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“Third visit and our last” 3 of 5 stars
Review of La Reserve Hotel

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La Reserve Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Anse Petite Cour, Anse Volbert, Praslin Island Pri, Seychelles   |  
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Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Anse Volbert
Whitstable, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Third visit and our last”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2011

We returned to La Reserve this September having honeymooned there in 1993 and visited again in 2003. The first two visits were brilliant and when we organised this trip we made sure we could go to La Reserve again – a Big Mistake. We first went to Denis Island and then Bird and enjoyed both immensely.
On arrival at La Reserve we were pleased that our request for one of the ‘old’ colonial rooms to the right side of the bar area had been granted. However we were unaware of the ‘rebuild’ work after the tsumani. As such we were virtually alongside the newly extended bar and were obliged to have our curtains permanently drawn; even the bathroom windows were not glazed. In addition the individual ‘hut’ accommodation for guests had been replaced with blocks of 4 ‘maisonettes’ and the whole layout was so different and ‘International’.

The room was very clean, nicely appointed with a large ensuite bathroom. The only mistake was that the overhead fan was not over the bed so air con was necessary but was to one side of bed freezing that side. There were flower heads all over the bed, furnishings, coffee table, even the bidet – 33 in all. We soon found that all new arrivals were similarly treated which explained why there were very few flowers anywhere on the resort – just green bushes. Leave the complex and there were hibiscus flowers everywhere, of every hue – the tropical gardens we were expecting – lie by the pool and there were only 2 or 3 in sight anywhere. In the restaurant area there were even flower heads alongside the porridge?!

When we got to the room paperwork informed us there were two meal sittings for dinner 1930hrs or 2030hrs. We decided to go to the later one. We went over to the bar at 2010hrs for a drink before dinner and saw that the jetty restaurant was very full and that there was just one other couple waiting in the bar area. By 2045hrs no-one had left the restaurant and the only available space was at its entrance – the main thoroughfare for the waitresses. We asked when the second sitting was starting only to be told there wasn’t one….We asked to speak to the restaurant manager and he said there wasn’t two sittings and to use the table in the ‘busy area’. We refused and luckily at this point a couple left a table at the end of the jetty and we were shown to this. We ordered our meal but service was slow and it was 2130hrs before our main course arrived – beef which had been cooked too quickly and was very stringy. By 2145hrs we were one of only three tables still occupied; us plus one table of four and the couple who had waited in the bar with us. We had finished our main course and there we sat – totally ignored whilst the waitresses laid up the other tables for breakfast. One waitress actually shook a tablecloth over the end of the jetty just behind us. We had to call a waitress away from laying up to serve us the sweet course and to order coffee. The sweet arrived, the coffee did not. By now it was gone 2215hrs and we’d had enough. We walked out. The bar area was almost empty – it usually was we found so we decided to go to our room. We were then chased after with our coffee and the chit to sign for our drinks. We were thoroughly unimpressed by this total lack of customer care – not one of the waitresses ever smiled – indeed we were told by other English that there was a competition amongst them to try and get one to smile….
The food provided was on the whole good but there was a problem with it sometimes arriving tepid, the buffets were better then the table d’hotel, and certainly meant you had your dinner quicker and more of it.
We knew because of the shark attack that snorkelling in the bay was banned but the 30m x 40m area netted off at one end of the beach was a waste of time and we never saw it used.
We renewed contact with the giant tortoises in their pen – 18years in there to our knowledge of course. They all appeared to have eye infections and one could barely walk. Having come from Bird Island where they roam free and are so healthy this was really upsetting. The book on care of Giant Tortoises in the resort Boutique said each should have 10m x 15m of space each with constant access to grass. There were 11 in the pen, no grass and there daily feed usually comprised of the fruit peelings from breakfast. None looked remotely as happy with life as they should be. We intend reporting this situation to those who can rectify it – we spent hours taking grass to them – the only time they showed real enthusiasm for life.
We went to bed that night with the decision we would prefer to go home asap. Having imparted this request to our tour rep the following morning we were approached by Chantelle, the Marketing Manager who had been appraised of our complaints. We talked everything through with her and were later contacted by Mr Pomeroy to meet him in the bar that evening for a drink. Again we went through the farce of the evening meal and the staff attitude – the fact that we all get 15% service added to our bill means staff have no need to put themselves out to be pleasant – trying to get a Good Morning out of some of them was a waste of time. Two members of staff, Colvin – the King of the Omelettes, and the Chinese lad in the bar, were the exception – they made us feel very welcome, always smiled and reminded us of the staff attitude on our previous visits.
Mr Pomeroy offered a complete refund of the costs of our stay at the hotel – which was immediately refused by us as being an excessive offer but we did feel that a generous gesture of goodwill was more than called for and an improvement in staff attitude, primarily in the restaurant.

