24-hour room service: Coral Lodge 15.41, Mozambique

As Mozambique's tourist season gets under way, the industry will be hoping for an improvement in the country's fortune. Visitor numbers fell by 28 per cent last year, after hopes of a boost from the Fifa World Cup in South Africa failed to materialise, the global economic slump dragged on and food riots broke out in the southern African nation.

This ill fortune is particularly raw here – tourism played an important role in Mozambique's recovery, following a civil war that raged from 1977 to 1992. By 2005, the tourism industry was the fastest growing in the world, as visitors began to discover the country's stunning Indian Ocean coastline, idyllic islands, national parks and a heady mix of Arab, Portuguese and African culture.

Dozens of "barefoot luxury" resorts have sprung up in the last five years, to the point that investment is now threatening to overdevelop some areas. But seclusion is still possible: Coral Lodge 15.41 (the numbers refer to the hotel's latitude and longitude) opened last June, on a quiet section of the north coast.

Location

As with many of Mozambique's coastal hotels, Coral Lodge offers low-key luxury in an exceptional beachside setting. However, its location affords it a degree of exclusivity. The only development for several miles, it is situated at the end of a sandy spit that sticks out into Mossuril Bay at the tip of the Varanda nature reserve; its isolation provides real seclusion.

And, unlike other remote resorts that simply offer a good beach holiday, Coral Lodge is also a short boat ride from the Unesco-listed Mozambique Island. Once the seat of power for Portuguese East Africa, it is now an atmospherically crumbling town with a 16th-century fort, churches and mosques.

Comfort

The pool, restaurant and bar are at the centre of the resort, with half of the 10 thatched guest villas lining the beach on one side with Indian Ocean views, and the others overlooking a mangrove lagoon and Ilha de Mozambique on the other.

The unfussy, contemporary décor – sourced from Europe to Zanzibar – includes wooden sculptures, oversized Moroccan lights and coconut wood furniture. The kidney-bean-shaped villas are stylish, if sparsely furnished, and feature a spacious wooden deck at the front. You won't find TVs or even phones inside – they would be entirely incongruous.

A highlight of my stay was the food. The menus might include tomato tarte tatin with balsamic reduction; lobster and pepper risotto; or poached barracuda in banana leaves. The end result, every time, was a beautifully presented feast.

Producing such consistent quality is no mean feat. Dutch husband and wife team Bart and Alex Otto often have to overcome logistical complications – from the nuances of local politics to a temperamental electricity supply – which many guests are unaware of as they sip their beers and look out across the turquoise sea.

Coral Lodge 15.41, Nampula, Mozambique (00 258 266 600 03; corallodge1541.com)

Rooms 4 stars
Value 3 stars
Service 4 stars

Double rooms start at $850 (£567) full board.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesChuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
i100
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Oracle 11g SQL 2008 DBA (Unix, Oracle RAC, Mirroring, Replicati

    £6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...

    Recruitment Consultant (Graduate Trainee), Finchley Central

    £17K OTE £30K: Charter Selection: Highly successful and innovative specialist...

    SQL DBA/ C# Developer - T-SQL, C#.Net

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    Day In a Page

    All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

    Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

    Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
    Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

    Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

    So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
    Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

    Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

    Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
    French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

    French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

    The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
    Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

    Radio 1’s new top ten

    The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
    David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

    David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

    A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
    Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

    Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

    A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
    Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

    Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

    Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
    Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

    Nick Clegg the movie

    Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
    Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

    Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

    Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
    Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

    Waxing lyrical

    Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
    Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

    Revealed (to the minute)

    The precise time when impressionism was born
    From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

    Make the most of British tomatoes

    The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
    10 best men's skincare products

    Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

    Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf