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“Paradise revisited”

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Le Domaine de La Reserve
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Anse Volbert
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 February 2011

We had our honeymoon in the Seychelles in the spring of 2009. We had had our reservations about whether it was feasible going to the Seychelles, as my husband is disabled and to a large extent dependant on a wheelchair, but after many careful studies, we decided to take our chances. We spent three days on Mahé and then the following eight days on La Reserve on Praslin – and it was the best honeymoon, anybody could have wished for.
It is always exciting to return to a place far away after some time, but when we decided to go to the Seychelles again, by October 2010, we had little doubt that La Reserve had to be on the itinerary. We asked the travel agency to request the same room as we had the first time, and as October came, we left for Praslin.
During our first stay here, in April 2009, we had worried about location, accessibility and the extent of help needed, but there had been no need for any of this.
We were welcomed by the friendly staff and found, to our joy, that we had been put in the same room. Again, everywhere where steps could hinder wheelchair access, ramps had been fitted and it was as if we had been away but for a few days, only to return home to La Reserve, finding everything as easy and welcoming as before.
The snorkelling, which had so impressed us the first time, was even better as we explored familiar grounds and found that we could easily see that there had been a huge development in both coral and fish life for the 18 months we had been away.
The hotel fleet has been doubled since our last stay, and we ventured on snorkelling trips with Billy, Ron and the ubiquitous Francis, both on the Athena and the new Athena Too. During our last stay we never saw sea turtles, but this time we saw plenty of them, lionfish, cornet fish, squirrelfish and even dolphins on the boat trip to Coco Island.
Once again, we found that the Seychellois in general and the staff at La Reserve in particular are very accommodating and helpful.
Everything was perfect, also the second time around. The service was top rate, the room always spotless and the surrounding areas well kept. The trips were suitably varied and even the laundry service was fast and reliable.
A huge thank you to the staff at La Reserve for making both of us feel welcome back. Not only in a professional manner, but also the warm welcome from those who were genuinely happy to see us again.
A wise lady in the Seychelles reminded us not to promise to return, but only promise to try. And I promise this: We will try to return home to our regular room and our good friends at La Reserve.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Kirsten M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 January 2011

Our honey moon had 2 parts: safari in South Africe & relax week in La Reserve on Seychelles.
For sure its nice place, with cute beach, organized sea boat trips that is cool. BUT...
Our disappointment started from wrong booking of our travel agent, we had normal room without seaview & all romantic staff as candels, champagne & etc. So be careful & check several times what at the end u will have. As soon as everything was booked hotel didnt suggest us anything better. so we stayed in normal room close to the road. as i understood nobody even tried to help us.
Honey mooners is NORMAL business for them. they see the couples everyday so opinion of one will not spoil anything.
Food... could be better.. we had B&B. so we could go out even if its not very comfortable as soon as taxi is very expensive & there are no so many restaurants with extra service of guests' transportation. anyway food of hotel was very very average.
BUT we found 3 very good places to eat out of it. really delicious food, wine & service. but expensive as everythign on the island.
Service... waiters werent very friendly at all. fake smiles & sometimes even without. :)
And as i told they dont try to make honey moon trip more special. Romantic dinner for Just married is a the same place with other guests, the difference is the colour of table cloth :) its funny. and there were a lot of other honey mooners around. :)
I can say that I felt more honey moon atmoshere in Bush camps in SA more than on Praslin Island.
But its nice to some 1 time. and to visit such amazing beaches as Anse Lazio & Anse Giorgette. also there are a lot of beautiful small island around. sea is amazing. and snorkling is cool.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Belo444ka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
peterpomeroy, Owner at Le Domaine de La Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 27 January 2011

I take criticism very constructively otherwise our hotel would not be the success that it is today but I'm a little confused about this review. Unless I've misunderstood it seems to me that this honeymoon couple has issues with their travel agent not La Reserve. Clearly their travel agent did not inform them that if you book La Reserve on B&B you do not qualify for the honeymoon package. We are a family run hotel and we try to be as flexible as possible but there are busy times when we just cannot.

As for our food being "very, very average" its all a matter of taste. We cannot please everyone's palate. Whilst we do not have a michelin star restaurant I know that my Seychellois Chefs try their very best with all fesh local products available and that is all that I can ask for.

Dinner for couples that are just married is definitely not with everyone else. This is false along with the different coloured table cloth story.
Just married couples sit in a little alcove right on the oceans edge under the stars and are made to feel really special as this is a day that should be remembered forever.

This couple are very upset because obviously their travel agent booked the wrong package for them and I would be equally upset but why take it out on the hotel? Anyway, the vast majority our other reviews speak for themselves . I always say we are far from perfect but we certainly give it our best shot.

