Designed To Give
Azura is all about giving back to communities wherever we can. That extends to our décor throughout the hotels, where we try and use as many local initiatives and community projects as possible to carve, weave, paint and otherwise design the numerous unique décor pieces you will find around Azura. That’s why we call our design ethos at ‘Eco-Chic’.
The work of the Siyazisiza Trust features at all our hotels. Their overall objective is to promote small enterprise development, in food and craft production, working with over 3000 previously disadvantaged individuals in rural South Africa. They make recycled glass bottles into beads which we use on scatter cushions throughout Azura, as well as the appliquéd fish scatters in our jellyfish dining room at Azura Benguerra Island. They also make the carved stools that feature in our award winning villas.
At Azura Benguerra Island, all the carved wooden furnishings were made locally in Vilanculos, or on site by our team. The beds you sleep on were made there, as well as the beautiful carved architraves at the doors. There are some particularly special pieces in reception, including our carved diving and ‘old men’ statues, the beaded fish that swim through the roof beams, and our very special giant metal fish at the giant entrance doors that was made from welded knives and spoons, an icon in the area as it is visible from several hundred meters out to sea.
At Azura Quilalea Private Island, most of the wooden furnishings were locally made and carved, as well as the supporting beams at each of the villas. We adore the beaded jellyfish lights hanging in the dining area, as well as the metal sharks and fish at the divecentre. All were made by community projects. The desks in the villas are supported by locally made woven fish-traps, a throwback to the islanders relying on fishing for their livelihoods, and the bedsides lights are hand-decorated with telephone wire. The drum bar features local drums that have been turned into hanging lights, and giant carved boards for the local game of ‘Bao’, our guests’ favourite take home souvenir.
At Azura Selous Game Reserve, we use the beautifully detailed laundry baskets and decorated baskets that are handmade in the tri-border region between Rwanda, Tanzania, and Burundi. Their products incorporate natural, indigenous materials to achieve beautiful yet functional designs. Skilled WomenCraft artisans weave together sustainable fibers and vibrant Tanzanian fabrics to create all-purpose products that add an exotic flair to any home. We also feature scatter cushions made by mothers and grandmothers in a project through Africa Ignite.
We give thanks to Carla and AJ of GDF Design Lab our interior designers, who work tirelessly to find the projects and crafts that we feature at Azura. They love nothing more than a ramble around a village, speaking to craftstmen and women, and then having them turn our ideas into reality. Their latest find is bracelets for our shops, through Shake The World.