Banyan Tree Seychelles
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TravelPod Member ReviewsBanyan Tree Seychelles Mahe Island
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
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 heartedly they called the secuirty 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, organised 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.......
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Banyan Tree Seychelles Mahe Island
Loved banyan tree
just got back from the Seychelles with my husband. We had a wonderful time, and the Banyan Tree is just fab - geat views, great service and lovely people. A great geta-way if you just want to relax, read or laze by the pool. We went to Victoris for a day trip, quite dissapointing really! Be ware of bugs getting into your room at the resort though!
My wife and I honeymooned at the Banyan Tree for 10 nights starting on July 11th 2005.
We arrived at the hotel at around 4pm on a Monday after a 10 hour flight with Air Seychelles. We were greeted with a free drink on arrival and sat on the balcony watching the sea while they took our bags to our villa.
We chose villa 503 which is a hillside pool villa by the rocks. It has an amazing jacuzzi which is built on legs jutting out over the hillside with fantastic views of Intendance Bay. It also has an infinity pool with the same views.
The weather when we arrived was warm and sunny with scattered clouds, although the sea was very rough and very noisy! Something to think about when choosing your villa.
The next morning the weather had turned stormy so I checked the weather forecast on the net. It said thunderstorms for the next two weeks! I was gutted. Thought our honeymoon was going to be washed out. The next day the sun was shining and we had lovely weather for the rest of our stay. Got a good suntan.
Anyway back to the hotel. The Banyan Tree is very relaxing indeed, our days were spent lazing around the main pool with the other guests, taking a walk up and down the beach and relaxing in our villa.
The service is 5 star, very friendly, always greeting you with a smile. Room service was excellent, always left flowers on our bed with a greeting. They come again in the evening to check on things and prepare your room for a romantic evening, leaving a little gift and lighting the incense and candles.
There are two restaurants, Saffron which is Thai and Le Jardon d espice which is nouvelle cuisine with lots of fish to choose from. The Thai restaurant has a good feel about it but the food is very average. It is presented wonderfully but the food is nothing special. L Jardon restaurant is far better and the food was excellent.
One word of warning, our first dinner at the le jardon d espice cost us $260.00 for the two of us and that was with one bottle of cheap wine and no water!! They invited us to a jazz night at the restaurant and gave us a fixed menu which had no price on it. The dinner was fine but I nearly died when I saw the bill.
You do get a feeling when you stay here that they are trying to exract every last penny out of you. Leaves a sour taste in your mouth. A good example of this is when 14 guests are sunbathing around the pool, the sun is hot, the poolside bar is open with two bar tenders, but nobody has a drink! Why we asked? Then we ordered two drinks, they were very nice, then we ordered two more an hour later. Then we got the bill......$85.00!!
Now I see why people weren't drinking.
With the prices at the hotel being a bit steep we decided to get a hire car to explore the island. Book through the Banyan tree and they will quote you 65 euro a day for a nice little Daihatsu Jeep. We haggled with the car hire girl and got it down to 35 euro a day. A huge saving.
One piece of invaluable info I can give to you is when you go through duty free grab some spirits. If you like your Gin and Tonics or Vodka Tonics this will save you a small fortune. Alcohol gets hit with 200% tax in the Seychelles and it is very hard to find top brand spirits or beer on the island. The Banyan tree charge you $36.00 for two gin and tonics.
I must say thankyou to Alex and Anna who we met there for giving us there left over Gin in an empty water bottle.Hehe
Once we had the hire car we could explore the island more and smuggle back supplies of Seybrew beer.Banyan tree cost $10.00 our price $2.00 per bottle. And also visit some good restaurants and travel round the island.
To sum up the hotel and service are excellent. The beach has pure white sand and is perfect for strolling along hand in hand. The sea is noisy and rough when we was there, so no swimming. February is supposed to be the best month for flat seas. The food is very good and the drinks are excellent but pricey. Overall a good Honeymoon destination, but make sure you have lots of money left over from the wedding to pay for it.
David & Clare.
This was the best hotel experience I have ever had - granted I was on my honeymoon so perhaps that had something to do with it. But WOW! This was really a beautiful location, the beachside suite was just gorgeous, and everything was just perfect. Well, maybe the food wasn't excellent, but it was very good (just a little too much of the same thing - mainly thai). I highly recommend this hotel & the Seychelles in general. Try the couples massage at the spa. Expensive but so worth it!
