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“Overall Very Disappointed in our Honeymoon Stay”

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Four Seasons Resort Seychelles
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Baie Lazare
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 November 2010

We spent 6 nights at the resort as part of a two-week honeymoon that also included some time on Safari and in Cape Town. This was by far the most disappointing leg of our trip and it is just disheartening since there are so many wonderful places you can choose to spend your honeymoon and we chose wrong. Let me start by saying that the resort itself is beautiful and the rooms are gorgeous and the beach is probably the cleanest beach I have ever been on in my life. The resort is incredibly clean and you see people working all day long to keep the common areas looking pristine.

Our major issues with the resort were as follows: first, the service was terrible. They never once acknowledged that it was our honeymoon stay, even though they were made aware of it by our travel agent and by us on several occasions. Our room wasn't ready promptly, service at the restaurants is extremely slow (no one refilling your glasses, having to ask for the check on several occasions, etc.), our room would not be cleaned until very late in the day, etc. It is the service that usually sets Four Seasons hotels apart, and although these things seem minor, they add up to an overall frustrating experience.

Second, you are a completely captive audience and they take advantage of that with their outrageous pricing. The food and drink are so ludacrisly expensive that you have to just laugh, because you are stuck. There are very few places outside of the resort to eat, and options within the resort are limited. The food was decent, but nothing to rave about. I had to purchase a bottle of after-sun cooling gel from the hotel gift shop, which cost me (and I am not kidding) EUR 40. Excursions outside of the resort are similarly insanely priced. We took a taxi (and note I think there is one taxi that services the entire resort) literally 5 minutes outside of the resort to a nearby restaurant and back and it cost us EUR 30. Another couple we met at the resort had an issue where they would obtain pricing for excursions directly from the vendors, and then from the Four Seasons and the resort attempted to upcharge them by as much as 50%, which is just bad business.

We definitely made the best of our stay there...we spent a lot of time in our beautiful room and at the beach which truly was a pleasure. It was just upsetting to us to have travelled so far and to be so disappointed (and to not feel special at all on our honeymoon!). A note to honeymoon couples considering this resort...although you have a lot of privacy in your villa, note that the resort is full of families with young children, which is something I did not expect.

There is one restaurant we found outside of the resort that is worth making the trip to...Maria's Rock Cafe. Unique little gem where you cook your own food on a hot stone. Maria and her family are wonderful and the food and experience is great!

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank amznyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 November 2010

The Four Seasons on Mahe is simply stunning location at Baie Lazare beach and for sure is one the best in the Seychelles. I really believe that the South West location in Mahe is the best in the islands. We stayed at Hilltop Ocean-View Villa (Villa 416) which was really private and one of the nicest views you can see from the pictures.

We arrived very early (9am) and we our villa was ready immediate and the other nice touch was the complimentary breakfast already waiting for us in the Villa, which we were not entitled to and we also had complimentary bottle of Champagne. All nice little touches to make your vacation start in the right note.

The hotel is very similar in concept and look to the Shangri-La resort in Boracay, Philippines which we visited in the beginning of 2010, but the villas are nicer in design. Similar to the Shangri-La it has a tree-house look in that the Villas are nestled within a bay and that it has an alcove beach with perfect white sand – white like a flour powder, soft and lovely. There is absolutely NO DOUBTD it is a beautiful property.

The Villa are quite large with their own pools. It is true the water in the Villa pools is cold but it is how you look at it – we look at it as plunge pool to cool of the sun, so no complains, but if you are with small children it can be a bit cold for somebody. The Villa’s are graded and the higher you go, the more expensive they are. Most of the villas are built on stilts on the steep hillside but the way it was constructed insured fantastic view from almost all Villa. It is really worth the Hilltop Ocean View Villa, we had unbelievable view, as I mentioned earlier. The resort has a total of only 67 Villa and is spread over a very large area so you really need a buggy to go around. We found that this is not a problem as long as you call 5-10 minutes before you actually need a buggy. Our villa was isolated and very, very private, so it is normal you to need some additional travel, but that was exactly what we need. This villa is perfect for romantic couples and honeymooners. The villas are nicely decorated with a huge bed and a large bathroom – the size of the bathroom is like 50sq.m with L’Occitane amenities and many wardrobes. My favorite part of the bathroom was the outside shower with the nice view and two-tiered deck with a couple of loungers, and the separate outdoor bed pavilion.

