Planning on visiting Seychelles? Some suggestions on where to stay
Durban - Tourists to the Seychelles are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing accommodation.
In a country comprising 115 small islands – many uninhabited – it has an abundance of accommodation to suit almost anyone’s pocket, from the guest houses and self-catering units right up to 5-star accommodation that can cost up to $10 000 (nearly R150 000) a day.
For those on a budget, who still want to be catered to and waited upon, there are tons of choices available, from 3-star to 5-star accommodation.
And for the mature tourist who prefer not to holiday with children, the choices for adult-only accommodation on the Seychelles is endless, with many hotels secluding some sections of their establishments for adults only.
If you have gone online and seen the abundance of accommodation and are still undecided, here are four hotels to consider and the people behind them.
Hotel Coco de Mer
Ash Behari left his home in Durban in 1993 for the Seychelles to take up a consultancy job at a big hotel.
Nearly 30 years later, he is fully assimilated into life as a Seychellois and is now a part-owner of one of the biggest and most exclusive hotels on Praslin Island, Hotel Coco de Mer.
The hotel is named after the giant palm tree that only grows naturally on this island in the Seychelles.
The Coco de Mer, while extremely rare, grows in abundance in the tropical forests surrounding the hotel which sits on 80ha of land between the Indian Ocean and the forest and that has 2kms of ocean front.
Behari, the general manager of the Hotel Coco de Mer, talks enthusiastically about the hotel, its 147 staff – all who were paid their salaries during the coronavirus lockdown – the importance of humans protecting the environment for future generations and the mythology around the islands’ famed Coco de Mer palm tree.
The Hotel Coco de Mer has all the luxuries of a modern 4-star hotel that has spacious grounds, an infinity pool that overlooks the Indian Ocean, and a hiking trail that leads into the forest behind the property with an expansive mountainside.
The hotel has a section called the Black Parrot Suites, which has Standard and Superior rooms that are off-limits to children under 14 years old.
The Superior rooms have open, airy wooden decks, leading out as an extension to the room terraces. Each private, individual deck allows a sense of space and total privacy for guests choosing to stay in this room category.
Mention the name Les Laurier to people in the Seychelles and their immediate reply is: “They serve really good Creole food”.
Les Laurier, in Praslin, which recently underwent a massive renovation, is a family-run eco-hotel managed by the husband and wife team of Edwin and Sybille Cardon.
The hotel now has 20 rooms, including 13 new builds, and all the existing rooms have been refurbished. According to Sybille, the décor and design of the rooms reflect the true beauty of the Seychelles.
The couple transformed the hotel in 2019 into a modern eco-friendly setting that has been built with authentic, local products.
The architecture of the new reception area and restaurant is reminiscent of traditional Pirogue houses, once commonly found in the Seychelles, complete with wooden beams and thatched roofing.
Attention to detail runs like a golden thread throughout the hotel and even gravel on the grounds has been sourced from the rivers of the Vallée de Mai, while the roof of the kitchen has been converted into a green garden where they grow herbs and vegetables used in the dishes they serve at their restaurant.
All the plants grown in the hotel are endemic to the Seychelles. Guests can unwind at the refurbished swimming pool area with three interconnecting pools and a swim-up bar.
Another feature popular with guests is the eight Aldabra giant tortoises kept at the hotel, who earn their keep by producing compost.
Sticking to the eco-friendly title, Les Laurier uses solar panels, water stratification tanks to provide hot water, water recycling treatment for use in the beautiful garden, as well as Innu-Science Biotechnology cleaning products for the removal of toxic chemicals from the property.
The hotel also uses ozone technology to sanitise their food, cutlery and crockery.
Hotel Le Duc de Praslin
When Robert Payet’s parents ran their hotel on the doorstep of the sandy beach of Cote D’or, they had three rooms.
Today, Payet has transformed those three rooms into a world-class modern hotel that has 50 rooms within two minutes from the Cote D’or beach and three villas comprising 11 rooms in the mountains nearby – one of which has a 360º view of Praslin Island.
Payet is proud of what he has built and points to the solar panels on the roofs, boasting that he has the biggest private solar power source in the Seychelles – an impressive 90kws.
The hotel – called the Duke of Praslin in English – has been built to be a party venue for people between the ages of 25 and 50 looking for sun, beach, dancing and cocktails.
For them, Hotel Le Duc de Praslin offers a tropical garden, a spa therapy pool and two restaurants.
The elegantly decorated rooms, suites and apartments offer air conditioning, a flat-screen TV and tea-and-coffee-making facilities. They feature a terrace or balcony. The spacious apartments also offer a kitchen.
Guests can dine at the Café des arts Restaurant next to the beach, which serves fresh seafood. Creole and International cuisine can be tasted at Le Dauphine, the hotel’s main restaurant. There is also a bar for cocktails and refreshments.
The Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve is a mere 4km away.
CaranaBeach Boutique Hotel
After immersing oneself in the culture of the Seychelles and attuning one’s ear to the local dialect that has French and Caribbean sounds – to my admittedly untrained ear – the last accent one expects to hear at one of the premium hotels on the island of Mahe is a South African one.
But that is exactly the accent that greets one at beautiful CaranaBeach Boutique Hotel on one of the most picturesque bays on Mahé, where Robyn Shield, who is originally from Cape-Town, is the group PR and branding manager for Masons Travel.
Shield, who has worked in Seychelles for four years, is a true ambassador of CaranaBeach Hotel, eager to tell guests about the history, decor and cuisine while exuding the energy of hotel which is entertaining and relaxing at the same time.
The chalet boasts a sea view from every room, where one can relax on the balcony and hear the waves crash on the shoreline.
Within minutes from leaving your room, you can step out on an intimate white sand beach and then head to the bar for a cocktail as dusk turns to night.
CaranaBeach boasts an innovative approach to food for both casual and semi-formal dining, discovered at each guest’s individual pace and leisure.
Refined international cuisine mingles with frequent touches of Creole inspiration, along with a consistent focus on freshness and locality.