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“Fabulous wildlife and location”
Review of Anjajavy L'Hotel

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Anjajavy L'Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Anjajavy
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 March 2012

We'd read a lot about Anjajavy before we arrived. This was our second week in Madagascar and we were looking forward to kicking back, relaxing and seeing some great wildlife.
We have seen the bouncing Coquerel"s Sifaka within 30 mins, some bouncing past the pool, and then hanging out on our terrace at our Bungalow! The Brown Lemurs were equally easy to see - in the Oasis or on the walkway to the beach. The wildlife here is amazing - it is so relaxed that it's sometimes hard to imagine these are wild animals.
We were advised to go into the Oasis gardens when dark with a good torch to see snakes - and snakes we saw. Loads of them - curled up and ready to punch on an unsuspecting frog.
The food here started off plentiful but over the course of our 5 days stay, the portion sizes reduced and it seemed as though they were waiting for a delivery of food. The lodge is very remote but we wondered whether they should control portion sizes better. The children's menu was great and our 7 year old enjoyed the fish and the pizzas.
We did a number of excursions. The sunset cruise is a must for birdwatchers - we saw Sacred Ibis on this trip into the mangroves. Crested Ibis were seen only once in the grounds of the hotel. We also went on the Moromba Bay Boat Trip. This was really enjoyable, with a stop at the sacred tree (you'll see why when you get there). We also saw Madagascar Fish Eagle on this trip (two times). The night walk is recommended - it's short and you see Mouse Lemurs well.
Our daughter developed the symptoms of a bug whilst we were here (caught from a previous hotel we think). We cannot praise Gail enough for the help she gave us, calling the on site doctor, translating for us and generally going out of her way to help. Food was delivered to our room so that we still ate (they don't typically do room service). The health service we were given put the UK's to shame - we had antibiotics and multivitamins delivered 15 minutes later with several more visits to 'check up' made over the next few days. You definitely don't need to worry about the remoteness of this accommodation with respect to health concerns - they have got it covered.
This is a relaxing place to come with beautiful accommodation, intimate service and care, and one of the best wildlife experiences. Where else can you have your lunch with a Sifaka sitting in the tree above you?

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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8  Thank SolihullPetal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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211 - 217 of 344 reviews

Reviewed 22 January 2012

Reading the Trip Advisory reviews for this hotel is what convinced my husband and I to take our Honeymoon to Madagascar, and specifically to Anjajavy. Everything said in the other tons of great reviews are 100% true, so I hope to speak to some things that I questioned before going and things you might not be thinking about.

The flight getting to Anjajavy was interesting, we were on a 6-passenger flight and we flew over with the previous owner of the resort, he warned me that the staff will be on high alert while he was there, and that was an understatement. They treated him like the creator of the universe, and when you see the place, you might understand why he would be treated by the staff (all Malagasy) the way he was. When we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted with all the staff singing and dancing in a traditional Madagascar welcome ceremony. We thought it was for us since it was our honeymoon, but our bubble was quickly burst when we were told it was "special, but not for you". We had a good laugh and got over it. It was lovely no matter who it was for. We learned on arrival, that my husband and I, the former owner, and a staff member's parents were the only guests at the hotel. We found that surprising, but we were told it was because it was the "wet season". We did have some rain while were there, but mostly at night and did not bother us, so this was probably a great time to visit since we had the place to ourselves the majority of time. This was in early December.

I am a vegetarian, and it was difficult to be a vegetarian here. Even though they have you fill out a dietary questionnaire before you come, they do not pay attention to it. Being we were the only real couple staying there at the time, you would think they would be able to accommodate a dietary need like vegetarian. Most of the options were duck, zebu, and shell fish. I do not eat shell fish and I do not eat meat, so it was often that I had to choose from the "bar" menu. The food I did get to eat was absolutely fantastic, I just wish there were more options for vegetarians, especially since they asked our dietary restrictions before arrival.

We were on the full board package which includes all food, just not beverages (except tea and coffee at breakfast and tea time in the garden). We also did not see the elusive free drinks everyone talked about after our hikes and outings like everyone else mentioned except for once or twice. This is how Trip Advisor can sometimes get your hopes up for the little things. I highly suggest trying their home infused vanilla rum, it was to die for. Also, if you order some of the Malagasy wines to try, it will keep your bill down rather than the more expensive French or South African wine.

What really makes this place like no other is the wildlife. There is no question that you will see lemurs here. Its a matter of how many you will see in a day. They really have an amazing thing here, you are not allowed to feed the lemurs, but they come so close anyway, it is basically like you are living among them in their habitat. I could sit for hours in the garden and watch the lemurs if it was not for the mosquitoes. I would highly suggest bringing repellent with you, they were overbearing at times, especially in the garden and on some of the walks. By the restaurant, the breeze was so heavy from the ocean that it keeps the bugs away at meals.

As part of the Honeymoon package, we had a private dinner in the garden one night, and it was really lovely, except we could not stay because the mosquitoes are so bad. I would suggest the hotel offer a private dinner on the beach, or on your villa balcony instead so the breeze would keep the bugs and the heat away.

Since luggage is so limited on the small flight, we were worried about laundry. The hotel does in fact offer laundry, it isn't dirt cheap, but it was well worth it.

The service and people who worked there were wonderful. We did not get to know Cedric as well as other people mention below, but we did get to know Max and Gaele very well and they were more than accommodating. Max was our guide for all of our walks and trips and he was unbelievably knowledgeable and his English was great. I suggest going on as many of the walks and outings as possible. One that was really fantastic was visiting the local village. The locals are so welcoming and they have the biggest hearts. Visiting them and learning about their culture was such an important part of the trip. When we were leaving, we left a lot of our clothes and shoes behind because they truthfully needed them more than we did. If you want to pack a lot and can spare it, bring items you don't mind leaving behind for the local villagers.

One thing to note for packing, they do not have conditioner in the room, and maybe its an American thing, but I needed my hair conditioner and I was trusting they would have some so I chose to not bring it to save on the weight in my luggage with the restrictions. Also, the main airport in Tana has their own rules for carry on luggage, while in the US you can bring two carry on bags, in Tana they will only allow one, so be prepared to check your carry on bags on the way home.

If your planning a honeymoon or just a vacation and are looking for an adventure with some luxury, this is the place to go. hands down. You will not regret it.

Room Tip: All of the Villas are beautiful, but I think villa #10 is probably the closest to the beach and stil...
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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13  Thank adiandrea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2012

Being no first-time travellers, when we planned our trip we had very high expectations about Madagascar and L'Hotel Anjajavy. Lemurs, chameleons, Baobabs, snakes, birds, lush forest, mangroves, and the excellence of a Relais&Chateaux Hotel located in an idillyc beach of white sand and blue sea. Five days later, we came to the conclusion that we were wrong - this place is much, much more than that.
Yes, we loved the animals - we were lucky enough to see all species of lemurs plus all of the exotic birds, reptiles and insects that are endemic to the region! Yes, we also loved the beach and the many activities offered at the Hotel (guided walks, kayaking, boat trips, snorkeling) - even in the rainy season, we were able to enjoy every single day.
But what really won our hearts was the warm-hearted, happy people that work at the Hotel. They perform outstanding work, protecting the environment and helping (both finantially and educationally) the community of 1200 people at Anjajavy Village. We have been to the Village, and were truly moved by the improvements made in the last 10 years (thank also to Ėcoles du Monde, a NGO that has taken care of many Villages in Madagascar). And we were thanked by the Hotel staff everyday for coming to Madagascar - tourism is one very important means to fight the local poverty, and to fund eco-friendly initiatives.
Bottomline, the whole trip gave us the feeling that it was totally worth going to Madagascar and staying at the Hotel Anjajavy. They make a difference, and we feel we have been a little part of it.
Juliana & Sascha Schlaad (from Brazil)

P.S.: The toast was fine, and the massage was one of the best we've ever received!
Thank you again, Cedric, Rado, Max, Tahina, Lucie, Julie, Frederic, Onja, Snowden, Hoby, Feno, Tolotra, Fredy, Rina, Hortence, and the whole team!

  • Stayed: January 2012
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7  Thank SWSchlaad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2012

My husband and I spent 5 nights here at the end of a three week trip to Madagascar. Prior to that we had been to South Africa and stayed at Londolozi which is also a Relais & Chateaux property. The differences between the two were amazing. Anjajavy whilst set in a lovely location with gorgeous pool and gardens, we thought was a little tired. We arrived in the morning and were the only two to arrive that day. Even though the resort wasn't full we had to wait about 2 hours for our room to be ready. We were lucky in the that villa we had been given did receive visits a few times from the lemurs.

On our original voucher it read that we would receive half board. On arrival this was not discussed with us at all and we assumed that as everyone else in the hotel was on a full board basis that perhaps things had changed since we had originally booked. Also reading the trip advisor reviews no-one ever mentioned half board. So we merrily chose our dishes for lunch thinking it was included (I suppose one should never assume!). And as there were no prices on the menu, this again seemed to indicate that lunch was included. We were also never given the option of choosing from the bar menu (which to be perfectly honest is more suitable for lunch anyway) until the last day of our stay. So when we checked out we were hit with a 200 euro bill for food!

Now, onto the food. I'm surprised that other reviews rave about the food here. We had a very different experience. The food was OK but nowhere the standard of other Relais & Chateaux properties. The breakfast at Anjajavy is dreadful. Everyday the toast was cold, every day we asked for hot toast ... I think we finally got some on the last morning. The eggs aren't bad, but again not what you would expect from a resort at this level and this price.

And the massage I had was very strange. It was on the balcony of the villa where if there were people walking past they'd have a great view. And there was really no attempt to try and cover me during the process!

All in all it is a nice place to relax and drink cocktails but don't make it out to be what it's not. It's not a five star resort and it's definitely not a foodie's delight.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank DJGSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2011

I'm not going to be able to add much to the myriad of rave reviews you'll have already have read for Anjajavy. Special mention for the staff (all fantastic) and the food (a revelation - we even got the chef to give us a couple of his recipes!!).but all the superlatives you've read before me are spot on. I'll just assume that you're convinced already, are going to go, and so would mainly like some tips

1. Definitely have lunch on the private beach. One of the staff will cook you an amazing BBQ, then they leave you alone and close the whole beach for you for the rest of the day. Make sure you ask for enough water and wine to last until sunset! Very romantic
2. Definitely do the Moromba Bay excursion. Was a little sceptical about this, but the scenary was absolutely stunning (especially the sacred Baobab) and sense of isolation made for a truly memorable day trip
3. The sunset mangrove trip was beautiful - not an absolute must (as the above are), but peaceful, beautiful and well, well worth it if you have time
4. I loved the night walk but my wife was a little more nervous about trekking through the forest in the dark (even with a guide). I thought it was a fantastic excursion, but if you're a very nervous type then it may be best to stay at the hotel. Long trousers and sleeves a must
5. Pack lots of mozzie repellant. They are not a problem in the hotel, but it is absolutely necessary for the walks
6. if you're unsure whether to go for three or five days (or more) then go more
7. we went in December (technically the start of the rainy season) and had almost perfect weather and the place almost to ourselves. Maybe you won't be as lucky with the weather, but worth considering!

Thanks to everyone at Anjajavy for a truly perfect stay

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank Mitch1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2011

This is one of only 2 times I've felt strongly enough to write a review on tripadvisor. However I feel I have to for this hotel as we took a risk and chose it for our honeymoon based solely on other people's opinions here ... therefore I wanted to give something back.