It didn’t happen, we didn’t go home early for various reasons but the staff attitude remained the same except it was obvious we had been pointed out as Complainers because we were from then on addressed by name at every opportunity – it caused great hilarity amongst the other English. On our last night the waitress even had the cheek to enquire whether the meal was the last one as we were going home the next day weren’t we? The gesture of goodwill was £75 off our bill – not much when you allow for the daily charges for a 4* and the drinks bill, coffee bills etc. We certainly won’t be returning and wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. One British couple who we met on Denis Island had had us rave about La Reserve and they went there before us. They were not impressed either – they went home early, with our apologies for duff information ringing in their ears!

We wanted to fill in the ‘Feedback Questionnaire’ to ensure our comments were noted and were told it would be left in our room when the maid turned the bed down. We laughed – the bed had never been turned down on any night , indeed the decorative pillows were not put back on the bed when it was made up and it was pot luck how many towels you had after the maids visit or how many pillows were on the bed. The Questionnaire proved to be A5 size with 1-5 options of Good to Bad and 2” of space to add further comments. Needless to say we added additional comments to it. A Visitors Book says a hotel is happy for guests to see previous comments – Denis Island has Visitors Books going back for years all available in the lounge area. It also has a lovely ambience in the bar area, very caring staff and the right attitude – La Reserve should learn from there.

We’ve learnt the hard way not to return to somewhere you thought was so good – it changes – La Reserve could now be any International Hotel in any country in the world. Having not checked Trip Advisor before my visit I’ve learnt a good lesson – many of the earlier comments applied to our visit too and it is really classic that Mr Pomeroy writes a comment on 20th September saying staff attitude would be addressed and we had only spoken to him on 19th September with the same grievance. He even commented on the birds – not feeding them bread is in the Guest Information book – and then he sets up a bird table with bread next to the tortoises only a few yards from the restaurant.

We were pleased to leave to go home, only sad that the tortoises were still stuck there.

Room Tip: Make sure it's not next to the bar
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
peterpomeroy, Owner at La Reserve Hotel, responded to this review, October 13, 2011
Very valid points about restaurant service here but I’m afraid the rest are just a bit silly.

I, of course, remember these particular clients very well. For starters they were not happy with the fact that we upgraded the infrastructure of our hotel since it was destroyed by the Tsunami of 2004. We can all see that in the review they are peeved by the rebuild of the hotel and expected it to be the same little chalets that have been here since 1980. What can I say? I am sorry for moving forward and modernizing my establishment when I had the opportunity to do so!

If they had done their research before booking their holiday they would have known that the La Reserve of 1993 and 2003 is completely different in terms of architecture etc but still remains the charming family run hotel that it always has been. The reason that we have floated between number 1 & 3 for hotels on Praslin is because the vast majority of people that stay with us are very pleased with their choice, otherwise we would be at the bottom of the ladder. We are not perfect but we are pretty darn good at what we do just like the majority of reviews would suggest.

This brings me on to the very valid comment in regards to the service in the restaurant.
Yes, we have been experiencing a few issues with the waitresses in the restaurant over this period and we may well receive a couple more poor reviews in regards to the restaurant service. I have addressed this issue and have taken all necessary steps to ensure that this poor level of service does not continue. In regards to Service charge, which by the way is 10% not 15%, I would like to mention that there is certain criteria that staff have to meet to be able to get this. We don’t just hand it out to everyone. The restaurant staff most certainly do not deserve it for the month of September. After many discussions with this department and recruitment of new personnel I am quite sure that we will soon start to see some positive comments about our restaurant once again.

