Princesse Bora Lodge
I'm enquiring about: Princesse Bora Lodge
I'm enquiring about: Princesse Bora Lodge

Princesse Bora Lodge

Ile Ste Marie, Madagascar

Princesse Bora Lodge is a superb hotel on the west coast of Ile Ste Marie. Twenty lovely, self-contained villas built of natural materials are set amidst a grove of coconut palms, beside the long white beach at the edge of the lagoon. Owned and run by Francois-Xavier Mayer, whose family has lived on the island since the 1790s, you will find a dedicated and professional team - with good English - ready to help you make the most of your stay.


All the Comfort and Luxury villas have the hallmark suspended double bed, a living area, private facilities with a separate wc and a private, sea-facing verandah. Comfort villas can accommodate two people. They are equipped with a fan and there is a hammock on the verandah. The six 55m2 octagonal luxury villas offer double basins, air-conditioning and a mezzanine room with twin beds.

The five executive beach villas are 95m2 and glass-fronted, to take full advantage of the tropical sunsets and the Indian Ocean panorama, taking two adults with a child under the age of 12 years. The wide terrace is provides another super vantage point. Beach villas are air-conditioned and  can accommodate up to three people in one double and one single bed for child under 12 years. Facilities include a bath-tub.


The restaurant is known as the best on the island. Fresh seafood and fish is prominent on the menu. French, Creole and Malagasy influences are reflected in the cuisine. The lodge also has a pizza oven for an alternative to lunch. The bar, with its oak barrels of flavoured rums, is an ideal spot from which to watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean.


The lodge has a decked infinity pool and a wooden pontoon on the lagoon. Its watersports centre provides snorkelling equipment, pirogues and canoes. It also has boats for water-skiing and paragliding. Ile Ste Marie is a new and excellent surfing destination. Bicycle for exploring the island are available free of charge, or you can hire a motorbike, quads or a 4WD with driver. The nearby PADI dive centre offers courses and a full dive programme, including wreck and night dives. Fishermen will find the boats, equipment and fishing guides for some really fine fishing including: tuna, bonito, grey mullet, captains, sea-bream, and king mackerel.


Princesse Bora Lodge offers a full programme of island excursions. You can visit the only known pirates’ cemetery, the oldest church in Madgascar, the market in Ambodifotatra, the mangroves or the forest of Ampanihy. The cross-island walk takes you through pristine forests and empty beaches - and the hotel will pick you up. Take a pirogue to offshore Ile aux Nattes, with its brilliant, soft, white sand; or a guided walk, to discover the orchids, clove and cashew trees and growing cinnamon bark.

Whale watching

The Princesse Bora is affiliated to CetaMada, the association for research, observation and protection of marine mammals; in fact, it has a base at the lodge during the season. No one has failed to be impressed by owner Francois-Xavier Mayer's commitment to conservation or by the quality of the whale-watching programme. A specialist ecoguide briefs whale-watchers before and during the boat trip, which follows the code of good conduct for approaching these spectacular creatures. Once silently anchored within 100m of a group of whales, sit back and watch – or participate in the collection of data. You can also join the debriefing conference at the end of the day.
Note that whales are wild aimals so sightings can never be guaranteed.


Princesse Bora Lodge was built using local labour. Upon completion, everyone who had worked on the lodge was offered the opportunity of training for employment at the lodge.

Accommodation Reviews

'The Royal Palissandre Hotel was lovely.

Sahatandra River Hotel at Andasibe: pool was nice. Staff were friendly. Room comfortable. Dinners were nice.

Princesse Bora Lodge: excellent. So much to do, in a lovely place.

Craig was very flexible in tailoring the holiday to suit our needs. The rest of the Raibow Tours team was very friendly and helpful when we called'

Mr Wilson and Ms Elliott
November 18, 2016

'Thanks for arranging such a wonderful holiday. Lovely, friendly staff at Andasibe Hotel. Excellent in all respects. Princesse Bora Lodge is excellent in all respects. Very good lodge with excellent staff'.

Ms Holland and Ms Boers
October 10, 2016

'We had a fantastic honeymoon. All the locals were so friendly. Wanting to do more of Madagascar now!. Our guide Rova was brilliant, had great knowledge of the area, answered every question and was very helpful. Would recommend him to anyone!

Relais des Plateaux was jusa used as a place lay down our heads and get a good nigts' sleep.

Princesse Bora Lodge: we had a fantastic stay and made good use of the facilities i.e kayaking, snorkelling, bicycles. The staff are so brilliant and accommodating; would recommend to anyone.


Mr & Mrs Hewitt
September 30, 2016

'Well organised tour and couldn't fault the care we were given by our guides and representatives in a very poor country in its infancy of tourism.