Regards to all readers,

Peter Pomeroy

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Reviewed 17 January 2011

Lovely hotel - very spacious and modern rooms, great food, nice big pool. Staff were generally friendly, but at times service was inconstent.

If you have selected Seychelles and Praslin, this hotel is a lovely hideaway for comfort and style. However, to make the most of your stay, be prepared to go on excursions - the beach is not great and not designed for bathing or snorkelling (which was how it was sold to us). We often took a taxi to Anse Lazio - by far the best beach. La Digue was also worth a visit for the day.

January is a bad time of year to visit - it was warm but generally overcast or rainy. We expected this, but not on this scale (hard to judge Indian Ocean as Mauritus and Maldives are great at this time of year).

Overall we think you can get better value for money in the Maldives, but it depends what you are looking for. If you want all out luxury, great snorkelling and diving, I'd recommend the Maldives every time (see my reviews on Mirihi and Angsana) - same cost, but better overall value.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ruth_Teddington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2010

My husband and I spent a few days on our honeymoon at La Reserve in Praslin, and it quickly became a highlight of our trip. The service from nearly all the staff at the hotel was exceptional - nearly everyone we met greeted us with a warm smile and made us feel welcome. Much of the staff spoke both English and French, so we were able to engage in friendly conversation. The accommodations were fine - the room was very clean and inviting, with a large shower in the back and a walkout patio in the front. The air conditioning right above the bed did get cold at night and made a bit of a noise, but once you pulled the canopy down around the bed, it wasn't a problem. There were 4 rooms to each small building, each room with an ocean view, and we were the only ones in our building at the time (it was "rainy" season, though with very little rain), so it was very quiet and private. Even at capacity I imagine the hotel would still have a very intimate feel.

One of the big draws of the hotel was the location. It's a bit tucked away in a small cove, offering a quiet seclusion that you would expect while staying on a remote island. It's a short walk to Cote D'Or and a bus stop is conveniently located just outside the entrance (be wary of the bus schedule if you choose that mode of transportation, but it's worth a short journey to get to Anse Lazio). We did not partake in snorkeling or kayaking at the hotel, though the equipment was available for a deposit, but we were delighted to join in on a number of excursions guided by Francis and Ron. The excursions were offered either complimentary by the hotel or for an entrance/tour fee (i.e.: to Curieuse Island, La Digue or Vallee de Mai), but the costs are very reasonable. I highly recommend taking part in the excursions - they were a great way to explore the islands!

Our stay at La Reserve included the buffet breakfast and dinner, which was either set dinner menu selections or a buffet. We also received a credit for lunch to use at the pool restaurant. The food was delicious and needless to say, we were never hungry! Overall we were very pleased with our stay, and we would be happy to return or recommend to a friend.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JaeTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2010

A great holiday in a fab hotel with great and friendly staff. Shivas cocktails were beyond belief, Francis was great on the trips and Reena ran the restaurant superbly.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Reggie052
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2010

This hotel is primarily for french travelers. One night a family spoke english (scottish), otherwise we were the only ones during the entire stay. The room was large with good AC and a great view of the bay. They put most of the money into the giant well appointed bathrooms. The pool is very nice.

La reserve defies logic because their dinner buffets have great food- selection, quality, taste. Their a la carte dinner is awful- selection, quality, taste. Dinner came with the room's price and there were few other options so we all ate it, but few people seemed to like it. The breakfast buffet was average, and the omelets were great. We took a sandwich to go one day and I liked it, my pop thought it was bad.

What I didn't like about La Reserve was that during low tide, their part of the bay empties, and it's unattractive and unwelcoming. It keeps their beach empty and nobody snorkeling. The only thing that made me furious with the hotel is how reception is run. Their own blow dryer doesn't work w/o their adaptor and agree to a deposit. It's a semi-working (as we found out) adaptor that probably costs $10. We had to sign out beach/pool towels and agree to a deposit. They had snorkel gear for free but had to sign a deposit. It was beneath a $500/night hotel. We're not on spring break. We were specifically told that during our trip the excursion to La Digue was $14pp (everything was in euro), but when we arrived we were told it was $28pp. The boat trip was great and run very professionally- thanks Ron and Billy, but you have to charge the price you quote. We had a lunch credit of about $27pp/day. I seemingly couldn't convince them at check in about this (which nearly every guest qualifies for) and when we took two sandwiches to go one day and otherwise never used the $160 in credit, they insisted on charging us because we didn't eat in the dining room. The big problem was that they were so entrenched in their positions at the front desk. We complained to the owner about lunch and she removed it from our bill. Finally, their internet service is spotty and you need to buy a local card for access- that's a bad policy for any priced hotel.

