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Princesse Bora Lodge & Spa, Île Sainte-Marie

Princesse Bora Lodge & Spa

Set within landscaped tropical gardens beside the Indian Ocean and a white sand beach, Princesse Bora enjoys a laid-back atmosphere and a traditional style, with the main dining and lounge areas housed in wooden buildings with high ceilings and cone-shaped thatched roofs. The guest villas are spread across the grounds, linked by wooden boardwalks, and their small number makes for a peaceful and intimate feel throughout the property. The long sandy beach is sunset-facing, creating a scenic setting for enjoying evening cocktails, while the infinity pool is set above the beach looking out over the ocean.

Our rating: First Class

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Rooms

Accommodation is in wooden, thatched villas spread across the grounds, offering a simple, rustic style. Comfort Villas are largely open to take advantage of the gardens, featuring large verandas complete with hammocks. The bedroom has a double or twin beds, and the en suite bathroom features a hot shower. Luxury Villas are octagonal in shape, offering spacious verandas, en suite bathrooms and air conditioning. As well as a double bed, they can fit extra beds on a mezzanine level for two children aged 12 and under. Executive Beach Villas boast ocean views, with private steps leading straight onto the beach. More spacious than the other villas, they feature sunken baths, private gardens and verandas.

Location

The lodge is located on the southwest coast of Île Sainte-Marie (also known as Nosy Boraha), which lies off Madagascar’s east coast and was once a haven for pirates. Situated in a palm tree grove beside a sandy beach, it’s just five minutes from the island’s airstrip, and you’ll arrive in true Madagascan style on an ox cart.

Food and drink

The dining room is open to the refreshing ocean breeze on all sides and serves good French and Malagasy cuisine, including fresh fish and seafood that can be cooked on the outdoor open grill. There’s also a cocktail bar overlooking the lagoon and a temperature-controlled wine cellar stocked with wines from several different continents.

Families

Those travelling with up to two children aged 12 and under can be accommodated in the Luxury Villas, which have an additional mezzanine level.

Facilities and activities

The infinity pool overlooks the beach and ocean beyond and is surrounded by a sundeck where you can relax on loungers during the day. The spa offers a good selection of massages and treatments, and there’s a library and games room for a spot of indoor relaxation. Alternatively, hire a quadbike, bicycle or kayak to explore more of the local area and coastline.

Accessibility

All villas are on the ground level and connected by boardwalks for easy access.

Our opinion

We think Princesse Bora is both charming and comfortable, with a beautiful setting. While not luxurious by international standards, it’s certainly one of Madagascar's top properties, making a great base for exploring Île Sainte-Marie.

Île Sainte-Marie tour ideas

Nearby accommodation

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Places & hotels on the map

    Alternative places to stay nearby

    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.

    • Boraha Village, Ile Sainte Marie

      Boraha Village

      Simple

      Boraha Village is a small and friendly lodge located on a hilltop on the east coast of the island. The lodge is well known for its food and the crab is a speciality.

    Experiences while staying here

    The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.

    • Whale watching, Ile Sainte Marie, Madagascar

      Whale Watching

      Île Sainte-Marie

      In June, humpback whales come from the waters of the South Pole to the Ste Marie Channel, not far off the coast. The channel is protected by the East coast of Madagascar and by Sainte-Marie, ideal for whales who come to breed and calve