We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Magic island, but quite old-fashioned, not cutting-edge”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 2 more sites!
Constance Tsarabanjina
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Nosy Mitsio
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
780 reviews
106 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 303 helpful votes
“Magic island, but quite old-fashioned, not cutting-edge”
Reviewed 28 January 2014

The Constance Hotels coffee table book in the bar says that Tsarabanjina is about "harmony, escape and tranquility". It lives up to this promise.

We have stayed at the Constance Le Prince Maurice resort on Mauritius a few years ago, and loved it. That resort is the opposite of this one, quite formal dining, many kids, etc. A typical elegant and special Mauritius resort, lovely design. Many kids who make a noise in the pool area.

On Tsarabanjina one does not find so many kids (maybe people are scared of bringing kids to Madagascar - air-borne bubonic plague, malaria, crime, in Tana etc.), but this suited us, it is a quiet place with beautiful snorkelling close to our chalet. Incredible beaches, and just 26 lovely bungalows.

We visited Tsarabanjina in early January, which is their low season. Occupation was about 50%. The weather changed by the day, but this is not a problem.

Rooms:

We stayed on south beach, and the bungalows are on the beach, the north beach ones have a few steps to the beach below. Looks very similar, it makes no sense to pay more for north beach, but these units are fully air-conditioned, and only the bed area is cooled in south beach villas. Actually perfect, quiter than north beach, away from boats and reception, etc. We were in bungalow 12, on the side, perfect selection.

The bungalows are nice and simple, neutral colours, they have have good, big beds, and good linen and towels. Only showers, no baths, but this is fine. The toiletries are basic, no Hermes or Molton Brown, Acqua di Parma or such, as is the trend in high-end resorts. There is a small bar fridge, well stocked with wine, M & M's, Mars bar, water and soft drinks.

Unfortunately they only have instant (yes - instant!)coffee in the rooms. At these prices one really expects a Nespresso machine in the room! Or even just plungers and real coffee or Rombouts disposable flter coffee pouches. And real milk in the bar fridge instead of horrible powdered milk - this was changed, but only on request.

Maybe a scented candle would also have been appropriate, even a signature scent throughout the lodge, as is the current trend. (Ylang ylang grows on Nosy Be!)

It also often happens that dirty towels and sarongs are removed from the chalet/bungalow, but these are often not replaced. Once we did not have a single towel or face-cloth in the room for our morning shower. And then there is no phone, so you cannot phone reception...

They really need phones in the rooms, in case of emergency one should be able to call, or even just phone room service for a gin and tonic! Once we left the key in the door on the outside, and were locked in for hours. Fortunately I could call reception from my my mobile - and there is a very erratic mobile phone connection!

There are very few bugs, mosquitoes and other insects like sand flies, but they spray poison on the beach every morning and there is insecticide in the rooms.

Bar, restaurant and meals:

The bar is quite nice and casual, beach sand on the floor, and all the guests have dinner in shorts. There is a good vibe and music (compilations made up by the staff), but nothing special. One evening we got sashimi, otherwise it is mostly Pringles chips and peanuts, sometimes pizza and sandwiches.

All the drinks are supposed to be included (there is an inclusive and exclusive bar list) - although they actually charged me for a Margarita, but not for many other more expensive coctails/drinks, strange and petty! There is a good inclusive wine list, from all over the world, and Hector is a great sommelier. They should really include bottle-fermented South African sparkling wine, it is available for less than USD10 in South Africa. The charmat one from SA that they serve costs a dollar or 2 less! (Most of the good and popular wines are from South Africa anyway). They have excellent vanilla and ginger (and other) rum, a Madagascan speciality.

Food-wise, it is a mixed bag. Very French, breakfast is VERY basic, with some very nice bread and pastries (of course croissants..) and egg options, and ham (very basic, no Parma or Serrano although they have it in stock) and cheese. Excellent yoghurt.

Lunch is always a buffet, with a nice selection for vegetarians and others. Sometimes even a prawn or shrimp dish, or carpaccio or Parma ham. And quite pleasant desserts, but nothing to take your breath away. Sometimes grilled chicken is served, always a meat special like pork chops or beef kebab, nothing special for vegetarians.