Fresh fruit is bought every day to the Villas and if you need some specific for example bananas or plums you can ask and they will be delivered to the room.

However, should you have children, then getting a garden view villa is probably better as you will be closer to the beach and restaurants.

The alcove beach is picture postcard and we did some snorkelling which was nice. Sun loungers are set up by the attendants and FREE water ON ICE with fruit is bought to you. From time to time fruit or ice is offered by the waiters. I have to say that diving and snorkeling is way much better in the the Maldives.For my personal taste also Maldives is more romantic and for sure the local Maldivian people are nicer than the local Seychellois people (For the service of local people I’ll talk later)

I saw for example the new Raffles resort, which is in construction on Praslin Island and I really saw that this place have absolutely no beach, there is a road between the resort and the beach (going to Anse Lazio beach). The beach in front of Raffles is like ONE meter! I would not want to spend 1000 Euro a night in a place without a beach !

I would like to really discuss the problems with the service. There is huge difference between the Local Seychellois people which are REALLY UNFRIENDLY and REALLY LAZY and the FANTASTIC CREW OF FOUR SEASONS PERSONELL – Expats from all over Europe and Asia – Great people from Bali, Philippines, Malaysia, Mauritius, and so on. The expat staffs are very friendly and PROFESSIONAL like personnel in all other Four Seasons hotels. They know your names and are helpful, whereas the locals are JUST TERRIBLE. The problem itself in Seychelles is Generic – the resorts BY LAW MUST HIRE CERTAIN AMOUNT OF LOCAL PEOPLE. That is what is killing the service in the Seychelles everywhere – no matter which resort. We went to Praslin and LaDigue and on the other islands the situation is exactly the same. Four Seasons have made fantastic efforts, but they can do only do their best, but they cannot replace all locals with professionals expats. For example, on breakfast the local people forget what was ordered, never pour you another orange juice, delay orders and never, never sip you up a coffee in the glass. Service in restaurants was bad whenever you must have contact with local waitress , sometime you would order and people would forget. Other times plates would not be removed from the table, butter not one table in the morning. They only drop you the coffee jug on the table and that is it. When I told that to some European waiter they were ashamed of their colleagues. I believe that the expats are working 5 times harder than the Seychellois people. That means that no way I can agree with the reviewer “rosiefromlondon” that the local people are friendly. Locals are smiling only when they dancing and drinking their favorite Takamaka Bay Rum, and never when they must work. They simply have no idea how to service people.

The Seychellois people are quite rich people leaving many years in “socialism” and are one of the MOST UNFRIENDLY NATION to the tourist I’ve EVER seen. For example we were told that Four Seasons could not purchase their own boat, because they must use a local company by law. For example the diving operation was run by a Dutch guy Leo, married for Seychellois wife and he has the license as local. The dive boat was really bad and the service is definitely not according to the Four Seasons standard. This view was shared with my diving friends as well.

I believe that explanation will help to understand why in generally in Seychelles the service at best was indifferent and at worst very poor. This is largely due to the fact that the locals seem to view working there as just a job and show very little interest in the guests. The expats are very much in the Four Seasons mould, professional and very happy to serve the guests. The names of people who made our vacation that I can recall were Christina Miesl (Austrian girl) from the front desk, Robin Bhugalo (recreation manager from Mauritius) and Chef Vernon from the Kennel restaurant (Mauritius as well).

The property has 2 restaurants, ZEZ which is the main restaurant where breakfast is served and Kannel which is by the beachside. Besides ZEZ, there is a sushi bar (actually located in ZEZ bar which serves mediocre sushi. Kannel is essentially a Creole restaurant which also serves some international dishes and one Saturdays has a Creole buffet. ZEZ has 2 evening where they do an Italian and Arabic buffet. We visit the Italian buffet which was quite good.

