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1 - 6 of 51 reviews
Reviewed February 11, 2016

For an all round kiting spot, this place is in a great location. Sakalava bay has a great flat water lagoon with great wind, perfect for beginners and freestyler's alike. Also about 0.5km out behind the islands, some good waves can be found when the conditions are right. The wind however can get quite gusty here because the wind blows over a mangrove forest.

Unfortunately staying at Royal Sakalava was not so great. The bar and social areas closed at around 21.00 each night, one time everything was locked up at 20.30 despite guests still being sat in the restaurant area. It was essentially like the owners saying 'we want to go to bed now, so you also have to go to bed'. The business is clearly family run with the whole family also living and using the same facilities as the guests. This made things quite awkward as at times you could be reading a book inside or watching tv whilst a family conflict is going on just behind you. Or for example, whilst you're eating in the restaurant area outside, all you can here is the kids tv. I have stayed in this type of environment in the past where you are paying to stay in someone's house and really have no problem with it. Of course families have arguments and kids will be kids, but, it costs 15 or less euros a night. However this place is priced at 50/60 euros a night. When you are paying this amount of money, you do not expect this. I asked other guests and friends about this as I thought perhaps it was just me, but they all agreed, and quite honestly I'm amazed there aren't more reviews stating this.

Another point to add is when I arrived I agreed a 'end of season' price for my stay with the owner. This was not something that could have been easily forgotten as the negotiation on how much I was going to pay went on for about 15 minutes with us eventually shaking hands and agreeing a fee. However, when I came to leave, the owner then tried to tell me that actually my stay was going to cost 10 euros more a night despite knowing full well that we had agreed an 'end of season price'.

As for the bungalows, they were great with everything you'd expect or need. It's a real shame that this place does not match the high quality kiting. I will be returning to Sakalava bay but certainly not to Royal Sakalava.

  • Stayed: November 2015, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank Alistair J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2015 via mobile

Stayed here for 9 nights with wife and 3 kids. I'm a kitesurfer so wanted a good spot for kiting that was also good for the family.

Kiting was awesome - tidal lagoon that is kiteable the whole time except for 2 hours around low tide. Butter flat water, huge lagoon, waves out the back. Kited every day even though I was there right at end of season.

For family - less to do. They liked it but 9 days hanging out was too much. With hindsight we would have divided our time between here and Emerald Sea (where we went for a day trip).

In terms of the resort - rooms, food etc are good. Not great, but ok budget/mid range fare. Service likewise - good but never exceptional. Perfectly fine for a kiteboarder! Nadja did track down our lost luggage and lost iPad from Air Mada though - brilliant!

Only negative was on the 'half board' pricing. Everywhere I have ever been this means dinner, bed and breakfast. Was surprised when our bill had this added separately and told that half board means bed + dinner. Thought it was a Mada thing, but then the very next place we stayed had half board the way I understood it. Something that ought to be rectified.

Net net - not the best resort, but reasonably good value, probably the pick of the places on the beach, and great for kiting and kiting families.

Stayed: October 2015, traveled with family
Thank UncleTravellingRich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2015

Stifling mosquito infested bungalow, fleas in the bed, dirty beach, loveless restaurant (cheap plastic chairs, harsh lighting), inedible food (fish from previous day warmed up), highly overpriced (60 € per night)

  • Stayed: November 2015, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Graupatz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2015

This is the best place for people who seek for a nice, friendly and comfortable place to stay in Diego with a good quality/price. The employees and owners were really welcoming and helpful. The hotel is situated in a clean a beautiful bay. Children would love this place where they can have some activities like trampoline, rabbits/guinea pea/ turtles parc, canoe... Adults would love it for the kite surfing (learning or just renting the material), pool, basket ball and trips (the hotel can organize it for you and provide car and food to the Ambre mountain, Emerald sea...). The rooms were comfortable and sound proof so we were able to sleep like babies without any outside noises disturbing us during the night. Hot water all day in the rooms. Safe room service everyday and laundry service if needed. Wifi in the restaurant and tv. The food were delicious (especially the pizza, a must-try). In addition, they could pick us up and send us to the airport with their private car. We stayed 5days in the hotel but we definitely want to go back there next time.

Room Tip: best view in front of the beach.
  • Stayed: July 2015, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank rcarolinek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2015

I learnt to kitesurf here with Alex and his team in August 2013. Since then, we have returned twice and always had a fantastic time.

I do think that if you are not here for the watersports, whether you have a good time or not depends largely on what you look for in a holiday. The bungalows are by no means luxury (no A/C but with fan, OK large bed, hot shower but no curtain) but are more than one needs to be comfortable and the view is beautiful. It is not the easiest place to find and the last leg of the trip from Diego is on a very rough road so if you do not have a car, you can't really 'pop to Diego' very easily. That said, we always found that we were happy to stay and eat there for every meal during each two week stay - the food is good and fresh, the staff, especially Sabrina, are wonderful and for us, it was definitely preferable to the buzz of a big city. Therefore, if you are not there to kite surf, it may seem a little isolated with not much to do. The beach is gorgeous, however, and we have seen many a family enjoying the hotel.

The kitesurfing is excellent - Alex is great and knows his stuff and at the end of a course with him I was happily going downwind and even beginning my upwind ventures. I am now jumping and all thanks to the great groundwork laid by the team at Sakalava. Compared to other kite-surfing locations we have visited, this one is the most unknown, and so, the least crowded with often 5-6 kiters on the water or less (excellent for beginners and advanced alike). There are not many rocks or corals so hurting yourself when wiping out is really rare.

To top things off, a family of Crowned Lemurs often find their way to the hotel and happily take mango offerings from your hands - great for photo ops but also to watch and admire these wonderful, endangered creatures. Also, Google the resident Cocker Spaniel is a sweetie!

Wifi in restaurant only but with the nature around you, you'll hardly notice the difference.

  • Stayed: November 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank vronk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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