Dinner is another story. Normally 2 or 3 choices for starters, mains and desserts. Very French, foie gras of course, quite average choices for vegetarians, no green salads ever (only crudites) - and they have a daily boat to Nosy Be! They caught tuna on our first day here, but other than sashimi on day 1, we had to place a special order for dinner, otherwise it is always Kingfish. Quite boring. They served gambas (prawns) a few times, quite tasty big prawns.

Most of the sauces are quite nasty, they really need a sous-chef to train the chef to make proper, lighter sauces. Much of the food is also largely recycled, after a day or two one has had a taste of everything - twice! Last night's leeks inevitably appear in a pankakes for lunch the next day. (Maybe rather keep it for a day or two?)

Also, the should be clear on what the cost is of the "non-inclusive" meals. They served us lobster on request one evening (not that this should have to be a special request!) and they charged us AR160 000 (about USD60 or ZAR 800) for 2 lobsters, more than we pay at home in Johannesburg. This is an island in the deep sea - why on earth include foie gras, beef, lamb, pork, chicken - but not lobster? We never saw an oyster either (and we asked for this), although the beaches are littered with oyster shells! The prawns were quite good.

It is also quite strange to get vanilla ice-cream (a few times) with absolutely NO taste of vanilla, not even 1 vanilla seed (they can get vanilla pods from the lodge gift shop!). Even the vanilla tea is quite average - Twinings vanilla tea is better! And ths is si near the vanilla island.

The Constance coffee table book in the bar claims that the cuisine at Tsarabanjina is about "fresh fruits and vegatbles, and fish and shellfish". We saw more pork, beef, foie gras, lamb and such, although there was always some fresh fish.

Someone should brief the kitchen on the current low-carb and low-calorie trend, the food is not cutting edge, really done in the old way.

Activities:

Our snorkeling excursion ("extravaganza") took 2 hours and was great, one sees wonderful chorals and fish, great variety. But then again, very similar to what one sees at the house reef, 5 minutes by foot from your bungalow. We saw a sea turtle a few times and several lion fish at the house reef, great! Water temperature is always about 28 degrees C, incredible.

Be careful of taking excursions in the rainy season, as the weather can change very quickly. We had a very bad of an excursion to Grand Mitsio island, during the excursion the sea became VERY rough. (At least we were not charged for the excursion.)

WIFI:

The WIFI is an issue here, this is very much an on-off affair, the bar wifi sometimes worked, the router was often unplugged. There is an area near reception where there is an average connection (as per the hotel brochure), but everyone wants to use the WIFI in the bar/restaurant area, why not have it on at all times there? Maybe someone can donate a good router to the Constance Group?

Decor:

The decor in the bar and restaurant needs a serious upgrade, there are even artificial flower display in the restaurant (see pic). Why not just use local greenery? The chairs in the lounge and bar are also camp/bush style seats, very basic and uncomfortable. They can learn from what they have done at places like Quilalea near Pemba in Mozambique, much more impressive. A Kartell chair or 2 would not go amiss. (The Constance Group can really learn from the safari lodges in South Africa as far as bush/basic sophistication is concerned - basic can be cool!)

Staff:

The staff mostly only speak French, but try their best to help one in English. Maia (receptionist), Anna (excursion manager) and Hector (sommelier) are gems, but most of the rest are average. Olivier, the manager is also cool, helpful and attentive guy, does his best.

Getting to and from Tsarabanjina:

Tsarabanjina is a magic place. With a few minor tweaks it can take your breath away! The BEST advice we can offer anyone is to avoid the 90 (yes - NINETY!) minute boat trip from Hell-ville in Nosy Be - it is a very long trip in a small boat, rather take the helicopter service if you can afford it at all, although a one-way trip costs about Euro 700!

One wonders why Constance does not get a sea-place or automatically include the 15 minute helicopter transfer in the fare, as they do at Anjajavy, this makes far more sense.

