Top choice guesthouse in Tuléar (Toliara)

It would be more accurate to describe this place as a work of art that you stay in rather than an arty guesthouse. The work of Bruno Decorte (a Frenchman who has spent much of his life in Africa), Bakuba has five unique rooms, with features such as a water wall, a dugout-canoe-turned-bath-tub and lamps made of gourds.

The house is anchored by large towers reminiscent of baobab trees. One serves as a hidden water tower, another as a hammam and conversation room. The interior contains a vast hall inspired by Mauritanian temples. Doorways are lined with real palm trunks and the decor includes a fetching statue of a West African chief – Bakuba himself. If any of this sounds kitsch, think again. Decorte has managed to integrate everything with a strong sense of naturalism in the manner of Gaudí. The hotel also has some more run-of-the-mill benefits, such as 100m of beachfront, catamarans and canoes and quads for hire.

It's located 14km southeast of the centre, on the shore, on the way to the airport.