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“Honeymoon in Paradise!”
Review of Desroches Island

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Desroches Island
Reviewed 11 May 2014

We have just returned from an incredible 10 night stay on Desroches Island. We found the staff to be incredibly friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. The standard of service, amenities and accommodation were excellent. Top chefs prepare a delicious four course menu every night to be enjoyed under the stars with your choice of island cocktail.

The way the hotel and retreats are set up, you can be as secluded as you would like to be - spending the day walking on beaches with no one else in sight. There are also a variety of activities to keep you busy. The water visibility was great and we saw turtles, sharks and rays snorkeling just meters from shore. You are likely to see Manta Rays and sharks on dives around the islands and the fishing is excellent as well. If you feel like something different you can jump on a bike and visit the giant tortoises which inhabit the island. There are kayaks and bicycles situated all around the island which make getting around a great experience.

We had a very special and memorable stay at the resort and would highly recommend it.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Mr Raun B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 April 2014

We spent a week on Denis Island and a week on Desroches and whilst they are different islands in many ways we liked them both very much. We liked the contrast of small/large island and it made our holiday feel longer. The staff on Desroches were incredibly helpful, professional and enthusiastic. There are six of us, all divers, and my husband is a keen fisherman as well. We all enjoyed the above and below water experiences, culminating in a very memorable day of diving and fishing at St Joseph Island where my husband caught (and returned) a wonderful array of fish and we all saw large nurse sharks whilst diving, which was thrilling. The snorkelling directly from the beach in front of our villa was marvellous - so many fish. I was surprised by negative comments about the fishing team, my husband was impressed with the help he was given and the knowledge of the team. Diving: Lisa and Fabio are excellent dive guides and have a great enthusiasm for what they do. The underwater topography is amazing and the dives are exciting. The food at the resort was excellent and the beach villa a perfect set up for a family who like their own space. We were all delighted with our experiences on the island and would love to go back.

Room Tip: Would highly recommend a beach villa for a family who want to be close to each other but still have...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank BeccaT247
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2014

We had the pleasure of spending 9 days fishing Desroches in April 2014. Aside from the fact that the Resort, the island, the staff and the fishing operations were beyond anything we have ever seen, the fishing was spectacular. Kyle, Stu, Fabio and Steph (our guides), as well as Brad who is the fishing manager put together an agenda based on tides weather and the Madagascar Cyclone that put us on 26 different species of fish - including flats, reef and blue water. Listen to their plan, be flexible, as they know the conditions.

Have the morning chef Mark make you his famous eggs benedict, and ask him about his secret fruit from Poivre island. If you are very nice to him, he may share.

We stayed in the beach retreat and with its own private outdoor pool, shower and bath it was a fabulous respit at the end of a long day of fishing.

There is absolutely nothing that we would recommend for improvement. Although we bumped up against the Easter weekend it still felt as if we were the only ones there.

f your desire is staying in the highest end resort available, with an unbelievable array of fly fishing opportunities, this is it.

A very long way from Seattle, but well worth the effort, and the time, to experience this type of venue.

Room Tip: Beach Retreat - a bit more money but spectacular
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Todd F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2014 via mobile

Wonderful that it's all inclusive
But only regret one restaurant and there was little information on what was going on.
It was only when it came to the Wednesday, When their Easter celebrations began we got info . It took three days to get our snorkelling gear. Best take your own . Bearing in mind we only had six days there.
If you exceed your 15kg on the internal flight to the island .
You will get charged . Loads of people were holding up the queue At the airport because of charges.
When we got through to the activities centre which took a couple of days . We had an amazing time deep sea fishing. Never done it before . We liked it so much we spent three afternoons out at sea.
The Retreats with their own pool
Sleep up to 10 people . Straight onto beach. Kayaks to use .
Blown away with the size of the place.

Gilli lankanfushi in the Maldives is still unbeatable !

  • Stayed: April 2014
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2  Thank Jabba42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2014

We chose Desroches as it offered 'Bone fishing' for my husband and a relaxing get-away-from-it-all spa experience for me.

The service, food, pool and island were wonderful - very good idea to make everything included except special wine and special spirits and it made the Mini Bar a new pleasure! It was a very expensive holiday but not having to think about money while there was a joy.

Our only sadness was that the young men in charge of the fishing were not really interested in those that wanted to fish around the island on our own - they obviously get no remuneration for this...but the Manager of the Fishing was supremely unhelpful about renting fishing equipment that we asked for before the trip - although it was in the brochure as available. We fish for salmon usually so we thought investing some £2,000 in more equipment for this holiday was unnecessary, particularly as it was available to rent, supposedly.