There are two sittings in the restaurant and why the restaurant manager would have told them otherwise simply doesn’t make sense. Unless it was a language/communication issue?? We have 2 sittings for dinner as it facilitates service. When the hotel is full which it has been since the beginning of the year, we have 80/90 guests in house and sometimes they all rush to the restaurant at 7.30pm which of course puts pressure on the kitchen and on the restaurant staff as everyone wants to order and eat at the same time. To slow down the 7.30pm rush we decided to do 2 sittings so that service runs a little smoother for everyone. The issue that we have and everyone who has been to La Reserve knows this, is that everyone wants to sit on the outer edge of the jetty restaurant so they can watch and feed the fish (the water below is flood lit at night). Basically everyone that comes at 7.30 gets first pick of the tables and of course choose the outer edge and the folks coming at 8.30 have to sit in the middle part of the jetty or wait for someone to leave which could be a while. There are, however, enough tables on the jetty to accommodate the whole hotel so I’m not quite sure what the reviewer means by the busy bit.

Now onto my tortoises. They have lived in this very pen for the last 30 years and no one has ever made such a scene about them. They are very well looked after and most certainly do not have eye infections. Tortoises are generally reclusive animals they tend to be very slow. They do not run around their pen with their tails wagging all happy and excited. They are fed daily with bits of fruit and fruit peelings left from breakfast and our gardeners regularly feed them with wild grass found in the mountains. The pen is swept of the droppings daily and their drinking troughs are cleaned regularly. We have had several hatchlings which show they are actively breeding (check our facebook page). They simply would not be able to do this if their environment was not suitable. We have even donated some of the baby tortoises to the local parks authority as we had too many.

When I met this guest at the bar I could clearly see that they didn’t want to be here. They complained about everything you could imagine, even the birds were malnourished. I tried everything in my power to make them have a better stay. From an upgrade to another room to a full refund and all was refused. So when they were leaving I gave them a 50% discount on their extras bill as a kind gesture and this was clearly still not appreciated. I spoke to the staff in regards to the complaints made against them and of course they turned things around as they should have done and now these people think we’re a joke for improving the situation??? What is so cheeky about enquiring whether you were going home the next day, unless you yourself want to see it in a negative way. I don’t mean to be rude or defensive here but our scores and ratings are very important to us and when folks treat us unfairly, it hurts. I always accept when we are wrong but there’s no need to take us for fools when we are trying to make it right.

Moving on to the turndown service, the reviewer mentions that the turndown service was never done but yet it was pot luck how many towels you had after the maids visit (towels are refreshed at turndown if need be) or how many pillows were on the bed. Really?? Why on earth would they remove the pillows from your bed? I can understand that perhaps they forgot to replace a towel but to remove the pillows doesn’t make sense.
They also mention that the windows in the room were not glazed and they had to have the curtains permanently drawn which is not true as they are tinted but of course at night with the lights on you have to draw your curtains.

Our guest feedback form is A4 sized not A5. It is a very good gauge for us to know how well or how bad we are doing. The management of the hotel go through the forms every morning in our briefings so that we can rectify problems very quickly if there are any. It also is a good point of reference for how we distribute our service charge. The idea of a guest comments book is a very good one and I will definitely look into purchasing one to put in our lobby. I know the exact spot for it already.

Lastly, the bird table!! I had this bird table placed 50 metres from the restaurant as a way of encouraging the birds to get used to the idea of being fed at this particular spot. The birds are only a pest a breakfast time because of bread and other pastry products and of course certain clients insist on feeding them despite the signs. I figured if they get used to being fed here they will not disturb the restaurant and it has worked very well. What I do now is I move the bird table 10 metres further away every couple of weeks until eventually the birds will congregate in a suitable area far away from the restaurant. There is not much more I can do here. We live on a tropical island that is full of birds and we all have this problem unless we decide to enclose and air condition the restaurant.

To finish off, you really can’t please all the people all of the time but I know we try our best and sometimes we fail. In this case these folks were upset at everything we tried to do for them. Nothing was good enough. I remember in one of our conversations it was mentioned that all the staff were ganging up on them. Apparently even the gardeners were upset at them and refused to say hello. The gardeners are some of the sweetest old boys I know. Some have been here for 30 years. The story of the flowers in the room went from 23 to 27 now its 33. Quite frankly, as much as they were pleased to go home, and I wouldn’t normally say this, I was equally happy to see them leave. The hotel industry is what I eat, breathe, and sleep. I have the best job in the world and I always treat my customers as King but some people just don’t deserve it.

