Alas, Tsarabanjina L'Hotel Not To Be
We had grand plans for building a small exclusive resort, to be called, Tsarabanjina L'Hotel, on Tsarabanjina, an island in the Mitsio Archipelago. Located northwest of 40 miles of Madagascar, one departs from the port of Nosy Be.
It seemed like a perfect location since the region enjoys sunshine throughout the year. All one needs is a passport that is valid for at least six months along with a visa that is issued at the Embassy or Consulate of Madagascar. Although there is no compulsory vaccination, it is recommended to take a preventive treatment against malaria.
Several airlines, Air France, Air Madagascar, Air Austral, and Nouvelles Frontières service Madagascar. We would recommend first flying into Antananarivo, then taking a connecting flight to Nosy Be via Air Madagascar, and Air France. From Paris there are direct flights to Nosy Be with Corsair. We planned to offer either a heliocopter flight from Nosy Be to the resort or a ninety-minute crossing from Nosy Be to Tsarabanjina with the resorts own speedboat shuttle.
Our first visit to Tsarabanjina was many years ago. Not many outside people were even aware of this stunning island. This was before the internet. I mention that fact because today, if you search for Tsarabanjina, it's easy to find.
The island is fringed by stunning white sandy beaches, populated by extraordinary colorful birds, covered with lush and exotic vegetation and encircled by coral reefs teaming with fish. As a group of us at Groupel Hotel observed it was a place that would refresh and regenerate our potential guests in a timeless setting. We decided there would be no dress code other than perhaps a pareo and bare feet. SInce the only natural sounds are the endless waves and the chirping of birds, we wanted a laid back, simple yet elegant ambiance. We debated whether or not to have internet. Was the isaand so far off the grid that it would be impossible, we asked. My American friends were concerned. They were almost fanatic about their need to be connected to an online casino for us players. Really!! This is a place to get way from all that obsessive behavior. But they sat me down to explain the benefits of gambling online at highly rated US casinos. First of all, they enjoyed the challenge and fun of gambling. Second, online gambling allowed a person to indulge whenever and wherever they were. It was convenient and safe. The online casinos that accept US players from all States provide exceptional service, customer support, bonuses and more. I laughed at their fevor and enthusiasm and typical American expectations of being always connected to the web. Come visit Tsarabanjin for a week, deconnect, decompress, and spend this time seeing and experiencing nature at its finest.
We put the idea of having internet on hold and spent our time on more important aspects of the resort such as hiring a construction expert in ecological resort building who would use local materials as much as possible. Each villa would have an ample amount of privacy with unique interior design that reflected the sensibilities of Madagascar.
If we were to build an exclusive resort, we wanted a chef who would be able to design meals around the abundant local seafood Malagasy specialties. Since Malagasy cuisine blends the influences of the Arabic, Chinese, French, African and Indian cultures present in Madagascar, we felt that we could offer something especially unique, IF we found the right chef.
We wanted our guests to pass their time on Tsarabanjina resting and relaxing on the extraordinary beaches or from a hammock at their villa, easy walks among the lush vegetation, enjoying any of such water sports as diving, snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, water skiing, or fishing, massages, yoga, and reflexology at our spa, along with a healthy tasty menu made up mainly of sea food, fruits, and vegetables. We planned to include most of the sports activities in the cost of the stay, although deep sea fishing and deep sea dives would be extra.
We noted that the Mitsio coral reefs are famous for their amazing scuba and snorkeling opportunities so we wanted to create a professional dive center with experience guides to lead all dive trips.
Our backers were impressed with our proposal. And then disaster struck.... We lost out on the bid to develop an exclusive resort on the island to a competitor. All our dreams and planning evaporated before our eyes.
I suppose the best way to re-frame this terrible catastrophe is that there is a lovely resort on Tsarabanjina catering to many foreign visitors who have heaped great praise on the operation. I am planning to book a two week stay to see what all the buzz is about.