12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
We stayed 8 nights at the L'Archipel res...
"We stayed 8 nights at the L'Archipel resort on Praslin and it was by far the best 4 star I have ever stayed at. I couldn't believe how fantastic the rooms were and the food. The weather was also perfect bar one day which we were really happy about. I would suggest a day trip to La Digue which we really loved and we also went to Anze Lazio which is just breathtaking and probably the best beach I have ever seen in my life, truly beautiful. We also witnessed a wedding and it looked like they had really put loads of effort into the day. I wish you all a fabulous stay here and I know you will love it, just like we did! "
- Travel date: 6th December 2007
We went out to the Seychelles to get mar...
"We went out to the Seychelles to get married and after looking through the various different resorts available on the islands; we opted for Praslin and the resort L'Archipel. Firstly upon arrival we were greeted at the reception by very friendly staff, which took our bags and showed us around the breathtakingly beautiful resort. Upon entering our villa we were impressed with the effort put into making our room very welcoming and special (this was to continue throughout the remainder of our stay). The rooms were of a very high quality and the view from the balcony was stunning, waking up to that every morning is something that will stay with us both forever. The service from the various members of staff was absolutely phenomenal, there is nothing that they wonât do for you and are always friendly and chatty and will engage you whenever it pleases you. The standard of the food on offer is without doubt the best that I have ever tasted. As you can imagine, the fish is varied and so fresh you would think that it had jumped straight from the ocean onto your plate via a quick stop in the kitchen! The menu had so many mouth watering options that I was always sorry when I picked one dish over another! The beach was our favourite part of the holiday, we didnât use the pool as much as we thought, but that was purely down to the beach and the ocean drawing us to it every day, drinks and food were readily available at the restaurant or to be brought to you at the beach front. There were numerous boat trips, snorkels, excursions throughout the island which were easily arranged by the staff. All in all this resort made such an impact on us that it is likely to our most memorable holiday (wedding aspect of it aside) for a very long time to come - or at least until we go back there in 10 years time!"
- Travel date: 13th September 2007
"A perfect romantic hideaway. L'Archipel was the first stop on our 2 week honeymoon in the Seychelles and we loved it (we moved on to Sainte Anne Island off Mahe for the remainder of our stay and this was also excellent although a much larger resort). Hidden away in beautiful lush gardens at the end of a 2km long white sandy beach the hotel had an exculsive and yet unpretentious feel. We stayed in a luxury room which was effectively a private villa with balcony decking and stunning views looking out over the sea. Decor was colonial in style with lots of wood and neutral furnishings. Whilst not ritzy 5 star that you might get in say the Banyan Tree we thought it was beautiful and it exceded our expectations. Decor thoughout the hotel was tasteful with a lovely restaurant and pool area (infinity pool), Staff were very friendly and helpful, particularly the manager. Food on the whole was excellent, especially the breakfasts, although some of the fish dishes on buffet night were a little disappointing. Drinks were quite pricey - but we discovered this to be the case throughout the Seychelles! One of the big bonuses for us was the relatively small size of the hotel which meant no big noisy groups around. Praslin is a great place from which to explore the Seychelles - we'd recommend trips to the Vallee de Mai and La Digue Island (Bounty ad beach). That said you could happily spend a week lazing around the hotel and its beautiful beach. One tip though - the best 'seaweed free' stretches of the beach are a short walk round the bay towards the town. We would definitely recommend this hotel to honeymooners and couples seeking a romantic get away."
- Travel date: 25th August 2007
"We spent 6 nights on the second part of our Honeymoon in June. We booked a senior suite but on arrival we were upgraded to an executive suite which was so big we only used part of it. We had a very large terrace which was beautifully furnished and had wonderful veiws out to sea and of the resort. Weather was very mixed with a couple of days heavy rain but it did not spoil our stay. Beach is lovely and very relaxing as there are plenty of sunbeds spread out. The food was fabulous, we really liked breakfast on the beach. The evening meal was much better than antisipated after reading previous reviews. The service was faultless and choice of food was excellent meat and fish dishes every night with the option of picking from the A La Carte menu. We were there for one buffet night and that too had a good selection of food. We had a lovely stay and would love to return in the future."
