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Princesse Bora Lodge & Spa
Ranked #1 of 15 Hotels in Nosy Boraha
Certificate of Excellence
Perth and Kinross, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
67 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Even better than the brochures”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2012

Having booked our trip through Imagine Africa (who I would not hesitate to recommend) we stayed at Princess Bora for 7 nights during our Madagascar honeymoon and honestly cannot think of a single bad point about the hotel, its location and amenities, the food and most especially, the staff. On our arrival at the airstrip commonly known as Saint Marie "airport" we were taken by zebu cart for the few minute transfer to the hotel and on arriving we were given a welcome drink and given a tour of the hotel by a very friendly and helpful member of the reception team. Our room was a comfort villa yards from the beach (Poisson Ange) and was spacious and comfortable with free use of a safe and mosquito net provided. There is a terrace outside each room with 2 chairs and hammock and overall we loved the room and especially the views and sounds of the ocean from it.

I cannot emphasise enough how friendly, polite and helpful the staff at this hotel are, even managing to smile when some residents of a certain nationality were blatantly rude and obnoxious towards them. The staff are a credit to the whole country and a big part of the reason why we will definitely return to Princess Bora.

The food served in the restaurant, particularly the evening meals, is, without exaggeration, of Michelin standard, and is prepared in full view of the diners by the happiest looking chefs I've ever seen. All of the bar and waiting staff were amazing but unfortunately I don't know all their names, however Emilien was a real standout for us.

From Princess Bora we made use of the free bikes to explore the island, visiting the town, the pirate's cemetry and the Endemic Zoo and I would definitely recommend this as a way of seeing the surrounding area. We also walked past the airport to get a pirogue to the neighbouring island of Ille Aux Nattes which we explored by foot. But by far the highlight was our whale watching trip which is run by CetaMada from the hotel between July and September and allowed us to get close to the humpback whales.

In summary if you have the chance to stay here do not hesitate. It is a truly faultless hotel.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CB7982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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266 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    196
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    11
    3
    2
See reviews for
41
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 (46)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
182 reviews
78 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2012

The Princess Bora turned out to be everything it promised to be. Idyllic setting on Sainte Marie's south, attentive staff giving you outstanding service throughout your stay, amazing sunsets and one of the biggest wine cellars in the entire country. Our executive suite was not only the best room we stayed at in Madagascar but probably one of the best rooms we've stayed at with my wife in 5 years of travelling together. If you go, spend the extra cash and stay in these suites (there are 4 or 5 of them) which are dotted with a stone Jacuzzi in the middle of the room, huge beds with views on the beach, a veranda with swing chairs and a wonderful bathroom. The pick up from the airport is via Tuk Tuk and the transfer lasts literally 1 minute as the hotel is the closest to Sainte Marie airport. The hotel has fantastic coffee and I found myself going back there to have espressos even after checking out. The reef off the shore of the hotel is for a "hotel reef" absolutely fantastic.

What would make this place perfect or excellent?

The biggest let down at this Princess Bora and this did constitute a serious problem for us is the fact that you can only go swimming in a 10 meter wide section of the beach as their entire shore is full of sea urchins. So you can't, from the porch of your amazing room, decide to take your shirt off and go swimming. You have to walk past all the other villas, across the pool and go swim in a very narrow stretch of beach which has been cleaned of urchins. It does take away from the experience if you want, like us, to spend most of your time in the water.

The internet situation is disastrous. We can try to understand (although don't agree with) the whole "we don't have internet in the rooms just the way we don't have TV's" argument but then you have to make sure the internet in the internet room works better. 8 minutes to open a page, hours spent just to confirm a booking, laptops falling apart etc... We've stayed at way more primitive hotels where internet was twice as fast!

Room Tip: Executive suite.
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Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank djopm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
110 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2012

As others have described there are a range of bungalows at Princess Bora - we were fortunate to have an Executive Villa (named 'Charette') which was right on the beach, spacious with quality fittings - would highly recommend such a villa. We also had use of one of the other villas slightly back from the beach and although smaller it was still a lovely room. Our room had a large double shower, a large flat stone sink area (although you couldn't put water into a 'sink' as there wasnt one), a step in stone bath, large and comfortable bed overlooking the beach. There was also a wide decking with chairs and cushions for lounging.
Restaurant was good quality and the bar area was popular. Food was good. The spa/massage was excellent and good value - well worth using. We had a his and hers massage alongside each other.
One of the highlights must be the opportunity to go whale watching. Not a large boat so take some travel sickness pills if you are prone to sea-sickness - the water activities centre do have some to give out. Takes about an hour to get out into the channel - but is worth it. Saw a mother and calf on one day, the next trip out saw 16 whales !, so went out again (reduced price for a second time out), and was fortunate to see a mother and calf leaping - awesome ! got some pictures as well however due to the movement of the boat wasn't easy.
Collected at the airport on a zebu cart - nice touch !
Each evening there was some form of local entertainment - low key and enjoyable.
Loved Princess Bora and a great way to spend 3 days at the end of a trip on the mainland trekking through rainforests.
One of the highlights mu

Room Tip: Charette (Executive villa) is right on the beach very spacious and well equipped
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dave B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath
Level Contributor
68 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2012

We stayed for 4 nights in July. The loaction is stunning and the restaurant and pool area really nice as well. Sunsets are lovely. Staff are welcoming. The best tip I can offer anyone is to choose the best quality room...its on the East Coast and is frequently humid, we were in a Comfort Villa and it really wasnt in those conditions, everything felt damp and it was the only place where we were bitten by mosquitos in the whole of Madagascar. If you go in July to September you mustdo the whate watching. It was absolutely fantastic to see a 40t humpback whale fully breach 30 m from our boat! A highlight of the holiday. This part of Madagascar can be subject to rainy periods so do not assume it will be sun all the way!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Derek S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ravenna, Italy
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2012

Princess Bora Lodge was the first step during our honeymoon travel in Madagascar. It's a fantastic place if you look for relax, beautiful white beach, excellent food and service. There're different types of bungalows with different prices. We choose a simple one, not directly overlooking the beach, and it was great, really confortable, with a very nice veranda. They host the CETAMADA association which organizes boat trips for whalewatching with very professional staff. The SPA is very good, although a bit more expensive than other in Madagascar.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lela974
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ascoli Piceno, Italy
Level Contributor
35 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2012

EXCELLENT service, marvelous quiet place to relax; clear sea, white beaches...

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank silvia c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 5, 2012

We stayed here for the first few nights of our honeymoon. What a superb choice we made! The lodge is situated in a stunning place, right on a beautiful beach with clear sea showing amazing coral reefs, and maybe even a humpback whale or two passing by for good measure! The staff were excellent, very friendly and helpful. The food was delicious, served in stylish wooden huts making up the main social area of the lodge, right next to the pool. The spa was the best I have been to anywhere and the whole place was beautifully designed, built and furnished using local materials. I would certainly recommend it, and I also think this would be a good place to holiday with children.

Room Tip: Go for one right on the beach if you can. What a place to wake up in the morning!
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Aimee F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 Spa Hotel in Nosy Boraha
#1 On the Beach 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 
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Also Known As:
Princesse Bora Lodge And Spa
Princesse Bora Hotel Ile Sainte-Marie (Nosy Boraha)
Princesse Bora Lodge & Spa Madagascar/Nosy Boraha

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