The equipment we had to beg for when there was at first old and lousy (fly rods we are talking about here) but eventually one of the young men employed in the fishing section let us use his.
It was always going to cost $50 per day per rod which we could swallow but the uncertainty not amusing. So, Bring your own equipment PLUS a few single hook flies with barb (they don't have any and you lose ALOT of fish without them - particularly if you have never done this kind of fishing and it is your once in a lifetime experience of this type.) It does not harm the fish.

My husband did pay the HUGE sums twice to go out fly- fishing on the Flats with the boats etc and did enjoy his days but it would have been so much more enjoyable if someone had taken an interest in making sure our independent fishing was without stress over rods and where best to go and how tide times/ temperature were crucial. Obvious to a fisherman but here the rise and fall small and sun hot and fish different!

The staff were fantastic - nothing was too much trouble and Mona a JOY!!! WHAT a hard working, funny lady - I will miss her! Well done the Luxury Safari Company in insisting we stay here - it was the best island experience we have ever had with the best food and the nicest people!

Room Tip: We had a Beach Suite which was wonderful - No.16 - Poivre. No Mosquitos - must have been right time...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank AliM227
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2014

This Island is an unspoilt paradise, we had suite 11 eleven, its next to the bar and restaurant. I requested that it was as my wife had an operation ten days before we travelled.
The room is adequate and totally in keeping with the Island. It has two bathrooms, and an outside shower and bath tub which is marvellous. A massive bed and another outside for afternoon chilling. Both with mosquito nets. There is a comfy sofa and dressing table, and a safe which held all our belongings.
The staff could not pamper you enough, they knew what room we were in and what we drank and our needs within a day.
They arranged a private dinner on the beach for my wife's birthday and I asked if possible we share it with a couple of friends with just a few hours notice and this was no problem and they even made my wife's favourite dessert at my request. On the last night they surprised me and my wife again with another decorated table on the beach for another a la carte dinner. Basically they could do enough for you. Maybe we were lucky there were only 35-45 guests the first week increasing to around 60-70 in the second, however I didn't notice any difference in service. The food is mainly a la carte it was fantastic quality and the best I have had at any hotel. The portions are not massive but neither of us were hungry at any time and we both put a couple of pounds on.
The beaches were amazing and most of time we had them to ourselves. Some days we walked miles without seeing anyone.
The resort provide you with bikes so you can walk or cycle, both of these can be tiring as its a constant 30 degrees and take plenty of water with you.
There are fishing and diving available although we saw everything just snorkelling including manta turtle and sharks. Kayaks are also available and placed in locations all over the island.
PLEASE NOTE 1 this is not a lively location lots of people go to bed early as they up at 6 to go diving or fishing most days we had the pool to ourselves, we closed the bar most nights at 12 and even though we were the only customers some nights the staff insisted on keeping the bar open for ourselves, on the night of my wife's birthday they stayed till 1.30 and eventually gave up leaving us with a couple of bottles of wine. If this wasn't enough there is always the free mini bar.
2 the beach on a couple of days got covered in seaweed, but this all washed away in a couple of days.
3 There is no mobile signal on the island just a quite slow wifi signal. We thought this was marvellous as not once did an annoying phone ring during a meal.
Overview We had a wonderful time, we both felt special food,staff, beaches all amazing, when we left all the staff came and said good bye.

Stayed: April 2014
2  Thank Adrian-Karen28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2014

Although we have returned home tired and disappointed following our holiday, we have attempted a balanced review, as the island itself absolutely lived up to and exceeded our expectations.

Room
Beach suite: Small for this price bracket – just enough room to walk around the bed, 2 seater settee & a wicker chair. Large console table that serves as dressing table (no drawers). Hanging space (with just 4 hangers each on arrival – housekeeping brought us more on 2nd request), shelving + small safe (not large enough to take full-size laptop). Separate toilet & basin to one side, bathroom with 2 basins to the other side. Outside bath & shower. Dressing gowns & bamboo flipflop slippers, hairdryer in room. Plenty of hot water whenever needed. Effective aircon & a (noisy) dehumidifier. Stocked minibar/fridge (included in AI) with kettle/cafitiere. Red wine was an acceptable Chilean merlot.

Outside: covered verandah with table & chairs, day bed. Garden and sunbeds overlooking beach – need to pull them to the edge to see the sand/waves breaking!

