Maputo — One of the best-known hotels in the northern Mozambican city of Pemba, the Nautilus Beach Resort, is being sold off by its main creditor, the Commercial and Investment Bank (BCI), according to a report in the Maputo daily paper "Noticias".
The Nautilus, once regarded as a flagship of the Pemba tourist industry, was owned by businessman Humberto Monteiro, who also operates the Hotel Cabo Delgado, in the heart of Pemba.
Apparently Monteiro had difficulty competing with the newer establishments that have sprung up in Pemba, and was unable to pay off his debts to the BCI. The difficulties became obvious when the casino at the Nautilus closed earlier this year, soon followed by its restaurant and bar. So the bank seized the hotel and intends to sell it.
Monteiro refused to comment to journalists, but there are reports, not yet confirmed, that he intends to seek an injunction from the Pemba courts that will prevent the BCI from selling the Nautilus.
The Nautilus workers say they are aware of the plans to sell the hotel, but they refuse to make any other comments.
Apart from the now closed casino and restaurant, the Nautilus has 35 bungalows, each with two rooms for guests, with private bathroom facilities, a leisure area with swimming pool, and blocks of convenience stores.