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“Just not a 5 star service”
Review of Raffles Seychelles

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Raffles Seychelles
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Anse Takamaka
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 November 2011

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.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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27  Thank James B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raffles2011, Public Relations Manager at Raffles Seychelles, responded to this reviewResponded 16 November 2011

Thank you for taking the time to write in details your experience in our property. It is unfortunate that we did not meet all your expectations and I can ensure you that necessary arrangements have been taken thanks to your review.
Thank you once again for your constructive comments.

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Reviewed 3 November 2011

We had wanted to go to the Seychelles for a few years and when i saw that Raffles had opened a resort on Praslin Island we decided to go.The whole experience is truly amazing.On arrival we were upgraded to an ocean view suite with amazing views of Curieuse Island.The villa had absolutely everything that we needed, nothing had been overlooked, even the hairdrier was salon standard.On our outside deck we even had a barbecue.The staff are exceptional and made our stay even more special, nothing was too much trouble. We hired a speed boat for the day and what an amazing day we had, watching sea turtles swimming was a sight i will never forget.The food was simply superb we had chosen the half board option back home which allowed us to have anything off the menu in either restaurant.Breakfast with Sydney in the Losean restaurant was always a meal we enjoyed and dinner with Thomas in the Curieuse restaurant, we were literally spoilt for choice, Dennis is a talented chef. We met all the staff throughout our stay, we were there fourteen nighst, we even met the head of the Raffles empire who was visiting for a couple of days, he has the same name as my husband!! Our butlers were available whenever we needed them and Ashock our villa boy kept everything ship shape and so very clean all the time.I have stayed in the worlds best hotels and this has to be up there with them, this is a new resort and i reckon in a few more months you will struggle to get a room.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled on business
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6  Thank suzyq52_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raffles2011, Public Relations Manager at Raffles Seychelles, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2011

Thank you for taking the time to write such a nice review on your stay at Raffles Praslin. WE all hope to see you back soon...

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Reviewed 31 October 2011

Let me first introduce you by telling that I am a seasoned traveller and stayed in some of the most luxurious hotels of the world. When travelling, I like to pick my hotels by using websites such as Kiwicollection, Conde Nast, Travel & Leisure. For our Seychelles holiday, we decided to stay in Raffles Praslin (RP) for a couple of nights, followed by Banyan Tree (BT) & FS (see my other reviews as well). I advice everybody to try at least 2 of these hotels so that you can spend your holiday on both the islands of Mahe (FS or BT) & Praslin (RP) which are quite different.

Our stay in the RP was an overwhelmingly positive one (and honnestly, I do not understand any of the negative reviews here) and we were pampered from beginning to end of our too short stay.

Pro's :
- Pre-arrival communication with the resort was fantastic (and far superior to the BT & FS). All our emails were answered within 24 hours (a big thank you to Vanessa). And we got a fantastic rate by contacting the resort through email.
- Pre-arrival assistance : we missed our Qatar Airways connection in Doha and arrived one day late. The resort did all they could do to help us reschedule our stay, and they never charged us for the one night we did loose because of the Qatar Airways troubles.
- Transfer to the resort : we used the ferry to get from Mahe to Praslin (as we hate small planes). We had a gap of 4 hours between our arrival at the Mahe airport and our ferry departure, but the RP has a private lounge a short taxi drive away (20 euros) from the airport, where we could refresh ourselve.
- The resort itself is located on the east side of Praslin, a 15 minute drive from the jetty (20 euros by taxi or 45 euros by resort car) or a 45 minute drive from Praslin airport. It is huge (transport within the resort is done by a very efficient buggy service) and built on a hill with a beautiful view on the ocean. It has its own stretch of private beach in front of the hotel and owns the biggest pool of the Indian Ocean. Everything was very clean and well taken care of, and the resort as a whole felt very luxurious.
- our villa (number 183) was stunning : own (small) infinity pools (like all villas), beautiful modern design (in comparison : BT offers an Asian design, and FS a traditional tropical wooded design), outdoor deck with private pavillion, incredibly soft bed, very nice bathroom with outdoor rain shower. Most of all : the view from the villa was amazing (and must be one of the best of the resort).
- the staff was very efficient, discrete and friendly. It was my birtday while staying at the resort, and everybody seemed to know. I got a chocolate cake (very nice gesture)
- Food at the resort was expensive (as expected and on pair with other luxury hotels in the Seychelles) but trully great. We enjoyed every single meal.
- the resort is the best and most luxurious hotel of Praslin, no doubt about it.
- this is the sole reason while every luxury minded traveller should spend at least a couple of days at the RP : La Digue island, which houses the best beach of the world (Anse Source d'Argent) is only 20 minutes away by ferry (and unfortunately, there is no superluxuriuous hotel at La digue).

