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“Great place, beautiful, lovely people, disappointing food.”

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Marimba Secret Gardens
Reviewed 26 January 2014

This is a very beautiful place I loved it, the rooms are treehouse like, so pretty and clean, they have bon fires, the beach is nice but you cant really swim during the day because the high ride is only at night and early mornings. The staff and owners are just sweethearts, very friendly and always willing to help...they are lovely.
However their food menu is disappointing, very very small and no variety, the chefs are not soo good I was there for 4 nights and only enjoyed one meal be it breakfast or dinner.

  • Stayed: January 2014
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Thank TweshiK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isabelle M, Owner at Marimba Secret Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 7 March 2014

Thank you very much for your review, we are happy that you enjoyed your stay with us!

Unfortunately you've been with us during a time we've only had high tide in early mornings and evenings. We actually explain the tidal movements to our guests with our tide table, nevertheless, I'd like explain to you in words - because luckily it is not the case that you can only swim at night in Vilanculos. But Vilanculos is even famous for having very extreme tidal movements so at low tide it is not possible to swim but on the other hand offers us a very beautiful scenery. As the tidal movement depends on the moon phase, high and low tide are shifting every day, approximately between 20 minutes and 2 hours. So with very bad luck it can happen that someone staying with us for 4 nights wouldn't be able to go swiming at noon, but only early morning or evening. I am sorry that happened to you, but you cannot change nature.

However, we feel honestly very sorry you didn't enjoy our food menu, mainly because we are always very open to our guests' individual wishes. But for this we depend on being informed directly by our guests. Maybe we could have changed something to your satisfaction and taste.

We thank you for your feedback and send you warm regards,
Isabelle

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31 - 37 of 99 reviews

Reviewed 17 January 2014

We stayed three nights, and would have loved to stay longer. The isolated location and lack of electricity were big plusses to us (there is a generator at limited times, mostly early evening, to charge stuff). The beach was quiet and beautiful, and the path there is through untouched indigenous bush. A lovely (short) walk. The rooms are awesome and Marcel and Isabelle have really built an incredible place. The food was great and although we were not sure how the lack of self catering facilities would work out, we were really happy with the food from the restaurant and the atmosphere in the outside dining area in the evenings (and mornings) was great. The prices were reasonable and overall, it was a fantastic stay.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank CecileAB2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isabelle M, Owner at Marimba Secret Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2014

Thanks very much for this great review! We are always very pleased when our guests emphasize the advantages of limited electricity as this is also part of the beauty of living in such a remote and pristine area and is less important than many people think!
please give our best to our lovely man too!!
kind regards,
Isabelle

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Reviewed 6 January 2014

We stayed at Marimba for 5 nights, and I must say that even with bad weather, this place was one of the highlights of our trip to Mzb. Just five minutes walk to the most beautiful coast line that I´ve seen in Mzb, after visiting Tofo, Barra, Morrungulo, Maputo (no other beach can compare to the beaches at Marimba). The Bazaruto Islands (a must do) are just 45 minutes boat trip from the beach and the Marimba staff will arrange it for you. The casitas are beautiful, integrated in a very relaxing atmosphere, near to the bar and restaurant where Jose, and the rest of the staff (sorry...don´t remember the rest of the names ;-) ) prepare the most delicious meals you can imagine, accompanied by the best music selection. The management team (Marcell, Isabelle and Martina) is the best we´ve seen in all the trips that we´ve been doing lately around Africa. Amazing people.
We recommend this place to anyone travelling to Vilanculos.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank David L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isabelle M, Owner at Marimba Secret Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2014

hey guys, we are speechless by this review!! Thank you so much! We also enjoyed a lot having you with us and all the good talks in the evenings under the beautiful african sky...
greetings across the continent ;)

