Our Rating
7.5
Overall

Les Tipaniers

Madagascar, St Marie and Ile aux Nattes

from 42 per person sharing

Our Rating
7.5
Overall

Les Tipaniers

Madagascar, St Marie and Ile aux Nattes

from 42 per person sharing

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Our Verdict

This lovely little lodge with its 8 comfortable bungalows sits perched overlooking THE finest beach on St Marie – it’s an idyllic spot for honeymooners or travellers looking for a few days of quiet and seclusion!

Our Ratings

7.5
Overall
6.5
Luxury & Style
9.0
Setting
5.5
Activities
9.0
Chill-Out Factor

Our Ratings

7.5
Overall
6.5
Luxury & Style
9.0
Setting
5.5
Activities
9.0
Chill-Out Factor

What's Hot

  • Quite simply the most beautiful beach we’ve yet seen on St Marie! And more than just being appealing on the eye, it’s also wonderful for swimming with its sandy bottom, crystal-clear water and comfortable depth.
  • Enjoy stunning views from the restaurant terrace (including superb sightings of whales during their annual migration from July – Sept) Look down on the blindingly blue waters and white sand beach with an ice cold THB lager in your hand and you’ll feel the city stress melting away!
  • The bungalows are clean, bright and attractive and have an unbeatable position lining the stunning beach – and there’s electricity and hot water too (unlike some of the simple lodges on places like Ile aux Nattes)
  • Great place to come if you’re looking for blissful peace and isolation – there may be the odd lunch visit by outside visitors enjoying an excursion to the north of St Marie, but otherwise Les Tipaniers is wonderfully quiet and undisturbed (yet just 1 ½ hours now from the airport!)
  • We enjoyed wonderfully relaxing massages in a simple massage hut – and at fantastic prices too! (around R100 for a full body massage!) Walking back to your room after dinner you’ll enjoy some of the most spectacular views of the night sky ever!

What's Not

  • Could be just too quiet for people wanting a bit more action and easy access to the rest of the island’s attractions further south – that’s why a combo with one of the other lodges in the south would work best for many travellers
  • The lighting in the restaurant could be made a bit more romantic through the use of lamp light or candles rather than the normal overhead lighting
  • Pity that you don’t find the lemurs here that you encounter on Ile aux Nattes
Les Tipaniers

Les Tipanierswith its fantastic beach and wonderfully isolated location, Les Tipaniers will definitely appeal to travellers looking for peace and quiet

Lodge Profile

This lovely little lodge with its 8 comfortable bungalows sits perched overlooking THE finest beach on St Marie – it’s an idyllic spot for honeymooners or travellers looking for a few days of quiet and seclusion!

Quick Overview

Rooms
8 - 4 Luxury Bungalows, 1 Family Bungalow, 3 Standard Bungalows
Distance to Beach
5 metres
Air Conditioning
No
Pool
No - but this is one of the finest swimming beaches we've ever seen!
Recommended Stay
3 - 7 nights

Whilst St Marie is one of our most favourite and charming islands of all that we sell, ironically we’ve never been hugely impressed by most of its beaches (for stunning sandy beaches perfect for swimming we’ve instead always recommended the beaches of the tiny island of Ile aux Nattes which lies just off St Marie’s southern tip) But on a recent holiday we discovered Les Tipaniers lodge, located in the far north of St Marie, which has to boast one of the finest beaches we’ve ever clapped eyes on!

The vast majority of the hotels and lodges on St Marie are located in the southern half of this long, rather thin island – this is where the airport is located and the decent tar road in the south makes it easy to get around this area, yet the beaches here are generally pretty mediocre. Now however, a newly constructed road has opened up the far north of the island which previously was only for brave-hearted adventurers. Les Tipaniers lodge for example is now a scenic and easy 1 ½ hour road transfer from the airport (whereas previously it was a 3 to 4 ½ hour slog along rough dirt tracks!)