This hotel is overpriced. We paid $525/night. The service is with a smile, but unreasonable and inflexible. The every other night a la carte dinner is horrible. I can not recommend La Reserve.

  • Stayed: November 2010
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4  Thank denverroadtrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
peterpomeroy, Owner at Le Domaine de La Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 23 November 2010

La Reserve is not primarily for French travellers. Our main client base are Europeans. There may have been more French when this person stayed in the hotel but we generally have a good mix of everyone. I found this to be quite a bizzare opening statement to a review.

Moving on to our "terrible a la carte dinner". We do not serve an a la carte dinner at La Reserve. We serve a table d'hote menu which is a set menu consisting of 3 starters, 2 mains (fish or meat) and 2 desserts. You can either eat the whole menu or choose from the different courses. The majority of our clients are quite happy with our food as all our reviews suggest. I think here it boils down to personal preference and taste. I wouldn't say our food was terrible.
This person clearly prefers buffets to a fixed menu. It is even mentioned that our buffets are very good and yet the table d'hote menus are cooked by the same chefs, so how could it possibly be so terrible?

As for the low tide and snorkelling issue, the tide goes up and down every 6 hours on average. This doesn't just happen at La Reserve....it's all over the island! At low tide most people walk out 50 metres or so and its fine. At high or mid tide you can snorkel straight from the beach.

The deposit for beach towels/snorkelling equipment is merely a control that we have put in place so that we do not loose so many of these items. Its simply a receipt that we ask you to sign once during your stay and if you return the items it is destroyed and if you don't you are charged the replacement value. We would love to be able to just hand out beach towels and snorkeling gear without any formalities but unfortunately there are a lot of dishonest people out there and we would have to replace hundreds of towels and masks/flippers every month.

As for the trip to La digue I fully accept this mistake on our part as the prices have only recently gone up and this person was most probably quoted the old price when the original reservation was made. I will gladly refund the difference.

In regards to the lunch credit promotion this client was perfectly entitled to this credit but again there are conditions attached i.e. meals have to be eaten in the main restaurant between 12pm and 2.30pm. This particular client wanted takeaway and as much as we try and be flexible, at times it is very difficult. The next thing you know is that everyone wants lunches to go. Every hotel has policies and they are for a good reason. We never try to upset our clients on purpose but at the end of the day we are trying to run a business.

As for the internet, we have wifi throughout the hotel and a small business center with a few computers. We do not have the quickest internet in the world but its the fastest that we can get for the moment. It is very slow but considering that we are a small island in the middle of nowhere I think its ok enough so that you can check your emails etc. Soon I believe this will be greatly improved as the Seychelles is being connected to the rest of the world via fibre optic cable.

I am sad to hear that this person cannot recommend La Reserve and that it is overpriced. Whilst we may not be the cheapest hotel on Praslin we certainly offer good value for money. This person says he paid 525 USD per night and this is for two people on HB, he also gets a free lunch credit of 50+USD for 2 per day (basically a free lunch) Free excursions to Aride island, Cousin island, Curieuse and st pierre island twice a week, Sundown cruise with free cocktails and snacks, and lastly free afternoon tea with cakes and sandwiches. You don't get more value for money than that. The majority of trips that we offer for free cost around 100 USD per person if you go with an outside tour company and we do all this inhouse with our own boats right on our doorstep.

I hope this clears up some of the issues raised.

Peter Pomeroy
Owner

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Reviewed 19 November 2010

My partner and I went to Seychelles to get marry. We stay at the La reserve hotel and had a wonderful time. The hotel was lovely, staff was friendly and helpdful. We did a boat trip everyday which was provided by the hotel, we thoroughly enjoyed it. My partner manage to swim with turtles, and saw a baby shark!

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1  Thank emhly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Le Domaine de La Reserve

Address: | Anse Petite Cour, Anse Volbert, Praslin Island, Seychelles
Region: Seychelles > Praslin Island > Anse Volbert
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Anse Volbert
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Anse Volbert
Price Range: £257 - £370 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Le Domaine de La Reserve 4*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover warm hospitality and Luxury at Le Domaine de La Reserve, a hotel on the north east of Praslin in a National Marine park. Our intimate beachfront hotel is a rare gem surrounded by unobstructed and breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean.Located on a private estate with its very own private beach in the secluded bay of Anse Petite Cour, Le Domaine de la Reserve is reputed to be a leading hotel of the Seychelles. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Reserve Praslin Island
Hotel La Reserve
La Reserve Seychelles
Le Domaine De La Reserve Seychelles/Praslin Island

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