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“Highlight of Mozambique”

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Marimba Secret Gardens
Reviewed 12 July 2014

Isobelle and Marcel were the most wonderful hosts!! They have put so much into this place to make it the most magical retreat on the coast of Mozambique. We were a group of 6, travelling by 4x4. We stayed in a 6 bed dorm which was beautifully done, with mosquito nets and deck chairs underneath. The drive to Marimba is a lot of fun, passing quaint little local villages who make you feel very welcome. We spent four days here, chilling in the beautiful gardens, on the beach, and playing cards with a beer or two. The evenings were the highlight - Marcel and Isobelle have crafted a delicious menu which we enjoyed every night. If you stay here, we would recommend trying the dish of the day. It was such a treat to sit down to supper with Marcel and Isobelle every night, and their gorgeous baby sleeping in a mosquito net next to the table. Loved this place so much, we left wanting to come back as soon as possible. It has such a special atmosphere and needs to be enjoyed by all. A big thank you to you both x

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Lara H
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 12 August 2014

Many thanks for this positive and heartwarming review. We are very happy being a part of your unforgettable Mozambique trip! We are spoilt with amazing guests - and still wondering sometimes how all those good people find their way out to Marimba!
Please give our best to your friends, you guys were so much fun!!!

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28 - 34 of 99 reviews

Reviewed 9 July 2014

I truly enjoyed the short but lovely time we spent at Marimba.

Relaxed atmosphere, super-friendly people and charming set-up with huts on stilts, bonfire, hammock and lazy holiday activities like watching the sunset, gazing the stars, a beach walk, or a good read, or a nice meal or two in the restaurant and sitting area.

Even though our stay at Marimba was short our batteries were definitely fully re-charged when leaving, and we all left wishing it had lasted longer, with hopes to return at a later occasion :)

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank AnneKathe
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Isabelle M, Owner at Marimba Secret Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 12 August 2014

Thanks so much for your sweet and positive review!! We would have loved to have you guys for some more nights with us - really hope to see you again!! But I could imagine, you are already planing on your next Mozambique trip..., right ;)?
Take care and warm regards!

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Reviewed 22 June 2014

Marimba is the perfect getaway- you really feel that you have escaped civilisation and are staying in the most amazing location. Its been a real highlight for my 2 week trip in Mozambique.

Marcello and Isabelle have created such a chilled, relaxed atmosphere. The huts are on stilts and you get a great view of sunset. The beach is just a short walk through the gardens- unspoilt white sand with not another person in sight. A lovely camp fire in the evening and you can just relax and do a spot of star gazing.

All the team were so friendly made us feel so welcome. Thanks so much for making our stay so enjoyable. The food was excellent too- fresh and delicious.

We'll definitely be making a return trip and recommend anyone visiting Vilanculos to take a trip out to Marimba Secret Gardens.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Sonja H H
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 12 August 2014

Thanks so much for this beautiful review! We would love to welcome you again - and are sure you will come back to Mozambique in any case ... you are also one of those that lost their heart in this fascinating and gorgeous country.. aren't you ;)?

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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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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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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 #7 of 25 Speciality Lodging in Vilanculos
Price Range: £11 - £45 (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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