- Travel date: 10th July 2007
"My husband and I have just returned from our honeymoon in the Seychelles. For the first part of the trip we stayed at L'Archipel on Praslin for 5 nights , then we went onto the Banyan Tree on Mahe. We were welcomed with a very smiling face and a cold towel. First appearances of the hotel were that it looked like a colonial style building which we both loved! We were shown into the bar where we were served a lovely non alcoholic cocktail which was lovely and well recieved after our long journey. Then came the look from them that something was wrong. They then explained that the hotel had been overbooked so they had to make alternative arrangements for us. We were shocked!! He explained that they were going to be upgrading us to the hotels very own villa, of course we were both thinking - how much is this going to be extra! But once he had explained a bit more about the villa and that there was no extra charge we thought great we are going to get a fantastic room! Not quite - well we were ushered to wait in the reception, whilst the manager Flavey went to get a car?? Go figure, why in the hell would we need a car to get to our room!? So the car arrives , it just happens to be the hotels 4wd pickup, I enquire where exactly is the room and he explains it is just next to the gates but up quite a steep hill. So we all get in this 4wd are driven up the steepest hill we have ever been on! We pass the staff accommodation which is either side of this concrete slope - you could tell it was staff accomm by the state of the outside of the rooms, there was scrap metal and wood just dumped outside the rooms. Not a problem if you were in the hotel and therefore didn't go that way! But we would have to go past it everyday! We finally climbed up this steep and windy road to what only can be described as a ramshackle looking villa, which was probably nice at one time. We were shown in and it was on two levels, one level there was a fourposter bed and a single bed - a sitting room, kitchen and outside terrace. It just looked like someones house! We were then explained that we had our own housekeeper who lived in the villas with us... We were mortified! They said do you like it and we were both too dumbstruck and tired to say anything....I then asked how do we get down to the hotel and was told we would be provided a car!!!! There were no steps or anything down to the main complex just the concrete road we had just come up..... to cut a long story short after a few tears on my part we phoned up the manager and said that we would not be staying and the manager said no problem and picked us up shortly afterwards and took us to the ORIGINAL room we were meant to be in!!! It was lovely, just what I had expected. From then on we had a fantastic time there, the staff were lovely and even called you by your first name. We had cocktails brought to us on the beach during the day.. the staff were unintrusive and were then when you needed them. The only negative points we had were our arrival, the Creole night that was on Monday and Thursday - this was very poor in our opinion, my husband does not like fish and this was really the only option on the menu for a main course so he just had chicken curry each time they served the Creole menu. They also charge us extra for the privilege even though we were on a half board basis. Wine was very expensive about 60Euros a bottle, I believe this was because they import it. Anyway, when we were due to leave it was all smooth and no problems. We were waiting in reception and a couple arrived and were duly taken to the bar for the drink.... next minute they were ushed in to the hotels pickup and were driven out of the gates.... We couldn't believe it , we both said how long before they come back down to the hotel! And yep they were driving back down 5 mins later...... Then another couple arrived - obviously English and yep again they were ushered into this pickup, and again five minutes later came back down looking very upset! What an absolute farce!! I must say it put a bad taste in our mouths with regards to this hotel! So if you are going to this hotel, beware if they try and put you in the Villa, unless you have legs made of Iron and you don't mind having to drive backwards and forwards to your villa when you have forgotten something in the room!! Oh yes and there will be no alcoholic cocktails for you during the day or night for that matter!!"
