Time + Tide Miavana
Nosy Ankao, Madagascar
Found just off the northeast coast of Madagascar, and only accessible by helicopter, this white-sand-fringed island offers the ultimate in seclusion, instilling a feeling of intrepid exploration in anyone who makes the journey. As a nation, Madagascar is defined by its diverse landscape and curious wildlife, and Nosy Ankao is no exception. Positioned within a 37,000-acre marine reserve, and on the edge of Loky Manambato Protected Area that spills over from the mainland, it offers huge environmental significance. The conservation of this environment and connection forged with the local community was fundamental to entrepreneur Jean Christophe Peyre (who first came to Nosy Ankao 30 years ago) and investor Thierry Dalais in the creation of the resort. Designers Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens enhanced the resort’s barefoot luxury vibe through architecture and interiors, fusing influence taken from Malagasy tradition with chic modern design and complementing the natural hues of wood and stone with bold splashes of turquoise that mirror the color of the aquamarine ocean.
Cath Biggs, travel designer, email@example.com,
+230 5250 4354
Size 10,979 sq ft
Nightly rate from $12,500
Miavana’s 14 one-, two- and three-bedroom villas all back onto the island’s pristine shores. In the Three-bedroom Villa, the natural elements of sea, sand and air are brought into the design through aquamarine textiles, stone surfaces mirroring the color of the beach’s seashells and floor-to-ceiling windows that draw in the ocean views. It has its own private pool and oceanfront veranda, spacious lounge, study and kitchenette, indoor and outdoor showers, and ocean-view soaking tubs. All of the villas come with butler service, while complimentary bicycles and an electric buggy makes getting around the island easy.
The village-like Piazza lies at the heart of the resort, providing a place to relax and socialize. This enclave of indoor-outdoor areas is intersected by 13-ft-high stone walls, topped with palm-woven roofs, and distinguished by unexpected design features such as a moat. Here you can laze by the ocean-facing, free-form infinity pool and head up to the panoramic rooftop bar for the sunset. The resort also offers in-villa spa treatments using organic products made of African and Malagasy botanicals.
Signature treatment The Indulge treatment combines traditional Asian massage techniques with botanical oils to stimulate blood circulation, relieve muscle tension and rejuvenate the senses.
Whether you’re dining beneath the stars with your toes in the sand or in the Piazza’s Italian-inspired grotto, you’ll have the chance to try dishes by the Cape Town–born head chef Enoryt Appollis who fuses fresh, local ingredients with culinary finesse, combining island spirit with the resort’s sustainable philosophy. The menu changes daily according to ingredients brought in by local farmers and fishermen, but much of the focus naturally falls on fresh seafood.
If you visit December through March, watch the sea turtles hatch on the beach, or catch the humpback whale migration from July to November. Other experiences offered year-round include seeking out the forest’s lemurs, helicopter safaris and losing yourself in the resort’s Cabinet of Curiosities that showcases artifacts such as the now-extinct elephant bird’s egg.