Maputo, my beloved city that is often compared to the likes of Havana particularly for its splendorous sublime Spanish-colonial nuances, a legacy left behind by the Portuguese, which has now become the hub for all things business and leisure. Although, you would be forgiven to make this comparison of which I previously couldn’t fully understand, the little I have seen and read about Havana inclines me to believe that perhaps there is something to relate the two.
Fancy little me spent the weekend at Polana Serena Hotel, a majestic palazzo style building overlooking Maputo bay, perfectly situated for a phenomenal panoramic view of the bay that stretches along the Avenida Marginal. From the moment you walk into the lobby area you are immediately taken aback by the blend of old colonial and contemporary decor that instantly makes you feel like you have stepped into a completely new world all together, or a time-warp of sorts, perhaps the early 1920’s in which this historical landmark was built. You can’t help but wonder about the people, from all walks of life that have been in this very same building. An intrinsic journey to the past, hard to escape because even the staff dress part and to a large extent play the part with their welcoming smiles and traditional hospitality.
Having lived in South Africa for so many years, I’ve become that go-to person amongst my friends there, that they immediately think of and get in touch to ask or recommend accommodation in Maputo, well you will be pleased to know that I can finally recommend based on my personal experience. One hardly ever thinks to find an escape within their vicinity, partially because an escape usually entails being some where far away from your current location, however this theory was proven untrue for me this past weekend, I found an escape in my backyard.
On weekends, Polana Serena is a popular destination for locals but mostly for their super chic restaurants and grand pool area, mid-week however many attend conferences and official meetings there, in fact two weddings were simultaneously happening this past Saturday. The space is ridiculously versatile now that I think of it. One lounge is turned into a corporate event while the other prepares for a more intimate affair, so of course you’re going to witness thee most interesting characters if you sit in the lobby and people watch for an hour.
After checking in, with a pleasant welcome by the staff I couldn’t wait to see my room, the very place that would inspire me to write this up except as soon as I got in, all I wanted to do was soak up the experience as much as possible and leave the writing for an easy Sunday morning, after my scheduled back and neck massage at the hotels Maisha Spa, lucky me. After a quick freshening up session, I joined a group friends for drinks at the hotel bar and then a Seafood dinner at Varanda, any day is complete with great food and great company.
My Sunday morning met every expectation starting with my Maisha Spa treatment and then a tour of of this iconic historical landmark. I had to snap a few photos to compliment my story, I have this theory that if you didn’t take pictures, it simply didn’t happen.
Here’s my proof 😉
Below follows more details about my experience.
Breakfast in bed while soaking up inspiration to write.