Issues:
The rooms are west facing which is fab for sunset! The toilet, front door & bathroom are east facing & inexplicably for any hotel, but particularly in this class - have NO BLINDS!!! Guaranteed sunrise awakening every day. Added to this, the tin roof spends half the night noisily contracting as it cools down, than creaking and cracking as it expands following sunrise. Most nights I was additionally awoken by crashing coconuts/branches falling – thought the roof was falling down the first time this happened!! Very, very poor design & not something that is easily changeable…

When, at the start of our 2nd week, we realised that other rooms DID have blinds, we asked our guest relations manager to be moved – instead she sellotaped tin foil to the glazed front door and had Maintenance tack a nasty piece of blackout curtain to the wicker screen between the bedroom and bathroom, that also let sun through from first light. THE most ugliness I have ever seen in any hotel room, anywhere in the world (see photos). This absolutely beggars belief, given that the hotel was almost empty – I would not expect this from a grotty English 3* B&B, and is entirely unacceptable in this class of hotel. My heart sank every time I entered the room from this point onwards – beyond disappointed. See below for further comments about the standard of service.

I dropped my jewellery roll at one point, so we took the cushions off the sofa to check for missing earrings etc – it clearly hadn’t been cleaned for some time, but I found a found a nice black sparkly hair clip (from a previous occupant)!!! The floor underneath the sofa was also absolutely filthy. See below for comments about the hotel's cleanliness elsewhere.

Island
Very much geared up around large family/friend groups for fishing/diving. As a couple who don’t dive or fish, we were quite happy sun/shade-bathing, snorkelling and exploring the island on our bicycles. But very much the odd ones out!

Beaches: Picture postcard/Hollywood set perfect, pristine, unspoiled. The beach disappeared under seaweed for a few days following a couple of very high tides, but returned towards the end of our stay. Had each beach to ourselves most days, depending where we went.
Snorkelling: Saw lots of angelfish, butterfly fish, sergeant major fish, goatfish, parrot fish, a huge moray eel, an eagle ray – and a passing Hawksbill turtle, about a metre away!!! The coral's quite bleached, sadly, and the snorkelling generally doesn’t compare with the Maldives or Red Sea tho’.

The hotel was quite empty during our 1st week & it lacked any atmosphere. We were the only couple in the bar for sundowners before dinner one night, and the last to leave at 10pm another evening… Only when a few more people arrived during out 2nd week was there e.g. music in the bar. Earth Hour was truly memorable – sooo atmospheric with all the staff joining guests to light candles. The astonishing stars were even more amazing than usual!

Mosquitoes, gnats and ants all seemed fairly immune to 50% deet, and unusually, we both got bitten, so the only option really is to cover up, especially in the evening for dinner on the beach. The doors and windows to the room are ill-fitting, so creatures have free access to the room – we even got bitten under the mosquito net in bed! The bites disappeared in a couple of days.

The wildlife on the beach were the main source of entertainment – sparring land crabs digging their holes, slow hermits in the evening, the birds on the beach at lunchtime hopeful of some bread (although guests are asked not to feed them).

Guided nature walk: the absolute high point of our holiday was a morning with resident conservationists Pep and Ella exploring the wildlife on a personal tour. Got to feed a 100 year old wild tortoise, see another in a waterhole, saw turtle nesting sites, learnt about indigenous trees. And sponsored a juvenile tortoise for a year (altho’ absolutely no pressure was applied to do this)!! They have great plans for the future and I wish them absolutely every success – the island is already a better place for their presence upon it and I hope it continues to flourish under their direction.

Spa: Superb – the ‘Muscle Melt’ with JoAnna is one of the best massages I have had anywhere!!

Dress code: Casual – covered beachwear, shorts/vests flip-flops or bare feet for breakfast/lunch; for dinner: anything from shorts & T-shirts to long sleeved shirts & linen trousers, maxi/mini dresses; again, footwear optional.

Food
Breakfast buffet – super choice of cereal, fresh whole & prepared fruit, breads, cold cuts & cheeses, yogurts, pastries. Hot selection varied daily – overcooked bacon most days, chicken sausages, sometimes grilled tomatoes or garlic mushrooms. Egg chef & pancake/waffle station. Speciality chef every morning, preparing anything from potato waffles, quiches, to detox smoothies, Seychellois tasters – loved the octopus curry bagel!!

Issue – daily fight with persistent flies landing on food/cutlery. Didn’t at any point in 2 weeks see the tables being wiped with disinfectant/cloth, despite presence of flies and birds on all the tables.

