We travelled to the Seychelles for the Eid break and arrived at the Raffles resort on Praslin Island on the 4 November. The island is very quiet but beautiful and we were looking forward to our stay in such picaresque surroundings. We were met at the reception area by a hotel representative who welcomed us to the resort and talked us through the hotel amenities. During the conversation my wife brought up the subject of the two shark attacks that had happened during the year at which point I asked the representative if the hotel had put up nets on the hotels beach which she advised they didn't have any. We were advised that if we wanted an area which had nets up we would need to visit the public beach which was ten minutes down the road by car. I was rather surprised by this as the Seychelles is a beach holiday destination where people would tend to spend a lot of time on the beach so why the hotel had not put up nets post the shark attacks seem bewildering and the longer the conversation went on the more unconformable the hotel representative became.
We were then introduced to our personal butler who drove us up to our villa by golf cart. Due to the size and layout of the resort most travel has to be done by golf cart especially as a lot of the roads leading to and from the villa's are quite steep. The villa we chose was an Oceanview Villa and this by all accounts was well laid out and comfortable. We had advised the hotel that we were had a 14 month old child with us and they had put a baby cot in the room which was very good quality and included several gift items such as a cap, water bottle and a little rucksack which we thought was a nice touch. The butler gave us a further brief and advised that we would receive a complimentary bottle of champagne and a fruit basket which again thought was a good touch. The butler requested for our passports for the hotels administration and promised to return these once this was done. Unfortunately this is when we first noticed the poor levels of service. After two hours another butler turned up with the passports but out of the three we originally gave them he returned with only two. We asked where the third was and the butler said he would check with the reception and bring it back. After another 45 minutes he returned with the third passport and apologised. We then asked when the complimentary champagne and fruit would arrive and he advised this would be delivered with dinner. In the evening we looked at the in room dining menu which we didn’t think had a great selection and placed an order with room service where we were notified would take 45 minutes to deliver. The food that arrived was average at best and luke warm. When I asked the butler where the one desert we had ordered was he said this would be delivered separately and asked me when I would like it for which I told him 15 minutes. I’ve never seen a hotel that delivers deserts separately but after 45 minutes I was forced to call room service and enquire where it was. The complimentary champagne and fruit never arrived with the evening meal as promised.
The next day we awoke and went to make coffee in the room. The room comes with an espresso machine but no instant coffee for those who don’t like espresso but the room had a box of 9 different types of tea. The only problem was that when we opened the box it was totally empty which was surprising. We then went down for breakfast which is held in one of the two hotel restaurants. The food on offer is good quality but based on previous stays at five star hotels I would have to say the selection available was average. For instance, when we went to look for yoghurts’ for our son the hotel only had plain which was quite salty or fat free and no flavoured ones. The breakfast area has an egg station and another annoyance with the service was that that the you had to keep reminding the chef at the station for your order as they seemed overwhelmed with the number of requests they received.
In the afternoon we visited the pool area of the hotel which was really good and then returned to the villa and wanted to make coffee. To our surprise and even though the room had been made up the espresso for the machine had not been refilled and the box that contained the tea’s was still empty. When we called room service to send replenishments to the villa they instead sent a pot of coffee and we had to explain to the individual that delivered it what we were looking wanted. He then disappeared and eventually returned with tea and coffee replacements.
In the evening we decided to try one of the hotels restaurants (the same one where they hold breakfast in the mornings). The room has subdued lighting in the evening and as soon as we entered we felt uncomfortable as it seemed the mood was a romantic dinner setting. Add a 14 month old boy with a salt and pepper shaker and love goes out the window. We again felt the menu was very limited and the food portions that arrived were on the small side. I’m quite a big guy but when my wife who is half my size says the portion is small then it gives you a fair idea.
For the rest of the stay we confined ourselves to having dinner in the room and the delivery times ranged from 45 minutes to 75 minutes and the food was always only ever mildly warm.
On the second day of the trip we did take an excursion over to the island across from Praslin to see the giant turtles which was a wonderful experience.
The last day prior to leaving at the resort appeared to sum up the poor service. We went down to breakfast as normal and the plates from the previous evening were sitting on the table outside the villa. When we arrived at breakfast we were seated and offered coffee. The server for some reason only brought one cup for my wife and no coffee. After 15 minutes we had to ask for another cup and where the coffee was. We had to again remind the guy at the egg station about our order for scrambled eggs and a further notable point was that things such as bread, butter and plates had run out on the buffet but instead of being proactive the staff on duty had to be requested to replace these items. We bumped into a couple we had met during the trip at breakfast and while talking to them they commented that the service during their stay had not been up to much. They also asked if we had ever heard of a hotel that had run out of orange juice as apparently the Raffles had.
On returning to the villa the room had been made up and the plates and serving dishes from the previous night’s dinner had been moved to the hallway outside the villa. We then went down to the hotels beach for a while and it was quite noticeable how few people were in the sea and those that were stayed very close to the beach. We did try and go in the sea but after several minutes you just felt very conscious of what had happened with the sharks and wanted to get out. We then headed over to the pool and ordered drinks and a bowl of fries. As we had become accustomed to the drinks arrived but the fries never did. When we were leaving the pool area they brought the bill which included the fries so it wasn’t like they hadn’t heard me.
On returning back to the villa around 6pm the plates and serving dishes were still in the villa hallway but by now were covered by ants. The driver of the buggy noticed these and I could tell by how quickly he got on his mobile without saying a word to him how embarrassed he was by this.
A further point that other guests had mentioned was the length of time it required to get a buggy to come and pick them up. On discussing this with the one of the drivers it was interesting to find out that out of the ten buggies the hotel had for guest pickups five were out of service due to maintenance issues. This seemed odd as we had been told that the hotel had only been open since April so to have five out with maintenance problems in the space of eight months was concerning.
Overall the Seychelles is both a beautiful and peaceful destination. The Raffles resort is clean and the villas are well laid out and decorated. Unfortunately for us this was diminished by constant service headaches which for the amount of money you pay to stay at a resort like this should never be an issue but we found for the four nights we stayed it generally was one of the main focal points of discussion. The staff at the hotel and are very welcoming and friendly but unfortunately this should only make up part of the service and not the total service. Prior to booking with the hotel we did check tripadvisor for other guest’s feedback and due to the positive feedback we went ahead and booked with Raffles. My feeling is that those guests that had a positive stay with Raffles may have stayed at the resort when it was not at full capacity but when it is the service level drops significantly.
- 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