- Travel date: 16th June 2007
Fantastic Hotel - great location for our wedding
"We stayed here for the 1st week of our 3 week wedding/honeymoon (2nd week La Digue 3rd week Bird Island - see separate reviews) I loved this hotel! Our room was outstanding! The highest and furthest from the main reception/dining room (the steps not for the faint hearted!) Beach was beautiful - we got married here on day 5 and it was more perfect than I could ever have dreamed. The staff went that extra mile for us the whole week and spoilt us rotten on our wedding day with special meals on the beach, fantastic cake and the most beautifully decorated location. Many thanks to Flavey the hotel manager who really looked after us. Breakfasts on the beach were lovely, lunches were also great - dinner was mainly fish and I didn't care for most dishes but this was just my personal preference most people seemed to be happy. I ordered from the a la cart menu a few times and this was lovely - a little expensive but hey it's the Seychelles! We hired a jeep (â¬75 for 24 hrs) and saw the Island - some of the beaches on the South side of the island were covered in really deep seaweed that smelled terrible. Anse Lazio is suburb - but in the afternoon got too busy with bus trips to appeal to me. Praslin is beautiful and very peaceful, Valley de Mai is ok, full of big trees with big leaves if your into them, but couldnât get too excited myself. The beach round from the hotel is fantastic! No one on it at all we spent many a day on this - the water was so warm. Thanks to previous reviews we bought water from the shop down the beach (about 25-30mins walk, but a lovely walk!) Water in the hotel was â¬2.50 for a small bottle â it was so humid we went through about 2-3 large bottles per day each! So if we hadnât gone to the shop this would have cost a fortune! The shop charged 48 SR for 6 large bottles. We took dollars only because the travel agency had run out of Euros â didnât make much of a difference really but everything is priced in Euros. Changing dollars at the hotel was 5.5 SR = $1 at the shops it was 9 SR = $1 so a massive difference but apparently frowned upon. All in all I would definitely go back to this hotel - there is nothing negative a can say about it."
- Travel date: 12th June 2007
Great Honeymoon Hotel but Room for Improvement
"Most things have been said about LâArchipel in the previous reviews, and so weâd like to add some more practical information that hasnât been mentioned before. After an agonizing decision over whether to spend our honeymoon at LâArchipel or Paradise Sun, we decided to book LâArchipel. (After an inspection of the Paradise Sun upon arrival, we were very happy with our decision. While Paradise Sun is a fine hotel, LâArchipel is clearly in a different league.) We liked: - romantic hotel in a beautiful setting - excellent white sandy beach - on the left side of the beach, there were no plants in the water (furry water plants, very common in the Seychelles, are a huge issue for us) - very comfortable beach loungers, which is not as common as one would expect - no chasing of towels or loungers, as everything is available in abundance - very quiet and relaxed atmosphere - very few people on the beach due to the small size of the hotel (for some reason, many people hung out by the pool, which seemed like a total waste to us) - very roomy, clean accommodation (but definitely not âluxuryâ - it wouldnât be 5 stars in any other place in the world) - no children, only couples - breakfast on the beach - good snorkeling not too far away (but it costs 20 Euros per Person for a short boat ride to St. Pierre, including the âenvironmental feeâ) - friendly, attentive staff We disliked: - poor, bleak lighting in the rooms, insufficient for reading - a la carte prices at the restaurant are exorbitant - Internet access from the one computer they have costs 20 Euros an hour - while the cuisine was excellent, dinners were very monotonous (fish fillet every single day) - no beach umbrellas (but there are some trees that provide shade) - no evening entertainment (except a guy with a synthesizer who plays terrible music once a week) - limited selection of breakfast foods (should have more cheeses, sausages, salami etc.) - little water sports equipment (except snorkeling gear) and no instruction on how to use the sailing boat - only 1 windsurf board that was not suitable for beginners, and also no instruction available - checkout at 10 am is too early for a 4 to 5 star resort Upon arrival, we were upgraded to the Executive Suite closest to the beach, which was absolutely wonderful, except for the bleak lighting. The 120 square meters with 2 bathrooms were clearly too large (we never used the second room), but we did like the huge Jacuzzi bathtub in which we could comfortably