We stayed for four nights at the very new Raffles in Praslin in August 2011 (one note on August in the Seychelles -- we read in a number of guide books that it was the driest time of the year, but we had generally cloudy and gray weather which dampened our mood while on Praslin). This is a first class hotel with one of the nicest rooms I have ever stayed in; the private villas are absolutely stunning and tastefully decorated. We enjoyed that the hotel didn't fall into any fake 'ethnic' theme, but had a contemporary feel that was very well done. Be careful to ask for a villa with a good (and private view). Our villa (though lovely) was in direct line of site of the concierge desk and didn't feel very private. And yes, we had an amazing view of the sea and the island across the straight, however we also had a view of the employee parking lot (very oddly place in full view of many villas right by the reception).
Be forewarned that the hotel is brand new and so the vegetation is quite young (don't expect to be immersed in a tropical jungle). Unfortunately, it looks like the hotel basically ripped-up the side of a mountain to build the villas, and I hope that in time the vegetation will grow and flourish to cover/hide the structures a bit better. You can definitely tell that the hotel is working hard to plant and nurture plants, trees, and shrubbery, so I hope that in a few years' time it will be better integrated into the environment.
The service in the hotel is the best I've ever experienced (even when compared to other luxury hotels and Raffle properties). Our two butlers (Sala and Saranga) were knowledgeable, experienced, helpful, and service-oriented without being intrusive or obsequious -- well done, gentlemen! We also found Olivier (the young manager of the Curiuese Restaurant) to be very professional and friendly and a great source for sporty-related ideas about what to do while on the island).
The food in the two restaurants was extremely good -- honestly exceptional. The service was also friendly, but we found the service in the L'Ocean Restaurant to be quite slow almost every evening. Maybe the hotel staff is still learning, and as time goes by that will improve.
One last comment -- I wouldn't suggest this hotel to anyone who is hoping to just plop on the beach for a week, because the beach (at least during August) isn't that great. Yes, it's safe to swim, but the waves kicked-up a lot of sand and the water wasn't the beautiful transparent kind that we all dream of when visiting the Indian Ocean. But don't despair -- just 5 min's away by car (or a 15 minute bike ride like we did) and you can be in Anse Lazio which is the best beach on Praslin, and one of the most beautiful in the world. There the swimming/snorkeling was exceptional, and the Raffles Hotel is by far the closest luxury hotel to this pristine and amazing beach.
We send our best wishes to the Raffles staff, and wish them luck as they grow this hotel's reputation!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- From across the continents of Europe and Asia, the legend of Raffles now extends to the enchanting islands of the Seychelles, cradled at the heart of the Indian Ocean. Raffles Praslin Seychelles presents an all-villa Seychelles luxury resort nestled within the stunning island of Praslin that was once declared the rediscovered Garden of Eden. This Seychelles hotel seeks to present guests with an escape where warm native Seychellois hospitality is infused with the enchanting touch of Raffles. Surrender to the sun-kissed allure of Anse Takamaka’s powdered sands, on to which spill the eighty-six spacious villas fashioned to assure lavish comfort. These private abodes offer a choice of whispering, opal-hued oceans and lush green hills. Be immersed in the relaxing therapies of the exclusive Raffles Spa, which coupled with the soothing embrace of unsullied nature, rejuvenate both body and spirit. Taste the distinguished flavours of the breezy Curieuse Seafood Restaurant, the local cuisine and Mediterranean delights of Losean or the light comfort food by the Pool Bar. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Raffles Praslin Hotel Anse Takamaka
- Raffles Seychelles Praslin Island