Room Tip: Villa 1 or 12 on South beach, or 11 (set back in the shade, quite private)
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank Hooggenoeg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

447 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    398
    37
    6
    2
    4
See reviews for
48
335
4
7
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2014

This place is simply amazing and does not need a review.. ! (excellence speaks for itself!) The resort has recently been refurbished and the rooms are elegant and luxurious.. The staff was very friendly and made feel like I was part of the 'family'. the food was excellent and the selection of a la carte wine very impressive. I was on a full -inclusive package and was not disappointed.. Everything was perfect to very high standards.. Free minibar, laundry, amazing food, wines and cocktails beautiful location, empty white-sandy beaches, peace and quiet, amazing snorkelling on the reef right in front of the rooms and pristine diving..
This place, offers everything anyone can wish for.. It's not a surprise that almost everyone I met on the island was a "returning customer" and I'd definitely join the "club" and will return very soon..

Room Tip: All rooms are the same and I personally prefer the ones on south beach since you get to see the suns...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Barbara Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hamburg
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 December 2013

This island is just a beauty! When they pick you up with a boat from the mainland you embark on a 1 1/2 hrs boat ride. Of course, cold towels and water is offered. After an hour you will see a white beach stretch in the far distance in the ocean and you hope that is the one...and it is. The bungalows are smart and well done-recently refurbished. The restaurants offer more than enough food when you are on full board and many good wines are included.
The beach is immaculate, perfect snorkeling and diving, the color of the water looks as if it is photoshoped - amazing! Spectacular sunsets!
The team there is very caring and around all the time, very good attitude and well trained! We loved it and started saving money to return!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank joebeaulais
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
25 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 November 2013

This was the last part of our holiday to Madagascar and certainly one of the most memorable and luxurious.
The hotel is on 2 sides of its own island. the rest of the island is a volcanic hill.
The rooms have all been recently been renovated and are excellent with lots of nice individual touches. the bed is great and has the most fantastic mosquito net which the room attendants set up at night. the AC unit is behind the bed and the net has an attachment that fits over the top of it to deliver cool air directly down from the roof of the net.
All the rooms look directly out onto the beach and have unrestricted views out to sea. On morning we woke up early, you do not need to close the curtains and spotted 2 humpback whales breaching just off the shore. Apparently this is uncommon this late in the year.
I think it is best to be on the south beach as that gets great sunsets.
each room is fully stocked with a minibar containing soft drinks, beer and wine as well as snacks. These are refilled daily as is the bottled water.
The restaurant was excellent. some of the food we had here was as good as any we have had in any across the world. the wine list was extensive and whilst there were some not included in the all inclusive deal, there was more than enough international good quality wine to keep you busy.
The staff were some of the most friendly of any hotel we have visited and treat you almost as a member of the family. They even arranged for maintenance to repair my sunglasses when I broke them.
The snorkelling was great with lots of fish to see and very clear water to get great pictures using underwater cameras.
We saw the resident sea eagles which are extremely rare on a daily basis.
There were very few downsides although the transfer to the island was for us a negative. You board the launch at a hotel on Nosy Be called Manga Soa. There is no jetty so you just wade out to the boat and jump in. can be a challenge in rough weather. The trip is supposed to tale 90min but ours took over 2 h and although we are both good sea travellers we were both ill. To be fare the sea was exceptionally rough during our crossings. Don't let this put you off though the island more than compensates.
Would go back tomorrow if it were not so far away.
Hope the rest of the Constance chain are as good as trying another of their properties in the Maldives next year.

Room Tip: south beach
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank adebrod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
28 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 November 2013

After 6 years of abstinence we returned to Tsarabanjina again for our 20th wedding anniversary. It is so amazing how this island and the staff there make you feel welcome. With only 24 cabins (all recently renovated) set ecologically friendly just up the North beach and the South beach you get the feeling that you are almost alone on here. The white beaches and turquoise waters are very tempting and the coral reefs invite you to snorkel or scuba dive at leisure directly from the beach. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are welcome breaks to meet other guests in the completely informal atmosphere of the bar and restaurant. Staff is very friendly and helpful and does not bother you if you just want your peace. The food was very good considering the remoteness of the island. The boat trip from Nosy Be takes approx 90 minutes.
We will definitely return to this Paradise Island. And not only in 6 years time.