As you may have noticed, like we did, the reviews on trip advisor seem almost too good to be true . However I can assure you that from the minute we arrived it was eminently clear that they are indeed true... It really is that good! Both myself and my wife feel very lucky to have visited!

You cant really think of this place as just a hotel, it is an entire 450 hectare penisula with beaches, forest, mangroves and estuaries all belonging to and only accessible from the hotel. Whilst it is possible there is a hotel somewhere else in the world which is comparible in terms of comfort (I've not found it), I cant see that anywhere else would offer the kind of peace and freedom that this place offers and that is before we even talk about the diverse nature (this is Madagascar after all). It was an interesting mix to be in the beautifully kept gardens, with friendly and attentive staff knowing that a short walk away and you were really in the middle of nowhere and could walk for miles on the forest paths without passing another soul. The same can be said for the other 5 beautiful beaches belonging to the hotel... in 10 days we never saw another person on any of them.

Obviously one of the main reasons for us visiting was the wildlife. I was confident we would see plenty but wasn't really prepared for just how easy it was. For example I thought perhaps spotting the nocturnal mouse lemurs might involve a lot of waiting around. This was absolutely not the case, and within the 1 hour night walk between choosing our dinner and sitting down to eat it we had seen 3 types of nocturnal lemur, chameleons, land crabs and even a boa. Our guide was really good and can spot things from amazing distance. The same was the case with the day time species, the Sifakas and giant chameleons become part of your daily routine and you will see them everywhere.

In terms of food the place was excellent . There is a choice of 2 things for each course and I didnt see the same thing twice on the menu in all the time we were there... although most of it was so good I'd have jumped at the chance to eat it again. Drinks were also reasonably priced. I read that a bottle of wine 40 euros which is not true... I think they started at about 20 euros a bottle which is pretty good in a place like this and that's before you consider the logistics of getting it to such an isolated corner of the world .

All in all, I really cannot recommend this place highly enough! Particularly for honeymooners as the bride's stay is half price which makes it an opportunity too good to miss. Plus they do a whole bunch of extra romantic things for you and really make you feel special. It was a real treat for us and it may difficult to go back to normal hotels/holidays as a result.

Many thanks to Cedric and all his staff.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank mattllew123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2011

We stayed here in December 2010 on our honeymoon. Everything about our stay was perfect. As soon as you land on the tiny dusty runway you know you are in for a real treat. The journey to the hotel is exciting as you are surrounded by amazing wildlife.

The hotel is immaculate. Our villa was beach fronted and really lovely. The food is delicious, especially the breakfasts. Every day we did some form of activity in the morning and then chilled out in the afternoon. There are plenty of walks that you can do by yourself, which is great as you feel like you can really discover the area. Lemurs are everywhere and we never tired of seeing them. Every day we went for afternoon tea in the oasis and just watched the lemurs jumping around above our heads.

The level of service is outstanding. The staff are so great and Cedric the manager is incredibly welcoming. As others have said we were made to feel really special and now have lots of fond memories from our wonderful honeymoon.

This is the best place we have ever stayed in and we would definitely recommend it. We'd love to go back

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Croyde78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Anjajavy L'Hotel

Address: Longitude 47o Est _ Lattitude 18o Sud, Anjajavy, Madagascar
Phone Number:
Region: Madagascar > Mahajanga Province > Anjajavy
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Anjajavy
Price Range: £24 - £28 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Anjajavy L'Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on a peninsula in Northwest Madagascar, Anjajavy is only accessible by light aircraft or by boat, the lodge includes 24 villas, a nautical centre and a designed garden. The property is tucked in a forest reserve of 550 hectares and opens to a number of deserted coves. The forest is host of a variety of lemurs and one of the most endangered bird of the world (Madagascan fish eagle). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
l Hotel Anjajavy
Anjajavy l Hotel

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