"We spent 21 wonderful days at Villa Miadana and would highly recommend the experience to anyone. The house is located directly on a beautiful strip of beach north of the city. It has an open shaded veranda where we spent most of our time. The living/dining room area is comfortable. The satellite TV gets a few French channels and BBC World. With such a beautiful view of the ocean, we didn’t’ need to watch TV. The kitchen has a gas stove and oven, a huge refrigerator/freezer and an additional large stand alone freezer. The plates, utensils, pots, pans are entirely sufficient. The house has one WC and a bathroom with a shower area. One bedroom has a queen sized bed and the other has a double and a twin. All the beds have mosquito nets that we had to use every night. Each bedroom also has easy to operate air conditioners, which are effective because these rooms have ceilings (while the rest of the house, with the exception of the ceilinged bathroom and WC, are covered by a charming thatched roof; it’s enough to keep out sun and rain, and that’s all you need). Behind the house is a separate building with two more bedrooms (thatched roof, no ceiling this time) that we didn’t use. Also there is a shaded ping-pong table. If you did not care about the ceilings, you could sleep up to five couples and a single, but only two couples and one single would get rooms with A/C.
We stayed during the month of October and only saw one day of rain. The rest of the time it was 27-34°C during the day. The nice thing about the house is the nearly constant ocean breeze, making it considerably cooler than the town of Mahajanga. By sunset the breeze often intensifies keeping the mosquitoes away.
The staff working at the house are outstanding. With the price of the rental comes a house cleaner, Yvette, and a guard/gardener, Mafali. Yvette is friendly but shy. Each day she cleaned the entire house thoroughly and washed and ironed clothes. Mafali lives behind the house and is also a hard worker and enjoyable to be around. Both workers also act as sous-chefs, barbequing, peeling or slicing for the great and powerful Lolo.
Lolo, the cook, is the true star in this ensemble.. She charged 10,000 Aviary per day (€3.84) for her labor to produce mouth-watering, restaurant quality meals. Every three days, we would take her into town and she would spend about 60,000 Aviary (€23) to feed two adults and our son for those three days. This is pretty extravagant by local standards, but well worth it. Both lunch and dinner included two savory courses. In addition, we would spend a bit more at Score, the supermarket with lots of imported items from France. Lolo cooked better than any restaurant that we visited while in Madagascar so we stopped going out! In the morning, sellers would approach the house offering fresh lobsters, prawns, shrimp, smoked fish, mangos at amazing prices. Lolo has been well trained and presented us with many delicious meals.
The only source of frustration was with the car/driver. We booked the SUV and driver for the length of our stay. Shortly before our arrival, the SUV was involved in an accident and was no longer available. The property manager Haja did his best to find alternatives. This meant using three different vehicles during our stay. Because you pay for petrol separately, it seemed like we were always losing out on having put in too much gas in and then switching cars. Normally this would not be an issue if the same car of used each day. My suggestion would be if you are not renting the vehicle continuously simply work out a price per trip for what you’d like to do. For example, 22 km round trip visit to Mahajanga might cost 50,000 Aviary. Trip to Cirque Rouge might be 75,000 Aviary. Then make sure that the trip price includes the petrol so there is no confusion. Five times a different vehicle showed up from the previous day and it didn’t have much petrol. I got tired of having the vehicles show up always needing p ...