Thank you all for taking the time to read what is probably my longest response ever, and I look forward to maybe seeing you at La Reserve soon.

Regards,

Peter Pomeroy

Owner/GM
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Athens, Greece
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2011

We stayed in La Reserve 5 nights this September as part of our honeymoon in the Seychelles. Our overall experience was very nice. The hotel is built in a really wonderful location, wherever you look the views are fantastic, if it's the mountain or the beach. We had booked a Superior room but were upgraded to a Deluxe one, which was really nice. The room was big, great bathroom and huge shower, decorated with flowers upon our arrival. We also received welcome drinks and a bottle of sparkling wine.
The bed was big and very comfortable, but the bathtub although nicely made, it was quiet narrow and not large enough for a couple to share a bath in it. Still, it added up on the overall style of the room, with the steps and the nice granite it is made of.
The beach was so beautiful and it was such a shame we couldn't swim, still safety comes first and we appreciated the care of the staff to inform us that even on the day of our arrival a 2.5m shark was spotted swimming around in the bay! Still we had a great time making photos on the beach and relaxing on the sunbeds. The pool is anyway so big and nice with the waterfall that you can enjoy a swim there.
Another top feature of the hotel is the Jetty restaurant, especially if you pick one of the tables at the edge, you see so many fish swimming around, it makes up a bit for the lack of the snorkeling. Breakfast buffet was very good, great variety and the best is that they make you your own omelet with the ingredients you choose. The only problem is that many birds sit near the bread toaster around the tables and this could be a hygiene issue, despite the fact that there is a "Don't feed the birds" sign. Furthermore, whenever the fruit boxes were left open they were soon full of little flies and one time the bread basket was full of ants, but as soon as we told the guy working there he immediately replaced it. The food was generally very good, especially the buffets.
The staff working in the hotel were generally very professional and responded to all our requests. As a minor, I could mention that when I went to ask for the possibility of calling a doctor on a day my husband was feeling really sick (food poisoning maybe?), I didn't get much attention, which made me feel very alone in a far away place, in the case it would have been something serious. Thankfully, he felt better the next day, but I would have felt safer if the receptionist that evening would have showed a little more care or reassurance that we are not alone in the middle of nowhere should we have needed some help. Furthermore, on our check-out we were charged €100 more for a dinner although we were on half-board, but they corrected their mistake when we pointed it out.
We also took one of the massage programs for 2 people one time (around 55euros/person for 1hour), but it wasn't as good as in other hotels we have been. That's mainly cause the massage was offered in our room, but they didn't have massage beds for both of us, so my husband had his massage on the balcony sunbed, which was not the most comfortable option. It would have been better and more correct if they had told us that they can only provide massage bed only for 1 person.
Overall, we totally loved La Reserve and we would definitely go back. It was perfect for relaxation and isolation, but also close enough to the small shops nearby when we needed to do some shopping. Anse Volbert is only 5mins on foot and very nice as well. We saw some other hotels along Anse Volbert but we agreed that La Reserve was much better compared to anything else we saw on Praslin. Having stayed also at Constance Ephelia on Mahe which was 5 stars, we still prefered La Reserve for the more relaxing and personal feeling. We would have given it 5/5 if the staff would have shown a little more "care" in certain occasions.

Room Tip: Choose a deluxe room 1st floor
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
peterpomeroy, Owner at La Reserve Hotel, responded to this review, October 13, 2011
What a nice review. Thank you for keeping it real.

I have taken up the issue of the receptionist not being very caring or reasuring to this lady in regards to her sick husband and it is definitely something we can learn from. I completely understand how someone would feel on a small island in the middle of nowhere if their loved one was ill. It is something that I have spoken to my guys about and hopefully they have a better understanding now and will be able to react better the next time that someone falls ill.

La Reserve does not have a Spa at the moment but we have been planning to build one for a while, hopefully next year this will be a reality. At the moment we use an outside company that offers in room massages. I am sorry that it wasn't up to standard and i will have a word with them. Raffles hotel in collaboration with us has just started to offer our guests preferential rates on their super deluxe spa which quite frankly is amazing and very affordable. We have had some incredible feedback from our clients that have been and they even pick you up from our lobby and bring you back for free. Really is a great service until we have our own.

The Birds are annoying and we are working on a solution to try and feed them in one area so they don't disturb our guests at breakfast. I apologise for the little insects in the fruit and bread basket. All our items on the breakfast buffet have covers on them but sometimes our guests forget to close them and I'm afraid in the tropics there are billions of the little things everywhere. The minute you turn your back....they're there! We do monthly pest control in the hotel. The whole grounds, buildings etc are fumigated to eradicate as many insects as possible but unfortunately we will never be able to get rid of them all.

Thank you once again.

Peter Pomeroy
Owner/Gm
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Oxford
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13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
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9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2011

Firstly I must point out that the holiday was never going to be the holiday we had booked and hoped for due to the very sad and shocking death of the British gentleman killed by a shark. Quite rightly all local beaches had been closed for swimming and snorkeling. Having spent many weeks researching hotels and areas of the Seychelles we decided to book La Reserve as most reviews were very positive and the snorkeling, which is a huge part of our holiday, was highly recommended. With this in mind I will try to be as fair as possible to the hotel as this situation was out of their control.

Firstly I would like to start with the positives as I do feel very strongly that if you are prepared to write a review then it should outline the good as well as the not so good.

The accommodation was very good (room 131) which was clean, well equipped and spacious, with a beautiful view of the sea. The room was serviced every day and the ladies who did this seemed fine, although the topping up of the toiletries was somewhat sporadic, but one phone call and this was remedied.

The position of the hotel was lovely with its own bay and beach which meant that it was very private and peaceful unlike some of the other hotels further along the coast. The gardens were well maintained and tidy and we particularly enjoyed watching the huge tortoises! There was a bus stop just outside the grounds which was very handy to get to the shops or further up the coast if you didnt feel like walking or the weather was bad. It cost 5 rupees per person, one way.....a bargain compared to the taxi prices. I would definitely advise doing this and you feel perfectly safe.

We spent a lot of time walking and cycling as we needed to find other things to do as we couldn't snorkel. There are some lovely walks and the cycling is great.....but beware, if you are heading towards Anse Lazio it is quite hilly but worth it for the panoramic views. We thoroughly enjoyed doing these activities even when it was raining heavily (which it did a lot, unfortunately). There is an extra charge for hiring the bikes - approx £15 per half day, which is not really expensive, but an extra cost which we felt should have been covered within the cost of the holiday (other places we have stayed gave out bikes as part of the holiday). However, this was not a huge problem and we enjoyed the freedom that the bikes gave us.

So now onto the negatives which we feel totally outweighed all the positives above. Service, food and ambience....three huge reasons for booking a particular hotel and holiday.

The greeting on arrival was tepid - the female members of staff were just ok.....not much warmth from them, and we waited quite some time before the welcome drinks arrived. To me first impressions count hugely and this welcome set the tone for the standard of service we were to experience from the female members of staff, particularly in the restaurant. However, the male members of staff (particularly those from Mauritius and Sri Lanka) were excellent....friendly, warm and welcoming.

The restaurant area was tired, outdated and tatty. There was the most revolting yellow, dirty, torn fabric frill that ran around the serving tables, held on by visible drawing pins!!!!!! This was changed mid week to a red frill...same drawing pins used!! Dreadful!! The red cloths that were on the tables were faded and tired looking (but clean I have to say). Two very inexpensive changes could have made a huge difference to the appearance of the restaurant. The lighting was rather harsh...not romantic. On two occasions the lights were turned down as birthday cakes were brought in and the atmosphere looked much more romantic and appealing. The female waitresses were lacking any warmth and generally unwelcoming. The buffet food, thankfully, was good and this was provided three times per week. On the other four nights it was a set menu with two choices for each course. This food was of a very poor standard and mostly served up warm or even cold on two occasions (we sent these back and they still came back tepid). For a hotel that has been awared 4 stars this was totally unacceptable. On one occasion it took 30 minutes for two diet cokes to arrive and 45 minutes for the starter to arrive. The service was incredibly slow and one night I got up and walked out having waited for two hours to be served two courses; soup and then a plate of pasta that had no flavour, sauce or fish (as I was told it would have). Thank god for the 3 nights of buffet food!! We also felt that the restaurant had no ambience or warmth.

