First off, I absolutely loved this hotel and the Daphne! Daphne is the sweetest person in the world and so helpful, starting from when we booked our rooms almost a year in advance all the way through our stay! Casa do Mar is clearly one of the best hotels in Tofo- I believe the only one with air conditioning! This is quite important as it's hot and humid in Tofo! Casa do Mar is right on the beach and you have balconies that have a great ocean view (request a room with an ocean view! I think there are a couple rooms in the back that face the other side). The rooms are clean and spacey. You feel like you're at home because the policy is that you can take whatever bottled water or soda or alcohol from the fridge and just write it down on a list and pay for it at the end. It's nice not to have to "check out" each time you want a drink. The staff keeps the place impeccably clean (I felt bad when we tracked in dirt which is inevitable since it's a beach town). The chef Etu is amazing as well- made us delicious food artistically displayed! Only thing to know is that the food takes a LONG time- and this is the same everywhere in Tofo (and probably everywhere in Mozambique). You should definitely expect to wait an hour after you ordered before getting the food. However, Etu is amazing --> food was much better at our hotel than in town. (Everyone in town recommended Tofo Tofo which we tried but it really wasn't anything to write home about, and took just as long). For dinner there's a menu, but for breakfast there isn't a menu and we didn't realize at first that you can just order whatever you want (omelets, frittatas, whatever you can think of that the chef can create!) The location of the hotel next to Peri Peri divers is great! It was very convenient for scheduling dives and whale shark safaris (especially if you brought your own gear). It's a walk into town (but not horrible)- you have to go down a hill, walk along the beach for a quarter mile or so, and then turn into town... takes about 10 minutes. Again, not a bad walk --> very scenic and beautiful, but this makes it so you probably want to just stick with Peri Peri divers instead of going to one of the other dive shops. We went to Peri Peri and one of the other dive shops --> I think they all have uniform prices and all go to the same sites, and the divemasters are contractors and rotate through the various dive shops so I think the experience is pretty uniform no matter where you go.
So why the 4 stars instead of 5? The main reservations I had are regarding the treatment of management towards the staff. I'm not referring to Daphne who is who you'll deal with most of the time. Jakkie is less involved with the customers but he does order the staff around --> and sometimes I felt like it was a bit derogatory and uncomfortable for me to see. The staff all wear shirts that say "Master Jack" which is a bit derogatory also.
Also, the trail leading to the beach is not fabulously maintained so it can be a bit scary at night. Bring a headlamp if you're heading into town at night since the town, the beach, and the trail back up are all not lit.
Overall, would stay at this hotel again. I had some concerns on the treatment of the staff from management but otherwise would have given the place 5 stars!
One more note --> you have to pay in cash. To hold the room ahead of time requires wiring money and BofA had issues doing this despite my trying 4 times (mainly they had problems wiring Mozambican meticai to a bank in South Africa, and then I think the receiving bank kept turning it down once we got the other issues resolved). I ultimately ended up bring US dollars and paying Daphne in case on arrival. Daphne goes to South Africa often and thus accepts any US bills but you should be aware that around Tofo US dollars are accepted but they have to be new and crisp (I think the date cut off is 2004 or 2006 so check the date on the bills). Also, do not tip staff with $1 ($1 bills not accepted in Mozambique)... We just tipped once at the end.
Final note --> they use South African plugs (two large round plugs and one small one, or other way around). Oh, and they don't have bed nets --> our travel partners had no problems since it is air conditioned, but if you are on the paranoid side or allergic to mosquito bites (like me), you'll need to bring your own bed net. No hooks so the stand-alone tent type is better!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Luxury Guesthouse on Tofo Main Beach Airconditioned Private Bathrooms Swimmingpool Wi Fi Bar Restaurant Deep Sea Fishing Dstv.Stunning View of the whole beach.82 Kva standby Generator.9 Rooms. ... more less
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