Having read reviews on Travelocity of the Banyan Tree and had personal recommendations I was expecting great things. Sadly, I was disappointed. This is a beautiful hotel on a stunning beach with an excellent standard of accomodation. The big negative, which we were not expecting, was the poor service.
We stayed in the Hillside Pool Villa which was very nice and very secluded but some way from the beach. The beach itself was stunning but very noisy and not particularly relaxing to be on (or walk along). The wild feel to the beach and sea was appealing on one level but not great for sunbathing on and certainly not swimming - though we may well have been there at the time of year when the sea is roughest.
We stayed for a week at the Banyan Tree and encountered numerous issues every single day of our stay. The basic problem was non response to requests/issues raised which culminated in a discussion with the manager about some of the hit and miss service. Service was a real mix of excellent and friendly service and complete incompetence.
No single event was major in itself but the sheer frequency and inadequacy of response was incredibly frustrating for a five star hotel. For example, we requested our room made up and pool cleaned at 10.30 in the morning (which was obviously done daily) but by 3.00 our pool had still not been cleaned - despite two further phone calls which indicated imminent response - which never came. Another example was the near two hours it took to get pool towels delivered to our room - again after several phone calls.
To be fair, the manager listened to our complaints - made the day before we left - and was kind enough to send a bottle of champagne to our room with a note. the next day, however, there were several more incidents which just confirmed how inadequate staff and/or organisation at this hotel is.
Overall, service badly let the hotel down during our stay. It was an extremely enjoyable stay in a beautiful location but what a shame that the service is so inadequate.
We have just returned from our honeymoon and spent the first week at this FANTASTIC hotel. Thw whole experience from the moment we arrived until we left was magnificent. We have been fortunate to stay in some nice hotels but what stood out for us was the friendly and accommodating staff. The hotel is in a beautiful location and we have never experienced such incredible service before.
We stayed in a Hillside Villa which was a 2 minute stroll down to the beach and a buggy ride back up on an evening! We actually spent 11 nights in the Seychelles arriving on the 20th June and were fortunate to have great weather throughout our stay. However we did read the comments book in the reception of the hotel and some people had experienced rain for the first two weeks in June.
During the day we would take a stroll along a beautiful beach which at most has only a few people on it. There were one or two brave enough to venture into the sea for a swim - once you get past the big waves it seemed OK a little further out.
Food in the hotel is superb and we put everything on our room bill and settled it in total when we left. We did eat out at a local restaurant called Le Reduit which is a 10 minute taxi ride - a good menu with even BAT on the menu!
Overall the hotel was a fantastic place to spend the first week of our honeymoon and as I mentioned the service is better than first class.
Short but very sweet
My wife and I have just returned from a short seven night stay at the Banyan Tree, and what a fantastic experience it was, our only regret was that we couldn't stay longer.
We checked out the reviews of the hotel on Trip advisor before we took the plunge and I must say it was invaluable information.
Service levels at the hotel are the highest we've ever encountered, the staff were excellent and extremely well trained.
We pushed the boat out and stayed in a Beachfront Spa Villa with a private pool, outdoor granite jacuzzi, indoor steamroom and all the associated bling you could imagine. Due to the position of these villas, we had direct access to the beach, which was great, considering there was a lot of showers during our stay, so we could grab our suntan lotion and hit our veranda in about 30 seconds flat.
The Hillside villas have the advantage of great views over the bay, the only downside being that they are not so handy to the beach (it might take a whole 5 minutes by courtesy buggy to get sand between your toes!).
The food at the hotel was excellent, and the choice of two main restaurants in the evening worked well, although on a longer stay you might get a bit fed up with the same eating experience every night.
The Spa offers a large range of treatments, including some great massages. I had the Lomi Lomi massage, which really sorted out any stress that I may have picked up from the journey to the island.
Which brings me onto the only downside of our trip, and it has nothing to do with the hotel.
Air Seychelles decided to have their aircraft serviced during the time that we were travelling, so they chartered an aircraft and flight crew from a small Spanish long haul operator. All I can say is the plane was very shabby, the entertainment during the flight wooful and the overall experience a real let down. Considering we upgraded to Pearl Class we expected more.
The return journey was nearly five hours late, so anyone who was connecting at Heathrow missed their onward flights. And the Pearl Class lounge at Seychelles airport is, frankly, a disgrace (a small windowless box with a padlocked fridge in the corner).
However, despite all this hassle, we would still return to the Banyan Tree in the future...it really is that good.
One word of warning: Be careful when you go. The weather plays a big factor in the success of a holiday like this and we experienced rain everyday, and a sea too rough to swim in. Having asked around, while we were there, it appears that the best weather, for both sun and sea conditions is February to April, we missed it by three weeks.
This is without doubt the best hotel experience I have ever had and we have been fortunate enough to visit some of the world's best..
From the moment we arrived we were treated like royalty and nothing was too much trouble for the friendly staff - if you ever get a chance to stay here, take it - I promise you will never regret it.
Loved it on the beach
Wow a great experience so many good things and just a couple of small niggles. I agree with one of the previous reviews the Hotel and pool area wonderful , the service excellent . The only bad thing is the variation between the hillside rooms and the beach . The beach rooms are amazing although as asome of the other guest remarkes the wilderness garden to the front was strange. however the beach and bay are wonderful.
The hilltop villas are smaller but do suffer as others wrote of insects if you are not careful or actually if you are careful.
Overall though a magnificent hotel
Just returned on a compnay sponsored trip
I think the guy who reviewed this fantastic resort summed it all up really.
10/10 to the staff no 5* cheesiness here, the staff genuinely love working here, if you want a dosage of ambience and tranquility, this is your place.
Even the fussiest of people will find it tricky to pick holes in the Banyan Tree, flawless.
By the way a word of warning to the wise, do not change your money into the local currency as none of the hotels accept it!
A taste of paradise
A white beach. A picture postcard sea. The constant roar of breaking waves. Perfect service and small enough for you to feel at home. These are some of the snapshots we carry back from the Seychelles (Oct 2004). In fact, I was won over from the moment the taxi door opened, after a journey from hell when Kurt the assistant manager welcomed us by name and took us inside for a hot towel and iced tea.
Incidently, the journey contained the following highlights - transfer at Healthrow, "I'm sorry sir but this evening's flight is delayed until 8.30 tomorrow morning", after 35 minutes circling Praslin in a storm - the captain "Well, I guess I'll attempt a landing now", and as the last ones in the luggage hall, "Well sir, it seems your bag decided to come via Paris and will be joining you tomorrow".
The Banyan Tree made sure the journey was quickly forgotten. This is a hotel with style and tip top service.
We stayed first 3 nights in a hillside villa (507) with great views of the bay and then 4 nights in a Beach Front Villa. The HSV is great - a junior sweet sized bedroom, designer bathroom with sunken bath, roomy terrace, own small pool (dipping rather than swimming) and outdoor seating / eating area + a day bed.
Lots of designer style - a glass walled shower exposing you to the bay, glass sinks, a different message in petals every day on the bed, scented oil burning each evening, complimentary bottled water, shampoo and moisteriser in ceramic pots - not plastic bottles...you get the picture.
For the Beach Front Villa, you pay more, but get a larger pool (4 x 8 m), more space, a garden, an outdoor as well as indoor shower, steam room, jacuzzi and a massage pagoda. You also felt in a slightly more solid structure (which means more like a hotel room). In the HSV all the doors and windows slide open, but are not flush against a frame, meaning there were gaps at the edges of all windows to let in the noise of the sea, but also the occasional mosquitos, gekkos and beatles. You felt closer to nature.
The HSV would already be very special, so there is no absolute need to go for a beachfront villa, but we are glad we did.
Apart from a superb and fairly empty beach, you have two restaurants (one east meets west mediterranean, the other Thai), + you can order lunch pool side. Nb: No shorts or collarless teeshirts in the evenings. It stays warm, however, so you won't need a jacket or sweater.
The infinity pool is about 20 metres long, so good for laps. The main building also includes a bar / terrace for the sunset and a small library - with a computer for free, but slow internet access (if you really can't pull yourself away from the world). There are rudimentary watersports, a fitness room and there is the fantastic spa. Book the spa in advance for 10% discount. My wife and I did a two hour rejuventation package which was terrific - why did I wait 40 years to get a first massage. You can borrow DVDs and CDs for the machines in the room.
If you want to dive you will probably need to go to one of the schools or other hotels around the island.
You can, of course, explore the island, but to be honest except for one trip to Praslin and La Digue we simply spent our eight days chilling and reading and keeping well away from the PC in the library. This is not the place for wild nightlife (or at least not of other people's making) or for kids aged 5+, but for the newly weds, anniversary couples and other twosomes it was ideal. If you go to Praslin, visit the Valle de Mai - the ancient tropical forest, and try picking up a guide at the entrance.
Albert (€20 per person for just over an hour) was entertaining and showed us much that we would have missed, going around on our own.
Of course, Paradise comes at a price, but for a special occasion this is to where you should be pushing the boat out. You felt you were getting value for money
Finally, on some practical issues having been hunting on the web for info before the trip:
- The Banyan Tree reservation staff were very helpful in planning stuff ahead of the trip.
- Pearl Class with Air Seychelles was fine - the planes (just two B767s do the European routes) are looking a bit run down, but the service was fine and selection of films and food was good, but nothing remarkable. The seats partially recline, but are not close to flat bed or extensive reclining of other airlines. The lounge in Heathrow British Midland was nothing special, but much better than the windowless box in Seychelles airport.
However, I hear that competition is on the way from Qatar and Emirates from January (obviously with Mid-East transfer), so this may improve service choice and level.
- Yes, it is true that you can pay everything by card, or in dollars or euros.
- No, we didn't have to pay a departure tax (it was bundled into our airfare).
- Good information and reviews can be found on tripadvisor.com.
- Weather while we were there (period of changing wind direction 18 -25 Oct) was "tropical", i.e. some great sun, but quite a lot of heavy rain and some overcast days, with sunny intervals.
- Snorkelling was great, saw a reef shark a few meters below. The diving goes without saying.
- No terrifying insect encounters - no spider incidents (despite web-warnings), but the mosquitos bite so bring some repellant. Rooms have screens on the sliding doors.
- Don't need beach towels, beach bags or even slippers - as Banyan Tree provides these.
- BT shop has some nice stuff, but no toys for easing guilt over leaving kids at home. Fortunately airport has small selection of lego, other toys and teeshirts in the departure area.
- Finally, BT location is great in terms of the bay, but is at the far end of the island from some of the restaurants like La Scala that I read about on the web (which would have meant a 45 minute drive or more), so you may not travel much without a car or a taxi. Taxi to the airport is 200 rupee and about 30 v. winding minutes.
TripAdvisor Reviews Banyan Tree Seychelles Mahe Island
Travel Blogs from Mahe Island
... on. But the pictures were enough so we booked our house and our flights and began the long wait.
I've never been to a place like the Seychelles. A set of volcanic islands that have 0 touristy feel, the Seychelles (in particular Mahe Island where we stayed) make for a fantastic vacation. Mountainous and covered in jungle (and giant bats) with crystal clear water and gorgeous beaches, the Seychelles were a welcome respite from the burgeoning Dubai summer.
We spent 4 ...
... the beach to the pick up point for the boat. It was so hot and humid I almost passed out. The heat was stifling almost unbearable. I will write two words that I have never uttered together…it was too hot. We boated to Eden Island, bought more cinnamon buns and cabbed to Reef Apartments, anxious to sit inside for the rest of the day and use up our pre-purchased internet time.
... out of the water. Me and Jack paddled in and Mom swam. The kayak got stuck on some coral and me and Jack got really frightened.
We got back and had lunch. Later after lunch we packed up and took the ferry to Mahe. We went straight to the cab and rode to Reef Apartments. We were so excited to be there because there was internet. We tried ...
... as it provided an essential refuge from the blistering sun. With no Internet we played cards and scrabble. Much to the kids dissatisfaction, I made the kids draw and then suffer through a conversation about the importance of having many hobbies and having the courage to try and fail. It was the perfect unconnected, family ...
... this guy was one of the nasty tourists so we moved to the other side of the boat to stay away from him. Yep, sure enough. Later on the dive, when we were all in two groups, 4 of us with one dive master and 5 with the other dive guide, this guy came out of nowhere in the dive and joined our group. Which means he meandered away from his dive guide and got lost. He stayed with us for awhile, ran into me once, hard, and then ran into ...