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Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel L'Archipel Praslin Island
We stayed here for the second week of our honeymoon, the first week spent on safari and this was just the rest and relaxation we needed...
Beautiful setting and fantastic friendly staff...the food was great after reading the previous review about the creaole buffet was slightly hesitant, but needn't have been it was fantastic, made even better by a table on the beach!
The beach was amazing and the sea crystal clear and warm, good for snorkelling too...!
Lots of honeymooners which created a very romantic atmosphere, altogether we had a great time and a lovely week....
Elegant Chill Out
We spent the first week of our honeymoon unwinding here. Elegant and smart rooms, with verandahs overlooking the peaceful private beach. The pool is quiet (hooray, no kids!) and the whole place so tranquil. All meals are so relaxed and the service good - our blood pressure halved at L'Archipel. Highly recommended.
Bad food, expect to pay a lot for everthing
We have just returned from our honeymoon at L'Archipel (June 06)
The Hotel is in a beautiful setting on a lovely beach on the Island of Praslin. The Buildings, grounds and accommodation are well maintained, and the accommodation is comfortable. (Note: very firm beds)
However the overall experience of the hotel is disappointing. We felt ripped off when staying there. Everything that you will want to do will cost you extra, and the prices are very high.
The half board meal was disappointing, with lots of raw onion, and similar dishes on most nights. A la carte options are expensive additions eg. grilled prawns are 22 euros extra.
Drinks are particularly extortionate. The cheapest bottle of wine is 38 Euros, and 750ml of water is 3 euro.
There are no real options for eating and drinking away from the hotel. Although if you cycle to the village of bai st anne you can buy wine at about £5 per bottle in the supermarket. (note bike rental is extra)
It is a real shame that the hotel is exploiting their captive customers, as the islands and the location is excellent.
Excursions are a must, and I would recommend snorkeling at Sister Island, and the birds at cousin island. Valee de mai is also worth a trip. There has been significant coral bleaching on the islands, and it was sad to see that nothing was being done to educate tourists, or protect the remaining reef. It was common to see tourists standing on the coral to take photos of each other!
Great hotel - bad food
We went for our honeymoon and it was so perfect and idyllic. the rooms are lovely, the walkways filled with beautiful scented plants, lovely service.
My only complaint is the food was very average and far worse than one might expect. Breakfast was lovely and the lunch fare good too but dinner consisted of several nights of buffet, pretty indedible soups and average mains considering i would of thought fresh fish was abundant. They served with such flair (silver trays etc) we have expected more.
A real gem!
This is a truly excellent hotel - a real gem. It sets the standard for how a first class hotel should be run. Such is the comfort, ambience, service and hospitality at L'Archipel, it is hard to imagine better value for money anywhere else in the Seychelles. Attention to detail, friendly, helpful and polite staff who make you feel you are an honoured and special guest, impeccable service, spacious quality accommodation and a stunning setting - we couldn't envisage a better place to spend a quiet relaxing holiday in a cosseted environment.
The comfortable and roomy guest chalets are strategically located at various levels amongst the colourful tropical shrubs and coconut palms in the spacious and immaculately-maintained gardens surrounding the reception/dining/bar/pool complex. Although the hotel brochure boasts a "panoramic ocean view" from each chalet, we had only the merest glimpse of the blue waters from ours (No. 11). We enjoyed breakfast on our veranda one morning and sitting out in the evenings with a drink from the mini-bar to catch the last of the daylight before getting ready for dinner. You need to be fluent in French or a devotee of BBC World News to enjoy the Sky TV channels!
Like ourselves, many guests stay half-board. Apart from the Casino restaurant, there are no other evening eateries within walking distance. The restaurant is pleasantly laid out and the place settings, service and food presentation of a high standard. The half board fare, while presentable, tends towards the bland, particularly the twice-weekly Creole buffet. The hotel brochure's references to "fine cuisine" and "some of the finest food in the Seychelles" presumably means the à la carte menu. Half-boarders can select dishes from the à la carte menu for an appropriate supplement. In keeping with Seychelles prices, wine starts at around £25 a bottle.
Breakfast at L'Archipel in the beach-front restaurant is a memorable part of the Seychelles experience. The palm-fringed view across the blue waters of the bay while enjoying tropical fruits, croissants or a cooked breakfast of your choice is a great way to start your day. How you choose to work it off is another matter! Relaxing on the loungers overlooking the white sands of the private beach, swimming or snorkelling (gear and beach towels provided free), having a dip in the wonderfully-located pool, working out in the weights room (a treadmill and rower might transform it into a worthwhile gym!) are just a few of the options. We enjoyed taking the canoe out although disappointingly the promise of free windsurfing didn't materialise as the sole sailboard wasn't suitable for novices like us. The hotel offers its own competitively-priced boat excursions to popular neighbouring islands such as La Digue, Curieuse, Grande Soeur and Aride as well as catering for the fishing fraternity.
