Our Rating
8.3
Overall

Princesse Bora Lodge

Madagascar, St Marie and Ile aux Nattes
9 Nights from

R 34595 per person sharing

Our Rating
8.3
Overall

Princesse Bora Lodge

Madagascar, St Marie and Ile aux Nattes
9 Nights from

R 34595 per person sharing

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Our Verdict

In the middle of a palm tree grove on the edge of a glorious white sand beach and lagoon you'll find the 20 chalets that make up the most luxurious accommodation on the pirate's island of Sainte Marie.

Our Ratings

8.3
Overall
8.0
Luxury & Style
8.0
Setting
8.5
Activities
8.5
Chill-Out Factor

Our Ratings

8.3
Overall
8.0
Luxury & Style
8.0
Setting
8.5
Activities
8.5
Chill-Out Factor

What's Hot

  • The most stylish and luxurious accommodation option on St Marie - if you can afford it the gorgeous Executive Beach Villas are really very special indeed! (especially recommended for honeymooners!)
  • A couple of great bars here! Enjoy an ice-cold draught beer whilst enjoying a delicious lunch with your toes sinking into the beach sand at the Kintana beach bar - built around an old authentic pirogue hull! Or what about sundowners on the jetty deck located out in the lagoon, where the bar has been built around the pontoons of an old sea-plane!
  • Fantastic massages (at prices way cheaper than South Africa) on offer at the lodge's lovely Spa with its team of superbly trained therapists
  • Stunning pool where you can chill out whilst working on your tan, perhaps whilst sampling the famous flavoured rums from the adjacent bar!
  • Loads of things to do - from exploring the island by bicycle, quad bike or 4x4, scuba-diving, deep-sea fishing, excursions to deserted beaches and beauty sites, kite-surfing at Bora Kite, not to mention loads of other water-sports!
  • If you're interested in whales, this is definitely the best place to stay on the island as it is the base for the scientific researchers
  • Where else could you be transferred from the airport in a Zebu cart?!

What's Not

  • Sea is shallow and corally underfoot, so swimming off the pontoon deck is best if you're not keen on swimming pools - or better still head for the day to the gorgeous beaches of the idyllic Iles aux Nattes, a tiny island close nearby
  • Quite near the airport - then again this is not exactly OR Tambo so shouldn't disturb you much as there are no more than a couple of flights a day
Princesse Bora Lodge

Princesse Bora Lodgeone of Barefoot Break's absolute favourite lodges, when it comes to accommodation on St Marie then Princesse Bora has to be THE choice for more discerning travellers!

Lodge Profile

In the middle of a palm tree grove on the edge of a glorious white sand beach and lagoon you'll find the 20 chalets that make up the most luxurious accommodation on the pirate's island of Sainte Marie.

Quick Overview

Rooms
20 Villas
Distance to Beach
10 - 50 metres
Air Conditioning
Not in Comfort Villas, Yes in other Villa types
Pool
Yes
Recommended Stay
7 - 14 nights

One of Barefoot Break's absolute favourite lodges, when it comes to accommodation on St Marie then Princesse Bora has to be THE choice for more discerning travellers! Owned and run by the friendly and dynamic Francois-Xavier Mayer (known to everyone as "Fifou"), whose family has lived on the island since the 1790s, this is by far the most stylish and classy lodge on the island, with an excellent Spa and lovely restaurant. And importantly on an island where very few people speak anything other than Malagasy and French, you will find the friendly team here has some pretty fluent English speakers, an aspect often remarked upon with appreciation by our returning guests in their comments.

Boasting more luxurious lodgings than the simple palm banda type accommodation typically found on St Marie, this exclusive lodge is set amongst a coconut plantation that opens onto a superb white stretch of beach and a beautiful lagoon. There are just 20 villas scattered about the spacious tropical gardens that line the beach – the Comfort Villas are simple ands very traditionally styled with the resort’s trademark hanging beds and cooling by fan; the Luxury Villas are similar but bigger with lovely wooden finishes, air-conditioning and a mezzanine floor but the 6 newer Executive Beach Villas are out of this world – much more modern and stylish gorgeous glass fronted 90m2 luxury suites where you can look out over the idyllic lagoon from the comfort of your double bed or sunken bath through the widely opening shutter doors, or from your extensive terrace area!