Contra's (+ few suggestions for the owners) :
- the resort is new, and as a consequence, the vegetation is not mature yet.I guess it will take a few rainy seasons before the vegetation will be tropical and lush. Overall, I was surprised by the fact that Praslin island is far less lush as compared to Mahe (the FS and BT on Mahe are located in a dense tropical jungles, while we did not see coastal jungle-like vegetation at Praslin island).The good news is that this also means that Praslin is much drier and sunnier as compared to Mahe (the latter island has higher mountains which capture the clouds)
- the beach of the hotel is very nice, but compared to other Seychelles beaches not a memorable one (in comparison, the FS and BT on Mahe both own a really amazing strectch of prestine white palm-fringed sand). Nevertheless, a short 5 minute drive away by car (or 15 minute drive away by bicycle, which is provided by the hotel at no extra charge) you will find Anse Lazio, one of the best beaches of the world (although I liked the beaches of Mahe far more, but that is a matter of personal taste). What would really set the RP apart, pu them above the competetion and increase their attractiness to possible travellers, is if they were able to negotiate a private beach club at Anse Lazio and/or offer complimentary shuttle service to Anse Lazio. I am confident that this would increase substantially their number of clients. They are the closest hotel this worldfamous beach and should try to take advantage of this for their PR.
- the hotel is located at the east coast, so it does not offer sunset views and also the sun will disappear behind the hills about 1 to 2 hours before sunset. But ... Anse Lazio offers great sunset views, so the hotel should really try hard to install a private beach club at Anse Lazio :-).
- not all rooms offer privacy, because the vegetation is not mature yet and because all the villas are built quite close one to another (in comparison : BT & FS offer totally private villas). The decks of many villas even look out on the lobby or the service area. However, it is just a matter that that you know this, like we did, before arrival. As such, when booking the villa, we requested a villa with privacy, and they were glad to provide us one. And our villa (nr 183) did offer total privacy, so ideal for honeymooners.
- the main road is running like a loop around the resort, and remarkably, many of the higher located villas are built quiet close to that road (although none of them looks out on the road as they all have splendid ocean views). But this may cause some traffic noise from time to time. From our villa 183, we could not see the road (it was tucked away in the vegetation below our villa), but the noise of passing cars was clearly present throughout the day and although it did not disturb us, it may be troublesome to others.
- they made a small error of a few hundred euros on our bill, but they immediatly corrected it and apologized as soon as i pointed this out to them, so I believe it was a small mistake. But nevertheless, one should always check the hotel bill carefully, and from a Raffles hotel one does not expect faults to be made at check-out.

In summary : a splendid hotel on a splendid island that I would recommend to everybody in a heartbeat as every Seychelles traveller should at least spend a couple of nights on Praslin. It could even become even greater if they could address some minor issues. For your interest : the Banyan Tree hotel has the best location/beach in my opinion, and the Four Seasons hotel gave me the best overall experience (and is my favourite).

