Isalo Rock Lodge

1032 Reviews

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Date of travel

September, 2018

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Reasons for trip

Culture / Sightseeing

“Isalo Rock Lodge”:, located in central, southern Madagascar, was a huge place with 10 ‘pavilions’ each with six rooms joined together in a row. All had superb views of jagged rock outcrops through their picture windows.

The bedroom had a large, but low bed, with bedside lights and tables, a high desk and stool, easy chair and coffee table, mini bar with soft drinks and beer and tea and coffee making facilities. The floor and ceiling were smooth, painted concrete and looked stunning in beige and brown. In the small hall was space for luggage and wardrobe with safe. There was a turndown service when the mosquito net was unfurled and chocolates were left.

The bathroom had a huge sunken bath, great views through the window (but both ways), double sinks, separate loo and large open shower with hot, but not gushing water, robes, hairdryer and toiletries. Whilst the bath looked impressive it was totally impractical. We thought it was taking a long time to fill and realised that although the plug was in, we could hear water draining away. There was also a two-foot row of pebbles surrounding it on the floor, making it hard on the feet and even more difficult to get in and out of.

There were numerous plug points in accessible places, but power was only available between 6am and 9am and 5pm to 10pm. So, although there were tea and coffee making facilities in the room, mid-afternoon cuppas were out. And whilst they’d gone to the expense of installing air conditioning, it wasn’t on overnight when we needed it most. The manager told us the first row of rooms had solar powered AC all the time, and having asked how long we were staying, offered to move us. But bearing in mind we were all unpacked, we declined. It was also frustrating that because the electricity was operated with your key card which you took out when leaving the room, the ability to charge batteries etc. was further reduced.

The swimming pool had plenty of loungers around the edge and whilst it wasn’t huge, it was great for cooling off after a day’s sightseeing.

There was a long bar, again overlooking impressive rocks, with both indoor and outdoor seating. The restaurant was next to it and we had a two-choice, three-course menu for dinner. On our first night we had smoked fish tartare with papaya, melt in the mouth pork chops with potatoes and vegetable and a fresh fruit salad. When we ordered a beer and bottle of sparkling water, the bottles were presented to us to check as if they were a fine wine, and although water glasses were on the table, the beer was poured ceremoniously into the large balloon wine glass.

Breakfast was served and there was a yoghurt, fresh fruit, bread basket, cheese and ham on each table with eggs cooked to order.

This was a comfortable but slightly quirky place but fine for three nights.

Helen Jackson

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