First impressions were very good. It looks pretty cool - the 'lobby/lounge' is like an old pirate ship. All seemed good. We got to the rooms, seemed fine. 24/7 electricity and hot water, which is always a bonus. It's on the beach and looks right out at the sea, as you'd expect from a beach bungalow place, so you cant really give extra points for that.
That evening we were relaxing in the outdoor bar/restaurant area when the waiter came to introduce himself. It became very obvious, very quickly that his main interest in us was what activities he could arrange for us. Naturally we wanted to go whale watching which he scampered off to arrange. We were told, when he got back that we couldn't go because the weather was going to be too dangerous in the morning. We thought, fair enough. Then we suggested we might do a quad bike trek around the island instead. Again he went to arrange it and came back to say that it would be 300,000 Ariary. Odd, we thought, seeing as in our room we had a flyer from the same place he had just arranged it with saying it was 250,000. I corrected him and went to get proof. It was a bare faced and transparent attempt to con me out of 50,000 ariary.
Then in the morning, we were told that despite the sea looking absolutely serene and there being no wind it was far too dangerous to go whale watching but that we could definitely go at 2pm by which time it would be calm. However, we had already decided to go out exploring the island on quad bike - he was insistent upon wanting to come with us to 'show us' where the place was. Seeing as it was next door to the hotel, we obviously didn't need his help and went on our own.
On our way, we stopped in at the Princess Bora next door to verify these 'facts' about the boats. Our suspicions that we were being lied to were confirmed - they told us that the weather couldn't be more perfect. We booked with them to go the following day.
That evening, we were told by the waiter and the lay who owns the place that we could go on a boat the following morning, but that we'd need to do it then as the weather was going to be too dangerous again after that until the following monday. More lies.
The next nasty surprise, which isn't really their fault, comes from that the people in the neighbouring village (which means literally a matter of 10ft from the bungalows) start blasting out truly dreadful music at 6am in the morning at extraordinary volumes. I'm talking Celine Dion remixes.
Then, while we were eating our breakfast, the waitress started trying to sell us wooden carvings. We couldn't believe it.
That evening, I wasn't really sure I wanted what was on the set menu so I asked if I could see the 'a la carte' menu (which would cost me more, rather than the included half board set menu). I was shown the menu, decided I did after all want the set menu, which I confirmed with the waiter. I then saw the waiter getting chastised by his manager. The waiter then came over and chastised me for daring to ask for the menu! I was gobsmacked. He told me, quite annoyed, if I want something from the 'a la carte menu' not the set menu, I have to tell them by 4pm! Crazy!
When you combine this deceit, inflexibility, inappropriate behaviour along with the smiles through gritted teeth from the owner, the noisy neighbours it's very hard to recommend Ravoraha.
- Also Known As:
- Hotel Eco-Lodge Ravoraha Madagascar/Nosy Boraha
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- L’Hotel Ravoraha est un hôtel balnéaire de charme situé sur l’ île de Sainte Marie à Madagascar au cœur d’un village de pêcheurs en complète harmonie avec son environnement naturel.C’est une petite structure intime et chaleureuse composée d’un bar restaurant et de 8 bungalows charmes qui s’élèvent sur une plage de sable blanc bordée de cocotiers face au lagon.L écolodge le Ravoraha ne fait pas partie de ces hôtels fermés à la population locale . ... more less