5 January 2010 by Alison Nicolle
Alison Nicolle, an Indian Ocean and Middle East travel expert, recently returned from a trip to Dubai and the Seychelles, where she checked out all the top hotels and enjoyed a few of the best holiday experiences on offer. Here, she shares her thoughts about what she discovered in the Seychelles.
In the Seychelles, definite highlights were meeting the giant tortoises of Denis Island and enjoying a golf buggy tour, swimming in the beautiful clear waters off Praslin at Constance Lemuria and snorkelling off the beach on Fregate Island, followed by dinner. The golf buggy tour gave a good insight into the self-sufficiency of the island and introduced us to its wildlife and the rare Fregate magpie robin conservation project.
La Reserve, Praslin: A little bit disappointing in terms of appearance, room quality and beach.
L’Archipel: A beautiful location, great beach and lovely rooms but a few issues with regard to service and food quality.
Constance Lemuria resort: A fabulous property, stunning location between two beautiful curved beaches giving a true wow factor, great facilities, fabulous dining, but also very relaxed. Loved it.
Hilton Seychelles: Fabulous views over to Silhouette, wonderful trendy rooms on the hillside overlooking the bay. Great for honeymoons, a younger, active clientele and anyone wanting to explore the main island of Mahe. Fabulous lunch.
Labriz Silhouette: A bit of an ordeal to get there on very rough seas and the boat is not luxurious, but worth it as the island is simply stunning. The rooms are again very modern and wonderfully close to the ocean. Lots to do on this island with hiking, fishing, snorkelling etc. Only downside was the food was not of a good quality and service was slow. Bar prices high.
Denis Island: My favourite property - this is where I would go back for my own holiday. Very laidback relaxed feel to the whole island. No shoes, no news, rustic-type feel. Beautiful beaches, great for swimming, wonderful for nature and the dining was great too. A real Robinson Crusoe experience.
Banyan Tree: A very beautiful location on a stunning beach in the south of the island. Great beach for relaxation, but not good for swimming as the sea is very rough. The property has a lovely colonial feel, but it is on a steep hillside so you must use a buggy to get around at all times.
Fregate Island: Felt truly honoured to stay here - villas were huge and stunningly located overlooking the beach and ocean. Service was extremely attentive, although things tended to happen very much in ‘Island Time’, staff were incredibly friendly and the food was superb. Wonderful island and great for nature, a real Garden of Eden experience and the private golf buggies were great fun!
Maia Resort: Rooms were beautiful and the property is stunningly modern with a gorgeous garden. All the villas come with their own butler. Dining was fabulous quality. But this property and degree of service really does come at a cost. Only suitable for those with a really top-end budget.
Ephelia Resort: At the moment this property is still really a bit of a building site. Rather sad to see the onset of mass market tourism on the island and the destruction of the environment taking place with the building of this property, which at present has the feel of a Barratt Homes development. However, once finished and if you don’t know what was there beforehand, it will undoubtedly prove to be a good seller with prices more attainable for many. It’s going to be a resort with plenty of facilities and lots of activities along the lines of Lemuria on Praslin, but a bit more affordable.
Four Seasons: Fantastic location on a hillside overlooking the ocean. Rooms are very spacious, probably the most comfortable of all we stayed in. Had a lovely relaxed feel and great facilities - would definitely like to stay here again for longer.