There is also the problem of the birds.....these cant be helped, but when you see the breakfast cooks and waitresses watching the birds as they peck at the toast crumbs near the toaster and the spoons that are used for serving the porridge etc, then that really makes you realise that they couldnt care less. I never used their serving spoons and I always picked a plate or bowl that was under a pile of other plates etc. Hygiene is of paramount importance and here it was quite blatantly not.

We went on an excursion, booked through the hotel, and we were totally bitten to death by mosquitos, even through our clothes. In fact I and another 4 people had to withdraw from the walk through the island as the situation was so bad. We spent an hour + waiting on the beach in full sun, for our partners. The minute you went into the shade you were bitten massively. This cost approx £130 for a few hours of hell. Had we booked thru' Masons we would have been informed of the severity of the problem, and told to wear long sleeves and long trousers. In fact I would not have gone on the trip as I had been bitten earlier in the week and reacted badly. The hotel did refund us the cost of the boat, but not the cost of the fee to get to the island. Just take note...there are loads of mosquitos so take cream and repellant as the rooms were not sprayed in the evening.

These problems were brought to the attention of the management through Dorothy, the Masons representative who was very good. Following the evening when I walked out of the restaurant we spoke to Dorothy and she asked us to fill out a complaints form, which we duly did. We were then approached by Chantalle who took us to one side and discussed these issues. She handled the situation very well for which we were thankful. We were given a complimentary drink on our last night and were allowed to stay in our room on the day of departure rather than have to hang around the hotel until 8pm, for which we were grateful.

We went to the Maldives in June this year.....a 4* plus island, so a similar rating to La Reserve. There is absolutely no comparison.....Mr Pomeroy, take some time to go there and learn from those who can offer superb service, high quality food and accommodation, nice ambience and excellent value for money. La Reserve has the potential to be up there with the best as it has a beautiful setting on a lovely island...it simply needs time and money spent on updating the hotel in certain areas and more importantly time and money spent on sending staff on hospitality training courses.

Sadly due to these problems we will not be returning to La Reserve and would not recommend it but it has not put us off returning to the Seychelles. We felt very safe on this island.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
peterpomeroy, Owner at La Reserve Hotel, responded to this review, September 20, 2011
It is very sad for me to read this after having so many positive reviews for so long. However, one has to accept criticism when it is valid and there are some very valid points made by the guest who wrote the review. I will do my best to give feedback on the comments made.

It is very nice to hear that the accommodation and location was much appreciated.

We are told that the ban on snorkeling and swimming on our part of the island will soon be lifted. The hotel has fitted a small exclusion net (40 x 30 meters) at one end of our private beach which is enough to have a dip in but obviously you’re not going to see the amazing marine life normally found in our bay inside a netted area. Important to note here that NOT ALL beaches are closed on Praslin.

Now onto the negatives….the greeting of a guest at arrival is hugely important as it can very well determine how their holiday turns out. Clearly my team at the reception failed here and obviously this guest had a poor start to their holiday.

The poor service in the restaurant from the waitresses, coupled with the poor table d’hote meals and slow service are something that is almost unheard of at La Reserve. I therefore take this very seriously and will not tolerate this sort of service in my establishment. Be assured that I will investigate this fully and ensure that it doesn’t happen again to other guests.

As for the birds…. they are a nuisance, especially at Breakfast! Unfortunately some guests insist on feeding them despite the FOR HYGIENE REASONS DO NOT FEED THE BIRDS signs. We really do try our best to keep them away and I will definitely bring this up in my up coming meeting with the F&B manager. We are working closely with a local Wildlife agency to help us with this issue and the main suggestion was to create a feeding area just off the hotel premises were all the birds will congregate. My worry now is that we are only going to attract more birds!! Unfortunately it is of the things we have to deal with on the island. Some properties have it a lot worse than we do.

Hygiene is of paramount importance to us and to say that it is blatantly not is a tad unfair.

The restaurant area being tatty and outdated is a first for me as it is normally the highlight of the hotel. The vast majority of our guests love the jetty restaurant out on the water as they can watch the marine life below whilst having a meal. I have inspected the fabric around our buffet table and it will be changed as I could see a couple of small tears upon closer inspection. Thank you for bringing that up. As for it being a revolting yellow, well that’s just up to personal taste. I have also asked the laundry department to ensure that they withdraw any faded table cloths from our useable stock. The buffet area is about to be revamped in the next low season which is in three months time. It should be quite spectacular with live cooking stations and granite tops etc.

