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“Fabulous location but not the real Madagascar?”

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Constance Tsarabanjina
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Nosy Mitsio
Certificate of Excellence
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Fabulous location but not the real Madagascar?”
Reviewed 4 August 2010

The location of the resort is amazing. The boat transfer from Nosy Be is a great way to arrive - we saw dolphins jumping out of the water. The chalets are right next to the beach and are situated so that you're not aware of the other chaets - you feel as though you have the beach to yourself (which we often did during our stay as the resort was very quiet). We stayed on the North Beach - the sunsets from there were amazing. The swimming and snorkelling was very good - not Barrier Reef standard but still impressive. The food was very good and the staff very helpful and friendly (espcially the local staff). There's a bit of a hard sell when you arrive regarding all the possible activities, but if you don't want to do anything but chill and swim they seem happy to let you be. By only complaint is that it's very removed from the rest of Madagascar. It feels like an exclusive Indian Ocean island resort (which it is) and is ideal for a treat, honeymoon etc. Given the expense I had a nagging feeling that Nosy Be might have been a better option for an end of holiday stay.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank DrRedRay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
London
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2010

My wife and I stayed here on one leg of our honeymoon (in July 2003, actually) and it was one of the few places that really delivered what we typically want in a holiday i.e. a place that was very challenging to get to (not accessible by charter flights) and a "resort" (for want of a more appropriate word) that is understated and does not have all the fussiness and cloying over-attentiveness that you get at many of the top-end chain hotels (not to mention obnoxious patrons). We arrived in Antananarivo via Johannesburg, overnighted there and then flew to Nosy Be, on a scheduled flight, via some random place in the north east (had various animals grazing randomly on the airfield etc). After the transfer from Nosy Be airport to the seaport, we accessed our ride to Tsarabanjina by climbing over a couple of large, rusty fishing trawlers with our luggage.

Our speedboat landed on one of the stunning beaches and we were met by the sarong-clad hotel manager and told we wouldn't be needing any shoes for the duration of our stay. The accommodation is basic relative to the top hotels (relief!). There are no electronics to be seen and the only contact with the outside world is/was by dial-up internet and radio-phone at the main reception.

From there it was sun-bathe, eat, sleep, snorkel, dive, relax in a steady cycle for a week. An honesty bar on the beach, 50 yards from our hut for sun-downers every evening. The huts open directly onto the gorgeous white sand and are about 20/30 yards to the water's edge. The water is acquamarine and crystal clear and the diving/snorkelling off the beach is fantastic. Have a pre-prandial drink at the bar before dinner and bury your feet in the glorious white sand, which is the bar floor, while sipping on that G&T. The food is basic but very good and all fresh (no pretentious presentation or nouvelle garbage). Service is exactly as you'd expect in such a laid-back environment. Just avoid the local wine! French is expensive so go South African, which is adequate in quality. My wife and I went fishing early one morning and caught a grouper and a queen mackerel which went on the dinner menu in the restaurant that same night - without fail the best fish I have ever had.

There were only about 8 other guests on the island while we were there so we felt as though we had the place to ourselves. If I had a complaint it would be that one of the executives of a French company that farms prawns on the mainland popped over twice for dinner in a helicopter, which shattered the peace briefly. Additionally they allocated one hour every morning for guests to go water-skiing or wakeboarding, which you'd normally associate with large, tacky hotels. But one hour a day is reasonable so not the end of the world.

Otherwise, this place is for those like things understated and off-the-beaten-track. It's very comfortable and it is as close to paradise as you're likely to get. It will NOT suit people who want to spot celebs, name-drop about hotels they've stayed at, and collect designer shampoo miniatures etc. Nightlife is limited to socialising with guests and staff, playing back-gammon and nursing cocktails/night-caps while listening to the waves lapping on the shore. It's bliss.

