Although it's starting to become really hard to find far-flung retreats that embrace life in the slow lane, they do exist -- and few are more enticing than the tranquil Tsara Komba Eco-Lodge in Madagascar. Built on the Nosy Komba Island (otherwise known as "Lemur Island" for its prevalence of animals made famous by the Madagascar animation film), the four-star resort employed local craftsmen to build a series of small lodges using locally-sourced materials that blend in with the breathtaking natural environment. A host of other measures were also taken to ensure that this very special hideaway has the smallest environmental impact on one of the planet's most biodiverse ecosystems.
It isn’t clear who is responsible for designing Tsara Komba’s lodges, which are sized at either 70 or 100 square meters, but they did a fine job of blending an ethnic flavor with contemporary design. Each lodge is decked out with decorations crafted by local artisans; there are no televisions, no telephones, and there is no air-conditioning. Instead, natural ventilation is achieved with the striking roofs made from ubiquitous Ravenala trees that facilitate flow of Indian ocean breeze.
Solar water heaters provide hot water, which is pumped from natural sources by a gravitational system and filtered using constructed wetlands. Recycled water is then used for irrigation projects, ensuring that the smallest amount is used for day to day operations. Low voltage lighting keeps energy use down, and whenever possible, the on-site restaurant serves food that is either grown in the resort’s own organic garden or that is sourced from local markets. Finally, as the lead images demonstrate, rather than razing existing flora to the ground to accommodate the thatched lodges, they were snuggled among the verdant landscape. We regularly feature eco-lodges in beautiful places, but we’ll be dreaming about this one for many days to come!