July 11, 2018
Hotel Review: Raffles Seychelles Partial Ocean View Villa
After a hit or miss experience at the Le Meridien hotel on Mahe island, I took the one hour ferry to Praslin island. Praslin is much smaller than Mahe but it’s arguably even more beautiful. I had contacted Raffles in advance to book a transfer from the pier to the hotel for 30 Euros. It turns out they didn’t have a hotel driver available, so they sent a taxi driver to pick me up instead. It took a while to find him since he wasn’t waiting with all the other drivers with my name held up. He was hanging out by his car. Anyhow, here’s how the hotel was-
The Raffles hotel on Praslin is an all villa property. There are no standard rooms. I booked the Garden View villa which came with daily breakfast and was the cheapest room they had.
I was greeted and walked over to the check-in area right as I got out of the taxi. Check-in at this hotel is this central area with desks. There’s no single counter to wait at which I thought was really cool. The agent already new my name before I said anything and kindly upgraded me to Partial Ocean View villa number 186. I was there at the end of June, which is still low season on Praslin, so I imagine they had enough extra villas available to swing an upgrade 🙂 The whole check-in process was brilliantly handled. They even gave me a cold towel to wipe my hands and a welcome drink!
Hands down the coolest part about the villa was the outdoor area. This space is entirely for the villa. I had my own pool overlooking the mountain and ocean, I had an outdoor couch, a table, and two lawn chairs to sunbathe. The hotel has a beautiful pool as well for common use, but there’s really no point when you have your own private pool am I right?
I had lunch by my villa’s pool. This was such a cool experience and the first time I stayed in a villa like this!
The interior is just as beautiful as the exterior. This is the bedroom right as you walk in from the outdoor deck.
The room came with these welcome amenities and a handwritten card welcoming me to Raffles. (That cake tasted amazing btw).
The work desk is across and to the right of the bed.
The room comes with complimentary TWG tea. I’m a big tea drinker and TWG is actually my favorite tea brand. It’s very hard to find it in the US as it’s imported from Singapore so I was thrilled to see it in my room!
The bathroom had electric blinds-great for when you want a break from the view and want your privacy.
The bathroom has an indoor shower (not pictured) as well as an outdoor shower (pictured). I’m not sure why you would need an outdoor shower as it’s exposed to bugs and such, but it was an option.
The villa was very comfortable and I had difficulty getting myself to leave to visit other parts of the property. This was the view when I walked out of the bedroom to watch the sunrise.
There’s a couple sit down restaurants, a pool bar restaurant, a breakfast buffet area, and of course room service. I mention room service because ordering food and dining on your private outdoor patio was wonderful. Pictured above is the casual dining area by the pool.
I found all the dining locations I tried used high quality fresh ingredients. This is the fruit salad with chicken and ice tea (they make their own ice tea here).
There was a decent spread of options at the breakfast buffet. Again, everything was high quality and fresh. They could benefit by adding a few more choices. Everything tasted great though. Here’s a small selection of what’s avaiable-
Made to order stir-fry or soba soup and dumplings.
Made to order pancakes and crepes.
The gym was decent. I’d say it was slightly above average by hotel standards. About half of it was dedicated to cardio machines.
The other half was a combination of free weights, benches, and weight machines. There was no bench press or squat rack.
SPA & Pool
There’s a good sized outdoor pool but again, there’s not much point in using the pool since every villa has a private pool. The SPA itself was great though. I got a Raffles massage, which I guess is something like a Swedish massage. It was excellent but expensive.
The room had Asprey soaps which I think are very nice. It also came with complimentary bottles of water, a toothbrush, mouthwash, a comb, dental kit, lotion, etc. The Wi-Fi speed was good but the connection wasn’t available everywhere. It worked in areas like the villa, the restaurants, and the pool. But it didn’t work in hallways, at the SPA, or the small roads connecting the various buildings. I think internet on the Seychelles in general is an issue.
Service was generally very good. The vast majority of the employees were helpful, accommodating, and friendly. There were a few forgettable interactions but it was positive overall.
Recognition of Elite Status: 5/5
Room Comfort: 5/5
Bed Comfort: 5/5
Wi-Fi & Power Outlets: 3.5/5
Cumulative Rating: 8.7/10
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay. The villa was unbelievably comfortable and just gorgeous. I could step onto my balcony and enjoy all the trees, the ocean, and the birds around me. And having a private pool was so convenient and enjoyable as well. This was a great hotel to visit. The only thing they really need to improve is the distribution of the Wi-Fi.