Three minutes' walk from the hotel gate brings you onto the Anse Volbert or Cote d'Or, a long expanse of perfect beach stretching almost as far as the eye can see. About half an hour's walk along the beach lies a small village with a provisions store, bank and some boutique/souvenir shops, the best being "Treasure Island" where, unlike the shop opposite the store, you're not watched as if you were known shoplifters! There are several hotels and eateries along the length of the beach where you can stop for a drink or a snack. There are also a couple of diving schools. Tourists are generally expected to pay in Euros rather than US Dollars or Sterling although if you're from the UK, also take pound notes to change into Seychelles Rupees for taxis, souvenirs and some of the bars and restaurants. We highly recommend the fish curry at Les Rocheurs restaurant for a special night out. Credit/debit cards are also generally accepted.
One final tip. At Mahe airport on your way home, relax in the café and defer going through to the departure lounge until as late as possible - it's hell in there and the small duty-free is a rip off.
Fantastic service in a beautiful setting
We have just returned from a 12 night honeymoon at l'archipel.
It was truly magical and I would highly recommend it. Don't even think about going there if you are not in a couple as you will feel sorely out of place.
The hotel is set on a white powder sand beach at the end of a sweeping bay. Rocks 100 yards down the beach prevent other people walking down the beach to the hotel so it really is private. The sea is warm and calm.
Snorkelling is a bit disappointing - visibility variable - but there were plenty of fish. The hotel runs twice daily boat trips out to some rocks where there is a bit more to see.
The level of service is outstanding but unobtrusive. Tipping is not expected but you find yourself wanting to!
The hotel rooms are spacious and comfortable. Sheets and towels are changed daily.
The food is very good. We were right not to book half board as this is a set meal with limited choices and supplements charged to eat off the excellent a la carte menu. You can still choose the set meal when you are there - but i didn't want soup, starter, main, desert and coffee every night so it would have been a waste of money.
- take some foreign currency (including small denomination dollars or euros for tips) although all hotel bills need to be settled on credit.
- be prepared for the cost of living. The cheapest bottle of wine at dinner is 28 euros. 750ml of water is 2.5 euros in the hotel and 1.75 euros in the shops. On that note, we hired a car (65-70 euros a day) - definitely worth it to look around - but also took a trip to the shops to buy beer and water. Saved the cost of the day's car hire over the holiday in drink alone!
-definitely worth going on an excusion to cousin island (lots of birds and giant tortoises but MUST take mosquito repellent). The rep will try and sell hers but the ones organised from the boathouse on the hotel beach by Pierre and Rita are MUCH better. Also highly recommended is the trip to sister island.
- finally, don't sit in the sand by the water's edge reading - got savaged by sand flies but only worked this out on the last day!
I would definitely go back.
Couldn't agree more with the other reviews. My wife and I spent 10 nights in August at L'Archipel on honeymoon and loved every minute. The rooms, the restaurant, the infinity-edge pool and the beach (wow!) are all amazing. And the staff can't do enough for you, but in a really unintrusive way.
Breakfast is a spread of breads, fruit, yoghurt, cereal, juice and a fry-up if you're feeling particularly hungry! Dependent on your preference, your table is either under cover looking out across the bay or actually on the beach.
Lunch and dinner are equally good. My wife is vegetarian and we weren't sure how she would fare. We shouldn't have worried. The menu has a few vegetarian items on it, and once these were exhausted the kitchen insisted on preparing her a unique three course meal every night. Talk about spoiled! And twice a week there is a creole banquet, with live music.
A few recommendations (in no particular order):
- The hotel hires bikes. This is a great way to get around.
- Cayaks are available on the beach. A trip out into the bay gives you some great views back towards the hotel.
- The snorkelling at St Pierre is really good. (The hotel does twice daily free excursions to another group of rocks aswell).
- La Digue makes a great day trip. Anse Source D'Argent is stunning. And cycling around the island is great fun.
- Take some cash (euros or dollars are best). Cannot stress this enough!
- If you're into diving, White Tip divers were excellent.
We arrived at L'Archipel from Le Meridien Fisherman's Cove on Mahe so it had a lot to live up to! The worst thing about this hotel is some of the service and the staff - they appear to belong to another era! They tell you what to do and how to do it - no - we are on holiday and we will do what we want when we want! The restaurant service is hilarious - especially the serving of soup and the synchrinosed removal of domes from the main dishes not to mention the "fancy biscuits".
The food is not the best feature - breakfast is good and the drinks - especially the orange juice my teenage daughter advises - are excellent but the table d'hotel leaves a lot to be desired as do the themed buffets - the only rason we ate in the restaurant regularly was that there are few places nearby that are easy to reach in the evening - but do have lunch at Bon Bon Plume and skip dinner - we did!
The accommodation and setting more than make up for the over the top service and food. The rooms and especially the views are amazing - our screen saver is still a sunset photo taken from our verandah at L'Archipel and we all sigh when we see it. The beach and pool are great and do hire a car and see the rest of the island.
Can't recommend this place highly enough!!!