Room Tip: North beach cabins have the better view over the sea. South beach cabins are just 30 meters from the...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Manfred M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2013 via mobile

Amazing place white fresh sandy beaches. South beach lagoon is breathless. Never ever saw such a beautiful tone of blue and turquoise. Great team, the locals are very helpful and kind. They are very humble and try their best to please the guest.
The villas are stunning with impressive luxurious wood finish. Very comfortable and spacious fully equipped minibar and laundry service 'all inclusive'. I was at villa 24 with a nice view of the north beach from the veranda. We had a wonderful stay there. Special thanks to Anna who amaze us with her energy and passion for her work and people. Thanks Nicolas from diving center and Helena for making everything possible. As an advise don't bring shoes there you won't use them except a trainer for excursion. flip flop is fine or bare foot.

Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank Dpdm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 October 2013

Three nights became four as we enjoyed our time at Tsarabanjina so much. Despite having visited the Mitsio Islands with Charter Yacht Gecko and MadagasCaT Charters & Travel several times we were still gob smacked at that water! We were in chalet #1 right at the end of south beach which afforded us privacy, solitude and a long walk to get rid of some of the calories that the chef and his kitchen staff were determined we consumed! And with mindless glee did we consume some of the best food yet in Madagascar.
The staff and management and top drawer as one would expect from a Constance Hotel - the 'fully inclusive' basis works wonders when you know you do not have to worry about a single additional cent. Tsarabanjina has to be one of the most idyllic holiday spots we have ever experienced; and we know a few!

Room Tip: They are all good, I think perhaps South Beach is better than north; maybe avoid the bungalow neares...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank HatSW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Nosy Mitsio
293.1 mi away
Princesse Bora Lodge & Spa
Princesse Bora Lodge & Spa
#1 of 15 in Nosy Boraha
4.5 of 5 bubbles 267 reviews
34.1 mi away
L'Heure Bleue
L'Heure Bleue
#11 of 32 in Nosy Be
4.5 of 5 bubbles 196 reviews
28.1 mi away
Le Grand Bleu
Le Grand Bleu
#6 of 32 in Nosy Be
4.5 of 5 bubbles 463 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
161.9 mi away
Anjajavy L'Hotel
Anjajavy L'Hotel
#1 of 1 in Anjajavy
5.0 of 5 bubbles 312 reviews
24.2 mi away
Manga Soa Lodge
Manga Soa Lodge
#13 of 32 in Nosy Be
5.0 of 5 bubbles 83 reviews
281.4 mi away
Riake Resort & Villa
Riake Resort & Villa
#2 of 15 in Nosy Boraha
5.0 of 5 bubbles 166 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Constance Tsarabanjina? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Constance Tsarabanjina

Property: Constance Tsarabanjina
Address: B.P. 380, Nosy Mitsio 2007, Madagascar
Phone Number:
Region: Madagascar > Antsiranana Province > Nosy Mitsio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Nosy Mitsio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Constance Tsarabanjina 4*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Azure blue water, powder soft beaches, private bungalow fenced by tropical plants, choose from one of the 25 Beach Villas at Constance Tsarabanjina. Laid back atmosphere, barefoot chic, intimate retreat, eco-friendly, unspoilt Madagascan Island surrounded by azure water; the resort offer chic Robinson Crusoe style experience. Enjoy our All-Inclusive Cristal Package which includes everything from premium drinks to exquisite cuisine and comfortable accommodation. Be among the first to seek out the hidden depths and gems of the unspoilt location. From ecological thatch roofing to unspoilt clear water, Constance Tsarabanjina is one of our unique resorts. All villas are built and decorated in simple tones with a hint of Constance comfort. Feast on fresh seafood and Malagasy specialities in sand floored restaurant and contemplate beautiful view from your hammock.Discover the island’s unique biodiversity with a guided nature walk or explore water still largely unexplored with guided snorkelling and private cruises. The friendly Akio Diving staff, professional and always available, will take you by the hand breathing underwater, and will make you live new experiences and unforgettable moments. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Ebookers, Booking.com, Prestigia, Traveltool, S.L.U., Priceline, Agoda, DerbySoft Ltd Shanghai HQ Supplier Direct, Odigeo and Evoline ltd so you can book your Constance Tsarabanjina reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina Hotel Tsarabanjina
Constance Hotel Tsarabanjina

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing