We found this hotel almost by accident, after finding a tourist information card advertising an 800m walk through the countryside. The trail that the walk follows was perfectly laid out, with all of the different types of tree and plant (vanilla, papaya, pineapple, etc) all clearly signed. There was a waterfall along the way, and a fantastic viewpoint atop a steep flight of stairs, where you can apparently see whales from July to September. There is a small charge of 1000Ar per person to cover maintenance, which at the current rate of exchange is only £0.40, guests at the hotel get unlimited use free of charge.
The Sahasely is a small family run hotel. The welcome is warm, friendly and genuine, with many members of the family chipping in to help run the place. Everyone we saw there was smiling. It appears to be totally self sufficient with rice paddies between the hotel and the road, and chickens, zebu and just about every type of plant, tree and fruit in the surrounding land.
Unfortunately, we didn't stay in this hotel. However, the owners were pleased and proud to show us inside several of the empty bungalows. They were very clean and tidy, most having an en-suite shower and toilet. Each one is named after the tree closest to it. Prices are extremely good. The sandy beach is only a short 200m walk away, and the main town (Ambodifotatra) is a little over a mile to the north. There is currently no gym or swimming pool, but to be honest, there is absolutely no need for any of these with the surround area and beach.
Due to problems with the food at the hotel we were unfortunate enough to be staying in (such as raw chicken, expensive, bland & tasteless food and seemingly unconcerned staff), we started using the restaurant at the Sahasely as our regular source of breakfast and evening meal. It was just under a mile along the road from our hotel, so would sometimes take a 30 minute stroll, sometimes take a taxi.
The food was extremely well priced and was packed full of taste. Their full breakfast (consisting of 2 fried eggs, a whole baguette, fruit juice of the day, coffee or tea, cheese, ham, tomato, butter and a delicious home-made papaya jam to die for!) was only 11,000Ar, a little over £4. In comparison to our hotel, for 12,000Ar, all we got was half a glass of orange juice, tea or coffee, several small pieces of stale toast and sickly banana jam. We really did find a true gem in the Sahasely.
The evening meals were even better! There was an excellent choice of food ranging from traditional Malagasy food (ravitoto, etc) through to poulet au coco, zebu, fish and plenty of other dishes. Desserts were excellent and varied too, ranging from crepes with various sauces to fruit salads, flambéed tropical fruit or yogurt.
There was a good selection of drinks too, from bottled water and the usual soft drinks, to THB and the house homemade punch au coco. Everyone must try the punch au coco! :-)
Next time we visit Ste Marie, we will be checking availability at this hotel first. We really wish we had done so on this trip just gone.
Even if you don't stay here, we highly recommend stopping off here at lunchtime or in the evening for a meal. Maybe even go and walk along the trail to build up an appetite.....
- Also Known As:
- Hotel Sahasely Madagascar/Nosy Boraha