My husband and I just got back from a 6 night stay in L'Archipel in Praslin. This hotel is simply amazing for a variety of reasons:-
* THE BEACH! Wow! it's lovely and you can walk around to the truly stunning Cote D'or for a long saunter - I have never seen a place like it!
* The service is excellent but never invasive. In particular the restaurant staff here are incredibly friendly and always smiling!
* The rooms are a good size and many have lovely locations - we were up on the hill overlooking the beach (room number 4)
* The food - fantastic food, half board is a good option. Lunch and breakfast are great because you can sit at the tables on the beach - great view
Also, take advantage of an excursion to La Digue - truly a unique experience.
We came from Sunset Beach in Mahe, where we had previosly stayed for 4 nights. In hindsight I think I would have spent the whole time in L'Archipel. There is no better, more beautiful place to relax and enjoy all the island has to offer.
The only criticism I can think of (and this is a stretch!) - it can be hard to get ameneties from the shop because they will only open it when there are a few people behind reception.
But if you are considering it - please go!!! It's a dream. And no, they didn't pay me to say this!! (actually, quite the reverse, but it was worth it).
Beautiful tropical paradise
We unexpectedly stayed here on our honeymoon in 2002. We'd booked at La Reserve [see end] - but unfortunately a storm had caused a palm tree to fall on the room we were due to stay in. We were really annoyed that we hadn't been told in advance and begrudgingly accepted L'Archipel as long as we could swap later on.
Well L'Archipel was wonderful: right at the end a 10km long empty white coral sand beach. Lush landscaped hillside gardens with meandering paths leading to natural palm and fig trees up to the shore line. A small cosy and well serviced restaurant (ok the prices reflect that, but it's still value for money). If you're a good swimmer (or paddler) you can follow the rocks round the corner to an [even more private] secluded beach. When snorkelling off the beach we saw big shoals of fish, coloured fish, turtles & baby sharks. At dinner we often had colourfull flying visitors trying to peck a crumb or two.
The whole atmosphere was ultra laid back, quiet but without the excess of 4 star luxury resorts. We stayed in an individual bungalow which was simple, yet elegant and homely. Nothing like those Vegas luxury rooms, just simple tiling, wooden craft furniture with a nice roomy bathroom.
Tip - Borrow the bikes from the hotel and take a trip up the hill to the Coco de Mer forest. Hard work so take plenty of water - but well worth it. [Take a taxi if you're unfit!]
Nearby, there is a small village shop (selling coke, water and locally made crisps), and a single cafe shack where you can have whatever is on the menu that day. We had a choice of chiken bone curry or chiken bone curry :-) It was really tasty - though. Both are in opposite directions and about 20-30 minutes bike ride past natural palm forests.
I can safely say Praslin is a get away from it destination - unspoilt by development. We did find some other hotel along the 10km shore, but they're so low key you don't know they're there until you pass them.
We went to see La Reserve and frankly decided L'Archipel was better by far - in fact what we'd expected La Reserve to be like. La Reseve was flat, mainly grass with a couple of palm trees planted around - in fact we were glad the bunglaow was sqaushed - they were semi's (or duplexes) with a connecting door that let you hear everything from next door! Not a good idea on the honeymoon :-)
TripAdvisor Reviews Hotel L'Archipel Praslin Island
Travel Blogs from Praslin Island
... island and requires negotiating some steep curvy roads. Upon arrival we parked and were encountered by a few guides offering their services. We purchased our ticket and hired a local guide named Shawn. He explained that the trees may have been around before the islands were formed 66,000,000 years ago. He said that is was recently discovered that the male tree pollen is carried to a female tree by geckos. We did see geckos on the male trees stamens.
... entertaining nuisance. After sharing breakfast, we made it to the dive shop and were happy to hear conditions were favorable to head to Marianne Island. We had to abort our trip there on Sunday. Seven divers including us headed off. It was a bit choppy but we were finally successful.
The island has really interesting granite spires which continue underwater which make for a magical swim. There was a lot ...
... After a short boat ride to Praslin our taxi was waiting to take us to the airport. Since we were early, Robert offered to bring us to the end of the island before taking us to the airport. We also picked up his wife and dropped her off in that area. He took his time and is was better to be in his air conditioned car instead of at the ...
... fish (first time) and a few others I must identify. The second dive was at Albatross and now my octopus was losing tiny bubbles at first but then it just decided to empty my tank at an alarming rate as I was going down. I freaked out, and headed back up while I continued to try and stop it. No way was I going to dive and have this stress during my dive. I had Andrea (dive master) to help me but when the air continued to ...
... on a long wurtle dug out some hatchlings that were due to emerge, and they brought them back to base in a bucket. The hatchlings normally emerge at night, so at 6.00pm we took the bucket down to the beach to release them, but they were all asleep! They were soooo cute. We had to try to wake them up by rubbing their tummies and stroking their heads, and if you held them under their shell they would grip your fingers with their little flippers! ...