Room Tip: request a room with privacy and away from the main road
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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14  Thank LuxTravelExpert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raffles2011, Public Relations Manager at Raffles Seychelles, responded to this reviewResponded 1 November 2011

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience at Raffles with so many details and good suggestions. We hope to see you back soon !

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Reviewed 24 October 2011

We were stuck for somewhere to stay at short notice and everywhere was fully booked. We got a fantastic rate and all had individual villas with a butler!! I'm not sure where the couple of poor reviewers have been staying before, but other than the somewhat over-priced treatments this place is just stunning! My villa had a 180 panoramic view too - bonus!! :-)

It was a bit of a trek to get there and the flights aren't very reliable with Air Seychelles as they are only small aircraft so get booked up very quickly so we got the ferry, but Raffles met us at the harbour.

My villa was so fully equipped I can't think of anything that was missing....OH I know - my husband!! :-(

I always said that I would never choose the Seychelles for a holiday, but after this experience I would definately come here purely to stay at the Raffles Hotel.

The one thing that would be nice is if they can get better rates for transport to and from Praslin bearing in mind the difficulty with the flights, but maybe that will come with time, this being a new hotel.

Room Tip: Bear in mind if you want a villa with direct beach access you wont get the views as this is a hillsi...
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled on business
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2  Thank jammydodger0905
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raffles2011, Public Relations Manager at Raffles Seychelles, responded to this reviewResponded 1 November 2011

We are all happy to see that you enjoyed your stay with us and we are looking forward to welcome you again soon with your husband !

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Reviewed 12 October 2011

Firat of all:
6 stars would fit!

As a pilot i stay monthly in different 4 and 5 star hotels;
As this Raffles on Praslin would easy hold up with the Top
Hotels!

Right now we stay in dubai 5 star resort but never have that
Luxurious feeling combined with the nice professional Crew we had
On Praslin. We got a 180 degree Panorama Villa, after our horrible
Arrival with the Jetty ( try to book the transfer airplane if your stomach is not
Boatcapable ;-) ).our week was heaven on earth there even if we had rainy days in between!
Our Butler Brigitte was absolute professional, thanks a lot as well as to Ritsha, Purity and Thomas just to name only a few! The chef in the kitchen Denis took all my non Menue challenges! Amazing!
We will come back with friends soon,
Thank you all there!
We will c

Room Tip: Villas of 170 series
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Matthias L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RafflesPraslin, Manager at Raffles Seychelles, responded to this reviewResponded 30 August 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for all your wonderful comments. We are delighted that you have had such a great stay with us at Raffles Praslin, and welcome you to come back any time.

Best regards,
Raffles Praslin Team

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Reviewed 26 September 2011

We arrived to Raffles and did not know what to expect - well, the name Raffles implies quality - but since it is a rather new hotel and we are not really used to these types of resorts...
However, now we now how it is to be treated like kings and queens. The staff is just wonderful, and I write 'is' as we still are guests at the resort. I have never been in a hotel were everyone is being so friendly and open. It is a perfect balance between service and giving the privacy that we like.
On our first night here as we came back from a fantastic lobster dinner by the hotels beach front restaurant, we found a freshly baked cookie for my son with his name written on it. It was served with a large glass of milk.
We are here to celebrate my parent's wedding anniversary and the staff in the resort is doing so much more than I ever could ask for to make this a special and memorable vacation for them. Today, in the afternoon, the hotel staff came with a fantastic cake - which we had not ordered. It was a very nice surprise. And after coming home from dinner 'downtown' my mother found the bathtub in her bathroom filled with water and there were lovely flowers and lit candles around the tub. Needless to say, she was very happy.
Our two butlers are doing everything - and more - to make sure we are enjoying our stay. Not only are they doing a fantastic job, but they are extremely nice, friendly and interesting to talk to.
Earlier today we were out on a trip to the national park and our driver, Michael (from the resort), was making this a memorable day for all of us. He stopped many times along the road to show us local plants and giving us fruits that he picked and cinnamon that he carved from a tree. He even took the time to walk with us in the park and told us much facts about the island - anything from it's history to information about the plants that we were seeing.
This review can be much much longer and everything that I could write would be positive. We have yet to see any negative sides at this resort - and I seriously doubt that we will find one. Also, the manager is not only a very nice and friendly person, but he is genuinly interested in listening to advise for improvements - not that we have found any to be made.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank Skylimit69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
olivier_heuchenne, General Manager at Raffles Seychelles, responded to this reviewResponded 28 September 2011

