My husband and I are frequent travellers all around the world and we make sure to save our money to take yearly trips overseas as our annual holiday, but still, as South-Africans with a ZAR currency that can’t compete with most other currencies in the world, it is always expensive to travel anywhere outside the boundaries of our country. Therefore TRIPADVISOR is such an important part of our preparations, and reading reviews + seeing photos by travellers are of the most NB aspects when we choose a destination, have to decide between resort etc.
I have never written a review on this site, yet I always read other traveller reviews & realised it is so unfair of me to take the help/advise others give on T’advisor & I don’t contribute at all to other people’s holidays / decision makings. Therefore, my first review starting with HOTEL COCO DE MER
We just arrived from a week holiday at Coco de Mer Hotel from 9-16 Sept & it feels like we’ve been to paradise. After reading every review in detail & deciding with regards to all the positive feedback that this hotel will be the one in spite of a few negative reviews/pointers, our travel agent made the necessary bookings. Yet I also contacted/mailed the hotel directly as I wanted to find out more about the shuttle from Coco de Mer to Anse Lazio beach, the seaweed problem that I’ve read here and there and letting them know of our wedding anniversary etc. I knew I made the right desicion on deciding on this hotel when the director ASH BEHARI responded in good time with a personal professional mail answering my questions & already extending a warm welcome to us before we even left. Then I realised it's amazing how the most grouped reviews on tripadvisor never lie and that the reviews from satisfied guests with regards to Coco de Mer’s excellent customer service are indeed shown in his response. THANK YOU SO MUCH, ASH!!!
In a nutshell, Coco de Mer Hotel is situated on Praslin, +- 15min drive from airport. You fly to Mahe & from there a small charter takes you over the blue ocean to Praslin island 15min flight.
THE HOTEL: Beautiful piece of paradise secluded and away from the commercial hotel strips you get on most islands. Very private setting surrounded by green nature and with a lot of space & cozy places on the resort grounds making you feel that your are the only people there, even though the hotel was fully booked. If you are looking for a buzz or a party time, this is not the hotel for you, for the only “music” you will hear during the whole night is the ocean right in front of your room & the palm trees dancing in the wind.
SERVICE: Excellent in every aspect – from the welcoming at the doorstep to the welcoming drink to one of the managers giving you a few tips, to the housekeeping to the staff to the last wave we received when leaving. They made us feel like royalty ;-)
FOOD: Very good! Dinner varies from one night being ala carte & one night having buffet with a theme such as Italian, Creole, Seafood etc. Good nice variety for buffet from fish to even reef shark fillets (my first shark ever) to pork, but the a'la carte was SUPER!!! Really well prepared, good looking & good tasting food! Breakfast also nice variety from cold to hot b/fast. For some people the breakfast may be a little boring if you stay for a week or longer, but on the other hand, there’s only so many things you can do with a humble egg!! And they DO prepare it every morning in every way - from scramble to boiled to omelette to fried, what more do you want - egg a'la impossible? And if you really want something more, go buy your own chicken!
LOCATION: As mentioned before Coco de Mer is not your usual hotel and therefore is the location also unique. It is not on a strip of white sandy smooth beaches surrounded by hotels, shops, curios, people, streets. night life or restaurants. And that’s what we in particular LOVED about it. It’s got this different twist to it being on its own and still overlooking a beach and ocean that makes you feel like as if you are in the Survivor reality show. They have 3 beaches around it, each with a different look & setting to it & the swimming pool overlooking the ocean is one of the best we’ve seen on the Praslin island as we did a little island hopping in a rental. What we loved about this hotel is that they do offer a free shuttle service (+-25min drive) that takes you to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world ANSE LAZIO. This is a special service they give their guests, giving them the opportunity to enjoy 2 different settings of Seychelles – from the rough edged all natural rocky look at the hotel to the picturesque postcard beach of Anse Lazio. The nice thing was going to Anse Lazio where you chill on this amazing beach and then coming back to our resort with a total different look & feel to it – we felt like having the best of both worlds on one island &that made our trip so much more adventurous. The free shuttle’s pick up time at Anse Lazio is 13:00 but some days we stayed longer on Anse Lazio and took the public bus (also something to experience if you are an explorer!!) for 5rupees dropping you right in front of the hotel. We did swim one day at our resort’s beach, and it is NB to note that the sea is not as calm as it is on Anse Lazio or maybe the other side of the island such as Cote d'Or (also a very nice beach to visit!!) , but if you just want to take a tan and chill on the lounge chairs, it’s still a pretty good setting for a laidback afternoon. Due to our weather conditions during our stay, it was better for us to swim at the other side of the island.
