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“Worst hotel experience in Madagascar - pricey with terrible service”
Review of Satrana Lodge

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Satrana Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Worst hotel experience in Madagascar - pricey with terrible service”
Reviewed 18 July 2014

We had a terrible stay here – worst hotel experience during 1 month in Madagascar. At first look, this seemed like a luxury hotel. Upon our 1st night’s stay, we realised it is completely overpriced, with nothing to justify the rates it charges.

Pros: aesthetics

- Gorgeous design of public areas (e.g. library near reception) and rooms (e.g. luxury tent with indoor/outdoor showers)


Cons: service

- We called ahead before confirming a reservation to ensure 3 priorities would be met: availability of hot water, availability of WiFi, and option to pay with credit card

- 1. Rooms do not have hot water until long after check-in:
Hotel did not provide electricity to our room until after we had checked in in person – even though we called ahead with an arrival time. So after a long day hiking in Isalo Park, there was no chance to shower until more than an hour after arrival.

- 2. Poor / NO WiFi:
Despite what we were told when we called, the hotel has no real usable WiFi. On 1st night, 20 guests literally huddled around 1 VERY weak router for ultra slow speed connection. On 2nd night, hotel had not paid its 3G service fee, so no internet access at all (see below for further implications of this)

- 3. Problems charging Credit card:
The Receptionist told us by phone they accept Visa. Upon check-out, however, the credit card machine was unable to complete transaction because of the hotel’s lack of internet connection. The Receptionist instead accused us of our credit cards (ALL 4 OF THEM) having ‘problems with our banks’ (despite our banks all confirming our cards were fine when we called them on the spot). This resulted in a 1 hour debate, after which he reluctantly paid the internet bill and got the credit card machine to work. In addition, we were charged 3.5% surcharge for credit card payment, which we were NOT informed of when we called or checked in.

- Finally, the Receptionist was unreliable and untrustworthy:
He gave every guest a different price for their room (negating the supposed fixed rate listed online). He would not provide us with an additional blanket in winter, until we called several times. At check-out, he refused to admit that the hotel’s credit card machine had a problem (see above). This Receptionist single-handedly ruined any chance of the hotel being an acceptable place to lodge.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mariamoutravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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147 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
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English first
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2014

What's good,
- Design of hotel and rooms
- size of room and bathroom

What's bad,
- electricity is only on 6 hours a day so the window for hot shower is limited
- no TV or minibar in rooms
- incompetent staff especially receptionists
- 3.5% additional charges if you use credit card
- credit card machine took 2 hours to work
- wifi is only in lobby and it is very very poor. You,re lucky if you can download one page
- expensive and bad quality food (breakfast is 10 dollars and only included cold overnight croissant, bad coffee, juice, and bread. Want eggs? Pay 5 dollars more!

Room Tip: Don't book here!
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kareem A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level 5 Contributor
65 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2014

I have stayed three times at the Satrana Lodge over the past few years. The breathtaking location, over-all service, and spacious tented rooms are a few reasons I return with my small groups. The hotel can arrange a lovely two hour hike to the top of the massif where you get a panoramic view of Isaho. The tented rooms are very spread out, so bring a flashlight at night. Don't miss the sunrises - they are spectacular.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank aumkathleen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2014

Satrana is incredible, and would be worth journeying to even if not for the national park.

The many photos on TripAdvisor show how well-appointed these "tents" are, complete with bathrooms with double sinks, both indoor and outdoor showers, and hot water. The canvass walls have screened windows with cover flaps both inside and outside, and the lodge staff opens and closes these at the appropriate times of the day. There is no AC, fans, or mosquito nets.

The main lodge is a whole different level of beautiful -- lots of hardwood and glass, and a cold, refreshing, salt-water pool. The restaurant has some of the best food we had in Madagascar. Delicious starters included an "onion pizza" and the most incredible grilled vegetables. Zebu (beef) kebabs were grilled perfectly. Calamari curry was just okay and the self-serve breakfast did not meet the same standard set by lunch and dinner. The coffee is very good.

