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“Lemurs, lemurs, lemurs”
Review of Palmarium Hotel

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Palmarium Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 7, 2014

Arrived here by amazing boat ride from Toamasina down lake Ampitabe. Spectacular approach and setting with bungalows in the rainforest. Accommodation was good, spacious with slightly erratic shower but better facilities than one should expect in this location. Forest with lots of lemurs many habituated, which allowed for good photos. In total we saw 9 species, including a mouse lemur in the pitch of one of the bungalows. I had been hoping to see the two species of Pitcher plant endemic to Madagascar...and after a lovely trek through the forest and out onto the lakeside there they were. Also visited neighbouring fishing village which was receiving support from NGO's to develop aspects such as distillation of Eucalyptus oil, cultivation of Vanilla etc. Would recommend this visit to anyone touring Madagascar.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank GarryNorley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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79 - 85 of 190 reviews

Reviewed December 2, 2013

Disjointed & chaotic are probably the correct words to use:
Breakfast juice that arrives just as you’ve finished breakfast,
A menu board that seemingly bear no resemblance to the selections actually available,
Showers that only summon up a trickle of tepid water (though it was hot once!),
Abandoned on the “fishermans village” excursion on the far side of the lake with no boat back – our guide had to bribe another boat that had called in for a few supplies to go out of his way to take us back!

But…. We actually loved the place, after a very pleasant boat journey across the lakes & down the canals, the hotel itself is wonderfully tranquil with lemurs everywhere, draped over the rafters in the bar, perched on our chalet balcony, never mind all those we saw on our walks round the “reserve” – how the Indri make so much noise for such a small animal is beyond me!. There are also many chameleon to be seen + the odd snake and the gardens are very prettily laid out. The meals themselves were good and all the staff were very pleasant making our 2 day stay very enjoyable.

ps the excuse for the fishermans village debacle was that the boat had gone to pick up some guests (1 hr each way away) but that they were late arriving. How they proposed to get us back once it got dark was never explained!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2013

This hotel is an a wonderful setting reached by boat from either Tamatave or Manambato along the Canal which is both spectacular and interesting. The accommodation is in individual palm thatched bungalows with a deck overlooking the lake. Electricity is not constant and the water supply a bit irregular. The forest walk is fantastic and the lemurs tame enough to shake hands with, the guides superb, the garden is very interesting especially at dawn, the food is plentiful. All in all a really attractive place to stay. Do take the opportunity to visit a local fishing village.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank RicMicDublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2013

This was the second leg of our Madagascar adventure. the accommodation is in individual thatched hardwood "bungalows". They were comfortable and very spacious. the bathrooms were a little basic but functional. The water plentiful and was heated by wood burning heaters behind the accommodation (smoke sometimes drifted in through the windows). The individual verandas were great. although the electricity is generated on site and not always on, it was on most of the time we wanted it. Top tip if you stay in the ones to the south of the (we were in 10) wake up early when you hear the trees rustling. Each of the reserve's groups of lemurs pass in front of the veranda every morning on the way to the restaurant area where they provide the guides with their first lemur encounters. remember to bring a banana or 2 from breakfast the previous day. They will jump onto the veranda and provide you with your own individual lemur encounter. There are so gentle when you offer them some banana by holding the back of your hand up to their mouth! keep the video cameras ready and set the still cameras to continuous shooting as you will not want to miss the experience.
The restaurant was fairly good with the Zebu steaks being the best. You do have to order your next meal a few hours before or ideally at the previous meal time but you do get the hang of this fairly quickly.
The reserve is private but contains 4 varieties of lemur and is very easy to wander around yourself.
It is located on a large lake with quite a nice quiet beach.
We had a good time here.
The only negative is that is quite difficult to get to as the road to Mambato is appalling and only to be attempted by 4WD. the boat journey to Tamatave was much nicer.
Whilst not the reserves fault the communications with the rest of the world went down before we left. Unfortunately this coincided with one of Air Madagascar's latest of many changes to our internal flight itinerary. This meant that we got to Tamatave 4h after the flight left and had to then find accommodation in the city until our tour operator caught up with us.

Room Tip: south side for the lemurs
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank adebrod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2013

You can only reach this hotel by boat.
A spectakular road from Brickaville to a beach brought us to one of the hotelboats that pict us up 45 min south of the hotel. A fantastic tour.
At the hotel we were taken care of from we arrived to we left. The lemurs greated us welcom at the terasse at the bungalow.
In one way a primitive hotel, but still it was fantastic!
Good management wishing the guests all the best, you get all you need to have a great stay.
After a great stay the hotelboat shipt us to Tamatave, 3 hours trip through the Pangalanes canal.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Eddie_S57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2013

We arrived here for a 2 night stay as part of a tour in Madagascar last week. After travelling for a couple of hours from Andisibe then the long boat trip to this resort we were greeted with a lovely welcome drink. We were then advised that they had double booked and they may not be able to accommodate us! Bit of a shock, especially as the only other 2 places to stay nearby were at capacity already! Our group was 20 in number, so no mean feat to get us beds, but somehow it was done, albeit that some of us were sharing. This was only for the first night though then we were taken to our own little bungalow. Gorgeous little cabins set on the edge of the lake and forest. Hammock on the verandah, comfy beds, mossie nets. The food here was the best we had in a week in country. Not sure how they do it but very nice. Alcohol prices were so cheap too. No hot water in either of the 2 cabins that we stayed, so be prepared for cold showers. Overall a surprisingly good experience. Would recommend if you want to get away from it all and experience the forest and all the lemurs up close and personal.

Room Tip: Just double check before getting there that there will definitely be a room for you as it is a bit h...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank unluckyduck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2013

What a beautiful place. Arriving here was so different from the noise and bustle of Andisibe and our three nights were relaxing and very refreshing. We had a bungalow overlooking the lake and could clearly hear the ocean off in the distance.
The bungalow had everything needed for comfort including a great bathroom and beautiful views. It was cooled by the breeze off the lake and the generous deck area was great for watching birds and passing boats.
The service and food were excellent and breakfast was delicious and a bit of fun with cheeky lemurs watching for a chance to grab a banana.
We enjoyed walking in the reserve and being followed by lemurs and meeting an Indri close up was unforgettable.
Palmarium is home to a collection of lemurs, some ex pets, and is a gentle quiet environment so very unlike a resort or a petting zoo, which were my initial concerns. Instead, it is free range and guests can enjoy the whole area including the lakes so apart from those lemurs at home in the gardens, you might need a guide to find the Indri and others in the reserve.
Yes you need to wait for hot water and yes, the power comes from a generator so it is available morning and night. The cost of transport is negotiable and overall the cost of accommodation is worth it for the chance to get right away from the noise and enjoy very tranquil surroundings and abundant bird and wildlife.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank patriciaoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Palmarium Hotel

Address: Lake Ampitabe sur le canal des Pangalanes | Bp 257, Toamasina (Tamatave), Madagascar
Location: Madagascar > Toamasina Province > Toamasina (Tamatave)
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Toamasina (Tamatave)
Number of rooms: 17
Also Known As:
Palmarium Hotel Madagascar/Toamasina (Tamatave)

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