sit side by side and drink champagne. Shopping, dining, and self-catering: Donât buy the overpriced water at the hotel. We rented bicycles for a day and brought a number of bottles back from a convenience store in Cote dâOr, which lasted the entire time. Donât expect to buy much else at these local stores, as the selection is very limited; they lack the most basic things, and even the fruit is rotten. Self-catering is practically impossible in the Seychelles, which is probably one of the reasons why mass tourism hasnât arrived yet (in addition to the exorbitant prices for everything). Overall, the Seychelles are still mostly untouched and undeveloped, and can rightfully be called paradise on Earth. But that also means that certain things you might be used to from Mauritius, Thailand, the Caribbean or other vacation destinations, such as well stocked supermarkets, Internet, taxis, souvenir shops, or nightlife, donât really exist. So for the women: donât expect to buy nice bikinis or beautiful sarongsâ¦ the selection ranges from âsucksâ to non-existent. We recommend booking half board. In terms of food options outside the hotel, they are few and far in between and require a cab or bicycle. They usually also close very early. We would not recommend Tante Mimiâs restaurant, which is just a short walk away. While the cuisine is good (but nothing too special), itâs insanely overpriced. The chairs are too low so that the table is at your chest, and itâs typically empty. On a Saturday night, there was only 1 other couple in the otherwise completely deserted restaurant. We spent about 160 Euros for 2 people, on top of the dinner we had already paid for at the LâArchipel, which was not worth it. Things to do: While there is not much to do on Praslin other than water activities, we strongly recommend a) spending a day at Anse Lazio, which is clearly the best beach we have ever been to, rivaling the Caribbean beaches (a bus goes there); b) renting a car for a drive around the island, including a visit to Vallee de Mai; and c) making a day trip to La Dique, which is an absolute must. Note that the beaches on La Dique are spectacular, but walking on the sand or even going into the water is tricky and painful, as the sand is full of sharp shells and rocks. We did a longer bike ride to the North and Northeast and then finished off the day on Anse Source dâArgent in the Southwest, the fantastic assembly of little beaches seen in a number of commercials and photo shoots. If you still have time left, the trip to Sister and Coco Islands is very nice as well. However, the sea was extremely rough tossing around our speed boat so hard that we all (and all our belongings) were soaked wet, and it felt like weâd topple over any second during the 30 minute ride. We then spend time feeding batfish and beaching at Sister Island and never really made it to Coco Island because of the rough sea. We did stop close to the shore to do some snorkeling, which is what we had come for, but it was a bit dangerous due to the rough waters. We did see a young whale shark though. We did feel that the time for snorkeling was too short, which is the case on most of these so-called snorkeling trips. Youâre usually held hostage by the crew for elaborate, time-consuming lunches and beach time, while the time for snorkeling is slapped on at the end for half an hour. If you want to do a lot of real snorkeling without being ripped off, go to St. Pierreâs rock outside the hotel. On Mahe, book the Fishermanâs Cove (incredible snorkeling right off the beach) or do a half day snorkeling trip to Tenay Bay (40 Euros a person), which was amazing. Beware of the weather: In selecting your hotel in the Seychelles, consider the seaweed season! During our drive to the west side of Praslin, where among others the Lemuria is located, we found that the water and beaches were unusable because of the tons of smelly, rotting seaweed covering everything. It was rather disgusting. Another important factor is the roughness of the sea during certain times of the year. We took a tour of the Banyan Tree on Mahe, the best hotel in the Seychelles, and found the waters so violent and rough that nobody could actually set foot into the water during that time. The strong winds even made lying on the beach impossible and so all the guests who spent 2000 Euros a night and up had to hang out by the pool. Both things were not an issue at the LâArchipel in June/July. There were, however, some brief showers a few times a day. We also spent a week at the Fishermanâs Cove on Mahe (see separate review), which is clearly a finer, more upscale hotel than the LâArchipel, but doesnât have the quiet atmosphere and or a usable beach. While I would always prefer LâArchipel, my husband liked the Fishermanâs Cove better. Go figure."
