After planing my holiday in Jan/12 to visit Mauritius in Jul/12, I decided to also visit the Seychelles being only a 2.5 hour direct flight north of Mauritius, after my long flight from Sydney Australia to Mauritius via Reunion on the 24/07/12 & spending only 3 days in Mauritius. I arrived in the Seychelles on the 27/07/12 for 7 nights, after clearing customs at Seychelles International Airport & greeted by a local Taxi driver [arranged by the owners at the Panorama Guesthouse], the drive from the airport took approximately 30min's & the distance around 15km, arrival at the guesthouse at 8:45pm. Due the darkness it was differcult to give a opinion on the location, on arrival I'm greeted by Mary the owner & offererd a complementary drink [soft drink], while talking to Mary she insisted on sorting out the paper work i.e checking my passport no: & paying my balance in full, I paid 65.00 Euro per night with the 15% tax on top, I felt a little alarmed why the payment had to be made when I had just arrived? maybe the owners had some bad experience with past guests refusing to pay! I'm not really sure & didn't bother to ask. I had originally booked the accommodation via the internet in Jan/12 & paid 2 night stay deposit. I was also offererd the return taxi transfer for 60.00 Euro when booking my stay, I feel it's better to just pay your own way once you arrive at the airport & save some money, for example the taxi fares from Victoria to the Airport is 300.00 SCR [rupee] & a little over double 300.00 rupees would be cheaper that paying 30.00 Euro? Back to my arrival at the guesthouse & after chatting to Mary & her husband Bobby for a short while I'm shown to my room [no: 10] & when I entererd the room I immediately felt disappointed with the room, Mary explained how the shower in the bathroom worked & explained how to use the safe in the wardrobe, also explaining the breakfast times between 07:30am to 09:30am. After Mary had left & I'm taking a look around the room & felt like I had been short-changed or ripped off for 74.75 Euro with the tax added it's certainly not worth that kind of money each night! The room was very small, dated & basic, a small fridge, a wardrobe, 2 small bedside set of draws & a small mirror shelve in the room, & a electric fan mounted on the wall, the bathroom was very small & dated, hot & cold water when using the shower, the small bathroom wash basin had no hot water, the toliet system was very annoying when flushing & many more flushes to complete the task! no good views from the room, no small table & chair in the room & no tea or coffee facilities in the room. During my first night I found it differcult to get comfortable due to the bed being to short [me 6"1 tall], traffic noise with loud music rushing by! the electric fan was helpful & cooler also with the windows open with the night air, windows open are great if you don't made the insects calling in at all hours! On a positive note the breakfast selection was good & presentation inviting. Firmly told no smoking in any of the rooms & I'm a smoker & totally agree with this policy! & only smoke in the designated area's. I have been lucky enough to have visited 32 countries & this is one of the most basic rooms I have ever stayed in. Of course if you choose to purchase some small grocery items & take them back to your room there is no where in the room to sit around a small table & the only option is sit on your bed! During my 7 day stay I was only given one small cake of soap & thank god I purchase my own soap while travelling, the shower curtain pole continiously fell off the wall while showering, the room was cleaned each day with a clean towel. I work in the Disability field back in Sydney Australia, & this guesthouse is not Disability freindly or able to cater for guests in wheelchairs especially with the small rooms & the location & environment. The local bus stop is only 2 min's from the guesthouse & only SCR 5.00 each way into the Capital of the Seychelles Victoria, the bus ride takes between 20 to 30 min's depending on the traffic, take note the trip into town can be a little scary with the fast bus drivers & steep bending roads, this is also a great way in meeting the locals on the bus & starting up a conversation. During my stay at the guesthouse I asked Mary [the owner] what price would I expect to pay for a Taxi driver for a full day, she quoted 100 to 150.00 Euro with the Taxi Drivers, a good tip for all travellers I managed to speak to many of the local Taxi drivers in Victoria & managed to agree on a fare for 80.00 Euro for the entire day exploring the beautiful attractions around the main Island of Mahe, the name of the Taxi driver is GUY from REEF TOURS, the driver worked in a professional manner & was happy to explain the best places & it's history, he didn't rush & never gave the impression he only wanted the cash like most other taxi drivers I've come accross in the past! I have to make a point on the very unpleasent odours close to the Beau Vallon Beach Road with garbage bins over filled & rotting food, appears not to be many garbage bins around! Laundry for the guests at the guesthouse is charged at 1.00 Euro per item [quite expensive], many tourists prefer to wash their own laundry & this could be a option for the guesthouse to consider for their guests? There is also a comfy lounge area close to the breakfast area & I wasn't really sure if this was for guests to sit & relax or only for the owners & their friends & family, differcult at times to make conversation with the owners in the lounge area especially when they were very focussed on watching the olympic games. The local Restaurants only took a few minutes to walk to & I always prefer to re-vist the La Fontaine Restaurant, a great selection & choice with a good friendly service, good prices & very relaxing, great pizza & good menu for all tastes & budget. During my entire 7 day stay in the Seychelles & only staying on the main Island of Mahe I found plenty of interesting places to visit i.e National Botanical Gardens, Natural History & Museum, National Museum of History, Kenwyn House, the local market & chuches & gift shops, if your feeling a little stressed from the slow pace or the heat then I can recommend a good place to visit for a relaxing massage, I visited twice & only paid SCR 275.00 for one hour, excellent valve & totally relaxing, the business location is a 10 min's walk from the local market at the Health Centre [Dr Chetty Clinic] ask any local & they will head you in the right direction to relax. During my time sightseeing around Victoria I mostly eat at The Pirates Arms & this appears to be the place to eat with mostly overseas visitors, good prices & choice, clean & a friendly service. A word of warning to all tourists & visitors be very careful when paying for anything using your Credit Card make sure your witness the transaction, I found the process in using my C/Card frustrating especially when some shops or restaurants are not able to complete the C/Card transactions due to their dated electronic merchine, or some shops may offer to use the old system in sliding your C/Card details, & strongly advice you keep your eyes on your card at all times! Another Interesting note when I had booked my flight from Mauritius to the Seychelles in Jan/12 & booked with Air Seychelles through the internet I was very surprised when checking in at Mauritius airport & informed my flight was with Etihad Airways, apparently Air seychelles is taken over by Etihad! I departed from Panorama Guesthouse on the 03/08/12 & headed back to the airport with my pre-paid taxi driver & returning back to Mauritius for 6 days before returning back to Australia, when I checked in at Seychelles airport I'm informed that my flight is delayed for 6.5 hours due to some problems with the Etihad flight from Abu Dhabi to the Seychelles....... That's life! & a entire day wasted at the airport. Would I ever wish to re-visit the Seychelles in the future? May be next time I would use the Seychelles has a stopover for a holiday on my way to Europe, after my long flight from Sydney to Mauritius via Reunion with Air Austral being 12 hrs & then the 2.5 hour flight from Mauritius to the Seychelles it was a long flight just for a 17 day holiday from SYDNEY-REUNION-MAURITIUS-SEYCHELLES-MAURITIUS-SYDNEY...... would I advice any of my friends to stay at the Panorama Guesthouse NO is the answer, unless you like VERY basic dated & small room!
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