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“A very positive experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Setam Lodge

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Setam Lodge
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56, Avenue du 26 Juin | Ranomafana National Park, Ranomafana, Madagascar   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Ranomafana
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“A very positive experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

Having read some of the reviews on trip advisor we did wonder what the lodge was going to be like. That said from the moment we arrived we couldn't have been better looked after. They made a real effort to ensure our dietary requirements were met ( I am vegetarian and my husband is allergic to tomatoes). All the staff were very friendly and willing to help.
We put washing in to be done - one review said it was expensive - well I don't see approx 30p for a shirt or 60p for a pair of trousers is expensive. It was returned smelling very fresh early the next evening.
The restaurant staff did put a basket for tips on the table on our last morning - we checked with our guide what the box on reception was for, he confirmed that was for other staff - laundry, cleaners, reception, security; again having read a previous review I suggested an explanation of this to guests would be helpful. We had no problem leaving tips in both boxes because all the staff were helpful and made our stay very pleasant. They together with the local guides and the wonderful rare lemurs in Ranomafana National Park made this a particularly special memory of our trip to Madagascar.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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114 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
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English first
Viersen, Germany
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

The Lodge is perfectly located and you won't get a better one at Ranomafana. Mostly it is fully booked. You have to book early in advance. The staff is kind, the food good, huge rooms and bath. Have a torch with you at night there could be an electricity cut as at most places in Madagascar.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

We stayed here for 3 nights while we were exploring Ranomafana park. I liked how the hotel was nestled in the hill, which gave you great views from your room. Each room is its own little house, so you don't have to worry about noise or privacy. While note a luxury resort, I thought the room was great - clean, quiet, and close.

I thought the meals were good, and the were very accommodating of my Madagascar diet. The laundry service was good and reasonably priced compared to other places we stayed. The best part is certainly proximity to the park - it was less than 5 min drive. The stairs may be a bit daunting after a full day of hiking, but I thought it was worth it for the nice view. (People with mobility issues would certainly have a problem, though.)

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maastricht, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
253 reviews 253 reviews
76 hotel reviews
Reviews in 119 cities Reviews in 119 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2012

We had a nice big room on the highest level which meant three staircases climbing up from reception. Everybody not physically disabled can do this, when tou are disabled do not visit Ranomafana np, it is goes up and down all the time in the park. We got a huge bed, matrass was quite hard. There was no musquito net in our room, while we saw them hanging in other rooms and we did got bitten. No heating or airco present, although it was not necessary in octobre.
Nice bathroom. Shower not really clean with a dirty window screen, haits in shower, lots of dust on wall and light, cute ducky dust bin...
Staff outside helpfull with luggage and spotted butterflies and geckos for you. Got umbrellas when raining. Reception quite friendly, didn't speak english really well.
Restaurant:awfull! We did not like quality of food: breakfast with hard baguettes. Juice like water and some pastries with jam. Fruit , cheese or eggs only when you paid extra, above the 170.000 ariary a night for room and breakfast! Personnel looking unfriendly and not helpfull at all, they were only interested in your money.
Dinner 2 choices with 3 courses, quantity far below average in Malagassy restaurants, the same for the taste. With the breakfast we twice got a basket on our table and they told us " tip for service". We thought this was very rude, and refused to be persuaded to tip in this way. We tip when we like, whatever we like and most important if we like.
Next morning personnel was at bit more friendly, but few seconds after they left our table we heard them laughing behind our backs, presumably making fun of us! We got very annoyed, last evening we decided to have dinner at ihary hotel. They had much better food, larger meals, price for 3 courses around 22.000 ariary in stead of 40.000 ariary pp. And friendly personnel who did earn tips!
Regarding location: you have nice views from hotel or room, but you are not at the park entrance. All other hotels also have good views, they are only located more downhill. While the road to the park entrance goes uphill and there is a lot of traffic, you do not want to walk. So you need a car anyway. Lodge had the same guided tours as the angap office at park entrance. Also when you do not have your own car you cant have dinner anywhere else bwcause Ranomafana village is 7 km downhill...
There is no pool, when you want to have that, go to domaine nature. There is not even wifi at the hotel, nor a spa or room sevice or what so ever, we did really not understand why it us called luxurious! They did have laundry service, which was quite expensive, 28000 ariary for couple of things, after washing the clothes were hanged on the wooden (dirty) gates before the lodge, so laundry got dirty again, everybody could see what underwear you have and wind took multiple things away through the gardens, when they returned laundry, we noticed a t shirt was missing, luckily orher guests returned it when they heard.
They have articles to buy as souvenir in the restaurant on a table, looked lile a mess and overpriced.
Last point: this is one of the very few places that do not have accomodation for your driver, probably they are not interested in them and rather earn big money!
We tried to give critics at reception but after we payed our bill they walked away with the money and that was the end of the stay/conversation/attention.
Overall: except for the spacious room we did not see a readin to recommend or go back, next time would choose for ihary or domaine nature