- Travel date: 1st January 2007
Perfect location, size and service
"My girlfriend and I just returned from a one week stay at LâArchipel and we canât say enough good things about it. Neither of us had ever been to the Seychelles before so we really didnât know what to expect in regard to hotel standards, tourism development etc. Both the hotel and the Seychelles far exceeded our expectations. The first night we had the top villa. Apart from an excellent view and a lot of space it didnât really have any other good qualities. Itâs too far away from the main complex and there is a cleaning lady/maid/cook constantly hovering about - annoying. The rest of our stay we had a first floor room in one of the hillside bungalows (number 8). What a room. The view was great and the room was nice and clean. Besides renting bicycles and exploring Praslin we would definitely recommend going to some of the other islands. La Digue (SUPERB beaches) and Curieuse (a national park with extraordinary nature and giant turtles) are absolute musts. We also stayed at the Warf Hotel and Marina on MahÃ©. The hotel was ok but we wouldnât recommend staying on the main island. Itâs just too developed to our taste. Our number one advice: Get away from MahÃ© and see some of the other islands. You will be amazed by how undisturbed and beautiful the scenery is. No big, obtrusive hotels and hordes of loud tourists crowding the beaches - just peace and quiet. It is truly paradise ;-)"
- Travel date: 29th November 2006
very nice little hotel
"Stayed at L'Archipel for the first part of a 2 week holiday in September...the second half being at the Banyan Tree on Mahe. It really is a lovely place - there is nothing over the top or extraordinary about it but the rooms are nice, the staff very very friendly, the beach is lovely...... The food in the restaurant isn't anything to scream about and the wine list is very limited, but they serve good snacks all day. We did a lot of excursions from here to other islands and they were always well organised and fantastic. I would recommend this place to anyone......Praslin is beautiful and this little hotel manages to keep in that way - not too big, showy or trying to do things it can't."
- Travel date: 27th November 2006
Don't let the color fool you...
"<sigh> Hotel L'Archipel... in a word - Amazing. I was a little dubious when we first got there. The buildings are a kind of aqua bluish, greenish, mint greenish color... The color grew on me after a few days. The hotel itself, however, was phenomenal. We stayed for 4 days after spending 2 days in Mauritius. We were given the customary fruit drink and cool towel when we arrived. Michael, one of the manager's then sat down with us to tell us all about the hotel and the excursions we could go on. He is a wealth of information plus just someone very interesting to talk to. By the time we finished talking to him, we had arranged to rent a car the next day to drive around the island, booked a boat ride to La Digue (an absolute must!) and found out where to get the best "take away." That was all before we even saw our room! The room. I don't know if all of the rooms would be like this, I think we had a middle of the road room (it was our honeymoon so we splurged) but, it was amazing. Big windows and porch (all rooms have porches) overlooking the water, white blankets/sheets with 4 post bed, sitting area, robes, large bathroom with separate toilet room. It was beautiful. Not on the beach but, back into the hills a bit. We still had a view of the water. Everyday there were fresh flowers laid about throughout the room. Although a nice touch, we probably could have done without as there were also little tiny bugs which came with the flowers. Meals - We went the half board route and were good with that. Breakfast was quite nice actually with a continental spread. Dinners were the epitome of fine dining etiquette. Serve over the left, take from the right... or is it the reverse of that? Anyway, we had wine every night with dinner. Bottles averaged around 30-45E. We're pretty used to that sort of thing so weren't really surprised by it. The Seychelles is not a place to go for a cheap holiday. Paradise comes at a price. The food was above average. Some dishes bordered on phenomenal and some were just good. Nothing was bad. I would recommend having a drink before dinner of whatever their "cocktail of the day" is and enjoy it with some of the snacks they bring to the table. Just a little plate of coconut, fried fruit, and usually a fish of some sort. Just a warning, for those who keep track, cocktails are around 10Euro a pop. Overall the stay at the hotel was really wonderful. We did have a whole trail of bugs in our room the first night, but, they seemed to have disappeared after that. On a side note, beware that the hotel does not serve food between 5PM and 7:30PM. So, eat a late lunch or have snacks if you eat an early lunch. Definitely get the boat ride to La Digue. It's 45Euro p/p but picks you up and drops you off from the hotel. That is, you catch the boat at the hotel rather then taking a bus to multiple hotels to get people. Rent bikes on La Digue and explore, it's incredible. OH! One last thought. The customer service really was incredible. We somehow forgot to book tickets from Praslin back to Mahe, probably thinking that we could just do it when we got there. Well, those flights fill up. Luckily for us, Flavy at the hotel worked and called his contacts at the airport and were able to get us on the flight we needed on the day we left to be able to make our follow on flight to Mauritius. Really, he went above and beyond. The entire staff though, really, was incredible. We'll never be able to afford to stay there again, but, if we could, we absolutely would."
