Hotel check: Raffles

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Background

Raffles Hotels & Resorts is an international luxury group with properties in Singapore, Beijing, Hainan, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Manila, Paris, Dubai and Mecca. The Raffles on Praslin opened in February 2011.

Where is it?

On the north-east tip of the second-largest island in the Seychelles. Praslin is a 45-minute ferry ride or 15-minute flight from Mahe. The hotel is approximately 20 minutes from Praslin Island Airport and is situated on a mountain slope, looking down on the ocean and Curieuse Island.

Rooms

The hotel has 86 one and two-bedroom villas and suites, with no expense spared in offering up the ultimate luxury beach resort accommodation. With the smallest measuring 125m2, space is not an issue, with the units spread out across the mountain slope with elevated views higher up and easier beach and pool access lower down. Each villa comes with a private plunge pool, balcony, outdoor pavilion and round-the-clock butler. Our one-bedroom suite consisted of a TV lounge looking on to the deck and pool, a dining room (with kitchenette and separate butler’s entrance), master bedroom, walk-in closet and large en-suite bathroom (inside and outside showers). The views were breathtaking and it was tempting just to remain on the deck or in the plunge pool. In terms of the detail: large flat-screen TVs in both the lounge and bedroom; DVD player; Nespresso coffee machine; plenty of bottled water; king-size bed; vanity desk; safe; beach bag; stocked mini-bar and bedside light console. Both the bath and master bedroom enjoyed ocean views, and there’s just no substitute for waking up with a turquoise blue expanse of water to greet you.

Restaurants & Bars

We spent our time at Losean Restaurant, which is the buffet breakfast and dinner venue offering up Mediterranean cuisine. Curieuse Seafood Restaurant has an à la carte menu, whilst the Pool Café and Bar offers relaxed poolside dining. The breakfast offering at Losean was extensive, with everything from eggs to sausages, to bacon, pancakes, potatoes, cold meats, cheeses, a huge selection of inviting pastries, and some Mediterranean dishes, whilst the coffee was great. We ended up back at Losean for dinner, after discovering that Curieuse Restaurant was closed on a Sunday. But that was no tragedy, as we tucked into a Mediterranean buffet – dishes such as lamb tagine, seafood paella, and a delicious potato and onion mix. All of this after a seafood salad starter and a couple of glasses of the 2011 Vergelegen Sauvignon Blanc, and followed by cheese cake with kiwi fruit. Indulgent? Absolutely.

Meeting & Conferencing Facilities

The hotel has the Liberi Boardroom, the spacious Curieuse Private Room and the Liberi Terrace for relaxed meetings. Curieuse and Losean restaurants can also do lunches or gala dinners, while Danzil Lounge and Takamaka Terrace are perfect for cocktail receptions. The hotel’s business lounge has iPads, Macs, laptops, a printer, scanner, fax and broadband Internet, whilst there’s complimentary Wi-Fi in all the rooms.

Leisure

The hotel pool is apparently the largest in the Seychelles, and the nearby desk offers everything from ping pong to diving, fishing, snorkeling and charter boat options. If you’re after some golf, Praslin has the only 18-hole golf course in the Seychelles, 15 minutes away. Arguably the highlight is the hotel’s spa, which has 13 treatment rooms set amongst rock formations, with a lounge and tea room overlooking the ocean, with steam, sauna and whirlpool. There’s also a 24-hour gym and kids club. The beach itself was a little windy, but is still nicely secluded with attendants on hand with complimentary water. Alternatively, Anse Lazio (acclaimed as one of top five beaches in world) is a five-minute drive away, as is the Vallee de Mai, Praslin’s UNESCO world heritage site, featuring the rare Black Parrot and the Coco de Mer palm. Otherwise, La Digue is the recommended ‘island hop’ – a 20-minute ferry ride away with more spectacular beaches and bicycles with which to explore the island.

Verdict

The ultimate in beach resort luxury.

Dylan Rogers

Contact

Address: Anse Takamaka
Tel:
+248 429 6000
Email:
praslin@raffles.com
Web: www.raffles.com