We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Place to return to, memories of a lifetime” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Princesse Bora Lodge & Spa

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Princesse Bora Lodge & Spa
Ranked #1 of 15 Hotels in Nosy Boraha
Certificate of Excellence
Gauteng
Level Contributor
32 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Place to return to, memories of a lifetime”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2012

Princesse Bora was the last leg of our recent visit to Madagascar. Our children flew in independently from Johannesburg to join us (already we were 2 weeks on the go) for some holiday fun and New Years celebration, plus a very long awaited opportunity to share Madagascar with them. Our youngest is mostly wheelchair bound so we were a little dubious about difficulties.

With huge anticipation and excitement our plane landed on Ille St. Marie and we all climbed out, got the luggage and were met by the lodge's landrover and zebu cart. In we piled and tootled off to the lodge. What a warm and professional reception! The kids hit it off with the staff right away. Our briefing was efficient and soon we were on our way to our rooms. What an awesome reception area! Whoever designed the place and decor must have had loads of fun. But what creativity to admire. The walkways are sandy and were reasonably easy to push the wheelchair. Some places not so easy but then there were some grass paths for relief. We occupied an executive villa and the kids had a comfort room right next to the pool/pub/restaurant area. This suited them down to the ground being so close to all the activity. Our room was awesome, spacious, ingeniously designed and furnished with every comfort we could imagine. The kids room was cool, functional and enough space, even for two messy boys! All rooms have a hose by the stairs to eliminate excess sand on the verandah and in the room. The style of the lodge rooms is totally original and transports one to another place in another time. The laundry service was excellent.

The pool area is wonderful with a well positioned rimflow overlooking the immediate sea, beach and jetty and various recliners and brollies are all set up around the area for the sun worshippers. Close by is the sea activities/towels rondavel offering kayaking (in VERY stable kayaks), snorkelling gear, water-skiing boards, towels etc. Our youngest couldn't wait to get into the kayak and had a ball paddling around the area, quite safely. The staff at Princesse Bora are so friendly and helpful and always resplendent in their Princesse Bora uniform which aptly states: "Princesse Bora Lifestyle", it really is a lifestyle and a pretty luxurious one. So there are plenty of water activities and snorkelling gets very good some 500m past the general reef. There were a few younger children there and they were having a ball too, jumping into the tidal pool and fishing from the jetty. Princesse Bora is all about having fun in the sun, whatever your fancy. As their website says, "just be there". There is too much to see and appreciate at this place to put it all down on paper.

We opted to explore the island by quad bike with a guide! What a blast! Full day outing with lunch in true Malagsy style, then a pirogue ride through the mangroves to then find our way to Clipper Bay! Fresh coconuts off the beach and a clear turquoise bay to loll around in. Like little children finding treasure we unearthed live pansy shells and then truly amazing, some old coins and white crockery! Well, we left them behind as we assumed it was part of some ceremony and re-buried the pansies of course! We motored right around the whole island, up hill and down dale, hooting at geese who got cheeky and ran after our bikes to tricky negotiations across wooden bridges and very steep inclines and declines to coasting down the road right next to the sea with the wind in our faces enjoying so many wonderful sights, sounds and smells! Exhausted we dropped into our lovely accommodation only to prepare and change for cocktails and one of their delicious dinners.

On another day we took the Coco Bay option which consisted of snorkel gear on a boat and a heavenly boat ride down the coast to Coco Bay. There lies a peaceful house with lawns and table set out under the trees for lunch. Everything is laid on.! There is an awesome rocky lookout point and snorkelling at this place is different. Patience and slow and thorough looking is required to see out of the ordinary sealife here - it's a whole different system. After a lazy lunch and snooze, it's back to the boat and home to the lodge, suntanned, happy and more good times spent together with the family. Only one warning: try and get the boat and outing with only your party. Two would probably be too little but we were four and it would have been fine except we think another family insisted on barging in at the last moment. They weren't keen to share anything! Not sitting up front in the boat, nor the 5 comfy chairs on the vehandah vs hard benches against the wall nor any good humour! They stuck with their lot of 5 and hogged what they could including the view on top of the rocks and were most unfriendly. So if you want an intimate family outing, try and get exclusive use or make sure you are a little acquainted with the other party and if they seem at all hostile, rather go another time if possible as that sort of thing really threatens to ruin it all. Princesse Bora is all about good times with the people you are there with, easy going, friendly and a certain refinement and balance of "coastal chique".

