Mauritius, Seychelles, Zanzibar, Bali - I've been fortunate enough to have tried a fair share of tropical destinations. But NOTHING has ever compared to the small slice of paradise that is Nosy Be Island.
Situated just North West of mainland Madagascar, the island is a perfect destination if you'd like a taste of all the wonderful aspects that this country has to offer but you can hardly scrape together a week's worth of leave days. A short 3 hour flight from Joburg, the island offers a wide variety of accommodation and activities for all budget types. A place so good you almost don't want to let the secret out. This post is focused on where we stayed, if you'd like to know more about what we go up to while there you can head over here.
I grew up in a beach town and if there's one thing my mum taught me it's this: If you are going to pay money to go on a beach holiday you better make sure it's better than what you have right on your doorstep.
So what criteria makes for a good swimming beach?
- Soft white sand without rocks or coral pieces making you go "ouch" every second step.
- A gradual gradient from shallow to deep; you want to be able to stroll and relax without it getting too deep or too choppy too quickly.
- A safe and relaxed environment where there aren't too many people making you feel crowded or like you're being judged as you waddle out of the water. But also a few people around so you don't feel isolated or unsafe.
I'm happy to report - Nosy Be Hotel and Spa meet all the criteria for the perfect swimming beach, and more! It's soft, warm and sheltered whilst having this quaint island across the bay that make your sunset snaps all the more beautiful. The hotel's staff regularly rake the sand to keep it soft and free of sandflies. They also provide canoes if you'd like to row across to the opposite island (If you get it right, you can walk across during low tide too!).
Not only is the beach perfect, but the hotel's facilities and staff are superb too! A small and reasonably priced Boutique Hotel that finds the perfect balance between relaxed island vibes with homely comforts.
Some of the most noteworthy features
Pool Side: Comfortable pool that's lit up at night. Shaded loungers and tables where you can charge your electronics or connect to the wifi to catch up on some work or photo editing.
Cafe/Bar: Well stocked on basic ciders, wines and cocktails with snack food and sandwiches for if you get peckish after a swim. It's nice to know that even when you're on a muslim majority island i.e. limited alcohol and miles away from home, the hotel was still stocked up onl stocked excellent South African wine at a reasonable price! The lounge area where drinks are served is made up of armchairs and chaise lounges on the sand. So you can sit in comfort while watching the waves roll in, enjoying the sea breeze with sand between your toes!
Dining area: Our favourite area, open plan and overlooking the beach so there's always a fresh seas breeze coming in to cool you off. Our Breakfast and Dinners were included so we ate like Kings. The breakfast is was authentically tropical - plenty fruit and cereals and french crepes. They had warm breakfast food too but don't expect a full english. Dinner was a different ball game. Phenomenal food every night. They had a wide variety of meals but their fresh seafood was particularly exceptional!
The rooms were cool, clean and had great linnen and water pressure. Everything you needed for a relaxing rest after a long hot day in the sun.
We were lucky that over Christmas they had very few other guests, meaning we were able to have the entire hotel and it's best facilities pretty much to ourselves! The staff were so kind and helpful and really made this an unforgettable trip.
Details about the Hotel could be found here.
The Hotel was recommended and booked for us as a private trip by Live the Journey.
If you'd like more detailed photos of our trip you can head over here to my Instagram highlight of this trip.