When you arrive at Les Tipaniers (which means “frangipani” by the way), the sensational view that greets you makes you want to go and thank the builders of the new road in person! Simply put, you look down from a small hill onto one of the most perfectly picturesque stretches of white sand beach fringed by cobalt-blue water that we’ve ever seen! The soft sandy bottom and comfortable depth means that the water is as good to swim in as it is to look at – we literally swam for hours on end enjoying the balmy and calm water!

Les Tipaniers consists of 8 simply styled but very clean and comfortable bungalows which line the beach on either side of the main restaurant area – they attractively combine quite conventional tiled and cement screed floors and solid walls with more traditional open thatched roofs. There are 3 Standard rooms (which we wouldn’t usually choose as they are smaller and also located in a second row back from the beach); then 4 more spacious (35 m2) Luxury Bungalows which also have the advantage of occupying the prime beachfront positions literally a few metres from the white sands; finally there is a large Family Bungalow with 2 separate bedrooms sharing a bathroom and also offering a large lounge area – chances are though that you’ll forgo this in favour of rather lounging on the spacious veranda where you can relax in the shade with a good book whilst being lulled by the hypnotic sound of the sea lapping on the shore and the birds tweeting in the trees.

A short walk from your room up the gentle hill brings you to the lodge’s main restaurant and bar area which enjoys a fantastic outlook over the bay from its hilltop position. The bar and some of the tables for the restaurant are inside, but rather sit on the outside terrace area and drink in the superb views – we enjoyed wonderful sundowners every night watching the sun set in the distance! Food was consistently good and probably the only slight criticism we had was that the lighting was a little too bright – some romantic paraffin lamps or candles would go down a treat, especially with couples on a romantic break. On the plus side, both the waiters as well as the friendly owners Fabiola and Gilles spoke decent English which made communication pretty easy (often not the case with many of the smaller lodges in Madagascar)

For most guests staying at Les Tipaniers, it is the wonderful sense of isolation and seclusion offered by the lodge’s glorious position that will appeal most. A range of activities are on offer here of course, but the lodge is so far off the beaten track that travellers wanting a bit more of a buzz are advised to instead look at one of the lodges in the south of the island or on neighbouring Ile aux Nattes. We enjoyed the most fantastic swimming here at Les Tipaniers and spent hours playing with a Frisbee in the crystal clear waters. Kayaks are available (and in winter you can actually paddle out to the humpback whales that come close in to the beach!), there are hiking trails and quad bikes may also be hired; otherwise you may choose to wander along the gorgeous beach to explore the deserted little sandy coves to be found in both directions; snorkelling gear is also available and whilst there’s no coral reef as such, the rocky outcrop on the north of the main beach is home to large numbers of surprisingly large and colourful tropical fish. Another great low-key activity is to use the lodges boules set for some keenly contested games on the beach. And if even that sounds too active for you, then there’s the option of a blissfully relaxing massage (at ridiculously low prices too!)

Les Tipaniers was a wonderful discovery on our last trip to St Marie – with its fantastic beach and wonderfully isolated location it will definitely appeal to travellers looking for some peace and quiet. If you’re worried that it might become a little too quiet for you, then it may be a great lodge to start for a few nights before transferring down the island to somewhere a little livelier – a combo with Princesse Bora or one of the Ile aux Nattes lodges definitely holds huge appeal!

Pricing

per person sharing

More Information

Booking Notes

  • Please note that this website displays 2 different versions of pricing based on where you are viewing it:
  • SOUTH AFRICANS: the package prices you see including flights from Johannesburg, accommodation and transfers are INDICATIVE prices based on mid-season airfares and mid-season room rates - these fluctuate throughout the year as do exchange rates, so please enquire with us for an accurate price based on your specific dates of travel
  • INTERNATIONAL CLIENTS: the prices you see are per person per night prices for accommodation only based on the normal public prices for the property in question - note that in many instances we are able to provide better prices to our clients, so please enquire with us

Child Policy

  • Children under the age of 2 stay free of charge
  • Children aged 2-9: stay free of charge if sharing with adults