One of our most special memories was that evening of the day we arrived! After lunch we found invitation slips under our doors to attend cocktails and sundowners on the jetty! We don't know how they did it, but the jetty was beautifully decorated with palm leaves, flowers, all recliners single and double had clean crisp white sheets on, comfy deck chairs were dotted about with lots of cream brollies up; beautiful music playing like Cafe del Mar and some dreamy French acoustic and lyrics, the likes of which we haven't heard. Waiters were milling around finding seats for everyone and offering delicate tasties and snacks along with loads of champagne and cocktails...... AWESOME! There was a wonderfully cooling breeze blowing and the sunset simply took your breath away. Seated there, our family, all together with all the other families in our various huddles, either sitting or lying down, whatever the mood took, the scene was magical and all or any troubles or sadnesses just melted away until it was just you and your family chilling, laughing, relaxing and enjoying one another. There is no price or value on such moments, they are indeed priceless, timeless and treasures of the heart forever. Even the weather was tailormade - shining when it needed to and blowing at the appropriate times!

New Year's eve arrived in all it's glory and anticipation. Again, the little slip under the door inviting all for cocktails at sunset and then dress-up! The theme was music in the eighties and to boot, all manner of hilarious and festive regalia was available to choose from and get all dolled up. So utterly ridiculous, fun and festive and everyone joined in the merriment. Time to let the hair down, enjoy the amazing dinner laid on and then party, party, party and dance, dance, dance and bring the new year in with a very flamboyant flourish! New Year's day was quiet, as to be expected with another little note, inviting all to open the lobster/crayfish season with a lunchtime poolside barbeque! Yum! Eat all you want and we did! What a spoil and the desserts were equally as enticing.

The staff were untiring and relentless in their quest to please and be of assistance in whatever form they could; the owner was here, there and everywhere making sure the place was running in top form, mingling with guests and keeping his eye on absolutely everything. Well done Princesse Bora and congratulations on having the finest establishment ever! We loved your place and wish to return time and again. The beauty of it all imprinted on our minds and hearts. We say thank you for making what was already a very special holiday for us, turn out to be way beyond our expectations. Came the day we had to leave it was with lumps in our throats and a yearning to try and stay and prolong it all - we would have found any excuse to stay and carry on building the good times. We didn't get to say goodbye in time to some of the dear folk we met there but exchanged contact details and fervently hope to hear from some of them soon.

Thank you again Princess Bora for making one very special dream come true and for your truly excellent hospitality!

Room Tip: The executive villas are a treat if you can afford and want space, kingsize bed, aircon, double show...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, 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?
5 Thank Ndlwane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

264 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    194
    54
    11
    3
    2
See reviews for
40
152
16
5
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Mitch1978
Level Contributor
22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2011

We stayed at Princesse Bora in late Nov/early Dec and would highly recommend it. Not much to add to the previous reviews, other than to agree that the food is fantastic and the staff and spa both excellent. A few points

- we paid extra for a Executive villa, and having seen both types I would recommend doing the same. Check on the website for pics, but the size, location and decor make it well worth the extra if you can
- PB Spa was fantastic and very, very cheap. Make good use of it
- we hired a motorbike in town, which they dropped off and picked up from the hotel and which was far cheaper than hiring from Princess Bora. This is a brilliant way to see the island, and a trip past the town and up the West coast let's you see a lot of what ile Sainte Marie has to offer
- even if you get a proper motorbike, I wouldn't recommend going round the east coast towards Clipper Bay. The road gets very sandy and very dodgy. Don't even think about going on a scooter
- don't miss the pirate graveyard - as if you would!
- definitely go to Ile aux Nattes, which is a paradise. Take your motorbike or pushbike five minutes south from the hotel and one of the guys there will punt you across to the island. It is absolutely stunning. However, and I cannot stress this enough, the sandflies (muq-au-foot or similar in Malagasy) are EVIL. We did not know about them and got eaten alive. The bites are not that itchy, but look nasty and stay for ages. Be careful.
- some people have commented on the level of English spoken at the hotel. We found this to be variable but generally very good, with the locals often better than the European senior management. This means French speakers get much more attention from the owner/manager than non-French speakers. Not a problem at all for us, we were very happy to be left to ourselves, but I guess some people may feel a little left out!

We are busily recommending Madagacar, Ile Sainte Marie and Princesse Bora to everyone we know, and now on Tripadvisor to loads of people we don't! Enjoy.

Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Mitch1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2011

We stayed in an executive hut as part of our honeymoon and it was absolutely superb. If you're debating whether to splurge, it's definitely worth it. The staff were friendly and the food was very good - particularly in the evening. As a pre-dinner drink, the bar has a range of flavoured rums - try the lychee one (nice) or chilli (if you fancy a challenge!). The whale watching is a must. The educational videos and pre-trip talks are interesting and we were lucky enough to see 11 whales and 5 breaches (whale jumps) which was breath-taking. The spa was good too with a relaxing atmosphere. The bikes can be taken out for free and we had a few trips to explore the island - including the pirate cemetery

  • Stayed September 2011
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank lucy_fletch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
France/ Switzerland
Level Contributor
67 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2011