I encourage you to talk to Chef Vernon from Kennel and ask him for the fresh fish – Catch of the day – he made for us fantastic dishes, grilled and blackened local tuna, Tuna steaks, fresh grilled yahoo and swordfish, Grilled Red snapper and so on. The key is to eat LOCAL FISH ! The food then is great. I also asked Mr. Vernon some specials and he even delivered them for romantic dinners in our villa. Breakfast at ZEZ is varied but not as varied as some other Four Seasons I have been to. For sure it is also due to the fact that ZEZ is not big enough to have more varied food. Some revisers also recommended that it is probably betters to move the breakfast to Kannel which is next to the beach and pool.
As many readers have commented, these restaurants are not cheap for what they serve. Furthermore given that the hotel is quite some distance from anywhere it is difficult to get alternatives. The cost of getting a taxi one way to anywhere in the island is 40Euro or using the hotels cars is extortionate. One word of advice – do not use the hotel airport transfer which is 200 Euro plus tax and service (240 Euro in total ONE WAY !) and just get a taxi for 40 Euro. I would also DO NOT recommend to hiring a car is probably because the road are pitch black in the night with no road arm co to stop you from falling off the road should you make a mistake. Also the locals are drinking like hell over the weekends causing some serious accidents on the road.

One VERY BIG RECCOMENDATION – THE VISIT IN “MARIA ROCK CAFÉ” for dinner is a MUST DO! Five minutes away from the hotel they have great food, which you cook on hot plates yourself. Maria get’s absolutely the freshest possible fish and shellfish and some nice South African wines. The dinner for 4 people with 2 bottles of wine is 100 Euro – a fraction of the price in Four Seasons. We had our Italian friends with us and they were very happy. And if the spoiled by good food Italians are so happy, you can trust the place. MARIA ROCK is superb, really highly recommended, worth multiple visits!

All in all, we had fantastic holiday in beautiful resort. The only problem we had was that the whale shark (the largest fish on the planet) season this year finish one month earlier and we were not lucky to see again these majestic marine creatures. Last year the whale shark season finish on 15th November, this year on 15th October. Global warming…

So we are looking to be back to this lovely Four Seasons resort next year in the end of September and beginning of October. In that season the beach was like paradise, with soft white sand and gorgeous blue and turquoise water, with NO WAVES until mid of November. Please be aware in Seychelles the weather is very difficult to predict and is important on which island you are, what time of the year and also which side of the island you are in.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank ivo_k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2010

The resort is set on a beautiful spot. Villa rooms are huge especially the bathroom. Huge swimming pool in the villa is great. It is big enough to swim and enjoy the view. The property is well maintained and clean. Beach is one of the best you will find.

It is not possible to walk all the times due to distance between the beach and villas. You have to rely on the buggy service. There is a lot of variety in food, but quality is a bit lacking. Snack/Lunch menu is overly priced compared to the quality of the food on offer. Avoid the Middle eastern Buffet. Italian and local buffet were very good.

There is some lack of activities on the beach. For instance no Jet Ski, Sailing or other organized events. You have to use outside services.

Service was a bit lacking but picked up after a minor complaint. Improvement in food, service and activities can make this resort as good as FS Kuda Huraa.

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

We just returned from our six days holidays to Seychelles Four Seasons hotel with my husband. We went for our anniversary. The hotel is amazing, the rooms are huge, the pool is lovely, indoor and outdoor shower with a bath tab in the room "sinking" in the pool. We had villa 405 with enough sun exposure for us but the better facility in the room was the pavilion looking to the trees and the sea.
Restaurants especially the Kannel had great food, great service and best ambience. ZEZ sushi was the best sushi i tried lately after our 3 days first spend in Dubai and ate at OKKU japanese.
Breakfast was excellent but the biggest problem of the hotel was that it was fully booked and there was lack of staff.
The beach, the sea and evertyhing else down there together with the pool bar were all perfect.
But the hotel is extremely expensive you need to spend at least 250 euros per day for a couple for a proper dinner and a wine , and some salads for lunch.

