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Anakao Ocean Lodge
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US$41
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US$40
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Reviewed 10 January 2014

The Anakao Ocean Resort is a lovely place on a largely deserted beach with good size comfortable bungalows 'pieds dans l'eau' (as the French say - feet in the water). Ideal to stay with kids as they have their own 'room' in the form of a mezzanine on the first floor.

We arrived with the 1-hr Anakao Express boat (had to stay the night before in Tulear, as flying from Tana with Air Mad gets you in Tulear too late to catch the boat (do NOT, EVER do this ocean crossing in the afternoon). You arrive right at the beach (no pier)) where all the staff are awaiting in a semi circle. Felt a bit like being Royalty!

What I enjoyed most is:
- finding lovely colored sea shells with my daughter
- going for a run at 5 PM on the sand / rocks and see the sun set
- being surprised to see (and taste!) which fish dish the cook had concocted this time
- the variety of fish dishes incl. ragout, soup, pasta, terrine, grilled, steamed, cooked, baked fish, skewers (they can also do beef or chicken if you ask them)
- walking to the village on the beach to have lunch and the wacky place called Peter Pan
- playing games of chess or online games in the restaurant where they have wifi (yes!)

The only thing 'missing' was the owner or manager. While the staff is professional and friendly, it is not the same when the owner is there to exchange some stories or offer you a glass of after-dinner rum arrange. It felt a little bit soul-less but I guess you can't have it all...

Room Tip: Ocean front of course!
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank DutchinMadagascar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2013

There is so much to love about Anakao Ocean Lodge. You are collected by speedboat from Tulear Port and an hour later arrive at the most stunning location - white sand and turquoise sea paradise. All the staff line up to help you and your luggage from the boat. You are met in reception with cold towels, drinks and a little talk that includes the welcome information that you can eat all fruit, veg and salads as they are washed in 'disinfectant'.
The hotel comprises a several bungalows and one beautiful, huge, circular dining room, bar and open kitchen with a verandah running round it so you can sit outside unless it's windy or wet. There is always a team in the kitchen preparing something heavenly. Your nostrils are often assailed by wafts of baking bread or homemade cakes. The food is excellent. Not the place to start your diet.
Lunch and dinner are usually 2 fish courses followed by a delicious pudding. It's a set menu but if you have dietary requirements they're happy to provide alternatives (give them as much notice as possible, however, as they are probably miles from any shops). The vegetarian food was very tasty and far more imaginative than most places in Madagascar. Overall the restaurant staff were very helpful (and seem to speak a mixture of English, French and Italian). There were a couple of waiters who just haven't been trained very well and seemed to create confusion at every table they served.
The reception staff are very friendly, efficient and helpful. Air Madagascar change the flight times on a daily basis but the reception staff call them frequently to find out what time you'll be leaving Tulear and organise the return speedboat accordingly.
In late October it was very hot during the day and warm in the evenings (I was glad of a light jumper at night but that was all I needed). The sea is wonderfully warm. We had 2 perfect days and then 2 days that were so windy we couldn't really sit outside. Sadly we'd decided to save our 'outings' to various islands and reefs etc until the end of our trip by which time the weather was too bad to launch any boats. I got the feeling it's often windy there so it might be worth taking advantage of good weather when you get it. Due to the proximity of the reef the hotel will arrange diving, sailing, snorkelling, sunset picnics etc.
Each cottage is slightly different. Some have 2 bedrooms, some have indoor seating areas but I think all have an outside terrace.
The Spa is in a gorgeous building with doors that open onto the beach so you have a light, warm breeze and hear the sea during your treatments. The therapists are slightly predatory and not skilled in the art of the soft-sell approach. They 'introduce themselves' to you at lunch and tend to keep circling until you book a treatment. We noticed that it was the same Spa menu (and overall ownership) here as at Isalo Rock Lodge and we both agreed we thought the treatments at Isalo were superior. But it's still well worth a massage here to ensure you're completely relaxed!
There's a little bit of wifi in the bar. Luckily it's quite slow so you're not tempted to waste the glorious days surfing the internet but it's there for the essential stuff, if need be.
We found more mosquitoes in our room than in the rest of our 3 weeks in Madagascar put together. They seemed to settle in the wardrobe by the spare blankets during the day and come out at night. We had to clear that area before bed and then do some heavy spraying to keep them out. There was a very thick mozzie net in the room but you could still hear them circling all night and because the net was so thick it made the bed very hot and airless. We therefore had to sleep with the door and windows open to keep the room cool, which in turn let more mosquitoes in! Don't let this put you off but do bring repellant.
A previous review mentioned having to pay in cash. They now take cards.
Staff seem to be permanently raking, sweeping and tending. The place is very well run.
Overall it's a very relaxing here. I'd recommend a 3 night minimum to get fully into the swing of doing nothing.

Room Tip: We were glad to be right on the seashore with no buildings in front of us. Given the choice I might have chosen a bungalow with indoor seating rather than a second bedroom (which we didn't use) as we'd have liked somewhere to read when the wind make it impossible to sit outside.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank KLondonK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2013

If you're looking for empty beach, perfect service, delicious food and amazing ocean view from you room - this is the right place for you. This place is a real paradise where you can just relax and forget about everything.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
Thank bran0b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2013

Anakao was one of the best destinations I've ever been to. Almost had the place entirely to ourselves; but then again it is a trek to get there so hardly surprising. My friend and I like windsurfing and as there is a constant wind daily it was sensational (but dont get caught out like I did one day when I went too far out and drifted and could not get back in. Got back paddling hard as the sun was going down!). Food, though simple, was tremendous as all the seafood is so fresh. The place is a showcase in itself. I'll be taking the better half at the next Mada opportunity! A jewel.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank S E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2013

Anakao Ocean Lodge has real attention to detail. The speed boat transfer is a stylish way to arrive. The bungalows are beautifully designed and comfortable with massive bathrooms. The staff are unbelievably friendly and attentive, trying to make your stay a pleasure. The wind does limit your activities a little so you learn to relax and unwind. Food is delightful!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Russell H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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