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Le Jardin du Roy is on the edge of Isalo National Park, a few miles outside of Ranohira.

Built from granite to blend in with the landscape, the main lodge looks down over a long stretch of lawn, which ends in towering sandstone cliffs. Inside the lodge is a restaurant with a fireplace, and a cozy bar with billiards and board games. All across the front of the building are huge windows to let in as much of the view as possible.

Four buildings on the edges of the lawn house the 22 luxury rooms. The inside of these very much echoes the landscape outside, with polished wooden floors, granite walls and deep red fabrics reflecting the bougainvillea in the garden. All of the rooms have a small sitting area outside where you can relax with a drink or a camera and watch the cliffs as they catch the light of the setting sun.

To one side of the lawn a rough pathway runs through the kopjes to nine low, round bungalows built in a clearing among the rocks. These are slightly smaller than the luxury rooms, but still very pretty, with stone wall, thatched roofs and bougainvillea growing around the door.

If you're not exploring the national park, there is plenty to do in the lodge. There is a good size swimming pool, tennis and riding can be organized, and a masseuse on hand.

OUR RATING: First Class

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