- Travel date: 15th November 2006
L'archipel well up to standard
"My wife and I just returned (this morning, so writing with somewhat bleary eyes) from a 2 week stay at l'Archipel Hotel on Praslin. We booked our holiday with some trepidation, after having read the previous reviews - which we felt were mixed, erring toward the negative in terms of food quality. Food is of huge importance to us, and for the most part on holiday we self-cater, thus a bad meal has only one of us to blame (usually me). However our visit was booked in part due to a very BIG birthday (wife, mine long since past), so we decided to go for it. We have been delighted, and thoroughly recommend both the Island of Praslin, and l'Archipel hotel. We cannot compare to other hotels (we leave that to you), but our thoughts are: Excellent staff - very professional, know how to look after their customers, without being too in your face. Rooms - we were upgraded to room 25 - an upward hike from the beach, but the views well worth it. Room was very spacious, with separate lounge area. Kept very clean & well presented at all times. Great for watching the fruitbats fly over at dusk. Gardens / Poolside - well kept by very friendly staff. Loads more sunloungers than guests, so no need to get up at the crack of dawn to bag the one you want. Food - we were on the half board package, which gave breakfast (huge & excellent, never needed lunch) and Dinner - a choice of 2 starters and 2 main courses each night, or of course we could chose any item from the A la carte menu at additional cost. We never needed to do this - essentially the Table D'Hote features dishes from the A la carte - all excellent quality, never had a bad meal during our stay. Drinks - the only real downside - we averaged 15 Euro's per night on bar drinks (Cocktail for the lady & guinness or seybrew for the heathen), and then 35 to 40 Euro's on a bottle of wine plus bottle of water - on a 2 week stay that hurts when you add it all up. Our CHOICE of course. Location - nearest village is a very pleasant 30 minute walk along the beach - where you can buy wine at circa 7 Euro's a bottle (mostly South African & very good), and cheaper bottled water for the beach (again hotel is pricey at 2.5 Euro's (3 Euro's from the minibar). Activity - We hired cycles (and got very wet during a Seychelles downpour), and hired a Jeep (essential if venturing up to Zimbabwe in my opinion), caught the Cat CoCo to Victoria (seas very rough, would not recommend to anyone - get the plane unless you really like your rides rough & unpredictable), and caught the bus at the end of a church service (lots of big hats & women with seemingly wicked sense of humour). Lots of snorkelling off the beach & plenty of varied fish to see. Summary - go, be brave regarding your drinks bill, and have a very relaxing time. Do nothing & do it well (not my line, the hotel's)."
- Travel date: 14th October 2006
Relaxing honeymoon hotel
"During our honeymoon we visited 4 hotel: L'Archipel, LÃ©muria, Fisherman's Cove and Sainte Anne's. We particularly liked this hotel because of the very warm and friendly staff and the intimate atmosphere at the hotel. The hotel has only 33 rooms what contributes to its charm because there are always free loungers near the swimming pool and on the beach. The hotel is very well situated not far from the jetty from which you can take the boat to La Digue. The rooms are very spacious (we stayed in a senior suite) and are decorated in a romantic colonial style. You have your own private terrace with ocean view. The room is very clean. Twice a day they come by to clean the room and replace the towels. You can take a plunge in the swimming pool and enjoy the ocean view from the pool. The garden of the hotel is very well kept and has a lot of flowers and nice looking birds. The breakfast was ok, nog really special but the fact that you could have your breakfast on the beach made it special. The service during lunch time was a bit slow but the food was nice. The alcohol free cocktails in the bar with the Creole snacks were amazing. Contrary to some former reviews we did like the diner very much. Especially the fresh fish was very tasty. We booked our excursions with Mason's Travel so we don't know if the excursions offered by the hotel are good. We booked the La Digue trip, the three islands trip and the trip to VallÃ©e the Mai and Anse Lazio. We rented a bike on La Digue and explored the island. There are some beautiful beaches there! We really loved the trip to Cousin, Curieuse and St. Pierre. To be able to pet a giant tortoise is amazing! Anyway: if we had the chance to go back we would definately return to Praslin and L'Archipel!"
- Travel date: 8th August 2006
Hotel L'Archipel is also called
- Archipel Hotel
- hotel l archipel
- l archipel hotel