whilst situated in the heart of Maputo, commands sweeping views over Maputo Bay and the city below. This is the perfect base from which to do business, host a conference, explore Mozambique's colourful history or merely relax and enjoy all the pleasures which come with a stay at Hotel Cardoso. Fresh, vibrant and stylish the internationally acclaimed Hotel Cardoso sits on the Maputo cliff top with spacious gardens, large swimming pool and idyllic terraces. All bedrooms benefit from being individually decorated and contain all the amenities you would expect of a deluxe international hotel. Upgrade to a suite to enjoy your own private, luxury lounge and balcony running the full length of your suite. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cardoso Hotel Maputo