First, we want to thank you David for the truly remarkable service you provided as a travel agent for our Seychelles holidays. Even though we had never met you nor even spoken on the phone we felt we were dealing with a friend! You tactfully rescued us from some poor choices that we were about to make and as a result our visit to Seychelles was simply wonderful.
The travel books don’t provide very helpful guidance for this remote and beautiful place. We simply couldn’t make decisions on the information we found and, in spite of lots of homework, we were rather lost until you suddenly popped up in our emails and asked us what we kind of experience we were looking for in the Seychelles and what our budget was like.
Following your recommendations:
Our first stop was in Mahe at Seychelles Pelage small hotel on Beau Vallon beach. This is a basic, cheap (in Seychelles terms) understated “no frills” mini hotel wedged between larger, noisier and more opulent hotels such as the Coral Strand and the large one with a casino that you thankfully steered us away from. Seychelles Plage was ideal for our short 3 night stay because it was right on the beach so we could walk straight out in our bikinis and budgie smugglers anytime – no lobbies, lifts and corridors – no barriers. Also, it was a friendly place with a lovely beachfront breakfast cafe with a sand floor, and a short walk from the village.
It was fun to see lots of local families – extended families – especially on Sunday – using this much loved beach, picnicking/ barbecuing under the trees, singing, playing cricket, giving us a sense of local life.
There were no tea/ coffee facilities in the room, but when we mentioned it, they immediately brought a kettle and some tea bags and milk. We hired a car and drove around Mahe – this is an absolute MUST. We would have liked to do this fro two days and linger longer at some of the fabulous beaches. The highlight was snorkelling in the Marine Park at Port Launay (Port is definitely an exaggeration for this remote and natural little place with no boats other than a few dinghies when we were there) , walking in straight off the beach and spending a couple of hours in the water. We had the entire marine park to ourselves. We had a pleasant lunch with beer at a little restaurant on the water’s edge, just looking at the amazing scenery – islands, rocks, takamaka trees, translucent pearly water with patterns of coral showing through, and soft white beaches with sand like cornflour. And perfect weather (early July). We were astonished at the mountains and forests – didn’t expect the drama of contrasts in the Seychelles landscape.
The second destination was the heavenly island of Praslin – we also didn’t expect Praslin to have such a remote feel – no McDonalds, no Coles, no supermarkets….
We went by ferry – your recommendation – and so had a pleasant cruise for an hour instead of going through the hassle of airports etc. Your Seychelles colleagues met us and helped us at every transition point. They were marvellous! It was great to have all the transfers pre-organised and pre-paid. We had none of the tension of finding taxis, negotiating prices and having the right Seychelles money.
As for the hotel – on Cote D’Or – it was a most wonderful surprise. We loved it. It’s website photos don’t do it justice. It consists of a sprinkling of modern, beautifully appointed self catering bungalows spread out in spacious gardens and all looking straight at the beach through the fringing trees. We were in absolute bliss there. The warm and gentle water of Cote D’or was right there a few steps from our spacious deck. Breakfast (continental) was brought to our room. Pierre, the friendly and helpful manager – and his lovely assistant Sharon, looked after our every request and provided helpful advice on everything – nothing was ever too much trouble. A short walk along the beach brought us past a number of hotels (hidden behind the trees) to the tiny village where were could by a few provisions or eat out in great style (Cafe D’Arts was fabulous fine dining) or lower key cafe style – or we could go to one of the neighbouring hotels which would all pick us up and drive us home if we didn’t want to walk along the beach. Again we hired a car – what a beautiful island ( and what hairaising hairpin bends!). At Anse Lazio we bumped into a turtle while snorkelling in waters teeming with fish life.
We did a day trip to La Digue on the old ferry and spent the day on bicycles or in the water – also lovely but we prefer Praslin as a place to stay.
I could go on and on – I have written a dairy of some of these spots – but work calls. I have loads of photos too but they will have to wait till I have caught up with some work.
Thank you again David,
Guests : Kateryna and Richard
From : Freemantle, Austrailia
Visited : Mahe and Praslin
Date : June 2009