  • Stayed July 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank Butlinsrocks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
scotland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2010

A representative from Tsarabanjia was at Nossi Be airport to meet our flight but he dissapeared with some other passengers whose luggage arrived before ours and we had to take our own luggage to the car park to find the bus. There was a short drive to the harbour - the boat to transfer was not there. it arrived after about twenty minutes and we boarded and the had to wait a further 30 minutes for another passenger who turned out to be one f the staff. The welcome on the island was beautiful with staff out on the beach to welcome us and give us cold drinks then an explanation of the running of the resort and excursion opportunities.
The rooms are wooden chalets spaced well apart and all with a view of the beach simply furnished but clean and comfortable but it was like sleeping in a sauna no aircon and inadequate cooling fan obscured by very heavy / drapes for mosquito net everyone was complaining of the heat. The restaurant menu was quite restricted with three choices at each course for dinner and nothing for vegetarians the breakfast and lunch buffets were very good.
Most visitors were either French or Italian and activities were geared to them with an Italian guide organising most of the activities. Take your own snorkel mask as the hotel did not have enough masks for all guests and I finished up with a mask which didn't fit properly and had to abandon my snorkelling

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank holidayhoustons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 February 2010

Tsarabanjina has no phones, no disco or nightlife of any kind, and not a single TV screen or projector. There's no pool, and the island it sits on is so small that the lone tennis court has been shrunk down to Mini Me size. The rooms and restaurant aren't air conditioned, and it can get bloody hot in northern Madagascar.

I wanted to never leave.

The bungalows are simple and lovely, the food is fantastic, and the multilingual staff is attentive and friendly (I hadn't been there since 2003, yet one of my waiters said to me out of the blue "Is this your second or third time here?"). Directrice Sandrine makes sure everything runs smoothly, and divemaster Antoine will show you around the reefs with great skill and enthusiasm. The water is clear and the snorkeling is good. There are daily activities like waterskiing, but I can't vouch for them 'cause I'm always napping or reading after the dives.

Most of the guests are Italian and French, which means that meals are taken somewhat later and Americans are considered a curiosity. And there's free WiFi in one public area, so you won't feel TOO cut off.

I was worried that acquisition by the Constance chain would negatively affect Tsarabanjina, but I actually think they've improved it (for one thing, they now make a mean caipiroska at the bar).

If the attributes in the first paragraph above strike you as positives instead of negatives, you will love this resort. It's my favorite hotel in the world.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank DoINeedaVisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tirano, Italy
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2009

Just 21 bungalows. Amazing beach. Some good spot for snorkeling in front of south beach. Great restaurant (meat or fish every day). Professionale diving. Nice excursion to Nosy Komba (lemurs, shopping). Daily snorkeling trips with a biologist.
Perfect weather, not wet, not hot, not windy,
What else? Heaven!!

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank schero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level Contributor
27 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2009

This is barefoot luxury at it's best, a gorgeous island with superb unpretentious service. The resort is managed by a fantastic South African called Hilton, he has plenty of laid back charm but keeps things running like clockwork. The local staff are lovely and the service friendly and efficient. Our bungalow was immaculate and of a very high standard, it was also only a few steps down to a beautiful white sandy beach with excellent snorkeling. There were no problems with sand flies or mosquitos as the beaches are sprayed and thank goodness for it. As there are so few guests one might feel a little under the spotlight but the staff were as discreet as you wanted them to be. Tsarabanjina seems very popular with Italian guests and certain presentations/activities were geared towards them, however all management are multi-lingual and you are made to feel valued at all times. The ability to speak a little French is useful when speaking to local staff and it is much appreciated even if it is as dreadful as mine!

  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Hoogle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hertford, UK
Level Contributor
41 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2008

Wonderful island resort with beautiful sandy beaches, emerald sea, amazing flora and fauna and friendly welcoming staff. We spent a week here relaxing and diving after safari on Madagascar and would recommend as a chill out location. Laid back atmosphere, but some activities to break up the beach time. Beware of dive school if you're an experienced diver. You may feel like you're going back to the class room!

  • Liked — Great views directly onto beach and emerald blue sea
  • Disliked — The dive shop
  • Stayed November 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank ChantalHertford_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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 
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Also Known As:
Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina Hotel Tsarabanjina
Constance Hotel Tsarabanjina

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