Quilalea Island occupies only 35 hectares of palm fringed sand amid the tranquil Indian Ocean of the Quirimbas Archipelago. The only human beings to be found on this tiny exclusive retreat will be the Azura staff and their guests.
In full flow for our 1 Nov Opening
The normally peaceful, tranquil, private island paradise that is Quilalea, has been buzzing with activity these past couple of months, with builders in hard hats, technicians, electricians and plumbers plying their trades from dawn to dusk, despite endless sunshine and temperatures well above 35 degrees. The South African led team have been working hard to keep the project ahead of schedule, replacing all of the island’s ageing infrastructure with a couple of km of new piping and cabling, and reconfiguring the front of house areas and villas ahead of the 1 November opening date.
Half way through the refurb project, all is on track for completion end September, to allow for installation and a soft opening and training period through October. ‘We are all very excited about the amazing transformation that is taking place’, commented Nathan, who has been a senior manager at Quilalea since day one of the original version that first opened back in 2002, ‘I have never seen anyone work so fast!’
The building works, plumbing and electrics on the Sunrise and Sunset Villas are complete already, with just the finishing touches to add. And as you can see from the photos, they already look just like they should do, the beautiful private coral and makuti thatch villas Quilalea was known for, set amidst a nature lover’s paradise of stunning vegetation, with undisturbed views out to sea and the reefs beyond.
The interiors are all designed and furnishings ordered, with a focus on laid back yet stylish design. Take a look at the mood boards to get an idea of the final product, lots of colour and texture Mozambican style, and subtle reflections of the island, like the age old baobab groves.
Building Facts & Figures:
- The 120-strong building team has used 140,000 litres of water so far to complete the refurbishment works, and since Quilalea has no standing water it has all been shipped in by dhow from the mainland 10km away. The new Quilalea will have 2 state of the art desalination plants.
- It takes just 3 days for a truck with building supplies to get from Johannesburg to Quilalea, a trip of some 2800 km.
Eco-friendly and Easy on the Eye
A major part of the refurbishment has involved making the property more eco-friendly. In a unique concept, all the villas have been kitted out with power-usage control switches, so guests can enjoy the moral superiority of turning their mod-cons on and off as their conscience dictates. Crystal batteries, solar power and wind power facilitate the aim of having the generator turned on as little as possible during the day, and hopefully not at all at night. Peace and tranquillity take precedence here.
Out With the Old....
The ship has sailed on its last voyage…
For those of you who remember the old Quilalea, the infamous dhow bar has taken its final journey to a new resting place on the beachfront. While some will be sad to see it go, the old bar area needed to be made bigger, shaken up, chilled down, and fine-strained into a thing of beauty, just like the Margaritas we will soon be serving. The new bar-lounge area features a central ‘look through’ indoor/outdoor bar, with a chill zone where you can put your feet up with a good book while you send your drink down. Still very much the social heart of Quilalea, it opens up to a newly revamped pool area, with much larger pool for a refreshing dip and softly lit trees for evening dinners beneath the stars.
... and In With the New
What to do with a container load of fine wines from the owner’s 5 wine estates? Well build a wine cellar of course! Perfect for private dining, or whiling away the afternoon with some good cheese and wine over a game of scrabble. And missing from the old Quilalea, but essential to the experiences we will be offering, a new dedicated Padi watersports centre just off the main beach, stocked with all the necessary toys for girls and boys to fish, dive, snorkel and kayak these pristine waters. Uniquely, Quilalea has snorkelling and diving right off the main beach, and for those who like to keep their feet on dry land, a beautiful baobab walking trail to Turtle Beach where there are some 90 turtle nests each year. A great spot for a romantic private picnic.
So how do we ensure the same legendary hosting experience that our guests have come to love at Azura on Benguerra Island? Easy..we send in some of the existing Azura Team, and appoint a couple of serious experts on operating high end properties in Mozambique to run the show. Paul and Kelly Ricklan, who’ve been in Mozambique for more than 10 years, with the last 7 spent at Marlin Lodge, will be joining us on the 30th of August, and start by spending some time at the Azura ‘mother ship’ on Benguerra to learn the secrets behind the Azura ‘WOW’. And Greg, our Head Butler/Host, has volunteered to head back up to the Archipelago he started out at, to train the new team. A staff swap between the 2 islands will start in August, and carry on for the following few months, so that key staff get to spend time at both of our amazing Mozambican properties, and learn from eachother.
October is test drive month at Azura at Quilalea, when a number of well-heeled guinea pigs will be staying at the island to put the team through their paces. The aim…?? To ensure that operations hit the ground running long before the first guests arrive in November. There’s a long waiting list for takers, but for those of you who want to experience the beauty of the idyllic island paradise all for yourself, look out for the exciting sales competition we shall be announcing shortly!
Remember we have only just opened the villas at Azura at Quilalea Private Island up for bookings, so there are still plenty of villas available for all those clients of yours demanding something new and exciting for Christmas and New Year, and look out for our extra special opening offers valid from 1 November.
We can also sell the island as a whole, with all 9 villas available for the complete private island experience. We’ve just struck up deal with Elite-Jet to get you there and back from Joburg, with very attractive rates. Otherwise fly into Pemba on Lam or Airlink from Joburg, Maputo, Nairobi or Dar es Salaam.
Azura at Quilalea Private Island, the new, hip, laid back, go-to island retreat, just waiting to be re-discovered.
Opening Special Offers:
- 2 stay for the price of 1 on bookings of 7 nights or more, valid for stays in Sunrise Villas, 1 November – 20 December 2011 and 15 January – 31 March 2012 only.
- 2 stay for the price of 1, and guests receive free transfers from Pemba, on bookings of 10 nights or more, valid for stays in Sunrise Villas, 1 November – 20 December 2011 and 15 January – 31 March 2012 only.
- Stay 4 pay 3 valid for all bookings made and confirmed by 30 September 2011, all arrival dates other than Peak Season.
General Special Offers:
- Long stay: stay 5 pay 4, valid for stays until 31 March 2012.
- Honeymooners: bride receives 50% discount on rack rate year round.
- Loyalty: automatic 20% discount for any guests who have already stayed at Azura on Benguerra Island. Valid for stays until 31 March 2012 only.
All offers exclude peak season and are not combinable.