6 of the best luxury hotels in Madagascar
Madagascar is a place shrouded in mystery. An island country off the coast of East Africa, its remote location has kept it off the regular tourist routes with only true adventure seekers making the trek over to its remote shores.
“Madagascar is a perfect destination for people who want something a little more off the beaten track, are active, love wildlife, and have a sense of adventure,” says Luxury Travel Consultant Danielle Fraser from 360 Private Travel, a Virtuoso Agency. “There is always something to discover, and with the infrastructure growing, it is becoming perfect for tourism. Madagascar is also working very hard in their conservation efforts so the protection and amount of wildlife is on the rise.”
From the majestic baobabs, to the playful lemurs, to the over 3,000 miles of Indian Ocean coastline, Madagascar is a paradise just waiting to be explored. According to global luxury travel network Virtuoso, adventure has become one of the key elements that luxury travellers look for in their next holiday.
Madagascar also made it on to their list of Top Unusual Destinations for UK luxury travellers in 2019. “Each part of the island is completely different to the other, giving it a wide variety of things to offer. From desert to rainforest, to mountains, all the way to the beaches…Soft, white and sandy beaches stretch along the coast and particularly in the north, the sea is bright, warm and a beautiful blue,” says Fraser.
Tessa Robinson is the Madagascar travel expert at Black Tomato, an award-winning travel company specialising in unique, bespoke luxury experiences. She shares: “Wild, untamed and virtually unexplored, a tailor-made holiday in Madagascar offers an adventurous getaway amid some truly otherworldly landscapes where nature reigns supreme.”
From private natural reserves to a desert chic destination, luxury travel writer Ina Yulo lists the best hotels on the island for an unforgettable escape.
1 – Princesse Bora Lodge
Kitesurfing, whale watching, and open diving. These are just some of the many activities guests can take part in during a stay at the Princesse Bora Lodge & Spa. Situated on the island of Île Sainte Marie—known for its endemic plant species—the hotel is part of Original Travel’s South and East Madagascar itinerary, which takes guests on a humpback whale watching trip, forest walks, and diving adventures.
The lodge has 20 villas all built using natural materials. This connection with nature extends into the Jungle Spa, which soothes tired muscles by extracting the best ingredients from plants endemic to the island and collected rainwater. Immerse your senses in the Jungle Delight treatment—a relaxing bath with citrus fruits, a wild honey scrub, and a four-hand massage with palmarosa oil. Visitors can also expect to arrive in style as they make their way to the island in a zebu-drawn chariot!
2 – Anjajavy L’Hotel
“Hotels in Madagascar don’t get much more luxurious than Anjajavy L’Hotel: a plush four-star resort which sits on an isolated peninsula in the northwest coast of Madagascar,” says Chris Wain of Africa Travel, a specialist luxury tour operator with hand-crafted African holidays. Aside from being the only Relais & Châteaux hotel in the country, Anjajavy L’Hotel benefits from its own 2,372-acre private reserve and is exceptionally remote—access is only available via light aircraft or boat.
“This hotel’s secluded location makes for an idyllic stay, as does the surrounding forest reserve and its beautiful beachside location,” adds Wain. Visits to the nearby villages allow guests to take part in a traditional market day or support local craftsmanship by purchasing handmade goods. With 24 rosewood villas all offering sea views, a birdwatcher’s paradise called the Oasis, and the ability to explore caves, creeks, and coconut groves, it would not be difficult to spend a couple of weeks at the lovely property.
3 – Time + Tide Miavana
Time + Tide Miavana holds the title of being Madagascar’s first 5-star eco luxury accommodation. Set on the far removed island of Nosy Ankao, the land was once a place where both seasonal fishermen and pirates sought refuge. A lot of planning and effort was put in to help protect and preserve the area and turn it into the rich and naturally-diverse oasis that it has become. “Time + Tide is about conserving our precious world and creating true adventures. Miavana is setting a new precedent in luxury private islands; from its architecture, design, activities, through to the food and beautiful remoteness. But what I am most proud of, is its people,” explains Front of House Operations Manager Sarah-Jane Wendover.
Activities on the island come in all shapes and forms: from fly fishing and manta ray watching, to helicopter safaris and forest treks to find the rare Black Lemur, the close-knit team at Miavana is on-hand to deliver an exquisite luxury experience, castaway-style. 14 luxury eco-powered villas come with their own butlers and en-suite pools and have unrivalled views of the turquoise waters outside. “I want us to deliver the best luxury, conservation, and adventure experiences our guests can imagine,” says Rosco Wendover, General Manager at Miavana.
4 – Constance Tsarabanjina
Constance Hotels & Resorts owns and manages a group of luxury hotels across the Indian Ocean. Their promise of delivering natural luxury and true experiences makes their Robinson Crusoe-esque Madagascan property, Constance Tsarabanjina, even more ideal. “[It’s] a real encounter with nature in a pure location. An experience that will mark you in an authentic setting,” says Resort Manager Loic de Robillard.
With thatched roofs and private terraces—that are perfect for catching some sun—the 25 beachfront villas mix traditional Malagasy décor with the comfort and luxury that the Constance brand is known for. Water sports reign supreme on the island with unspoilt sites for divers of all skill levels, catamarans, and stand-up paddle boards all at your doorstep. The resort’s all-inclusive package takes the stress away so that guests can kick back and enjoy premium drinks and the freshest seafood from the in-house restaurant. Constance Tsarabanjina also has a special honeymoon package for newlyweds who are looking for a far-flung romantic retreat.
5 – Tsara Komba
Tucked within Nosy Komba, commonly known as “Lemur Island”, is a 4-star luxury ecolodge hotel called Tsara Komba. A member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection, Tsara Komba’s commitment to community-led activities and its nature-first ethos makes it the preferred choice for luxury eco warriors. Intimacy is a word that embodies the Tsara Komba spirit and one that the resort’s team is on a constant mission to deliver.
The volcanic island has a private indigenous nature reserve and a botanical garden. All 8 lodges have an ocean view and invite guests to succumb to the beautiful surroundings, relax, and recharge. Guests are encouraged to enjoy the facilities and their time on the island on their own terms and in their own way. Service is accommodating yet discrete, and many of its employees are local islanders. The lodge also created its own non-profit to support neighbouring villagers and features local art throughout the property. Trips to the nearby craftsmen village can be organised by the team.
6 – Isalo Rock Lodge
Perched atop the the Sandstone Mountains and looking out over the Isalo National Park is the Isalo Rock Lodge. The park’s lateritic soils and desert-like atmosphere introduce visitors to a different side of Madagascar and clearly show why the country is also known as the Great Red Island. Hikers will love the numerous trails that go through the national park and up its summits. Keep your eyes peeled for ring-tailed lemurs and giant chameleons as they join you along your walk.
Isalo Rock Lodge is a modern 60-room hideaway with a warm earthy colour scheme that reflects its surroundings. An inviting outdoor pool and glass-fronted restaurant add that punch of sleekness that truly makes this property one-of-a-kind. Make sure to spend your evenings outside as this superb lodge is perfectly positioned for stargazing.