It is a very romantic place and perfcet for honeymooners and couples. Even though lots of kids entertained by the kids club which was great too.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Eugenia_Kassianidou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 October 2010

As a returning guest (I had stayed there in 2009), I noticed many new details making this resort even more enjoyable, especially food offerings that now reflect more the créole spirit (créole buffet at Kannel restaurant is most successful), and room privacy that has been improved (frosted glass in the bathroom).

What to add ?
This resort is almost perfect - but this perfection is costly - and we so much enjoyed our first stay there last year that we were very happy having an opportunity to come back!

Only drawbacks during our 9 night stay:
- a fire alarm went off in our villa at 3h30 am; staff came in five minutes to shut it off and a security officer stayed all night long around our villa to check there was no fire (general manager sent us his apology the day after and had a nice bottle of wine delivered to us) ;
- a booked buggy service arrived 10 minute late at our villa on a departure day, making one of us almost miss her plane (reserving a buggy in advance is in theory the way to avoid waiting...); on an arrival day, we also waited for half an hour for a buggy service from the car park to our villa (beware of peak hours in the morning when guests check in, check out, or want to be driven to or from the breakfast restaurant);
- some miscommunication between concierge and helicpoter company resulted in a 30 minute delay and a redefinition of our flight request at the helipad.
- Family memebers trying to phone us from abroad through the resort general number reported having difficulty having someone pick up the phone.
- Some items were out of order in our villa. Even if everythiong gotrepaired within a day or two, it is strange staff does not notice and report that door knobs or locks do not work and that guests have to warn maintenance.

All these are minor details and we had a wonderful 9 night stay there.
Not mentioning its beauty and luxury, this resort is wonderfully organized and we have found all staff (especillay the housekeeping ladies) smily and efficient. Of course gegckos can be noisy at night but these animals are friendly and never prevented us from having a good night sleep.

I highly recommend this resort.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank Eric_Beylon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2010

The Four Seasons on Mahe is simply stunning. Yes,let's get this out of the way first, it's stunningly expensive, and if money is a real issue then you should probably avoid or else don't find out what the exchange rate is (everything is priced in Seychelles rupees and just as well). But to be fair to the hotel, the whole of the Seychelles is very expensive - if you're after a bargain go to Mauritius instead. Or sell some possessions because the Seychelles is a whole lot nicer than Mauritius. If you eat frugally and don't drink wine then you can manage the cost a bit. Our food bill came out cheaper than it would have been if I'd booked half board. The food, incidentally, is fine, although non-fish eating vegetarians may get a bit bored after a few days.

We got upgraded from a garden view villa to an ocean view one, and - wow, what a view. And what a room. Normally when I stay in even the most sumptuous of hotels I always feel a tad disappointed by the room, but here, once the guy had shown us round, we did a little jig of excitement. The bathroom was the size of most hotel bedrooms, with a sunken marble bath big enough to swim in (well, my son could float in it without touching the sides or bottom) and looking out over the aforementioned view. Just outside was a "plunge" pool which you could definitely swim in, with an infinity edge, again looking over that view. There was an outside shower (with the view!) and two-tiered deck with a couple of loungers, and a separate outdoor bed pavilion. Most of the villas are built on stilts on the (steep) hillside so you're at the same level as the tops of the coconut palms. The sea is the most amazing turquoise blue and fruit bats fly overhead. The huge bedroom had two double beds surrounded by mosquito nets (very romantic if you're not sharing with kids like we were!) and a sofa and table with a daily array of fresh fruit. Pity I didn't work out how to eat a mangosteen till the last day. I was feeling incredibly stressed when I left the UK as we'd been trying to sell our house and only exchanged two days before we left for the Seychelles, but just being in this beautiful place made all my stress disappear and I felt (unusually for me) almost serene. Even with two little kids in tow.