We went to Princess Bora Lodge at the beginning of our honeymoon and we absolutely loved it. Having stayed at Hotel Central in Toamasina the night before (also reviewed), this was a welcome change and truly honeymoon standard.
First the location : Ile Ste Marie is just paradise. We arrived by boat and departed by plane and both options are great. I enjoyed the road trip between Toamasina and the "port" (not really a port, you'll understand when you get there) to go to Ste Marie (5-6 hours) as the landscapes and scenery were just gorgeous.
Princess Bora was wonderful : beautiful bungalow with direct access to the beach, amazing restaurant (one of the best places where we ate during our stay), kind staff and also a wonderful spa, the jungle spa. All the products are homemade (eg banana face mask, honey scrub...) and the way they have designed it is truly relaxing.
We recommend the day trip to Ile aux Nattes on your own : grab a bike from the hotel (free) then cycle to the little beach where guys will take you into their pirogues - boats- with the bike in their boat and then cycle on Ile aux Nattes and discover the inside of that tiny island and its beautiful shores. It was fabulous and we felt like we were just alone and so privileged !

Room Tip: Ask for one of the bungalows that are directly on the beach
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank AnneMarieTipi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Africa
Level Contributor
42 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2011

Loved this lodge. The management and staff are totlly professional but also really friendly and warm.The lodge is in a lovely spot and the gardens are immaculately maintained and still keep that wild exotic feeling. There are lots of things to do...or you can do nothing at all. The accomodation is very comfortable and spacious and the food plentiful and imaginative. We will return.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank IFBotta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northampton
Level Contributor
76 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2011

We stayed here for 3 nights at the end of an extensive (and exhausting) trip around Madagascar and it's a great place to wind down. Service was excellent in every way, our room which was one of the standard bungalows was gorgeous, with no aircon though in July this wasn't required.

We went on a whale watching trip which was very professionally organised and saw at least a dozen humpback whales - some of them no more that 4-5 metres away - absolutely brilliant.

If we're in this part of the world again we would definitely come back to the Princess Bora.

Room Tip: We stayed in 'Perroquet' bungalow which is fine. All look pretty much the same, though the d...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Keith R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Europe
Level Contributor
261 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2011

Ile Sainte Marie is about a 50 minute flight from Antananarivo. There are several hotels on this island as well as the neighbouring smaller islands. However, we stayed at the Princess Bora Lodge and Spa, a well run lodge in a beautiful setting by the beach. There is a spa and the lodge has water-sports equipment and a variety of bikes and quads available for the guests to use. Boat trips and other excursions can be organised through the lodge as can whale watching (in season). There is a pool overlooking the beach and snorkelling off the beach. The food served is excellent, made from fresh local produce and is French, Creole and Malagasy influenced. A small wine cellar offers guests a choice of local and imported vintages. There are various relaxing spa treatments available from well trained therapists.
While the lodge indicates they can arrange diving, we found that this was not the case. Their recommended dive centre was closed (March is low season) as was another one in town. We did track down another one only 4k from the lodge. David the dive-master knew the good spots, lots of fish, not many corals, but altogether satisfactory without being brilliant.
There is a computer available for guest use and wifi is available in the reception area, but not in the rooms. The rooms are villa style, each with its own terrace, some have a mezzanine with 2 single beds on that level.
Ideal place to relax and unwind from the pressures of daily life.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank eangelm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Nosy Boraha
0.0 mi away
Constance Tsarabanjina
Constance Tsarabanjina
#1 of 1 in Nosy Mitsio
5.0 of 5 bubbles 433 reviews
17.7 mi away
Riake Resort & Villa
Riake Resort & Villa
#2 of 15 in Nosy Boraha
5.0 of 5 bubbles 161 reviews
1.5 mi away
Hotel Soanambo
Hotel Soanambo
#5 of 15 in Nosy Boraha
4.5 of 5 bubbles 116 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
Boraha Village
Boraha Village
#7 of 15 in Nosy Boraha
4.5 of 5 bubbles 77 reviews
5.1 mi away
Hotel Libertalia
Hotel Libertalia
#4 of 15 in Nosy Boraha
4.5 of 5 bubbles 191 reviews
2.2 mi away
Lakana Hotel
Lakana Hotel
#6 of 15 in Nosy Boraha
4.5 of 5 bubbles 87 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Princesse Bora Lodge & Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Princesse Bora Lodge & Spa

Property: Princesse Bora Lodge & Spa
Address: 13 Bp, Nosy Boraha 515, Madagascar
Location: Madagascar > Toamasina Province > Nosy Boraha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Nosy Boraha
#1 Spa Hotel in Nosy Boraha
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Princesse Bora Lodge & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lodge of charm, allying luxury and wild nature in a typically tropical environment, Princesse Bora Lodge and Spa is a warm and human sized hotel. It takes place on Sainte Marie Island, East of Madagascar, a heaven of peace, far from mass tourism. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com and Hotels.com so you can book your Princesse Bora Lodge & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Princesse Bora Lodge And Spa
Princesse Bora Hotel Ile Sainte-Marie (Nosy Boraha)
Princesse Bora Lodge & Spa Madagascar/Nosy Boraha

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing