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“Latest news from the construction site!”

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Le Domaine de L'Orangeraie Resort and Spa
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in La Digue Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 January 2010

Latest news from the construction site!

I will start from the principal thing - the construction is still going on in this hotel!
In autumn 2009 the hotel internet site said that EVERYTHING would be finished by January 2010, including restaurant and pool.
December 2009 they said on the site that all villas are ready and the restaurant and pool will be finished by May.
And, in the letter we received upon our check-out from the hotel it's said that all constructions will be finally over by the end of 2010.

The construction is really annoying and irritating, on the beach and also inside the property - some Villas de Charme Elegance are still not ready. They start 7:30 a.m. Hammers and drills - you will have it all. Considering that they serve breakfast on your terrace (restaurant is not ready), you will have a nice accompaniment to your morning meal. It's even hard to make an order for the breakfast with the reception - when you call them, they can't hear you well, because on their side there is even worse noise coming from pool/beach area.

It should be noted that being very cautious people we contacted the hotel and our travel agent regarding the construction in advance and we were reassured that (i) by January 2010 the construction works will be finalized and (ii) even if some of the works are not finalized by January, we won't be disturbed anyway, because they will only be around so-called pool area, which is far from the villa we booked.

Even when we arrived to the hotel and noticed that the construction works have not been finished (and are all around the hotel area) the Guest Relations Manager, Simone, mentioned that our villas are far from the construction area and we will not be disturbed. Believe us or not, when two days later we called the same lady and complained about the terrible noise all around (and we are not exaggerate here!!!), we were told that our travel agent should have mentioned to us the fact that there will be construction noise in the hotel, and all our references to prior written and oral communication (including 2 days prior communication with Simone herself) was left unnoticed. We were proposed to change the hotel, if we have any complaints, one day before our departure.

Another nice feature on this hotel is that it's situated next to the cemetery. From the first room we were given (by the way, it was Villa de Charme Elegance that according to the description should have fascinating Ocean view) you had a very peaceful view of stone crosses.

Now, about everything in order.

We booked Villa de Charme Elegance - the best and the most expensive type of accommodation. All villas should be finished by November 2009 (according the hotel internet site) and possess an ocean view (it's main distinctive feature from Villa de Charme).

Upon check-in, Simone, Guest Relation Manager, said that not all villas of this type have ocean view, and we would get a villa without view. To brighten up our waiting of the room, she gave us a hotel brochure. I was looking through it, when I noticed the description of rooms. It was CLEARLY said there that Villas de Charme Elegance have a magnificent view over the Indian Ocean. I took the brochure and came up to Simone. She was frustrated, and started to call… guess whom? Hotel Marketing Manager (who supposedly was involved in composing of the Hotel brochure). After 10 min. of conversation she said that, beside the view, there is another very important distinctive feature between Villa de Charme and Villa de Charme ELEGANCE - Jacuzzi! Plus, anyway, no room with a view is available. OK, we decided to have a look at a room designated for us.

The design of the hotel's new rooms (Villa de Charme and Villa de Charme Elegance) is really stunning. The designer deserves the best praise. It's really made with soul. For great romantic stay. Though, there are small irritating things, when you begin to LIVE in this villa, not just ADMIRE it:

- There are jalousies (blinds) on windows, but they are not enough to protect you from the bright morning sun. And curtains are transparent white.
- The system of light control in very inconvenient. There is no common switch of light in the room, and there are a lot of small lamps of different type in the room. Very beautiful, but irritating, when you need to switch off every of them separately, one by one.
- No air-conditioning in the toilet, and, though there is a small window there, it's really stuffy taking into account the outside temperature.
- You cannot switch of the fan! There is no switch for it in the room!
- Mosquito net has fallen from the ceiling together with the ring it was hanging on the first night (thanks God there was none on the bed at that moment). (We liked Simone's reaction to this - "What did you do there that it fall? Ha-ha!")

So, we entered our room. The first thing I normally do - I open the doors to the terrace to see the view. So, guess, what I saw? Cemetery! I don't have anything against having cemetery nearby - it's very peaceful and makes you feel that sooner or later everything will come to it's end, to feel the touch of eternity etc.
That's fine, but not when I go to beach vacation and hope to see the ocean from my terrace.

So, we said that we won't stay in this room and that we want to be in the room we paid for - Villa de Charme Elegance with Ocean View. After waiting it appeared that some of simple Villas de Charme have ocean view, but such Villa would be available only the next day, and in the meanwhile we were proposed another Villa de Charme, at least without cemetery view with a promise to be moved to the Villa de Charme with a View the next day. We accepted it.

A very important detail - the fist day, coming back to our room at night, we entered by mistake the other room (there are no signs on the hotel paths, and it’s dark). We didn't realized immediately that it’s not our room – only when we saw somebody else's flippers on the table, because - you won't believe it! - we opened it with the key from OUR room!
This story has it’s sequel. When we were moving to a new room the next day, we asked for a new key a guy who helped us with our luggage. And - he just took our old key and said that we can use it! And we really opened our NEW room with the OLD key! We reported to Simone about the accident, her reaction was strange and her explanations not clear. We didn't experiment with keys in this hotel anymore, but be aware.

So, you wake up in the morning because of construction’s sounds. We slept with all windows and doors closed, but there's no way to escape it. Then you take a shower, order your breakfast, eat your breakfast. And all this is accompanied with this terrible annoying noise. I can't tell you about breaks and when they finish, as we left the hotel immediately after the breakfast and come back only after sunset (about 6 p.m.)

We visited once a dinner in their "temporary" restaurant. It was a buffet. Service is frustrating; some important items (like extra virgin olive oil) are missing in their kitchen. Bottle of white wine arrived warm to our table, etc...
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In other words, unless you are comfortable with the noise as described above, before making any reservation with this hotel get them confirm in writing that ALL construction works are over and there is nothing minor left.

We REALLY, REALLY loved the villa design -- it is unbeatable and everyone should experience it! BUT I wouldn't have gone there, if I only knew that I would have to live, literally, in the middle of the construction site.
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The general observation about La Digue – the island is beautiful and quiet, and it’s great to explore it with a bicycle. There is though only one beach really suitable for swimming – Grand Anse, and only in this season (November – March). Petit Anse is not that pleasant in terms of swimming, and forget about Anse Coco – does not worth the time you’ll spend to reach it.

In terms of restaurants – there is one, right near the jetty, managed by an Italian woman. We had a good dinner there, can recommend. Make your order directly with her, ask for the fish.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank NadiaJuly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 January 2010

A wonderful place set in tropical gardens , discrete, a lot of charm and the best staff you can ask for. We booked in for a week and have just decided to stay an other week. The buffet food is also first class. Don't miss this place and don't bother with La Digue Lodge isalnd where its overpriced, snobbish and the staff are very unhelpful.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank GNJP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2009

We spent 5 nights at le Domaine de L’Orangeraie in the Garden Villa (Chalet 105, overlooking the exotic garden). We know the place as we went there two years ago, and were pleased to come back as La Digue became our favorite little island.
Since our last visit the property has changed in good, offering a new style in accommodation with the Villa de Charme (very refined and exotic, reminding this beautiful island), keeping the Creole style mixed with Asian design. We still booked a Garden Villa, as it is situated on the ground floor, not far from the seaside where we used to go to watch beautiful sunsets. At the time of our last visit in November, some of their new Villa de Charme were opened and we could luckily visit one. The villa is just amazing! Wow! Each new villa has outdoor bathroom and looks really terrific with subdued light at night time (very romantic)! Moreover, the product is not overpriced, in comparison to other hotels on Mahe and Praslin and in regard to the beauty/good quality of the place.
We had every evening a dinner prepared by Chef Rocky (he’s Creol !) in the privacy of our Garden Villa on the terrace and never felt like going out of the hotel for dinner. As far as we understood, a restaurant and a lounge will be available soon on the seaside, belonging to the hotel…with even a tennis court.
We greatly appreciated the bikes, provided free of charge during the stay.
To sum up, a nice property with distinctive service, which we would really recommend. We loved the special touches like cold perfumed towels, chilled tea upon arrival, little chocolate and news for turndown, gift upon departure… Little attention really made our days there at L’Orangeraie! We believe that this is the best hotel on La Digue.
Thanks again to the team, hope to see you again!

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JenkelD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2009

We stayed at Le Domaine for a week, and loved it! Service was excellent, food was good. The hotel is very descreetly placed, but its only 5 min walk to La Passe, the beach is 3 min away. There is some construction going on, to build more cabins, a restaurant and a pool, but we found that it wasn't very loud or bothersome. They will be finished in january 2010. We recommend Le Domaine strongly!

Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
2  Thank KjerstiO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2009

This place is completely peacefull. An excellent service and very good attention.
Located on la digue is a perfect place to rest for few days. The hotel is actually doing an extension and from what we saw this place will definitely be the next place to stay on la digue. Thanks again for all these moments.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Norbert-Vogel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2007

We had a four night stay at Le'Domaine in mid Nov 2007 and couldn't fault the place.
We arrived having lost all three pieces of our luggage but the receptionist sat us down, gave us cold towels and a coconut drink, and assured us that they would turn up, which they did a few hours later.
The properties are very spacious and ours was immaculately clean and well presented. The decor was very nice and it was filled with unique furniture and fittings. The huge bed was very comfortable and the air con was more than up to the job.
The villas are very private and although the place was full we hardly saw any of the other guests during our stay. Relaxing on the sun lounger on the veranda, overlooking the stunning gardens was just devine. The huge crabs in the garden are also amazing.
The outside shower was also a nice touch and very welcoming after a humid bike ride home from the beach.
We hired bikes from the hotel which were only 7 euros a day and biked all round the island. You can also hire snorkelling equipment from the hotel as well. Best beach we found for snorkelling was Anse Fourmis although they are all fantastic.
The breakfast was also a delight. This is served on your veranda at your chosen time. Don't leave it unguarded though because the birds will quickly help themselves.
All the staff were very friendly and helpful and the little finishing touches made the place feel extra special.
They are in the process of extending the hotel at the far end which will add a restaurant, spa, and more rooms. The new area is well screened off but if you are thinking of booking try and get one of the low numbered properties 101 -105. We didn't hear any noise whilst we were there but they are only up to foundation level at the moment.
All in all we had a very relaxing, pleasant, and peaceful stay at Le'Domaine and would definately recommend it.

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank wownorthants
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OrangeraieManagement, General Manager at Le Domaine de L'Orangeraie Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 5 January 2014
Google Translation

Cher Voyageur,
Nous accusons réception de vos commentaires et sommes ravis que votre séjour dans notre établissement
Nous avons fait suivre vos commentaires aux départements concernes.
En espérant vous accueillir à nouveau lors d’un prochain séjour,
Cordiales Salutations

Stephane Burkhalter
General manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2007

We stayed for 7 days at Domain for the second week of our honey moon (first week L’Archipel Praslin, 3rd week Bird Island – see separate reviews) Whilst we enjoyed our stay on La Digue I don’t think Domain is the best place to stay – I wish I could compare it to others on La Digue but we only visited Domain.

Location is great – we were picked up from the ferry by a golf buggy and taken to Domain it only took 5 mins. We were welcomed with coconut milk and relaxed in the shade, we were shortly shown to our villa. Each villa is semi detached has a large garden area and a large wooden deck. The deck has a sun lounger (white but with black mould all over it) & table and chairs for dinner and breakfast. On arrival at the villa it looks stunning, very pretty with flowers on the bed and tables and we were very pleased. The problem is the villa was like a show home – NOTHING WORKED! It was meant to be self catering – but I guess no one has ever made dinner here!
Our first night we made a basic stir fry – as there was only 2 rings 2 pans and 1 microwave so you were very limited to what you could actually cook.

The lights bulbs were out in the kitchen
When we went to serve dinner on the terrace the outside lights did not work – it was pitch black by this time
There were no plugs in the sinks
There was no washing up liquid
You had the same tea towel for a week
And this was just the kitchen…………………..

The living room had extremely uncomfortable wooden pews with the dirtiest white cushions on – see picture attached.
The worst of Domain was the aircon. La Digue was unbearably hot, some of the hottest weather I have ever experienced. (Apparently even the locals said it was hotter than usual) The aircon is above the bed and it broke down our first night, we awoke to a soaking wet bed and water dripping all over us! So at 2am we were mopping up and taking bedding off the bed and turning over the mattress. The rest of the night was completely sleepless due to the heat.
This happened a further two times in the middle of the night! Each time we rang to complain and get someone to fix it there was never an apology just “ok we send someone” In the end we snapped and asked to be moved to La Digue Island Lodge but Domain wouldn’t cancel our booking and would charge a large cancellation fee, we complained strongly to the manager and he tried to put things right by offering us a bottle of cheap sparkling wine and getting a proper aircon engineer in to fix the problem instead of the local handy man that mended it the first three times and told us it only worked on fan!
There is also a building site next to Domain that starts at about 7.30am – we are early risers so didn’t cause too many problems, the afternoon we spent at the villa was very noisy though.

All in all we would never go back nor recommend it to anyone else.

La Digue Island was great and we got around the island on bikes all week. There is an excellent supermarket for food and drinks. Whilst we were on La Digue there had been very high tides so a lot of coral had been deposited on the beaches – you’ll need water shoes on every beach on La Digue due rocks and coral.
We visited – Grand Anse which had huge waves and no swimming but was very beautiful, Petit Anse, again stunning but too dangerous to swim. Anse Coco s a real hike over hills and rocks but worth it – I loved it here we had a great picnic that my husband carted over the hills! (Actually this is one thing Domain did a great job of the picnic lunch was fantastic) When we got there we were very surprised to see naked people on the beach! But hey each to their own – it was very quiet and a large beach so there was plenty of room for everyone. The bike ride to these beaches is about 20-25mins and steep in some places but it’s very pretty and well worth it.

The beach near to Domain is just a 4-5 min bike ride and is ok – got quite busy and when the tide goes out the water is only a couple of inches deep so to swim you had to go out about 100 meters and it’s over coral so you must have water shoes.

Anse Source De Argent beach was so disappointing! It’s in a National Park so you have to pay $10.00 per person just to enter the park on your bike. There had been very high tides and bad weather so the already tiny beaches were covered in seaweed and coral – I was expecting great things from this beach with all the famous pictures that come from here. The beaches on Praslin are far superior to all the beaches on La Digue.

We did a full days trip to Coco Island for snorkelling and was really fantasic! Only 8 others on the boat so not crowded. We went to 4 islands altogether and had a beach BBQ on Sister Island the food was seriously great! At €85.00 per person this was a great day out. The crew on the boat and guy that cooked the food were great and really made a fun trip.

In hindsight I would have spent only 3-4 days on La Digue rather than a week – 3-4 days is plenty of time to see everything.

Please feel free to ask any questions.

  • Stayed: May 2007, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank Aerobicsqueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OrangeraieManagement, General Manager at Le Domaine de L'Orangeraie Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 5 January 2014
Google Translation

Stephane Burkhalter
General manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Le Domaine de L'Orangeraie Resort and Spa

Address: La Digue | Anse Sévere, La Digue Island, Seychelles
Region: Seychelles > La Digue Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in La Digue Island
Price Range: £317 - £569 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Le Domaine de L'Orangeraie Resort and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 63
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Also Known As:
Le Domaine De l`Orangeraie Hotel La Digue Island

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