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Reviewed 6 January 2014

What a wonderful stay! My girlfriend and I stayed a week - and could have happily made it longer. Accommodation was rustic yet stylish and super comfortable. Loved the stilted rooms with the lounging areas underneath, a perfect mix of inside and out. Service was excellent, with Marcel, Isabelle, Martina and team all going out their way to make sure our every need was catered for - including an endless supply of beer! The food was great, especially the Specials of the Night. Even the strangely titled Croatian Meat Stick was full of flavour and could have easily wolfed down seconds. It's out of town so not much to do except lounge, tan, swim, walk and visit the islands. Hey that sounds exactly what we wanted! But we hitched a ride into town for something new, and though lovely, it didn't measure up to where we had come from. So 10 out of ten. Congrats to the staff for a super experience - and good luck!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Stephenmurray235
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isabelle M, Owner at Marimba Secret Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2014

Thanks so much, we are very happy we could offer you exactly what you've been looking for!
Whenever we are preparing those meat sticks now we're thinking of you guys and can't stop laughing ;) probably have to think of another name for it ;)
keep well and best regards,
Isabelle

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Reviewed 31 December 2013 via mobile

Just go, great living next to the sea. The staff arranged a must do boat trip to Bazaruto Islands. This is the way to experience Africa, great clear blue water, and beaches without any people. At Marimba they have a great restaurant that served a great musli for breakfast.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
Thank Henrik R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isabelle M, Owner at Marimba Secret Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 3 March 2014

Many thanks for your review! We are more than happy we could provide you and your family a great and unforgettable Africa experience! That's exactly our aim!!
Best regards,
Isabelle

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Reviewed 18 November 2013

I stayed for 4 nights, also the end of my trip, and I truly enjoyed my quality me time in the oasis that is Marimba! Isabelle, Marcel and Martina go out of there way to accommodate in every way they can. LOVED the delicious homemade diners, the pancakes, the toast with homemade jam and last but not least the bananabread!!! So happy with the recipe and my family and friends totally agree ;)
Daytrip to Bazaruto is a must do and relaxing or reading on the beach, in a hammock or on your private terras is soooo relaxing. You're an hour from Vilanculos and basically it's just you, other guests and the ocean and that's just the charm of the place: it is not crowded and not at all touristy so I was totally recharged when returning to Europe.
Thanks Isabelle and Martina, I enjoyed your company and I wish you all the best!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Hetty1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isabelle M, Owner at Marimba Secret Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 3 March 2014

Thanks so much for your wonderful review, we truly appreciate it! We hope you had a good trip back home and carry those unforgettable moments of your Africa trip still with you!
We also enjoyed your company a lot and wish you all the best!
Isabelle

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Reviewed 17 October 2013

We spent only 1 night here in October and loved it - we wish we could've stayed longer! The property is just so beautiful - the owners have done an amazing job building such a fantastic lodge. The private rooms and dorms are great and quite comfortable although its not really that private if that's what you are after. There is no self catering option, but the food is very good - although the lunch/snack menu portions are a bit small and very pricey - but delicious none the less! The beach is beautiful and private. I will recommend this place to anyone going to Vilanculos, it really is a piece of paradise!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank TR15784
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isabelle M, Owner at Marimba Secret Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 5 November 2013

Thank you very much for your great review, guys! Shame you could only stay one night with us, so we would have had the chance to put you some extra on your orders ;)

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Additional Information about Marimba Secret Gardens

Address: Macunhe, Vilanculos 1304, Mozambique
Region: Mozambique > Inhambane Province > Vilanculos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 25 Speciality Lodging in Vilanculos
Price Range: £11 - £43 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In a peaceful and pristine bay, 25km north of Vilanculos, Marimba Secret Gardens offers comfortable and unique accommodation for individual travelers. Take a time out in pure nature, get to know the traditional Mozambican way of life or discover the Bazaruto Archipelago either by diving, snorkeling or just a day trip.Our restaurant offers a combination of European and African dishes and a big range of cocktails. ... more   less 

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