December 3, 2013

Benguerra 1

Benguerra Island Lodge in Mozambique has been renamed “&Beyond Benguerra Island” after being added to &Beyond’s portfolio of luxury safari lodges and camps. &Beyond recently took over the management, marketing and reservations for the Lodge.

Situated on a prime beach site, “&Beyond Benguerra Island” is simple, yet elegant. Ten casitas and two cabanas are tucked into a shady forest on the edge of a pristine beach that directly overlooks ocean vistas. Both casitas and cabanas combine Arabic style with clean lines and chic interiors. Large windows with dark wooden shutters gaze out towards the Indian Ocean, while private timber decks and cool plunge pools offer a secluded alternative to beach sands and ocean waters. A shaded gazebo provides the ideal venue for starlit dinners. Two spacious bedrooms include ensuite bathrooms and open air showers, while the casitas offer a generous private lounge.

Benguerra 3Set in its own secluded garden, mere metres from the beach, the spacious two bedroom family suite ensures privacy and exclusivity and welcomes children of all ages. The bathrooms have deep copper bathtubs and outdoor showers with intricate mosaic inlays. The suite’s sheltered wooden veranda even has its own private swimming pool.

Swimming and boating are available directly off the sandy beach, while additional activities include traditional dhow cruises, island expeditions, bird watching, local village tours and sea kayaking. “&Beyond Benguerra Island” has a dive centre where guests can take part in a range of PADI certified diving courses or set off to explore an exceptional wealth of marine life. The island is also known as a game fishing and fly fishing mecca, with all activities following a strict catch and release policy. Guests can enjoy idyllic horse rides on the beach or into the island’s interior, while catamaran cruises, castaway picnics and snorkelling are also available.

‘Just as “&Beyond Mnemba Island” off Zanzibar completes our East African lodge circuit and is renowned for its marine conservation efforts, “&Beyond Benguerra Island” will complete our Southern African lodge circuit and will be equally celebrated for its marine protection. The acquisition also opens up a new region for &Beyond and we look forward to sharing the natural wonders of Mozambique with our guests,’ said &Beyond Group CEO, Joss Kent.

During 2014 “&Beyond Benguerra Island” is scheduled to have a $1.5million refurbishment.  This marks a new growth phase for &Beyond and is part of their lodge investment strategy, which also involves extensive rebuilds currently underway at their lodges in Kenya and Botswana.

Benguerra is the second largest island in the Bazaruto Archipelago, offering pristine beaches, unspoiled coral reefs teeming with marine life and excellent fishing. Set in a national park, the island consists of a patchwork of habitats, including forests, wetlands and three freshwater lakes inhabited by crocodiles. The Indian Ocean waters off its shores are home to a variety of fish species, as well as one of the few remaining populations of the endangered dugong.

SA Airlink and LAM operate direct flights from Johannesburg to Vilanculos, while LAM also runs flights between Maputo and Vilanculos. This is followed by a short helicopter transfer to the Lodge.   Sandra Tiltman 


December 3, 2013

Empire_Gorilla Girls_0403_LRSpiegelworld, the Australian entertainment company behind the hit shows Empire and Absinthe, has announced it will open a new resident production Vegas Nocturne at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas from December 30 2013. Spiegelworld will have two resident shows simultaneously playing on the Las Vegas strip, at the same time as Empire returns to Sydney and Melbourne in the spiegeltent.

Vegas Nocturne will be presented at Rose.Rabbit.Lie, the new social club to be operated by Spiegelworld at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the city’s newest luxury resort. Rose.Rabbit.Lie will blur the lines between restaurant, bar, club and show, offering guests a new take on a night out in Las Vegas and will be presented at 8pm, 10pm and midnight each evening.

Spiegelworld Impresario, Melbourne born Ross Mollison said, “With our experience in developing shows for the intimate spiegeltent, we are now pushing the limits of these ideas to create innovative live entertainment that Las Vegas has never seen before. Labels such as circus, vaudeville, comedy and burlesque are not easy to apply to Vegas Nocturne, yet it will be all those things. Assembling extraordinary performing artists from all corners of the globe, I am very proud to say that our creative team features several prominent Australians who are not afraid to break new ground.”

American audiences first experienced Spiegelworld when it started presenting its annual summer season in New York City in 2006 on Pier 17 at South Street Seaport and became a summer institution at its East River location in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, as well as touring to Miami South Beach and Melbourne, where it was the featured entertainment of the 2009 Australian Open.

In 2011, Spiegelworld opened its award winning show Absinthe on the forecourt of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Now in its third sold out year, the production has been hailed as “the most inventive and daring show to open on the strip in years!” by the Las Vegas Sun and the “Best Show in Vegas” by Vegas Seven Magazine. Absinthe has been extended at Caesars Palace until 2016.

In 2012 Spiegelworld found a new location in New York City, on an empty building site right on Times Square. It was here that Spiegelworld presented the world premiere of its new spiegeltent show, Empire.

Since its Australian premiere season in Sydney in January 2013, Empire has been seen by over 140,000 people around the country with rave reviews, sold out performances and standing ovations. Empire will return to Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter on January 7, followed by a return Melbourne season on the Rooftop at Crown from March 11.

Las Vegas or New York – Sydney or Melbourne, don’t miss seeing one of Spiegelworld’s entertaining shows.   Sandra Tiltman