Le Paradisier

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Le Paradisier

Date of travel

September, 2018

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Having nearly recovered from hiking in Madagascar’s “Isalo National Park”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/attraction/193053, we were looking forward to two nights of chilling at “Le Paradisier”:http://www.paradisier.net/en/presentation.html. Arriving mid-afternoon, we were greeted with cold flannels and chilled juice. As our reservation was being checked, a woman poked her head around the office door, said ‘bonjour’, ‘bienvenue’ and as we said ‘hello’, she disappeared back into the office. We later discovered this was the manager.

The 23 well-spaced cottages were all in a line along the beach. Having thought our hiking days were over, we found our room, number 16, was 400m from reception along a cobbled path. It was a semi-detached building with thatched roof and on entering, we noticed the accommodation was over two floors, with the bathroom on the ground floor and bedroom up a flight of open stairs. This meant nightly excursions to the bathroom had to be in pairs with head torches as electricity was only at limited times.

The living space downstairs had a day bed, two easy chairs, coffee table, hooks with clothes hangers and safe.

The bathroom was screened with open shower, basin and enclosed loo. The solar-heated water was hotter and more powerful than we’d anticipated but it was all quite rustic – the loo door was either shabby chic or badly painted depending on your perspective.

Upstairs was a large double bed with thick blankets, mosquito net (turned down each night), bedside tables and lights. The room was very light with large windows on three sides, one of them overlooking the sea. Beams were a little low and Roy had to stoop.

There was only one power point for charging and we were told hairdryers were available for use at reception along with more charging points.

We had a small deck with two traditional deck chairs. Two sunbeds, under a canopy of thin bamboo, were on the sand a few yards away, and overlooked the Mozambique Channel. These caught the late afternoon sun and it was a nice place to watch the sunset. Unfortunately, we were so far from the bar, there was no accompanying cocktail.

All in all, it was a disappointing affair. A ‘credit card’ attached to the key had to be put in a slot for the power, which on removal, immediately switched off the electricity, making locking the door in the dark difficult. We subsequently discovered that the card could be removed from the chain with the keys on it.

The main area with reception, bar and restaurant was a lovely thatched affair with floor to ceiling windows. A balcony ran around the outside with tables set for meals overlooking the sea, so we heard the roar of the waves. The bar was within and had separate thatched roof.

The swimming pool had enough loungers, but unfortunately the whole place was beset by mosquitoes. We learned they’d had recent rains which along with proximity to a lagoon, brought the blighters out in droves, but unlike in other places, no spraying was being done.

The food was mixed. On the first night, there were three starters one of which was oysters (a no no), one had finished (the crab ravioli which we both wanted), so we had the only remaining option, duck carpaccio which was very thick and tough. Roy had a fish skewer with ratatouille and I chose a vegetarian partisan gratin which was basically potato dauphinoise – both were ok. Puddings of pineapple flambé, and orange and honey ice cream were both excellent.

Breakfast was served to table: pineapple juice, a platter of fruit (pineapple, melon and banana), basket of toast, croissant and pain au chocolate along with jam. Eggs were also on offer.

My overriding memories of this hotel are mosquitoes, trekking backwards and forwards to the room and mediocre food. Out of the 15 hotels we stayed at on our tour, it is the only one we would not return to or recommend to Silver Travellers.

Helen Jackson

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