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“Hotel with its own private large park” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Domaine de Fontenay

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Domaine de Fontenay
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Joffreville --201, Antsiranana (Diego Suarez), Madagascar   |  
Hotel amenities
LA
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Hotel with its own private large park”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

Small hotel with separate large rooms/villas, great old German proprietor (and young wife), old turtle, and private access to a large area of the Amber mountain complete with wild animals, water fall, etc. Night trips into this private reserve are also available with capable guides who find animals you would be unlikely to spot on your own.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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20 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    4
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Budapest
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

It was very easy to reserve our rooms and the trips (and whatever we wanted) in email with the host, Karl-Heinz, who speaks many languages (English, German, French, maybe Russian and Italian too). If you arrive with plane or boat, it's the easiest to ask Karl in advance to send a car with a driver for you, to make sure they have a vehicle capable of driving uphill to Joffreville (634m) in the given weather. Our rooms in the renovated colonial house were very spacious we had a direct view on the jungle behind from our bed- and bathroom windows. We paid extra for New Year's Eve meals which turned out to be a 5-course gourmand feast and it was not a problem for Karl and his Malagasy wife to present a birthday cake and open even a bottle of Jagermeister on our request right from the fridge in "the middle of nowhere". We were generally pleased by the variety and the quality of the food during our 3 days of stay. The place is built in the middle of the rainforest and serves as a peaceful oasis. It doesn't matter if you are a pro or an amateur photographer, you can easily go trigger-happy with your camera right at your door, in the garden or in Domaine de Fontenay's own park where you can go on for several hours of trekking. It's full of interesting creatures let it be day or night, chameleons and geckos are standard if you are lucky you might even cross a lemur family. Not the mention Galileo, the respectably old Giant Aldabra Tortoise who lives in the garden along with snails. The owner Karl is always ready to share a beer and talk about Malagasy customs and very good at planning and organizing trips in the area. The only thing I regret is that we were rushing on excursions every day and didn't have more time to spend in Domaine de Fontenay Park.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Luton
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

We stayed in the 'double suit' at this lovingly restored French colonial house, where offecers used to come for a 'break'. The are suits in the main house and extra rooms made in officers quarters and converted stables. Everyo9ne in our group of 13 was happy with their room and service. The place is owned by Karl-Heinz Horner, who runs it very efficiently with his Madagascan wife. The suit we stayed in was sumptuous, with a large sitting room, a double bedroom and a beautifully appointed, double bathroom.The food was mostly European, cooked to perfection by Karl and his staff. We found him to be a very attentive host, doing his very best to make our stay comfortable. He was able to arrange guides for our walk into the mountain straight from his hotel and to accompany us to Amber mountain. We stayed there only for 2days, but would have been happy to make it my base for longer and take excursions. I am sure it will suit even honeymooners! Great place to stay in the middle of nowhere, thumbs up!

Room Tip: Suits in the main house are the most luxurious.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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North Waltham, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2012

We spent two nights at Domaine de Fontenay and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Our host Karl could not have been kinder or more accommodating. He was also great fun, and shared his years of acquired Malagasi knowledge and anecdotes. He speaks fluent German, French and English, and possibly a few more languages. The room was huge and very comfortable. The bathroom in particular was stunning. We spent an afternoon resting in our room. The food was absolutely delicious and perfectly cooked everyntime. There was great variety on the menu and Karl has a well stocked wine cellar. The hotel benefits from beautiful gardens and the presence of a large ancient tortoise from the Seychelles. While the park is very close tot he Amber Mountain, it has it's own private rainforest reserve where local wildlife can be found. 300 hectares in total! During our stay in Madagascar we visited many rain forests, but this one was particularly special as the trails are so well kept and marked out, so if you don't want to take a guide, you can navigate yourself. The reserve also has beautiful waterfalls, which were a pleasure to visit if you've had enough of seeing Lemurs!

Room Tip: Just ask Karl.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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bowral
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

We have just returned to Nairobi after two weeks in Madagascar. The highlight was definitely staying at Domaine de Fontenay in Joffreville to see Amber Mountain. We spent three nights there and Karl the host and owner, was a faultless host, prepared excellent meals and was a mine of information about Madagascar in general and also the Malagasy culture. The private reserve is great for a day and night visit. We also went to the Red tsingy and Ankarana to see the limestone Tsingy. This place is a MUST. As we were there in winter the number of lemurs were low but we saw plenty of other wildlife. The rooms are huge and spotless

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Melbourne
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2012

Loved it here. We had 2 nights based here mainly to see the Mountain of Amber.
It is perfectly located to do this as is the closest accommodation to the park.
Although the road up to the park is rough and requires a 4wd.
What we didn't realise is the Domaine also has its own native park which we only had a short time to see but would have worth staying another day just to be able to enjoy more. They also had a 200 year old Tortoise on the grounds and others just wandering around.
The rooms were very comfortable and roomy. Very clean and everything worked including the hot water !. Beds fine.
We were on a half board basis and ALL meals were superb. They also have a small bar if interested.
The owner is a real character and worth taking the time to chat to.
2 nights just wasnt enough for us.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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Washington DC
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2012

It’s not that this hotel is bad – it’s just that it’s massively overpriced for what you get. I suspect that Domaine de Fontenay had its heyday several years back, but it’s starting to look very frayed around the edges. Rooms are large – but the furnishings are distinctly 70s and, in our case, the room smelled damp (it was the end of the rainy season, but even so). The bar area definitely looks like it’s seen better days and even the old tortoise looks a bit forlorn in his enclosure. The one stand-out is the private reserve next to the hotel, which is a beautiful place to wander around, including at night – but you don’t need to be a hotel guest to get in. Frankly, there are much nicer places in Joffreville at literally half the price (with a particular mention to the Litchi Tree, where we ate -- very funky, in a Hotel-Costes-meets-Madagascar sort of way!).

P.S. even if you do stay here, don’t use the Domaine’s services for transfers or for local excursions to the Montagne d’Ambre park if you can avoid it. We were charged 178 euros for two of us for a trip to the park, so we were expecting something quite special – but after subtracting the costs of the entrance tickets and the (compulsory) guide, we calculated that were paying nearly 130 euro for the car for a few hours + a picnic -- a rip-off..

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Domaine de Fontenay

Address: Joffreville --201, Antsiranana (Diego Suarez), Madagascar
Location: Madagascar > Antsiranana Province > Antsiranana (Diego Suarez)
Amenities:
Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 14 Hotels in Antsiranana (Diego Suarez)
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Le Domaine de Fontenay, with its eight en-suite luxurious rooms and one suite with private terrace, beautiful grounds, nature park, impeccable service, and fine dining. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Domaine De Fontenay Madagascar/Antsiranana (Diego Suarez)

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