Lying just off the main restaurant and bar area lies a stunning wooden decked infinity pool which invites guests to splash about whilst getting a bit of relief from the tropical heat. But perhaps the focal point from a visual perspective is the lovely jetty deck that lies off the beach in the ocean, reached by a wooden boardwalk that stretches out into the lagoon. Here you'll find a large sea-sand topped shaded deck where you can laze about on one of the sun loungers or perhaps enjoy one of the group yoga sessions. At sunset the bar (built delightfully around the landing pontoons of an old sea-plane) opens (and guests are summoned by one of the staff dressed in traditional dress blowing on a conch shell!), so you can enjoy a delicious cocktail or three whilst admiring the sunset! During the day our favourite location for a light lunch and drink has to be the Kintana beach bar and restaurant, built around the hull of an authentic old wooden pirogue, where you can enjoy your meal whilst sinking your toes into soft beach sand! One thing to note is that the lodge has its own organic veggie garden, so the salads on offer are truly fresh and delicious!

The beach in front of the lodge is very attractive with lovely white sand – it’s shallow though and quite corally underfoot in the water itself, so you’re better served swimming off the pontoon (or in the pool of course) If you're in mind of stunning swimming beaches though, our advice is to take a short taxi ride to the southern tip of St Marie and then take a pirogue across for the day to the gorgeous little island of Iles aux Nattes - here, where the pirogues make landfall, you'll find one of the finest swimming beaches we've yet seen on our travels in the Indian Ocean - and best of all you'll share it with no more than a handful of other bathers!

Another great area to head for is Coco Bay, a wonderfully unspoilt private beach area owned by the lodge in the northern reaches of the island – a trip here by boat makes for a wonderful day trip! Otherwise why not head off and explore the island on the mountain bikes which are available free of charge, or you can hire a motorbike, quads or a 4WD with driver/guide. There’s plenty to see on the island, from natural cascading waterfalls to the bustling main town with its markets and famous pirate’s graveyard, or you can stop off at one of the other restaurants or bars for a change of scenery. Owner Fifou caught the kite-surfing bug and has opened up Bora Kite, set in a gorgeous shallow lagoon about 4 km away on the island's east coast which is more exposed to the prevailing winds. There’s plenty to do from the lodge itself too - deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, kayaking, snorkelling and exploring the area in a traditional pirogue or canoe, or simply relaxing on the beach or by the swimming pool. Our favourite option though if you still need help relaxing is the gorgeously stylish Spa where some fantastic massages are on offer (and at excellent prices too especially compared to South Africa!)

One of the real highlights of Princesse Bora that deserves special mention has to be the chance to observe the humpback whales that migrate to the seas off St Marie from July through September every year – in fact, Princess Bora plays host to a scientific research team that go out by boat to study the whales. After a busy day on and off the water, the convivial bar is the perfect place to wind down and watch the sunset over a long cocktail – or try one of the flavoured rums that is the bar’s speciality (in fact check out the lodge's Rhumerie - part of the main restaurant area - where you can buy lovely bottles of your favourite flavour rum which make the perfect gift to take home!) The restaurant is cleverly divided to create a more intimate ambiance and is especially pretty at night when it is lit by atmospheric lanterns - it specialises in Creole, French & Malagasy-inspired dishes with seafood and local products like Zebu steaks prominent as you might expect. The food is very stylishly presented and excellent quality too - the lodge also has a pizza oven for a welcome simpler alternative at lunch.

Pricing

per person sharing

More Information

Booking Notes

  • Please note that the package prices you see including return 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

Child Policy

  • Children of all ages are welcome