The lodge sits on a gentle hill facing across to the national park; the lodge is at the top of the hill and the tents are arranged down the hillside affording great views from all locations. The tents furthest from the lodge require some walking but have no other tents between them and the view. Those closest to the lodge have easier walks but more tents in their view. The beautiful desert landscaping provides an attraction of its own, especially the sweet-smelling and multi-colored plumeria.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mamitxoh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 January 2014

I was pretty wowed by Satrana Lodge, which is one of the most unique and stunning places I've stayed. Our 'tent' was absolutely massive, with a ginormous comfy bed, huge bathroom (with the bonus of a secluded outside shower which is a fun experience), and veranda with amazing views of the NP. The pool area was also fantastic, and we happily spent a couple of afternoons lounging around and swimming after our morning outings. There were a couple of weak points - the food was fine, but nothing special, and some of the service was so-so (and as we weren't given any information on check-in and there was none in our room we were dependant of staff being helpful, some were fantastic, others less so). But despite these, I would definitely recommend the Lodge as it's plusses far outweigh any downsides.

We also loved the NP itself, and both the walks we did (the Piscine Naturelle and the Cascade de Nymphe, Piscine Noire et Bleue circuit) were stunning. On the former the scenery is the highlight while on the latter there is loads of wildlife - we saw a pair of Verreaux's sifakas and some ringtails on the walk, and loads of ringtails (including babies) at the campsite where we had our lunch, which made for fantastic post lunch entertainment! Both have great pools for swimming, which is definitely welcome as it gets pretty hot in the park.

As an aside, we stopped off at Anja Park on the way to Isalo for a hike to see the ringtails there which was great - I'm a bit obsessed with them so was fab to have an opportunity to see them in a completely different environment to Isalo. We also went to Zombitse NP on our way from Isalo to Ifaty which I'd hugely recommend - we had an amazing walk where we encountered an extremely friendly group of Verreaux's sifakas, saw a Hubbard's sportive lemur napping in a tree, and saw our first baobabs.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tori010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alexandra Hills, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 December 2013

All the tented lodges at Satrana have an excellent view of Isalo National Park from the verandah at the front of the lodges. Although the lodges are tents, they have the best ensuites I have seen for a long time - his and her hand basins, great indoor rain shower with really hot water and a secluded outdoor shower. The staff are very friendly and helpful and the free wifi connection in the bar works really well. However the wifi and power are only available between 6 pm and 10:30 pm as they turn the generator off during the day and at night. This is not inconvenient as people are out in the park during the day and asleep after 10:30. They turn the power back on at 6 am for the wake up session. The meals were good and the wine selection adequate. We enjoyed our stay here and it was one of the best places we stayed during our 19 day visit to Madagascar.

Room Tip: All rooms have a great view.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Travellingdennises
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Great Dunmow, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2013

The tents are wonderfully large & airy with a “veranda” out front complete with recliner chairs so you can just sit and admire the views (though they don’t quite mach the brochure) or while away the time with a good book from the lodge library! The bed is huge but there is still plenty of space around it, a nice “bathroom” and both indoor & outdoor showers.

We arrived in time for lunch which was beautifully presented and very tasty, as was dinner that evening although perhaps the warning bells should have rung when the waited asked us if we really wanted 2 glasses of Malagasy white wine – it would have been better in the fuel tank of our car! Unfortunately, dinner on our second night wasn't as nice an experience as they managed to get my choice of main course wrong – you have to work hard to do that when there are only 6 guests in camp & only 2 choices on the menu and when they eventually bought the correct disk through, long after my wife had finished hers, it was the scrawniest bit of chicken leg I’d ever seen. If I was being charitable I’d say it was the chefs day off.

They are working hard to provide a top-of-the-range experience but aren't quite there yet

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Satrana Lodge

Property: Satrana Lodge
Address: PK 696 RN7 Isalo, Isalo, Madagascar
Region: Madagascar > Toliara Province > Isalo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Isalo
Number of rooms: 40
Also Known As:
Satrana Lodge Madagascar/Isalo

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