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“Stunning Natural Beauty” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Le Jardin du Roy

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Le Jardin du Roy
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Isalo
Certificate of Excellence
Queensbury, New York
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Stunning Natural Beauty”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2012

Le Jardin du Roy is a beautiful oasis in the Isalo region of Madagascar. The accommodations are first rate. I was particularly impressed with the architecture of the buildings. The stone work is amazing and complements, rather than detracts from, the natural environment. The food was excellent and so was the service. The staff was attentive to our every need. We enjoyed ourselves immensely and found that it was a wonderful place for our children (10 and 12) to explore the surrounding natural rock formations. An added bonus was the hotel's proximity to its sister hotel, Le Relais de La Reine, where we were able to take advantage of their marvelous spa. We certainly hope to return one day and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to stay in the Isalo region.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ADKKayaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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210 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
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English first
Paris, France
Level Contributor
60 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2012

We stayed 2 nights to visit the Isalo National Park.
The bungalows are magnificently integrated in the surroundings and have been designed by a talented architect. The rooms are spacious, clean, comfortable, modern and nicely decorated, with a pleasant terrace. Some minor flaws have to be mentioned because of the high standard: there are no shutters on the windows and you cannot control the external lights which are managed by the hotel and positioned just in front of the windows, so you do not have complete darkness in the evening; the room was hot in the evening because of poor thermal insulation, and difficult to cool because opening the windows at night is not an option (mosquitoes and the external light problem just mentioned); and there were curious odours coming from the toilet despite the siphon, the only solution was to leave the window open.
However, these minor flaws did not at all spoil the pleasure we had to stay in this room.
The service was really attentive, helpful and efficient. We used the laundry service which was efficient and cheaper than in other locations.
Breakfast was nice (eggs are available). Dinner very nice as well. Maybe the dining room is a little to big and reminds you that you are in a big structure - you could almost have forgotten it in your bungalow. There is a fine bar where you can drink beer or rhum arrangé, among other things.
We had massages in the spa, which we appreciated.
There is a big swimming pool where we had pleasure to swin and relax after the trek in the Isalo Park (even if because of the surrounding mountains, the sun dissapeared after 4.15 pm).
Clearly one of the best hotels we had in Madagascar.

Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Philippe_et_Francois
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ascot, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
154 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2012

This really is a delightful place, as many have said. If you can afford this treat, don't miss out on it when near Isalo. If you have been grinding through some of the back country roads, this will make you feel that you really have arrived somewhere.

You are greeted with a warm welcome and a welcome drink after your journey. Everything is spotlessly clean. The rooms are fabulous and very spacious. Madagascan hardwoods are used for the floors and doors in the bedrooms, creating a deep and welcoming ambience. Our room had four poster beds with a red velvet canopy connected to beautifully set up mosquito nets, a cathedral cieling held up by modern laminated pine beams, and a jacuzzi bathroom. Outside, the rooms are complemented by the thoughful architechture which includes Madagascan motifs worked into the local stone of the walls. In the parklike setting, lodged within the pinnacles of the eroded local rocks, the views are right there outside the room. The service is excellent.

Before you worry about malaria, please note that, when there in April 2012, there were no mosquitos to worry about. The rooms are air conditioned anyway, so the mosquito nets were really just a thoughtful luxury.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank KNBD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Linlithgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
128 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 24, 2012

Le Jardin du Roy hotel is virtually invisible until you turn the final corner of the dirt track off the main RN7 road. And there it is - beautifully designed and constructed in stone to blend in with the stunning surroundings.

Everything about the hotel is of high quality - the spacious rooms, tasteful food, discreet service. My only reason for rating as "very good" is that there is a strange absence of atmosphere in the place. Somehow, among the design, planning and building process, that elusive quality - character - was overlooked. Everything is beautiful but just a little anodyne.

