Destinations you may want to consider flying to while you're in Dubai. Brilliant short break destinations with comfortable flight durations and itineraries you can COPY. So the hard research has been done for you.
Anse Soleil Café
This is very near the Four Seasons and the café itself is not wildly easy to find, but keep following the sign boards and asking, people are very friendly and helpful in the Seychelles. But beware this is a very popular beachside café, go swimming in the picture postcard bay and stroll right up the steps for lunch in your swimming things, but don’t leave it too late as there will be a long queue and there is absolutely no booking or reservation system here. It may not sound appetizing but the fried octopus is fabulous! (Curries are good here too) Parking is not easy but definitely possible.
This café/restaurant is further South along the Coast towards TakaMaka and is quieter than Anse Soleil but has an equally beautiful beach /cove to swim in, it also has a basic shower facility too. There is usually only buffet, (Creole food) no a la carte. Great for privacy and peace.
This is actually on the Eastern side of Mahe (so the other side) but again definitely worth it, run by a German proprietor, the eclectic food is good and it overlooks the sea. We went for dinner one night and were not disappointed. It can get quite busy. Kas Creole is after Taka Maka opposite a petrol pump but the restaurant is in the back by the sea. Service was great too.
An elegant open air restaurant, about 10 minutes drive from Le Meridien, it has a French feel about it, is across the road from the sea, but personally I found it a bit too hot even in the evening although the food was fine.
The Four Seasons Hotel is set in 77 hectares of land on the South Coast of Mahe in the Seychelles and was opened in 2009. The accommodation comprises a variety of villa rooms, ranging from one right up to eight room suite villas set into the hilltop (very reminiscent of the 4 Seasons Koh Samui in Thailand) for large families or groups of friends that may want to stay together.
You can choose between staying in a garden villa or an ocean view villa, buggy seems to be the preferred mode of transport at the resort, but while accommodation is self contained, very private and villa based, you never feel excluded or not part of what’s going on, it’s not a stuffy resort at all.
The bathrooms all have private outdoor showers. The decking area has an infinity pool and it’s great to see lavish use of natural materials that still feel and look luxurious. The natural materials theme continues throughout the hotel and my favourite was the enormous (could seat around 20 ) irregular shaped table in the poolside restaurant that was made out of a whole local Breadfruit tree trunk !
As well as the informal dining area the hotel has a swanky Sushi bar restaurant called Zez, that wouldn’t look out of place in New York.
The hotel Spa isn’t merely a nod in the direction of wellness, from the moment you enter the grown up reception area the atmosphere is one of serious health in a very upmarket kind of way, from the breathtaking views of the sea as seen through the floor to ceiling glass windows to the plush designer guild upholstered relaxing sofas to the intricately carved roof of the yoga pavilion. Being a yoga buff I was really pleased they have a resident South Indian yogi who conducts classes twice a day here.
And if Sun Salutations are not your thing, then you can do a Sunset Namaskar on the Spa’s rooftop gallery with a cocktail or mocktail.
The beach is all you’d expect from this area of the Seychelles and snorkeling masks and flippers are free.
It’s not a cheap hotel but if you can afford to even spend a couple of nights here, it’s worth it and of course memories of your stay here will be priceless.
Compare the 4 Seasons Hotel with the newly branded Hilton Labriz resort on Silhouette Island in next weeks post on DoinDubai.com
UPDATED 10 May 2011
Part 1 – Southern Mahe
The Seychelles are a very convenient 4 hour direct flight away from Dubai so make for a perfect short break destination. We’ve just returned from our third trip to the Seychelles from Dubai (this time was a 4 night Easter break with teenage kids)
Mahe the main island is tropical, lush and green with a variety of exotic flowers, plants and trees. The beaches really are stunning but in my view the best ones are on the Southern part of Mahe (about 25 minutes from the airport)
If you can afford it there is only one place I would recommend you stay at in Southern Mahe and that is the luxurious 5 star Four Seasons Hotel. You may never want to leave and perhaps could be forgiven for not exploring other islands if you stayed here.
A cheaper alternative if you want to be in the same area is Le Meridien Barbarons, but while the location of this hotel and it’s setting are both ideal, it’s rooms and general upkeep really need upgrading, but if you don’t spend too much time in your rooms, rent a car and go exploring, this hotel is fine.
A fabulous place to eat lunch is the Anse Soleil Café in Anse Soleil, very close to the Four Seasons Hotel, Batista Villas has a similar arrangement and we did both in one long morning of swimming.
If you want to eat dinner out of your hotel then I suggest either Chez Plume, elegant but not too expensive or the very good Kas Creole in Anse Royale, a longer drive away but worth it. The Anchor Café is nearer and I’ve been told by a local friend it has great fish and chips.
Eating and Drinking out is not cheap in the Seychelles and be warned it isn’t a place for serious foodies or a clubbing destination either.
Next week’s post explores the nearby islands of Silhouette (Hilton Labriz Resort) and Praslin, famous for it’s Coco De Mer plantation.
A welcome and constructive response from the Manager of Le Meridien Barbarons who read the post.
Greetings from sunny Seychelles, I have reviewed the web site and your reviews and I would like to thank you for pointing out some of the challenges with the products physical conditions , please rest assured that we are working to better enhance the product and experience and we have projects in our pipeline to address these issues , please make sure that next time you visit the Seychelles you will find major improvements
Again thank you for your valuable feedback and support
* Please note that the Telephone numbers in Seychelles will be changing to seven digits as of 04th of May 2011. Kindly note our new Telephone numbers below.
Complex Director of Sales & Marketing
LE MERIDIEN FISHERMAN’S COVE / LE MERIDIEN BARBARONS
T +248 4677 308 / 4673322 M +248 719754 F +248 4620 901
LE MERIDIEN SEYCHELLES
PO BOX 35, BEL OMBRE, VICTORIA, MAHE, SEYCHELLES S 4° 36’ E 55° 25’