22 January 2014
The management team is now in place, led by GM Johan van der Merwe (former GM of &Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge). Johan has been with &Beyond for 13 years and has extensive lodge management experience. The &Beyond Benguerra Island team is the perfect balance of experienced Benguerra lodge staff, &Beyonders and external recruits that will take the lodge from strength to strength. This has already been confirmed by recent guest feedback praising the guest experience and lodge improvements.
The overall look and feel of the lodge has been restyled and simplified to align with &Beyond standards. Each day, guests are being delighted with the unexpected surprises and extraordinary guest experiences that &Beyond is renowned for.
We are delighted to announce that Karen Allen, Project Manager with Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), has moved to &Beyond Benguerra Island and will continue to manage EWT’s conservation efforts in the Bazaruto Archipelago. Guests will have the opportunity to spend time with Karen and hear all about marine conservation, including the ongoing dugong research projects. In addition, guests can interact with &Beyond Benguerra Island’s expert fishermen, experienced equestrian guide and qualified dive instructor.
The refurbishment will be carried out in two phases to ensure that we do not encroach upon Mozambique’s high season:
- One existing casita will be refurbished as a prototype of our planned new look and will feature a generous plunge pool, spacious private veranda and completely redesigned interior.
- The remainder of the rooms will receive a full softs refurbishment and new colour theme, including new beds, linen and furniture.
- A new vehicle (for island drives) and dive boat will be purchased and extensive repairs will be carried out on the existing boat fleet.
- The lodge infrastructure will be improved to ensure uninterrupted water and power supply in high season.
- Phase One will be completed by June 2014. From February until June, three rooms will be closed off for the refurb to take
- All remaining casitas, cabanas and the family villa will be upgraded to match the prototype room that is refurbished in Phase One.
- The guest areas will be scaled back creating a more intimate space and new furniture and fittings will be incorporated.
- It is anticipated that the lodge will be closed between February and May 2015 to carry out this second phase. The newly refurbished lodge will launch in June 2015 just in time for Mozambique’s high season.
While all of these renovations will certainly improve the current product, it is important to remember that &Beyond has never built its reputation on product alone. It is the warm, hospitable people, breathtaking landscapes and extraordinary guest experience that brings our guests back.
&Beyond Benguerra Island is a remarkable lodge and the staff are friendly, hard-working and extremely efficient. Through the leadership, guidance and training of Johan and his team, &Beyond Benguerra Island will go from strength to strength delivering a world-class experience to our guests in one of the world’s most magnificent and beautiful places.
You can continue to sell this exquisite lodge with absolute confidence starting now (and not post-refurb) as the above refurbishments will be carefully managed so as not to impact any of our guests.
Thank you for your support and I am happy to answer any questions you should have.
&Beyond Regional Director