It List 2008
Benguerra Island, Mozambique
Rustic Hotel. While the other island groups in the Indian Ocean—the Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius—are chockablock with luxury hotels, the isles of Mozambique have lagged behind. Now, with the opening of Azura, a 14-villa hideaway on Benguerra Island, the country finally has a property that can compete with the best the region has to offer. Azura is pulling out all the stops: private plunge pools, a chef imported from the U.K.’s Michelin-starred Fat Duck. But what makes it really special is the barefoot vibe: unlike many of its ilk, the resort is thoroughly authentic. The buildings were handmade from trees felled by past cyclones; rooms are outfitted with artisanal furnishings (the wooden beds were carved by local craftsmen); and gracious islanders make up the butler staff.