In the 1990’s, the owner told his Parisian travel agent that he wanted to visit Madagascar, and the agent said there were no hotels up to his standards, so he flew up the coast along the Mozambique Channel until he found the perfect spot, and built a fabulous luxury establishment, the only one of its kind in this country—air-conditioning, wireless Internet access, a gorgeous pool, rosewood villas scattered along the seaside. You get there on the hotel’s private plane; our flight was an exquisite hour. The hotel has declared its own time zone, an hour ahead of the rest of Madagascar, an individual daylight- saving-time package. The owner is French and the management South African, so everything is stylish and everyone speaks English. The place sits on 1,100 parkland acres. There are motorboats for waterskiing and deep-sea fishing and private expeditions. Afternoon tea is served on a grassy knoll where several species of lemur scope out the tourists, including Coquerel’s sifakas, graceful lemurs with brown and white fur. There are also amazing birds who come for the crumbs. When you're done with the day's outdoor activities get a sunset massage on the terrace.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.