As for the excursion to Cousin Island, we have been operating this excursion for more than 10 years. Everyone is warned about the mosquitoes along with fees to pay on the island etc before the boat leaves the hotel. Perhaps my tour guides need to over emphasize this fact. Let this be a warning to everyone thinking of going to Cousin….there are more mosquitoes than you could possibly imagine, but it’s a beautiful island and a nature reserve full of birds. There are probably a lot more mosquitoes than usual because we have just come out of a severe drought and it has started to rain quite a lot and stagnant water tends help mosquitoes breed double time.

I most certainly do not need to go visit the Maldivians to learn from them. I have stayed in many hotels and experienced them all as both guests and as staff. I was born in this hotel and grew up in it. I have seen it being almost wiped out by a cyclone and completely destroyed by a Tsunami. We never gave up and we’ve had a very good run as you can all see from our 90% satisfied customers and excellent reviews on this site. We are not perfect here at La Reserve and we are always trying to improve our services the best we can.

Unfortunately there is not much that I can possibly say to make things better here. These clients had a bad experience in my hotel. All I can I do is learn from it and make sure that these things do not happen again to our future clients. What I will do is offer these clients a full refund on their holiday and invite them once more to experience the real La Reserve. The La Reserve that is known for its friendly, warm, attentive service and good food. I am only sorry that I was not able to meet them personally as I am sure I would have been able to rectify a lot of the issues at hand and would not be here responding to this terrible review.

Regards to all,

Peter Pomeroy
Owner
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Moscow
Top Contributor
188 reviews 188 reviews
58 hotel reviews
Reviews in 83 cities Reviews in 83 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2011

It is easy to join the army of La Reserve fans. Like many others, we had great time at Praslin and La Reserve and would definitely come back again. Still, to be helpful, I would like to offer some highlights of our experience and suggestions for the management.
What really puts this hotel ahead of the pack:
1. Amazing feel of privacy and comfort. Guests have the whole beach (in fact the whole small valley occupied by the hotel) for themselves. The hotel is relatively small, which we liked a lot!
2. Great care of the beach the staff takes, keeping it always clean
3. Great food, particularly a-la-carte. Unless you expect a Michelin-star level, your expectations will be exceeded
4. Welcoming, friendly attitude of the whole staff
5. High-quality and inexpensive in-house tours to the neighboring islands and beaches
6. Shower and changing facilities for guests who leave in the afternoons
The only major tradeoff you need to consider is that the beach is not too good for swimming. In order to get “Seychelles experience” it is necessary to walk/ride to other famous beaches of the island.
Now, a few suggestions for the management. Those are things, which are easy to implement.
1. Having some free drinking water in the rooms is expected in such hot climate
2. Towels changing should get more order to it. We never new, which set of towels we would get by the end of the day
3. Housekeepers should restrain from gathering in groups and loudly chatting by the guestroom doors (particularly annoying during afternoon nap time)
We are looking forward to coming back and finding La Reserve even more exceptional!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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peterpomeroy, Owner at La Reserve Hotel, responded to this review, September 20, 2011
What a lovely review. It makes me so proud of my team that makes this place special. Thank you all. As for the recommendations made.....we are considering to add a free litre of mineral water in each room as of beginning of next year. In regards to the towel issue, I will definitely bring this to the attention of our head housekeeper and the mention of the housekeeping staff congregating outside guest rooms and chatting is very true as I have warned them about this myself. I will keep on chasing them about this.

Thank you for the great review and we all look forward to seeing you again very soon.

Tropical regards from La Reserve.