But if you are looking for a reliable, clean, well-equipped place to stay near the Isalo National Park, this is the place.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ADM1959
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
Level Contributor
51 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2012

We stayed at Le Jardin du Roy for 2 nights on our way from Tulear to Tana, and while I had originally wanted to stay at the sister hotel - Relais de la Raine, but I'm glad now that we stayed here!
On arrival, we were met with drinks and while it took some time to check us in, we managed to look over the "massage menu" and decide what to have done that afternoon. We were asked if we wanted to walk over to Relais or be collected, and we decided to be driven - though if we realised just how close it was, we would have walked!
Our rooms were spacious, with a lot of thought going into the decor - super modern bathroom, with only a shower in ours, but it was big enough to have a party in! Quite steep stairs up to the mezzanine floor where there were 2 single beds (we were a group of 5 girls, so had one twin and one triple room) - if you're not good with heights, the stairs could be a challenge!
Beds were comfortable, though if I had to be picky, the pillows were really not very good - more like rocks (though I had this issue in every place except one during our 2.5 weeks in Madagascar!). The air con was really efficient - and was a pleasure to have as the days get quite hot - a welcome retreat from the heat outside!
Food was amazing - we wanted to leave early for the park one morning, and so asked if we could have breakfast before the usual time, and this was no problem - in fact it looked like more than half the guests were doing the same thing! Packed lunch was provided for us, but we ended up coming back early enough that we had a light lunch in the restaurant instead.
The bar area was wonderful - a really great place to relax before dinner.. and to my friends delight, the Bloody Marys were top notch (its amazing how difficult it is to get tomato juice throughout this part of the world!)... the mojitos were also amazing, though I suspect the bartender was a little heavy on the rum, as we were all very merry after just two drinks.... makes it more economical for us though, I guess!
Food was top notch, and while there wasn't a huge variety on the menu each day, it seems that this is the norm in most hotels we stayed in. What was served was in generous portions and was really great quality.
Wireless internet was great, though they give you a code which only lasts for half an hour - there is no cost for the code, so I'm not sure why they don't do it for at least an hour... several times I lost my work as my time ran out in the middle of what i was doing, which was a little frustrating.
One of the most important things for me is how the drivers get treated at places like this - we had our driver with us for 2.5 weeks, and it is important for us that he is well looked after, as this directly impacts on our tour. He made comment to us that this is one of the best places for looking after drivers - their food and accommodation seems to be really good, and I have to give extra credit for that.
Our massages at Relais were really great - though there was an issue with a table collapsing on one of my friends which is not an ideal situation! I had a body wrap, and a friend had a body scrub, and full body massages (and for those not accustomed, yes, it's a full body massage, so leave your modesty at home!)
The swimming pool was amazing - just the perfect place to relax after spending several hours hiking in the park.. and the outlook is out of this world. The landscapes around the hotel and park are really mindblowing, and the hotel has done so well to both blend in, but also stand out at the same time... you have to see it to understand!
Make sure you keep your eyes open as you go around the property though - there are the most amazingly intricate stone artworks in the walls - and the more you look, the more you see!
Oh - and if you don't speak French, don't worry - we managed to chat to all the staff who were serving us in English (with our little pathetic bits of French in the middle), and all was fine!
One thing to be careful of - most of us made a purchase of jewellery from the shop onsite (at both Jardin and Relais) - and I am now questioning the quality of it. We paid between 50 and 130 Euro for silver rings with semi-precious stones (sapphires amongst others), and within a week, one ring had broken (and not through any trauma - had been worn about 3 times), and my ring (the most expnesive) now appears to be more like "silver plating" as the colour is coming off... will get it checked out when I'm home (I now wonder if the gem is actually a sapphire!) and can get to a jeweller I trust, but just be aware that the product might not be as good as you think. I don't actually think the hotel has much to do with the shop - it appears to be sold on consignment from a couple of jewellers in a nearby town - one of them was there doing a restock when we were at Relais - my complaint is really with him, but want to advise people shopping at Relais or Jardin to really check things out before buying!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank rastus0706
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san francisco usa
Level Contributor
143 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2011

I sometimes despair at the reviews in TripAdvisor. I see among other Jardin du Roy reviews complaints that the spa is a 20 minute walk away in blazing sun...REALLY? It is first of all a lovely walk over to Relais de la Reine where the spa is located...a must do during your visit. And secondly, upon booking a spa treatment they ask if you want a ride over and back in a car. Then there are complaints that people are lazing about the pool instead of partaking of the surrounding parks. OK, first of all you would only notice that if you were one of the people lying around the pool; and second, why are people so intent on dictating the itineraries of others' vacations?

