As a destination, Madagascar isn’t known for its luxurious accommodation as tourism is still in its infancy, but don’t let this fool you into thinking luxury can’t be found here – there are a couple of exceptions, and one particular favourite is Constance Tsarabanjina, an idyllic castaway island in the Nosy Mitsio archipelago. If you’re looking for a little luxury in Madagascar, you won’t go far wrong with Tsarabanjina.
Arrive in style
Travelling by boat or helicopter, you arrive on the island to be greeted by all of the hotel staff waving from the beach – a warm welcome that continues into superb and friendly service. This is the only hotel in the archipelago and the island is surrounded by dozens of uninhabited, pristine islands offering superb views and a little bit of much sought-after tranquility.
“The most alive reef ever seen”
The shore is pure white sand surrounded by crystal clear turquoise waters, offering superb diving and snorkelling straight off the beach. A past guest described the reef as the most alive reef ever seen; the corals are vibrant and provide a home to an abundance of marine life and turtles. You can spend your days enjoying a number of activities including paddling a kayak around the shore watching the fish below, hobie cat sailing and fishing.
Pick your beach
There are 25 villas: 12 on the south beach and 13 on the north beach. All are beautiful in their design, using local wood and traditional Malagasy craftsmanship. From the polished wooden floors to the thatch roofs it creates a wonderful blend of natural materials and plenty of luxurious touches to make your stay comfortable. Each villa has a spacious balcony with comfy chairs and a hammock where you can gaze at the stars at night, and unwind in the day in complete privacy.
A charming feature is that the island has its own time zone: “Tsarabanjina time”. An hour different to mainland Madagascar, this is done to make the most of the daylight and only adds to the remote feeling of the island and resort.
Dining is another highlight at Tsarabanjina, with abundant fresh produce and seafood and a real variety of dishes on offer. And if you aren’t finding the surroundings relaxing enough, a qualified masseuse is on hand to ease your troubles away.
Overall Constance Tsarabanjina has the perfect combination of Robinson Crusoe escapism and a healthy dose of luxury, making it a superb place to end any adventure in Madagascar, but also an unforgettable destination in its own right.
Craig Burkinshaw is a Founder Director of Audley Travel.