EXCURSIONS / JOSEPHA: As I’ve seen others also mentioned below, Josepha from Select Seychelles is BRILLIANT!!!! If you want to take an excursion, be sure to ask for her, she is so professional, honest & helpful & even changed a flight for us, she is a go getter & will advise you the best. Thank you so much Josepha!!
CAR HIRE: Do yourself a favour & hire a car! Not that expensive, +-50euros per day & take a trip around the island. Stop the car at a beach you find on your way, get out take a swim &hop back in & drive to the next spot few metres away to stop & appreciate this islands immense beauty!! PS! Rather hire a car than take a taxi! Taxis are very expensive and in the end you play the same for a taxi ride & a whole day's car hire.
SEAWEED: Due to the strong currents & wind conditions we experienced while we were there, there was a lot of seaweed at the hotel beach in the mornings. They do have people cleaning the main beach everyday, but sometimes the weed are just too much for the cleaners with some weed remaining, once again dependent on the weather. First I thought it was only on our side of the island where there’s so much seaweed on the shore, but when we went to Cote d’Or beach on the other side of the island where most hotels are, there were just as much seaweed in front of those hotels & they also have cleaners attending to it as for as possible, also not succeeding in this task every time. However,the rest of the sea & settings are so beautiful, that is doesn’t spoil anything & we see it as part of nature’s beauty, depending on your point of view.
WIND & WEATHER: Coco de Mer is on the more “windy” side of the island & this might be a drawback for some people as it can get quite windy on that side. On the other hand, the humidity is so high that we were sometimes very grateful for the wind just helping with the sweat constantly running due to the 80% hot humidity. So once again it all depends on your point of view I suppose. We had 3 days sunshine & 3 days cloudy with rain on certain days, odd weather for this time of the year as said by many on the island, but don’t let the weather spoil your holiday! Its like on your wedding where you can control everything except the weather so if it rains, deal with it &make the best out of it, its not the hotel or Seychelles fault the sun isn't shining and its still a huge privilege just to be there & soak up every aspect of the Seychelles living
EXPENSIVE: Food & drinks are expensive at the hotel which is a little bit of a drawback. Yet, on the other hand the WHOLE of Seychelles are expensive!!!!!!! And the restaurants at Anse Lazio are even MORE expensive!!! At least our hotel was more "reasonable expensive" for though a cocktail costs +- 125rupees, at Paradise sun hotel in Cote d'Or it was freakin 190rupees!!! And though wine was an expensive 330rupees per bottle, at Cote d'or beach it was 380rupees!!! So make peace with the fact that Seychelles ARE EXPENSIVE!!! The awesome thing about our hotel is we brought our own SA wine we bought at the airport &they didn’t have a problem at all serving it to us at dinner.
TIP! Go to a supermarket in town by bus (the busses past almost every halfour) and buy some snacks to eat on the beach at Anse Lazio, stop at a supermarket & buy cold drinks/wine/snacks there to enjoy at any of the beaches, they don't have a problem with it and its much much cheaper than eating at the restaurant. Make sure you budget well for lunches and expenses in Seychelles, it’s really expensive overall so don’t get caught off guard!!
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- Also Known As:
- Coco De Mer - Black Parrot Hotel Anse Bois De Rose
- Coco De Mer - Black Parrot Suites Seychelles/Praslin Island