Thank you for your comments, advice and genuine interest in Raffles Praslin. We are happy that you enjoyed your stay and have already shared your great review with the team. We look forward to welcome you back and thank y ou for making Raffles a place to celebrate a special occasion for your family.

Best regards,

Olivier Heuchenne

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Reviewed 15 September 2011

My Wife and I wanted a relaxing holiday to celebrate her birthday and after talking to our travel agent Seyexclusive we decided to visit Raffles Praslin in Seychelles. This was our first visit to this beautiful Island where many dream of visiting a small paradise on earth.
We had travelled for almost 24 hours when we finally arrived at the resort. At the reception we were greeted by friendly staff who welcomed us by our names and introduced us to our very personal butler. We were immediately escorted to our villa in a golf buggy where the check in formality was swiftly completed.
The views from our villa and surrounding areas were absolutely stunning and picturesque. The villa was very spacious, modern, and beautifully maintained to a very high standard throughout our stay with all the amenities one would desire. We had a perfect view of the ocean facing the Curieuse Island.
All in all the resort did not disappoint, every need is accommodated for and it is outstanding in every respect. The food, service, staff, quality, comfort, cleanliness, the list is endless. The resort is beautifully kept and well maintained, the design and quality of the villas and landscaping is well thought through and is maturing well.
Not often do they make mistakes, but we are all humans. The management here are excellent and take pride in listening to customer feedback, always looking at ways to improve ones stay and making it enjoyable and memorable. There were no excuses or attempts to avoid or mask any problems, it was just dealt with.
The best quality about this resort is that every member of staff engages with you not just in a scripted range of questions but talks enthusiastically about anything that you wish to talk about, they remember your name and show a genuine enthusiasm and dedication to providing the perfect environment for a memorable holiday. On my wife’s birthday management and staff came looking for her to greet her happy birthday. Small gestures like this makes this resort live up to its name.
Finally i would like to say a personal thank you to the following staff who went out of their way to make our stay a pleasant and memorable one, “Denis” the chef at the Curieuse restaurant who cooked us the best ever seafood we have had, together with his team, Christine, Vikram, Chandan, Mohammed and Lokesh. The character full of life and forever smiling “ Sidney”, Di, and purity at the Losean restaurant and not forgetting the stars of the holiday Sala & Suranga the two butlers who catered for our every requirement during our stay in the most efficient manner possible.
We have left this resort with a lot of good memories which we will cherish for many years to come and hopefully plan to return in the near future. Management keep up the good work and well done especially Andalina and Roland its people like yourselves that make dreams come into reality.
Mr Patel

Room Tip: ask and you will get
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MrPatel218
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
olivier_heuchenne, General Manager at Raffles Seychelles, responded to this reviewResponded 23 September 2011

Dear Resident,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your fantastic comments of your most recent visit to Raffles and for recognizing so many of our colleagues. We will share your comments to them and celebrate the great, learn from the constructive feedback. We look forward to welcome you back 'home' in Paradise soon.

Best regards,

Olivier Heuchenne

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Additional Information about Raffles Seychelles

Address: Anse Takamaka, Praslin Island, Seychelles
Phone Number:
Region: Seychelles > Praslin Island > Anse Takamaka
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Anse Takamaka
Price Range: £638 - £1,277 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Raffles Seychelles 5*
Number of rooms: 86
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

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