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- Reviews: 2527
Relais de la Reine: A hotel at one with its glorious setting
Relais de la Reine was the most expensive hotel that we stayed in during our time in Madagascar - and worth every penny.
Exploring the stupendous Isalo Massif was one of the absolute high points of our Madagascar trip, but after 8 hours hiking in nearly 40C of heat, it was bliss to retire to an luxurious hotel and be spoiled rotten!
The restaurant was elegant, and the menu was imaginative. I had the chance to try christophene for the first time ever, and although it left we somewhat underwhelmed, it wasn't unpleasant, and I was glad of the opportunity to try something new.
The service was unobtrusive but attentive, and struck exactly the right tone for a hotel that exudes class and attention to detail.
Seldom - if ever- have I come across a hotel designed with greater sensitivity to blend in with its setting. The main hotel building and individual rooms are constructed from locally sourced materials and seem to melt into the jumble of rocks. The overall effect is utterly breathtaking, particularly around dawn and dusk when the rocks seem to glow.
Isalo can get very hot, and the swimming pool is glorious - sadly we only stayed one night, but between arriving in the early evening and leaving at 05:00, I managed to fit in three swims!
Unbelievably for such a remote location, there is a spa in the hotel which seems to operate unbelievably long hours. I wouldn't usually make use of such facilities on holiday, but in this case, I rather think that I might have grasped the opportunity to be pampered had there been time!
I can only agree with another writer that this would be an ideal honeymoon destination!
- Reviews: 1215
+++ several names +++: If I have to choose...
Isalo National park has many campsite grounds.
The landscape is impressive, sometimes weird. One wish is to wake up in the canyon, as far as I am concerned. It would be such an experience to see sunrise from there... Look at the pic... wow! Dreaming of it!
This would be my favourite accomodation means if safety was not a concern. Yet, I see that they suggest it as a possibility and it seems to develop so, I virtually "give it a try".
Also, I haven't experienced camping but am telling you it is possible to do that. The persons who experienced camping in Isalo canyon (and whom I could talk to) hadn't encountered any problem as far as safety was concerned. I would ask their address.
- Near the rockpool: 40 places for 80 persons, shelters, stone tables, fountains, bbq, showers, toilets. Fee: 25 000 fmg (5000 ariary) per night, according to the website.
- Near Namaza river: 15 places for 30 persons, shelters, stone tables, fountains, bbq, showers, toilets. Fee: 25 000 fmg (5000 ariary) per night, according to the website.
- Near the canyons: no special amenities, clean site , near water
- On your way through la Grotte des Portuguais : no special amenities, clean site , near water.
- Reviews: 1215
Relais de la Reine*** (Ihosy National park): Stone hotel within rocks and canyons
I appreciated there architecture and the use of materials according to the building's environment ( a kind of built in/on rocks). I really fell for it!
Not only it greatly differs from hotels' building in Madagascar but I kind of appeciated its real beauty made of grey and pinkish stone (same as you will find in Isalo area).
Isn'it beautiful? I would use for a kind of honeymoon stay :-) Yeah, one can dream. Alongside with desert and natural reserves and natural rock pool in Isalo region.
And inside, it was all cool and fresh for this warm and dry area.
For more pics, check my album in my Madagascar page:
Swimming pool- Rock pool- Arranges trekking- horseriding- Ecotourism
Great view from the tope of the hills that surrounded bungalows...
Price of a double-room in 1998: FF 350. I would check for amount in USD...
More expensive that most of hotels but less expensive than others in its categories (Hilton would charge FF 950 instead..). And less expensive compared to quality it offers.
Plus, from persons who stayed there in 2000, service was professional. It was a great experience for them but since I've never stayed there, just visted, I find it fair not to rate it.
So far, it seems to be the only nice hotel near the park, the others tend to be a bit lousy... Will look for others though.
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