Over the years I’ve stayed in some beautiful beach resorts, but none quite as idyllic as Palissandre Cote Ouest Resort-Spa. After a long haul flight with Air France from London to Antananarivo, followed by a domestic flight with Air Madagascar to Morondava, I was incredibly thankful for the refreshing welcome drink we received on arrival.
Then, I saw the view.
A stunning swimming pool overlooking a vast stretch of sand, without any people on it whatsoever.
I was led to my room- an adorable bungalow with a nice little terrace so I could soak up the view. I couldn’t quite believe I would be spending two nights in paradise!
The bungalows are all in a line facing the ocean. I had a bungalow on the end, down a steep hill of sand. The staff bring your luggage to the room, since it would be a bit stressful to drag it across the beach! I should point out now- the beach isn’t really for sunbathing and the ocean isn’t for swimming. It looks beautiful but its vast and the water is very far away, like a mirage. You see the odd Malagasy fisherman walking around down on the beach away from the hotel but generally this beach is deserted with just a few fishing boats.
My room was huge, with a big king size bed and mosquito net, a chair, desk, mini bar and TV. I didn’t touch the TV- why would you when you have that incredible view? I have never slept so well in my life- the sound of the ocean sends you right to sleep. There are quite a few insects and geckos around but that’s to be expected when you’re in the wild! Personally I quite like sharing my room with these little friends!
The bathroom was bright and airy and let lots of light through the shutters- just make sure you shut them while you’re taking a shower if you don’t want anyone peeking in! It was huge, with wooden finishings, stone sink, a wardrobe, toilet and a wet-room style shower so you don’t feel boxed in. It was so nice to be able to see the beach and the ocean every time I went to brush my teeth in the morning!
The pool has wicker furniture and plenty of comfy loungers facing the incredible beach view. They all have beach bags underneath containing pink beach towels. If you like, you can order a cocktail while you lounge about in the sun…tough life!
We ate breakfast in the restaurant, which consisted of coffee, orange juice, pastries and various cold meats and cheeses. Quite basic- a French continental breakfast- but perfectly adequate. There was also a hot soup that contained a flowering herb called Acmella oleracea aka ‘toothache plant’ which numbed my whole mouth but I liked it! The dinners were delicious too, with fresh ingredients and nicely presented, as you can see from the photographs below.
The sunsets are insanely beautiful and not to be missed!
Air France flies to Antananarivo in Madagascar from 14 UK Airports, via Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. Return fares start from £818, including taxes and fees. For further information and to book, visit www.airfrance.co.uk.