Peter Pomeroy
Owner
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Gauteng
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2011

We should have done this review in April when we visited La Reserve as it deserves an enormous vote on all counts. What an elegant hotel with 5 star standards and just the best coral bay right in front of it. La Reserve is set beautifully between two hills surrounded by natural vegetation and bird life, although not prolific ito species, it is abundant and the sunbirds are a treat to watch at any time of the day. The rooms are really spacious and comfortable and a great deal of thought and effort has gone towards making guests comfortable. The grounds are beautifully maintained and it was sheer bliss being able to amble either onto the verandah or to the grassed beach area and plonk onto one of the many recliners. The beach bar is a treat and drinksk/cocktails/small meals served conveniently at your lounger. We were there when it was the royal wedding and decided to take a lazy swim in the most gorgeous pool imaginable; during which we hauled ourselves out the warm water on the bar stools in the water. very festive to still be in the water with drink in one hand, chatting to fellow guests doing the same thing and enjoying the royal wedding on big screen - STILL in the water. The pool bar is a treat, they also serve small meals (delicious) and tea and cake in the afternoons, such a nice touch.

Meal times were always treated with great aplomb to get one seated and orders attended to. The food was delicious and a fair variety. We loved the fresh breadrolls every night and always made a bee-line for the table at the tip of the pier restaurant. The lights are on in the water and all sorts of fish make their way past, including some little rays which proved quite entertaining one evening just doing their own thing. Pre-dinner drinks were always ready to be served by Sylvan - the man who remembers everyone's names first-off and the best smile on earth! Thank you for your unfailing attention. In fact, everybody was always most attentive, cheerful, professional and polite. Another great thing about La Reserve is that the owner Peter Pomeroy is always about and chats with everyone regularly.

There is lots to do at La Reserve so we would be surprised if anyone said they were bored!!! We had a whale of a time with excursions here and there, we even hired a car which was gerat fun trundling around the island at our own pace. But the best thing was the snorkelling, right there in front of the hotel. It is a marine reserve which took a bit of a beating with El Nino a while back but the corals are recovering at quite a rate. The underwater seascape includes a variety of grasses, rocks, corals so there is a variety of sealife which keep you agog. If you snorkel to the right of the wee bay and keep going around the corner until you hit what we called "the big long rocks", you'll be in for the best treat. The rock tips are out the water but the majority sit under and what lives there and mills around is breathtaking. Really the best snorkelling we have seen anywhere and it was the highlight of our stay. The water is always calm and safe to paddle around in and not very deep in the main bay.

La Reserve was fantastic, and we've been to some really beautiful places. If peace and quiet and just going at your own pace drinking in the beauty is what you're after, this is the place to do. Well worth the bucks, we felt like royalty. Thanks again to everyone at La Reserve who helped make our stay so amazing!

Room Tip: The room nearest the beach bar on the far side, is the best!!!!
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Vilnius, Lithuania
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2011

We had unbelievably perfect time during the stay in the La reserve hotel for 5 days!
This is a 5 start service hotel!
Would recommend to everybody!

Room Tip: If possible choose delux room, they all are amazing and sea view.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2011

expensive as hell but the seychelles was amazing.

as a new vegetarian it was hard to be faced with amazing seafood buffets and barebecues etc but the chefs and the restaurant manager were really nice and helpful to make stuff just for my wife and I who were on our honeymoon.

the beach is really nice and there isnt THAT much to do although as its your honeymoon what else is there!? there were day excursions available which was good although at early starts(ish) we didnt go on many.

breakfast was good too, but having half-board was difficult as room service was a bit expensive. the hotel is really nice though and puts on tea/sandwiches @ 4pm daily although everyone s either bored or starving as people seem to turn up exactly at 4pm!

the swim-up bar was pretty cool and was the waterfall; its a shame the recession seems to have killed the business a bit so the place looked a bit empty but that wasnt really a problem as it meant more quiet.

should also mention that the taxi pickup from Praslin airport was really good and effecient.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about La Reserve Hotel

Address: Anse Petite Cour, Anse Volbert, Praslin Island Pri, Seychelles
Phone Number:
Location: Seychelles > Praslin Island > Anse Volbert
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Anse Volbert
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Anse Volbert
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — La Reserve Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover warm hospitality and Luxury at Le Domaine de La Reserve, a hotel on the north east of Praslin in a National Marine park. Our intimate beachfront hotel is a rare gem surrounded by unobstructed and breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean.Located on a private estate with its very own private beach in the secluded bay of Anse Petite Cour, Le Domaine de la Reserve is reputed to be a leading hotel of the Seychelles. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Reserve Praslin Island
Hotel La Reserve
La Reserve Seychelles
La Reserve Hotel Seychelles/Praslin Island

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