Combava Hotel: Good. Fine for overnight stops and very nice to have use of a room before late evening transfer to airport.

Andasibe Hotel: Good. Unprepared for how cold Andasibe-Mantadia National Park was in the evenings. Otherwise absolutely fine.  

Princesse Bora Lodge: excellent. Couldn't fault the hotel - wonderful'.


Mr and Mrs Reekie
September 20, 2016

'Njiva was a fantastic guide - thoroughly recommend him. Driver, Dodo, was also very good. Overall holiday satisfaction (Classic Madagascar overland: the RN7 route): excellent. 

Vakona Forest Lodge is a lovely place but they wanted us to leave the bar/seating area by around 9pm. 

Setam Lodge: good in all respects. Location excellent.

La Varangue de Betsileo: Service and comfort: excellent. Location, meals and facilities all good. 

Relais la Reine d'Isalo: excellent.

Moringa Hotel: good in all respects; excellent meals.

Princesse Bora Lodge: Comfort, meals and facilities good; service and location excellent.'


Ms Godfrey and Mr Naylor
January 25, 2016

'Thank you for an excellent holiday. Fiona Herring has been very helpful all the way through - thank you Fiona! We would certainly recommend Rainbow Tours to other people thinking of a holiday in Madagascar'

Mr and Mrs Monckford
October 30, 2015

' Dear Derek

We wanted to thank you very much for all your help with our honeymoon (in July 2015) to Madagascar. We had the most amazing time in a country we'd wanted to visit for many years and it didn't disappoint! The itinerary you arranged for us was fantastic, and we loved the lemurs at Andasibe/Mantadia and the whales in Ile Sainte Marie and the sea turtles at Eden Lodge. Our highlight was the magical tsingy at Ankarana. This completely alien but incredible landscape will live in our memories for years to come. However, the asspect we most appreciated was the extra mile you went to to keep rearranging and re-planning and reassuring each time Air Madagascar changed our plans. We really appreciated all your effort and phone calls - it ended up seamless (from our end!) and some of the 'extras', particularly Anjozorobe, were highlights of the whole trip. We can't wait to go back to Madagascar! '

Mr and Mrs Warland
October 12, 2015

'We were very impressed that Rainbow Tours ensureed we had tickets on a private charter from Ile Sainte Marie when the Air Madagascar flight looked like it was going to be cancelled. This could have ruined the end of our holiday but it just goes to prove that Rainbow Tours are exceptional at what they do. We'd happily travel with Rainbow Tours in the future'

Ms Clements & Mr Stephenson
September 25, 2015

We thought you would enjoy these two photos which hopefully express how much fun we had in Ambodiforaha, blowing soap bubbles with the children, and touring Sainte Marie!


Sainte Marie

Nicole Fraser and family
March 16, 2015

A small fridge in the room would have been useful. Otherwise could not fault it. Superb

J Downing
November 11, 2013

The only place we ever would go back too. And we never go back! Wonderful

N Hudson
September 5, 2013

Best chef, should be regarded as Michelin star restaurant, what a surprise!!

S Lindley
August 19, 2013

Fantastic place and people. Very lucky with weather. Recommend upgrade to executive villa, they are beautiful

M Schunke
August 9, 2013

Your knowledge of Madagascar was fantastic and the local guides were all fantastic, very friendly and knowledgeable especially Claudia. Princess Bora is a fantastic Hotel and would recommend to anyone.

November 2, 2011

A wonderful experience we would recommend to others. The Princess Bora is close to perfection! Superb staff & food, the resort and spa were beautifully done. 

September 9, 2011

Sainte Marie was bliss, and very exciting for the whale watching (it's also worth noting that we went twice and Princesse Bora gave us an automatic discount for the second round).

: N Hamshaw
August 16, 2011

Fantastic service, nothing was too much trouble. It was good not to have to pay for extras. Always well cleaned everywhere. The lodge is in an excellent location and facilities and the meals were good.

R & H Craig
October 30, 2010

The meals and facilities were top class. Excellent beach resort. Hotel trips are a little expensive but the free snorkeling and cycling were very good. 

C Hopperton
October 10, 2010

We loved the hotel’s investment in whale research and conservation. Staff lovely… I would particularly like to mention how fantastic the local agents were in everyway.

C Hiu
September 30, 2010

Wow! All excellent here. Loved every minute and the whale watching trip was exhilarating!

S & C James
September 29, 2010

Full marks. Very relaxing way to complete the trip. Great whale watching.

Author: M Wilkins
September 29, 2010

Everything was excellent at Princesse Bora Lodge. A corner of paradise!

A Spain
July 30, 2010

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