15 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
MIND BLOWING TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE
"We stayed at the 2 Bedroom Beach front villa. We were 3 adults (all women) and 2 children. The property is beautiful, but on the second night, someone broke into our villa and stole few of our belongings and tried to get into one of the rooms, luckily the room was locked from inside.
We complained to the management early next morning and they did not want to accept something like this could happen. Half heartily they called the security manager and he said they can't see any foot steps in the sand and could not find any proof of anyone coming in to the villa, so we said we did not want to stay there cause we are only women and kids and they did not bother to make us feel safe or apologetic or give us solution to the problem, just plain denial... their reply to us wanting to leave was if you need help packing, the butler will be glad to do so.
Guess, they knew it was prepaid package and they already had their money and they refused to refund the unstayed nights, so far them their money is made, but for us our security comes first so we left... last time we step foot in a Banyan Tree property. TERRIBLE !!!!
So we checked out and then checked in to Constance Ephelia, and what an EXPERIENCE that was. The service was MIND BLOWING...!!
They heard about our experience at Banyan Tree, they were shocked at the lack of empathy and service and they made sure rest of our holiday was not ruined because of the stay at Banyan Tree. They went out of their way to serve/please us, organized complimentary dinners etc..made us feel wanted, cared for and secure. NO was never an answer from them, any request was a YES. Beautiful property and outstanding service. A DEFINITE MUST STAY !!
AFTER THIS WE ALL ARE A FAN OF CONSTANCE RESORTS.......
- Travel date: Sat 8th of September 2012
Wonderful site with complete privacy in...
"Wonderful site with complete privacy in the bungalows overlooking the rocks and sea. Beautiful sandy beach. Area very safe.Choice of restaurants attached to hotel.Breakfasts good but sometimes the food could be improved in evening.Very tied to area for eating but made up by privacy and particularly friendly staff. We used Air Seychelles direct flight which was very covenient and stayed 5 nights."
- Travel date: Sun 6th of July 2008
We booked through Seyexclusive.com and f...
"We booked through Seyexclusive.com and found them to be very knowledgeable and very quick with their e-mails. They couldn't do enough for us and this continued throughout our trip with their partners Creole Travel Services.
We arrived on my birthday and they had made a cake and I was given two free complimentary spa treatments, as well as champagne in the room. We opted for a massage and it has to be the best I have ever experienced from little bowls of flowers on the floor to look at to the untouched granite boulders in your massage room. Unforgettable.
We had an amazing view overlooking the beach called intendance which is just out of this world and also deserted completely. Infact one morning we went for a walk and another couple was on our beach.....how rude! We were used to not sharing our walks with anyone! Even though the beach was quiet we always felt so safe and there is no one hassling you to buy anything like in the Caribbean. I like not being asked to get my hair braided, probably because I think it looks awful when youâre in your 40's!
Well, I also have to agree with all the comments above. If you can just afford to go then don't go because you will be looking at the prices constantly and it will ruin your holiday. You can spend there so make sure you have enough room on your cards before you go. I did feel like a celebrity even though I'm not one.
The rooms are spotless and each room has its own pool so you don't see many people leaving their rooms all day and there aren't many by the main pool.
All in all this was a magical experience and we loved every second of it!
- Travel date: Thu 6th of December 2007
"Stayed there for 1 night (husband, wife, boy) prior to an early flight next morning at the end of a holiday back to Europe. Came from North Island. Did not obtain the booked room, a villa at the beach. Were called the night before that there was an overbooking: an unfavourable start.
We were dissapointed to be crammed into a relatively small setting (we just came from a lonley island with a vast villa).
The hotel's concept is it to cultivate a "natural" "oriental" style, whatever Western city dwellers expect this to be.
The service at the reception was very good. Waiting time for a sandwich in the bar was 60 minutes. Waiting time for the dinner was 50 minutes. We had made a reservation. The reservation was not known when we arrived at the restaurant.
If somebody just leaves an aircraft from a wintery place in Europe and steps out of the hotel's balcony he will be impressed. The other way round, back from a onely island as an intermediate to Europe, we found it massively overpriced and crowded."
- Travel date: Mon 15th of October 2007
Everything you can ask for!!
"Dabbled in staying at the luxury hotels since this was our honeymoon and absolutely loved it. We had our own private villa complete with our own garden, hot tub and pool, not to mention the beach was right at our doorstep!! The accommodations were just amazing, both the bedroom, bathroom and even the closet. I don't know what else to say, its the Banyan Tree!! We ended not having the greatest weather, but you can't blame that on the Banyan Tree."
- Travel date: Sat 8th of September 2007
"We stayed at the Banyan Tree for 2 nights at the end of our honeymoon after 3 nights on Denis (amazing) & 3 nights at Hilton Northolme (terrible). Banyan was very luxurious with great service, yet respectful of guests' privacy (unlike Hilton Northolme). We spent most of the time in our Beachfront Villa (108) - beautiful beach, luxurious villa with private pool & jacuzzi, good in-villa menue. The spa is great too. Will definitely go to another Banyan Tree."
