Barra Lodge is the flagship of Barra Resorts, and has been around for quite a long time. During this time, the lodge has steadily deteriorated in appearance, and even though you probably don't expect lodges in Mozambique to have the same sheen as those in places like Mauritius, Barra does fall somewhat short when it comes to its overall condition.
First, the good:
During our visit, we stayed in one of the three Beach Chalets. Air-conditioned, with direct access to the beach, these chalets are NOT self-catering (beyond tea and coffee, though a small bar fridge is provided). The chalet was compact but comfortable, and served as a good base for our little family (two parents and two kids). The kids had their own bedroom with bunk beds, but shared the general living space and bathroom with us. The unit was perfectly clean and comfortable, so no complaints there. Also, we did our SCUBA diving through the operator at the lodge, and found them to be simply exceptional, even though the diving itself wasn't always what we had expected. Finally, we found the staff at the lodge to be helpful, respectful and fast.
On the downside:
Barra Lodge pretends to be a family lodge, akin to those found on tropical islands. Unfortunately there is very little for young children to do, beyond play on the beach. There are no jungle gyms or trampolines or even a kids' play room with suitable DVDs to watch; and even though they advertised babysitting services, the lodge wasn't able to supply any when we wanted to go diving. So if you have young kids, make sure you take enough games and books, etc. with!
Also, the general state of the place was disappointing. The swimming pool was quite dirty, and the area around the pool was particularly run down. The food was okay in the evenings, but breakfast was to be avoided at all costs! Basic at best...
Other things that bugged us: The beach is very wide in front of the Lodge, which means quite a long walk if you want to go for a swim. This isn't a problem, but sadly the lodge has no umbrellas or beach chairs available, except at the beach bar which is quite far from the water. Also, there isn't any bar service on the beach, which seems like an oversight considering the type of place this wants to be.
The biggest complaint, however, is that the lodge does a very good job of masking Mozambique. The token market inside the lodge area hardly does justice to this vibrant and richly cultured country, and we relied on 3rd party suppliers, such as Liquid Adventures, to help us get out and enjoy more of the country and water in the area.
In the days prior to our arrival at Barra Lodge, we had stayed in a smaller establishment in Tofo, and really enjoyed the vibrant little town too. If you want to experience Mozambique, Barra Lodge is simply not an option. However, if you want nice warm water to swim in, a clean place to rest your head and an awesome dive operator to dive with, we reckon Barra Lodge will be fine for you.
Overall the problems at the lodge can be addressed quite easily. A play area for young kids won't cost much, and extending the beach bar to cater for people on the beach shouldn't be too much of a hassle either. But as things stand right now, I'm afraid we won't be back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Barra Lodge, the flagship Lodge of the praia da barra area, is set in one of the most picturesque areas in Mozambique, with spectacular views of pristine beaches and the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean. Situated 485km north of Maputo, access by road is on a tarred road which is suitable for normal vehicles. The road from Maputo to Xai Xai has been upgraded and resurfaced. Please note that there are numerous towns and villages en-route and the main road often passes directly through these villages. Speed limits are enforced in these places and it is advised to drive with caution. Do not drive at night. From the historical city of Inhambane it is only a 30 minute drive to Barra Lodge and transfers are done by the lodge staff. Barra has secluded, unspoilt beaches, and is bordered by the Inhambane estuary on one side and the sea on the other. The lodge is nestled amongst groves of coconut trees and the warm Indian Ocean offers safe bathing all year round. Wide open, sun-drenched beaches offer endless hours of strolling pleasure. Barra Lodge caters for families with children and is geared towards fun and activities for the whole family. Other Services Offered: - Conference Facilities: Seating up to 60 cinema style, audio visual equipment available. - Weddings: We also cater for weddings, cocktail parties and special functions. - Activities Room: DSTV, pool table, table tennis, darts. - Swimming Pool: With kids paddling pool. - Curio Shop: Basic toiletries, sweets, clothing and curios. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Barra Hotel Inhambane
- Barra Resort Inhambane