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Hotel Niaouly
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Reviews (164)
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Reviewed July 11, 2012

The location is excellent for Tana, especially for those who are travelling on foot or even public transport. It's very near the central downtown area (Analakely) - about a 10 minute walk. But it's just outside it enough that it seems a bit less crowded and also has some nice upper-class restaurants up and down the street nearby. It's also within walking distance (if you like to walk uphill) of the historic queen's palace (Rova), which has some incredible views of the city. So, as a launching point to enjoying Tana (especially by foot), it's very well-situated.

The rooms are fairly simple with very nice hand-carven designs in most of the wooden furniture. Nothing special about them, but not too cramped. The hotel as a whole has an excellent view of Tana's house-covered hillsides, very scenic, especially from the restaurant. However, only a few of the rooms have great views of the hillside. The others either look out onto the streetside (and thus are very noisy with traffic going by) or are sort of in a basement with no windows at all (and unfortunately sometimes too dark with the interior lighting). My major complaint is that the beds are ridiculously hard. That might just be my pampered American back, but they're spring mattresses that seem to have no spring and no padding. But, it's a simple place, fairly cheap, and gets the job done. They have one baby crib / rocker, so make sure to ask in advance to get it for you if you need it. It's hand-made and very cool-looking.

The staff are super-friendly, which is mostly to be expected (though not always the case) in Madagascar. The food at the restaurant, while more expensive than some restaurants is still cheaper than others, and for the quality of food - WELL worth the price! We enjoyed everything we ate there. The variety of rums are fun to try as well - though I like to make a cocktail by mixing them with Sprite.

Room Tip: The upper side by the windows are full of street noises (and some pollution), so they're not recommended unless you NEED the extra light they give. There are only a few rooms with a view, so if you want them for yourself, book in advance! It's a popular hotel and often full.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Adam W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2010

The general hotel ambience is reasonable for the price but our room (no 8) was awful. The bed sagged in the middle, the washing arrangements were crude, the shower almost unusable. Dinner in the restaurant was virtually inedible - we chose the dish of the day, chicken, which consisted of a few chicken bones and some rice. Breakfast was similarly minimalist. We were booked for two more nights later in our holiday but transferred to Chalet des Roses - see my review there.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank inspiredron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2010

This is the first time I've been so disappointed by a room that I've not stayed at the place I've booked. I didn't have visions of grandeur when I booked Niaouly and I was already excited by the gorgeous view from the patio. However, we were taken into the bowels of the hotel and were put into a dark, damp room with two beds (as per my request). It was pretty depressing and dark, but the rooms are very reasonably priced so I just took it in stride. My other half went to the restroom and I sat down on one of the beds. It immediately collapsed - one of the supporting boards hit the floor and the mattress followed. Not good. The more I sat in the depressing room, the more I wondered if it was worth it. Then my other half shouted from the bathroom. The flush was busted on the toilet! That was it. We needed a new room. I asked for a new room but was told they were all full. She was very polite and apologetic, but it is not a place I would want to stay - not in the basement rooms anyhow. Bad luck for us I guess.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank intlwanderlust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2010

Seeing the reviews, my husband and I booked in two nights after spending seven nights in rural Madagascar, and we are extremely happy that we took advice from TripAdvisor --- we liked the hotel very much. The photos on the hotel website are not as good as the real one!

Here are what we liked in particular:
1. We got a spacious room (with two bedrooms, one with a double bed and one single bed) with a balcony and a beautiful view of the hillside. The street is peaceful, and still it is almost in city centre, takes only 15 minutes to walk to the avenue of independence.
2. The staff was friendly and welcoming (They remembered my name!), made us feel at home. The homely atmosphere stimulated conversations among guests in the dining/living/bar area.
3. The restaurant provided food of great value. The choice was limited but food was good and the price was much cheaper than popular restaurants in town. So we were happy to eat in the hotel for one night. The variety of flavoured rhum on offer at the bar was impressive --- I counted and there were more than 50 flavours. The restaurant has a beautiful view of the hillside and a balcony.
4. We requested the hotel to arrange a transport to pick us up at the airport and the driver was waiting for us with a sign. It does not always happen so we were very pleased (It did not happen with other hotel we stayed earlier in Tana).
5. There is an exciting French restaurant ‘Le Petit Verdot’ around the corner, just 1-2 minutes walk from the hotel, where we dined on the second night.
6. There was an internet café right next to the hotel. There were a couple of internet cafés in the neighbourhood.

Here are some other observations. My intention here is to try to provide an overall picture, and not to complain: we would be happy to stay in this hotel again if we come back to Tana in future:
1. There was no cleaning/bed making on the second day. I guessed they do not clean guestrooms everyday when guests are staying for more than one night, which is understandable since it is a budget hotel, so no complaint.
2. There was no fan. We slept very well without one because it was cool (or perhaps we felt it was cool after spending seven days in rain forests?) and hence it was not a problem. Yet I want to mention that in the previous week we stayed in another hotel in town and we kept the fan on for the whole nights since it was hot and humid.
3. The wooden floor creaks and woke me up at night once or twice. The hotel tries to minimize the noise late at night by explicitly requesting all guests for their cooperation in this matter. I can live with it ---if there were a couple of nocturnal guests while my stay I should consider I had a bad luck.

To reiterate, we genuinely enjoyed our stay in the hotel. This is the hotel we want to stay again. I would like to recommend it to everyone who visits Tana, for leisure and business alike.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank greylourie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2010

if you don't know Madagascar standards amybe you won't notice it at first- but later you'll see what a great choice this fairly small family run hotel on one of the more quiet (still close to the happening area though) slopes of the 'chaotic' capital is. Views are breathtaking. Staff make you feel special. Choice of rums is best in town. Value for money. Will come back!

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank lemurlover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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