- Travel date: Wed 22nd of August 2007
Wonderful stay as part of Honemoon
"We stayed here for 5 nights, towards the end of July as part of our 3 week honeymoon.
Following 10 days in Africa doing Safari this was pure luxury!!
Our Beach Villa had recently been refurnished and was of very high standards. It was beautiful and immaculate. You could stay here all day. We ate out for 3 nights at each one of the restaurants. We fully enjoyed the set menus, which allowed us to sample most of the food. We also benefited from having a honeymoon dinner in our villa. Room Service was excellent.
When we arrived our room was not quite ready so we had to wait for an hour but were offered a free lunchâ¦
The spa is fantastic we completely indulged and visited a number of times. The beach is very beautiful although it was too rough to swim but great to walk back on to the room, following a divine dinner.
We took a car around Mahe, we wanted to go and visit the new hotel Maia; but unfortunately you need to book to go in advance.
Our stay here was followed by 5 nights at Denis island, which although is very beautiful is not as luxurious as the Banyan Tree, we would definitely visit another Banyan Tree.."
- Travel date: Thu 9th of August 2007
Better tahn 5 star
"We stayed in one of the new two pool villas and it is the most luxurious experience I've had. The staff were friendly and attentive, the rooms and facilities were perfect and maintined well and the food was delicious. The location, and the facilities, can't be faulted and my wife and I had excellent treatments at the Spa. Well done Banyan Tree."
- Travel date: Mon 30th of July 2007
"We stayed at the Banyan Tree hotel 24th - 29th July 2007
having read the reports prior to our visit we were a bit apprehensive, especially as we live in Dubai and have high expectations as a result of the 5 star treatment you get in the hotels here.
As you are frequently told you should not listen to rumour and make your own mind up.
We arrived at the hotel at 0745 (check-in not until 2pm) we were warmly greeted and invited to take breakfast. We were then offered a day room to freshen up after the journey and at 11a.m. shown to our room. We had booked the Intendance Villa as the pictures looked marvellous, although a little more expensive than the hillside or beach villas it was certainly worth it! The room was amazing and a view to die for. The shower overlooked the bay (OK nobody could see in), the bedroom had the same panoramic view which could be enjoyed from the window seat, an outside dining area, swimming pool then stairs leading down to the private massage deck, double sun lounger and jacuzzi, truly amazing. The room was cleaned twice a day and the pool/jacuzzi cleaned every morning.
Other than breakf ast on most days we would have room service delivered - yes it did take 45 minutes of which you were told - but other than a fast food outlet I cannot think of anywhere else that can deliver room fresh food in a shorter time - especially when you are located at the top of a hill!
The staff were very friendly and couldnt do more for you. I have absolutely no complaints about this Hotel and I would return and I highly recommend villa 507. Although the hotel caters for children I would not recommend it for young families."
- Travel date: Sun 29th of July 2007
Mixed views on the Banyan Tree
"My wife and I stayed in the Banyan Tree for 4 nights at the start of July on our honeymoon.
We have very mixed views on this place and it seems other guests have had exactly the same, although at least everything in our villa seemed to function properly. We booked a beachfront pool villa (#201)
- great location set right next to a gorgeous beach, which was great for an after-breakfast stroll
- very peaceful - quiet and private in the beachfront villas so can laze around without being disturbed or over-looked - jacuzzi outdoors was excellent as was the pool
- staff in the restaurants were very friendly as were the cleaning staff
- could be an absolutely fantastic place but seems like it's a little dated and in need of a bit of an overhaul
- very limited for restaurants - what they have is nice (Saffron very good) but little in the way of variety
- sea at this time of year too rough to swim in - need to hire a car and go up to the other end of the island where it is more sheltered
Overall we are glad that we experienced the Banyan Tree. We would consider staying in another one of their properties, but would not feel the need to go back to this place again.
Can thoroughly recommend Creole Travel Services for transfers and tours - they are excellent."
- Travel date: Sat 14th of July 2007
"We attended the Banyan Tree Seychelles in May/June 2007 in order to get married there and for our much-deserved honeymoon.
We have stayed in some excellent hotels over the years in various places and chose the Seychelles because (a) you can get legally married there, unlike the Maldives, and (b) because it looked so beautiful.
We chose this hotel because of the chain's good reputation and our experience previously staying at the Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh where the spa is run by the Banyan Tree and is excellent.
We were in no way disappointed. We had very helpful and timely communication with the hotel in response to our queries before staying there.
It is very difficult to fault this hotel in many respects and I find it hard to understand the previous reviews which criticise it in several ways.
- our check in was smooth, as pain free as it can be after the flight (with Air Seychelles - whose flights were being operated by Blue Panorama - wouldn't recommend them!) and made as easy as possible
- our room (506 I think) was excellent. Not the largest room/suite we've stayed in, but a lovely, clean, comfortable room, nice outside area, good views over the hillside down to the beach and good facilities, including the facility to make decent cafetiere coffee (why don't more 5 star hotels enable this?)