Anyway, enough of that. This is a stunning, unique property that will be a highlight to any visit to Madagascar. You will not stay in a hotel where there is more attention to the quality of design, construction and overall aesthetics. The breathtaking setting is starkly beautiful, and the roomy accomodations (4 apartments per building) have gleaming hardwood floors and trim, huge comfortable beds with mosquito nets, and actual air conditioning, as it gets hot here in the high desert. Bathrooms are very spacious and comfortable. If a standup shower is important to you, you must ask...as my room and some others I saw had a large spa tub with hand shower only. Others were equipped with standard showers. The service is excellent...reception was friendly and competent, restaurants and bars were caring and attentive, rooms were cleaned well and laundry done promptly and well. Most staff live on the property, so are part of the overall "family". We went on a 3 hour horse ride in the morning. Equestrian facilities can often get short shrift at resorts, and I've seen more than my fair share of tattered tack, dingy stables, and ill-cared for animals. The stables at Jardin du Roy are beautiful, the tack good, and the horses extremely healthy and willing. The ride through the surrounding countryside and into some Bara villages was frankly more enjoyable and interesting than hikes in the park itself, which were frankly marred by mobs of crowds in the more established trails, a stifling heat in mid-October, and poor guides who knew little of flora or fauna ("That's a grasshopper...that's a bird"...true tales of actual guide commentary).

The bar offered delicious drinks and snacks, and the restaurant offered extremely high quality, French inspired food. There were a few rare misses over our 2 days in terms of meals...but in general I was extremely happy with everything we ate. Breakfasts are generous continental-style only. The wine list was small, and much of it was not available...a small and overall unimportant flaw.

There is also a small gift shop well stocked with unusually high quality wares...if buying something is important to you.

One of my favorite memories of my Madagascar trip was our stay here.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank ajwsf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
63 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 17, 2011

My partner and I were in Isalo for three days over New Year, Dec 2010-Jan 2011. Isalo was my favourite part of Madagascar - a massive, rocky natural park, hot and dry, with exceptional walking opportunities to observe lunar landscapes and extraordinary plants and (small) animals. The Jardin du Roy is probably the best option for staying here and could have easily been a five-dot recommendation, if it wasn't for the off-hand service and the very strange clientele (not sure where I should have commented on that, so incorporated it in the 'service' rating).

The hotel consists of a main building and about five detached villas, each housing two guest suites. The architecture and landscaping are exceptional and totally appropriate for the unbelievable setting, in a kind of 'crater' among rocky outcrops, utterly isolated, dramatic and awe-inspiring. The suites are huge, like medieval-castle halls, with high ceilings, wonderful stone and timber details, generous, comfortable bathrooms with separate wcs, and lovely terraces out in the lawn. This is the sort of end-of-the-world place you come for genuine zen-like relaxation (not spa-induced but totally natural - priceless!), in the clear mornings and cool evenings before and after arduous, equally zen-like walks in the park throughout the day. You would have thought.

Unfortunately, this is not what pretty much every other guest in the hotel while we were there had envisaged. They were all large families, mainly French and Indian, with several children, clearly not interested in the park or walking, but staying throughout the day in the pool and raising hell. Why would anybody come to this place, so utterly remote and difficult to get to, with so little to do, in order to just stay by the pool, really escapes me. But I don't think it was an aberration, as, when we complained to reception about the noise, we were told, in rather curt manner, 'what do you expect? it's school holidays'.

So there you have it. Lunar isolation and fabulous beauty, in potentially great comfort and style (with very decent food, to boot, although they charge from drinking water....), geared towards families after some pool-time. I suppose the receptionist was right: avoid the School holidays (and make sure you stock up with bottled water on your way back from your day walks via the little town down the road) - and you've got a winner.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DrLexLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Le Jardin du Roy

Property: Le Jardin du Roy
Address: Massif de l'Isalo | BP 01, Isalo 313, Madagascar
Location: Madagascar > Toliara Province > Isalo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Isalo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 40
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Le Jardin Du Roy Hotel Isalo

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