Best hotels and hostels in The Great Reef

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Southern Reef

    Le Domaine d’Ambola

    Le Domaine d’Ambola is one of those special places that lingers in the mind for its serenity – you know you're somewhere special when a place lists its address as 'Beach'. The hotel sits up high on a bluff overlooking the reef, with pleasant breezes. It’s also set apart by its design, with its white walls and blue accents looking inspired by the Greek islands. The simply furnished rooms are brightly coloured, with tiled floors and distant views. The restaurant serves up great seafood fresh from the village. Perhaps most surprising is the resident dive operation, which gets high marks from customers who come a long way to use it. There is no pampering here, but if you want a few days of low-key charm in pristine surroundings, this is worth the trip from Tuléar.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Northern Reef

    Five Senses Lodge

    Perched high on sand dunes looking out over a turquoise sea along an otherwise-deserted stretch of coast around 10km north of Ankasy, Five Senses is a magnificent place. Horizons without end, spacious, stylish rooms with contemporary design features, and one of the best restaurants anywhere along Madagascar's coast – linger for as much time as you have. Activities are possible, including diving. It's between Ankasy and Salary.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Ifaty & Mangily

    Bamboo Club

    This place caters mostly to divers, but offers comfortable bungalows climbing up through the trees from the beach, a small swimming pool and an excellent terrace restaurant serving Indian Ocean specialities. If you can, opt for one of the new solid bungalows over the older thatched versions, although all of the rooms are excellent, the grounds are lovely and service is excellent.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Northern Reef

    La Mira de Madiorano

    This excellent place is filled with light and the bungalows are all dressed in white, and are spacious with subtle but discernible charm. The views are exceptional, there are two restaurants and a lovely pool, and it offers a general sense of quality that puts to shame many more expensive places along this coast. It's 3km south of Ambolimailaka and 36km north of Tuléar.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Ifaty & Mangily

    Sur la Plage

    Easily the pick of Mangily's midrange options, Sur la Plage has tidy, colourful, if simple bungalows that are kept sparkling clean – they're actually just as good as many places where you'll pay double the price. The restaurant here is first rate. There are bicycles for borrowing as well.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Northern Reef

    Chez Katia

    This charming beachside maison d'hôte (gueshouse) is warm and welcoming. The large, spotless rooms are outstanding and look like they've been freshly painted. The restaurant, on an elevated wooden platform so you can see the beach, serves up meals from Ar25,000.

  • Lodging in Northern Reef

    Salary Bay

    This resort sits high on a sandy headland, affording spectacular 270-degree views from the restaurant (mains Ar40,000), taking in a broad turquoise lagoon and the resort’s own 7km of beach! It's a popular choice for honeymooners and divers (the local dive centre is here). It can also organise whale watching (€50 per person, minimum four people). Wood-floored rooms are lovely and white. It’s a long trip here unless you come in by private plane (it has its own airfield), but once you have arrived, it is heavenly. Transfers available from north or south.

  • Lodging in Northern Reef

    Ankasy Lodge

    With massive (100 sq metre) high-end bungalows, on a broad, beautiful 1.3km of private beach, the family-friendly Ankasy Lodge is terrific. Food is straight off the pirogue and activities range from pirogue excursions, zebu carriage rides, kitesurfing and waterskiing to a relaxing massage, just in case you were somehow stressed. All-inclusive packages are sometimes available.

  • Lodging in Ifaty & Mangily

    Dunes d’Ifaty

    This high-end property has a magnificent thatched-roof lodge for eating and pretty bungalows made of locally quarried stone. The villas get the beach views, but the bungalows are still pleasantly sited among the gardens. Some villas have brightly painted walls, Italian baths and thoughtful amenities. Beach security keeps away hawkers and ensures privacy, which is a problem further north.

  • Lodging in Northern Reef

    Hotel de la Plage

    Located between two fishing villages, this resort offers some neat circular bungalows strung along an elegant arc of beach. The rooms are fine, if unspectacular, although you could almost dive off your terrace and into the water from the beachfront bungalows. The local dive centre is located here and whale watching and windsurfing are possible.

  • Lodging in Ifaty & Mangily

    Ifaty Beach Club

    This classic Mangily bungalow village is more village than garden, but the whitewashed bungalows are tidy and tumble down the hill to an OK beach.

  • Lodging in Northern Reef

    Auberge Chez Laurette

    At the eastern end of town, Chez Laurette has excellent rooms, all arrayed around a pretty, shaded garden.

  • Lodging in Northern Reef

    Hôtel Belle Vue

    This hotel is aptly named, as it overlooks the sea, with a panoramic view of the fishermen’s village shared by rooms, restaurant and bungalows alike. The rooms are high on the hill, bungalows are right on the beach, and there's a decent on-site restaurant. It's starting to age a little, but it's still a good choice.

  • Lodging in Northern Reef

    Hotel Le Paletuvier

    This outpost of a Tuléar hotel has great potential but lacks warmth and a little greenery. The rooms are excellent for the price, and the beach is right outside the back gate, but the service is pretty dysfunctional and the grounds are bare – that should change as it gets more travellers coming through.

  • Lodging in Southern Reef

    Chez Bernard

    Run by Bernard, Marie and Johana, Chez Bernard has some decent accommodation with wooden rooms and bungalows just back from the beach. It's slightly overpriced but the location is good and it's still a good place to spend a few days. It also serves up simple meals for guests (mains from Ar10,000).

  • Lodging in Southern Reef

    Longomamy

    Longomamy is perched at the end of the Onilahy River, where local fishers practice their timeless rhythm. It's a place where hours slip past unnoticed. The hotel offers great seafood straight from the sea, and can arrange a pleasant pirogue trip (Ar20,000) upriver to a crystal-clear natural pool.

  • Lodging in Northern Reef

    Pirogue d’Or

    The Pirogue d’Or has big rooms right by the sea, but they're pretty bare, dark and careworn these days; mattresses aren't the most comfortable. The bar that sits in the middle of the restaurant is built out of a wooden pirogue and the meals (Ar34,000) are OK. Don't count on the wi-fi working.

  • Lodging in Southern Reef

    Villa Milahehe Mitongoa

    The simple whitewashed rooms at this friendly maison d'hôte (guesthouse) have mosquito nets and private bathrooms; the bungalows have shared facilities. It's all very simple, but you're just back from the beach and staff can arrange excursions. Equally simple meals cost €8.

  • Lodging in Ifaty & Mangily

    Auberge'In

    Auberge'In is located 100m from the beach, but manages to be among the best budget options in Mangily anyway. The dirt-cheap country bungalows with thatched roofs and small porches in a carefully groomed yard are quaint and attractive, and management is cheery.

  • Lodging in Ifaty & Mangily

    Villa Maroloko

    It's worth paying extra here for the wood-floored family bungalows, which overlook the water from a rise among the trees; the rooms (not bungalows) are fine but further back. The beach can get a little overrun by hawkers.