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Travelers are raving about these Ranomafana hotels

Manchester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2012

We stayed here for one night. There is little accommodation choice around Ranomafana and this looked the best. It's in a breath taking location on the hillside surrounded by amazing rain forest. The park entrance was a short walk up the road. The staff were very friendly and helpful and arranged a guide to meet us at the entrance of the park for a guided tour. This is a MUST do! The guides are amazing and seem to have endless knowledge about the rain forest and are always happy to answer questions. We were very lucky to see 2 types of bamboo lemur during our guided walk and the conservation work that goes on here is brilliant.
The room was very clean, big and the bed was very comfortable. The bathroom was good. Yes there are steps again, it's a rain forest!
The food was nice but very expensive. My husband also got a very bad stomach bug the following day. Obviously we don't know if this is where he contracted the illness but it was very bad!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Paris, France
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2012

We spent 1 night at Setam Lodge after having visited Ranomafana National Park.
The bungalows are located 1,5 km from the park entrance, 5 km from the village, on a hillside facing the forest with nice views. Our bungalow was located at the very top (a hard job for the luggage carriers). Each bungalow has 2 rooms which are clean, no frills but reasonably spacious and functional. Windows have shutters that protect you efficiently from the early sunrise. Thermal insulation is non existing but the room has an electric radiator - whe had it on all night because of the cold outside. Acoustic insulation is non existing as well and we could hear all the noises from our neighbours - fortunately, they went to sleep and woke up at the same time as we did, but if you are sensitive to noise do not forget your earplugs.
Service was standard.
Breakfast was basic.
Dinner was correct (if you do not have a car you have no other option than dining at the hotel).
All in all, a correct hotel to visit Ranomafana.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winsford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

Stayed for 3 nights whilst visting Ranomafana Reserve. Great views from the lodges out across the forest. Room comfortable and sufficient for what we needed. Laundry service quick and effective. Food was fine as also was the service. The grounds around the lodges aren't large however are nicely planted out and, for those interested in the smaller of Madagascars special wildlife, has a bush that attracts the giraffe necked weevil ! Found a female of this unique little beastie. We had a room at the front that had unrestricted views across to the forest. Ranomafana certainly puts your fitness through its paces - the guides will adjust according to your ability however if able your will undergo some good trekking up and down steep climbs through the forest - but worth it ! Saw both the Golden Bamboo Lemur and the very rare Greater Bamboo Lemur - it was a priviledge to see these gorgeous lemurs. The Milne-Edwards Sifaka really put on a show !
The night walk and the viewing of the mouse lemur is a bit of a circus - not convinced it is really worth fighting alongside the other tourists although the mouse lemur is cute. Massive numbers of frogs and chameleon on the night walk which made it worthwhile.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Setam Lodge

Address: 56, Avenue du 26 Juin | Ranomafana National Park, Ranomafana, Madagascar
Location: Madagascar > Fianarantsoa Province > Ranomafana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Ranomafana
Number of rooms: 100

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