We spent three nights at Mango Lodge having chosen it because of the reported views and the fact it wasn't an impersonal hotel. The chalet was spacious and the view is fantastic. It was clean but not spotless and I agree with other comments about some of the equipment and furniture being a bit tired or old. The kitchen is basic and equipment basic but we were supplied with washing up liquid and tea towel, salt and pepper etc and we had maid service everyday. The bed was comfortable and we were provided with soap and shampoo. The bedlinen was good, bath towels were bit old and small but beach towels were large and thick. Our bathroom was large but the shower door didn't close and nor did the window. Our bedside light did not work and ceiling lights were not well positioned for reading in bed as the roof is sloping. Ceiling fan worked well and noiselessly, and being high up you do gain the breeze: however, the presence of mosquitoes and other biting insects meant we couldn't sleep with the windows/doors open (even though some mossie coils had been provided it wasn't enough protection) but because they are slatted it let in just enough air. We had no bother with noise from the village - yes, the occasional dog barking but you get that everywhere.
The balcony is quite large and has only a small table and two chairs (both wobbly, one broken). There didn't seem to be anywhere on the site where you could sit out in the sun as it's mostly designed to provide shade and shelter. You can enjoy the view but the balcony/terrace isn't designed for lounging about on. In the evening we couldn't eat out there on two evenings because of the numbers of tiny flies attracted by the light.
Zita cooked for us prawn curry our first evening delivering everything hot and ready. We didn't see a 'menu' as such so aren't sure whether this is the new service that other reviewers are referring to - ultra convenient but one course of prawns, rice, salad and chutney cost 50 euros so was also relatively expensive. Breakfast was relaxed and the fruit was excellent.
Beach beds were great and the boys will look after your cold beers and packed lunch in a fridge as well as keeping an eye on your bags when you go for a swim. Not a great snorkel spot.
We were assured that security at Mango Lodge was good and we could leave things in our room locked in suitcases - which we did. There did seem to be plenty of staff around most of the time.
We didn't see Lesley while we were there and didn't experience any of the fetching and carrying up and down the hill that others mention - so we decided to hire a car (arranged by Marcus and at 40 euros a day turned out to be more expensive than other options in the village). Having the car meant it was easier to explore around the island and try out other beaches - which is a must as the Cote D'Or one isn't the best.
There was lots I would like to have known in advance so I will share these tips now. Self catering - local shops have basics but there is very little fresh food available locally apart from fish and some fruit. Having the car meant we could look further afield and we did find supplies from other supermarkets and shops, including some nice wines and proper bread.
You can buy cold beers from the supermarket near the beach. Same shop has a reasonable selection of wine.
The beach has lots of seaweed and isn't great for swimming because the seaweed is floating around and it is also not very deep. There were loads of sand flies so if you are attractive to biting insects you need to wear loads of repellent as well as sun lotion. Other beaches in Praslin have less sea weed so also fewer flies.
Local restaurants - near the beach - not impressive. We tried one but both menus and food very unimaginative and relatively expensive. Not sure who they are catering for.
Local smoked fish is excellent - do try it every which way.
Wi-fi - Mango Lodge does not have guest wi-fi and as with many other places on the islands they sell Cable and Wireless Prepaid Broadband vouchers. Except that they didn't have any available so we had to hunt around on the other side of the island to buy these. We did have access at Mango Lodge (from the balcony) but no where else in the Seychelles so be warned that the ISurf cards don't work everywhere - even if they tell you they do. There is an Internet Cafe near the supermarket but their wi-fi wasn't working.
In terms of value apart from the view, Mango Lodge didn't compare well with other places we stayed in Mahe or on La Digue. It was actually the most expensive guest house on this trip. But the view is what you are paying for and that is special.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Mango Lodge offers you a tranquil stay amongst tropical gardens. Our famous wooden chalets offer complete privacy with breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean and the surrounding islands. We look forward to welcoming you at our lodge. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mango Lodge Seychelles/Praslin Island