- excellent facilities for golf-buggy transport around the resort. This makes us sound lazy, but it is hot, humid and hilly. You will appreciate this facility, which is available quickly by calling from the villa or by picking up a buggy from the reception area
- the wedding organisation was excellent. The organiser herself was very helpful and we were given every opportunity to make the arrangements we wanted and to change decisions we made on our tired arrival!
- in addition, given that it rained on the day of our wedding (tropical rain - not at all unpleasant!) we were able to change the venue for the wedding ceremony and reception. We had intended to marry and celebrate with everyone on the beach but instead married in the covered gazebo area of the suite we were upgraded to for a couple of nights and allowed to use the new restaurant for the reception. This restaurant had not been used at all by that stage but has apparently now opened and is a beautiful setting. It was beautifully decorated and the staff could not be faulted for the way they dealt with us.
- we were unusual in 2 respects - we were staying there for 2 weeks and had another 14 guests joining us for the wedding. We could not all have been treated any better.
- the resort hosts could not be faulted (save for one respect which is one of the minor complaints below) and were able to arrange anything for us on sufficient notice.
- other resort staff as well seemed to be able to remember you after just one or two encounters and were friendly, knew your name (even after getting married, when I didn't automatically remember I was a Mrs.!)
- the wedding co-ordinator was very attentive, not only for the wedding itself but especially the day after the wedding when the groom needed the wedding ring removed (!?!) due to an allergic type reaction. She was exceptionally helpful and very efficient at sorting out anything for us.
- the hotel manager and other management staff were also very helpful, friendly and did not treat guests as simple guests. There is a twice weekly drinks reception to meet them, they remember you and are willing to help with anything they can, including being able to ask for any menu items which are unusual provided you give enough notice! (24 hours seemed to be enough)
- the hotel can make arrangements for other activities. The round island private tour was excellent, they could organise diving for the groom, arranged transport or taxis (their own transport was sometimes cheaper than local taxis) and help out in any way, it seemed
- the food is excellent - not just the wedding reception, but every restaurant and room service. The in-villa BBQ was superb, Saffron restaurant very good, breakfast very good and the Jardin d'Epices excellent. Service in all respects was superb.
- the spa absolutely cannot be faulted. Excellent setting, therapists, packages and general set up. I had the best pedicure ever before the wedding and both me and the groom enjoyed a half day "pre-wedding" pampering treat the day before the wedding. If only the blissful feeling could be easily transferred back home!
- this is the only 5 star hotel we think we've ever stayed in where the bill was not wrong/messed up in some way on check out. This sounds like a sad thing to say but it can spoil the end of your holiday if it's wrong.
That said, there were some very minor things which could have been better, there are everywhere. (until we open our own hotel!)
- there was an occassion when the groom went diving and it turned out he would be a lot longer than expected - having rung the hotel to ask that I was told, I didn't get the message until after he got back, a few hours late, and after I'd been down to reception to ask for them to check with the dive centre whether there was a problem. It was a bit worrying, but something which was obviously a mistake and which can happen any time he goes diving and is late back.
- there was a day or so when the phones in the hotel didn't work - we had to walk down the hill rather than get a buggy! Again one of those things, which was quickly sorted out and gave us at least some exercise.
- on occasions some items were not replaced in the room with hosuekeeping - e.g. bathrobes and sun towels. Again, very quickly dealt with and a mistake to start with.
- coffee/mini-bar facilities are better at Hilton Maldives, better coffee machine and selection of drinks. Many 5 star hotels have much worse facilities that this though.
I simply cannot fault this hotel in any significant respect and certainly can't understand the previous negative reviews. I can see that maybe some villas might need some redecoration/ renovation and I personally would not choose a beach villa, since I enjoyed the privacy of the hillside villa! The new double-room type villas to which we were upgraded for 2 nights for the wedding were superb, with excellent butler service, good facilities and nice settings. The hillside villas have much more privacy and it depends upon what you want from your time away.
I would certainly recommend this location for your wedding/ honeymoon or frankly any much-needed relaxing break. We will certainly be back as soon as possible!"
- Travel date: Wed 11th of July 2007
"We came here for our honemymoon and spent 6 nights at Sainte Anne resort and 6 nights at the Banyan tree. It was great to have the contrast between the 2 resorts.
Banyan Tree - After a wonderful stay at Saintet Anne Resort, we were not disappointed by our beautiful âvilla by the rocksâ (210) at Banyan tree. It is like staying in a rainforest. Our villa was not overlooked by anyone, and had amazing views of the sea. It was worth paying extra for the Jacuzzi (and bigger garden area) because in the middle of the night, you can have champagne in the Jacuzzi watching the stars (the sky is so clear, you can see so many stars). The club cars here are quicker when you call. The in-villa BBQ is a must with your own private chef/waiter, and the food is great. The new Creole restaurant is lovely, and the fruit bat curry is very tasty. The spa here is picture perfect with secluded villas, soothing music and incense.
I would recommend an excursion of the island with a driver. Some really beautiful places to see, and a trip to see the Giant tortoises are a must. We didnât bother to any island hopping, but we heard from other guests that the organised trips were rushed and not worth the money.
Overall though, we did prefer Sainte Anne Resort. It was friendlier and more welcoming."
- Travel date: Sun 8th of July 2007