Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort & Spa

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Quirimbas Archipelago, Cabo Delgado Province 0000, Mozambique

Amenities:

Business Center, Dry Cleaning, Free Breakfast, Free High-Speed Internet, Non-Smoking, Restaurant, Room Service, Suites, Swimming Pool

Price:

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  1. Expert Review

    5.0 rating based on 1 rating
    Jun 2015 · Karen Elowitt

    Home to just a single resort, the apostrophe-shaped Anantara Medjumbe is such a stereotypically perfect paradise island that it's hard not to...

    Home to just a single resort, the apostrophe-shaped Anantara Medjumbe is such a stereotypically perfect paradise island that it’s hard not to use cliches when describing it. Surrounded by transparent cerulean seas and populated with hundreds of gently swaying palms, it sports a narrow white sand spit that dangles off into the ocean like a stray fishing line. It is truly, shockingly gorgeous, idyllic and remote.

    At just 1km long and a few hundred meters wide, Medjumbe only takes about 30 minutes to circumnavigate on foot, and perhaps a bit longer at low tide when the spit is revealed and the ribbed sand fields radiate out nearly half a kilometer in every direction. I highly recommend a walk (or kayak) around the island at sunrise or sunset, when the sky lights up like fireworks and tiny white sand crabs skitter across the sand as the gentle surf deposits driftwood shells and other detritus at your feet.

    With just 12 villas, you’ll never have to worry about fighting crowds here, or finding privacy. (Which explains why Medjumbe is popular with honeymooners.) Each of the ocean-facing units has its own private plunge pool, outdoor shower and hammock, as well as air con, satellite TV, mini-bar, and a spacious bathroom. The decor is understated island-chic, and the rooms are so comfortable you’ll be tempted to stay inside all day. Or lie on a lounge chair on your patio with a caipirinha in hand, watching dhows with their triangular sails bring home the day’s catch. There’s not much to do here, but that’s the idea.

    However if you’re so inclined there are water sports, including scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing, water skiing, tubing, wake-boarding, kite-surfing, fishing, and sunset cruises. The 25-to-30-degree water is home to a pristine eco-system and undiscovered reefs containing a dazzling array of fish, whales and turtles. Just watch out for the occasional bluebottle jellyfish, though their sting is not lethal, just irritating. If you prefer to go completely Robinson Crusoe, book an afternoon picnic-and-snorkeling expedition at the uninhabited Quissanga Island, which sits about 10 minutes from Medjumbe by speedboat.

    One cannot mention Medjumbe without waxing poetic about the food. Chef Nic Semple and his team incorporate seafood in nearly every meal — all obtained from local fishermen the day it is served. Lobster, crab and linefish are presented in various innovative ways that reflect Semple’s training at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek. If you have the chance, try the divine crab curry.

    Luckily with Medjumbe being so isolated, there is no malaria here and very few other insects, which makes outdoor dining a rather comfortable endeavor. You can choose from the dining area in the main lounge, a seat by the pool, or staff can set up a private table for two on the farthest reaches of the beach. But with isolation comes limited connectivity with the outside world, so don’t expect to spend your days playing on around on your iPad – there’s only one small corner of the lobby that gets Wi-Fi signal, and it’s not fast. But folks don’t come here to be online – they come to get off the grid and literally unplug from the “real” world.

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