I simply don't get some of the comments I've read about service here. The service was perfect - the Seychellois people were lovely and friendly without the slightly annoying obsequiousness you sometimes get in Asia. if you wanted something you could collar any member of staff and they'd just get on with it. The buggies were prompt, with really friendly drivers (and while I'm on the subject of buggies, a lot of people have said these were a bit of a pain as they had to use them to get anywhere, but my kids (aged 4 and 6) loved them - they were one of the highlights of the holiday for them and made me glad we were a bit further from the main centre (although still only a five minute walk)). On our last day my husband had a problem with his Blackberry and an IT staff member appeared promptly to help out.

My kids used the kids club. The hotel was pretty empty when we were there (last week in August) so they were usually the only kids there. They both really enjoyed it, and it was handily situated by the main pool so we could easily drop them off for a couple of hours while we lounged on the beach or by the pool.

The beach was like paradise, with soft white sand and gorgeous blue and turquoise water, fringed by palm and casuarina trees. The helpful beach boys led you to a lounger and provided a jug of water. We were there during the South East monsoon which is supposedly cooler and drier than the North West one during the Northern Hemisphere's winter. However it was still quite wet and the sea was a bit rough - but not so rough that you couldn't swim from the beach. There's a reef off to oneside - the hotel lends you snorkelling equipment and it's well worth it for the amazing variety of fish, including small rays that swim near to the beach.

The only downside I can think of is that the hotel is so unutterably lovely that everywhere else is a bit of a comedown afterwards. We spent four nights here then went to the Lemuria on Praslin, but to be honest it would have been better to do it in reverse as it made the Lemuria seem a bit shoddy in comparison (although worth doing as there's much more to do on Praslin than on Mahe).

The Seychelles as a honeymoon destination is a bit of a cliche but I really can't see how any bride would be disappointed with a stay at this wonderful place.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank rosiefromlondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2010

I was in hiiltop ocaan view villa and i feel its dlapidated !!
staffs they are so friendly and so helpfull
at night hard to getting sleep cuz the geckos made strange noisy sounds at night shame for that the must do something to protect the dissgusting brown geacko !!!

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Thamer-Bin-Majed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Four Seasons Resort Seychelles

Address: Petite Anse | P.O. Box 1397, Baie Lazare, Mahe Island, Seychelles
Region: Seychelles > Mahe Island > Baie Lazare
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Baie Lazare
Price Range: £796 - £2,003 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Four Seasons Resort Seychelles 5*
Number of rooms: 67
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover Seychelles’ best kept secret – a tropical amphitheatre of treetop villas circling the idyllic white smile of Mahé’s Petite Anse bay. Descend down lushly forested paths to the secluded powder-sand beach or rise to the dramatic heights of the contemporary spa, cantilevered off the hillside with views that stretch forever. The villa interiors are inspired by rustic Seychellois and French colonial style. Simple, whitewashed timber slat walls allow our carefully curated collection of objets d’art to sing. The verandah, day bed pavilion, and infinity plunge pool set off unencumbered views of tropical greenery, the white sand enclosed in the bay, and the azure waters of the Indian Ocean. With only 67 villas and suites raised on stilts amongst mango, jackfruit and cinnamon trees on a 180-hectare site nestled in the natural amphitheatre of Petite Anse, the resort is a haven of untouched nature and peaceful isolation. From castaway days to vibrant Creole nights, bask in the cultural and culinary essences of the Seychelles infused with legendary Four Seasons care.Treehouse villas have their own private infinity pool cleverly integrated into vast wooden terraces, indoor and outdoor showers and large ocean-view baths. Journey to wellness at the hilltop spa where yoga and invigorating treatments await. Relaxation next to the white powder sands and azure waters is taken to the next level by a beach service tailored to make your time in the warm Seychelles climate as comfortable as possible, while recreation activities bring fun and adventure to those looking to try something new. "Kids for All Seasons" will keep young guests entertained, allowing parents to spend private moments together. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Four Seasons Resort Seychelles Hotel Baie Lazare
4 Seasons Resort Seychelles
Four Seasons Seychelles
Four Seasons Baie Lazare
Four Seasons Resort Seychelles Mahe Island

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