Relais de la Reine is a French, family-owned property bordering the Isalo National Park. Using natural materials the lodge has been built to blend in with the dramatic landscape in which it sits. Each building makes up three sides of a courtyard, and there is a small garden in the middle with bougainvillea and jasmine that scents the evening air. Being in such close range to the park and offering guided tours and horse riding excursions in the gorgeous surroundings, this hotel has superb offerings.
The main lodge, and the hotel's 30 rooms have been built from granite, so when dusk falls they are hard to distinguish from the cliffs that rise up behind them. The building housing the sitting room, restaurant and bar faces out towards these rocks, and there is a small terrace outside, where guests can take lunch on a sunny day. Inside fireplaces keep the lodge feeling cosy on the coolest of winter nights, while the thick stone walls protect against the burning heat of the hot summer days. There are 28 standard rooms, with thick stone walls, polished palissandre wood floors and black-and-white photographs decorating the walls. Each room has a small terrace outside, as well as an en suite bathroom. In addition to the standard rooms there are also two luxury rooms, which have a sitting area with a fireplace and bathtubs for a long soak after a day in the park.
Parc National d’Isalo, one of the most visited and celebrated reserves in Madagascar: 80,000ha of untamed wilderness where rivers run through lush valleys, and waterfalls cascade down stark rock faces. Colourful baobabs, verdant green succulents and swinging vines house a collection of lemurs, a kaleidoscope of chameleons and a smattering of birdlife. Often referred to as Jurassic Park, Isalo is dominated by a Jurassic rock massif that creates a weird and wonderful landscape and you can bathe in its natural swimming pools. Relais de la Reine is a comfortable, affordable and enjoyable lodge from which to experience all the wonders of this park. There are stables on the premises and guests can enjoy horse-ridingA or a game of tennis on the court. After all that hard work, why not laze by the swimming pool or be soothed by a masseuse.