Lunch/dinner: Quality is superb, at the expense of quantity (I'm 8 1/2 stone and don't overeat)… I had to ‘top up’ with peanuts before going to bed one night, as I didn’t want chocolate dessert. And some odd combinations (absolutely delicious battered fish -4 small pieces – with a small bowl of fries, small bowl of creamy mash – maybe a heaped tablespoon full? - in a gorgeous red wine & onion gravy) but no veg !!! Another night I asked for an extra portion of steamed veg as the main again didn’t come with any at all - I got about 2 or 3 pieces of carrot & 1 asparagus spear, beautifully cooked, but all drenched in oil or butter.

Service
The guest relations managers mean well but ours was largely ineffective; failing entirely to resolve the issue with our room to our satisfaction. We saw her every day during the second week, stressing that I still wasn’t happy/sleeping, but no alternative accommodation/solution was offered.

During our 1st week, the restaurant manager and chefs came and check with everybody every night.

Food/drink service varied from highly efficient, to distinctly African; several times during lunch and dinner both our water glasses and wine glasses were empty for most of our meals as we order top-ups that didn’t arrive! During the manager’s cocktail party a barman and a waitress quite openly argued in front of us about who was going to go and fetch another bottle of sparkling wine – I wouldn’t expect that in a down market pub!!! On our last night the bar manager came across at 11pm to where we were sitting with another couple, and asked us if there was anything else we wanted before he closed. We asked him to leave the wine bottle for us – it had about 1 small glass left in it. He refused, saying he’d get his legs slapped. Completely staggering in a 5* AI hotel. We ordered a whole bottle, and he reluctantly agreed to leave us the old bottle (which was all we actually wanted). Should NOT have to have such a discussion over an entirely reasonable request.

We had to ring for minibar refill 3 times in a fortnight.

We were disturbed FOUR times by Housekeeping when we had ‘Do Not Disturb’ on the door handle – having ignored the last intrusion, we were then telephoned to be asked if we wanted turndown. This has happened to us only once elsewhere in the world, and we got dinner for free when we complained. Our guest relations manager just said she’d ask Housekeeping not to interrupt us again – entirely unacceptable and missing the point completely – the Housekeeping staff should be adequately trained to fully understand what ‘Do Not Disturb’ means.

We were twice telephoned when we were on our way down to meals, ½ an hour before the sitting closed!!! If, at any point, we had arrived late & expected food (as we saw others doing), perhaps this would have been understandable – we weren’t; nor would we. This felt like harassment – to add insult to injury, the service was painfully slow following one such phone call… an hour and a half for two courses.

The wifi service was available in the bar and reception areas – understandably slow!!! Issue – the floor mat/rug in Reception is absolutely filthy (see photo) and doesn’t appear to have been vacuumed for a very long time. We saw a vacuum cleaner being used in the bar, so the hotel does have one!

The humidity/heat wasn’t too bad in late March/early April, compared with other long haul destinations that we’ve visited at the same time of year.

The final insult: as we were starting our dessert at lunch on our last day, our guest relations manager came across and asked if anyone had told us that our flight time had changed? No. It had been moved forward half an hour and we needed to go to the airstrip NOW. So we didn’t finish our final meal, barely had time to say good bye to our friends; didn’t have time to say goodbye to the staff, and were absolutely furious!

Summary
We are a professional couple (I am a doctor and my husband is a senior design manager) who are well travelled (see my profile) and have been fortunate enough to stay in many 5* (and a 6*) hotels around the world. This holiday was a belated 15th wedding anniversary + my birthday, celebration; although the photos look amazing, we will remember it for all the wrong reasons. Quite simply, Desroches is by far the worst hotel for sleep quality AND consistently unacceptable customer service that we have ever stayed in, and we would not return.

Room Tip: The beach suites are nearest the pool/bar/restaurant, but avoid beach suite 115 - unless you appreci...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11  Thank AliHipRug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Desroches Island

Address: PO Box 378, Desroches Island, Seychelles
Region: Seychelles > Desroches Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Desroches Island
Price Range: £728 - £1,564 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Desroches Island 5*
Number of rooms: 75
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
PARADISE PERFECTION ON A HIDDEN SEYCHELLES ISLAND The advent of civilisation can often disturb the allure and simplicity of paradise. To delight in ultimate luxury there usually has to be sacrifice. But what if we want it all . . . To experience an untouched natural sanctuary on an island in the far reaches of the Indian Ocean, without leaving behind the sophistication that modern life has to offer . . . Desroches Island is a luxurious Seychelles Resort in the Amirante Archipelago, considered to be of the most pristine and untouched islands still around today. The naturally inspired and tastefully modern Beach Retreats and Exclusive Villas provide the epitome in luxury and opulent indulgence. Blessed with one of the world's healthiest climates, and miles of unblemished beaches, Desroches Island is a refuge for romance, adventure and pampered relaxation. ... more   less 
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