My 84 year old husband and I have just had an amazing holiday experience in the Seychelles..Previously we have always visited Thailand~ but having suffered a heart attack and stroke last year,my husband felt it wise to seek a closer destination. What a discovery! The Seychelles is like having all the joys of Thailand right here on our doorstep and only a 5 hour flight from Johannesburg.
We were overwhelmed by the warmth and friendliness of the charming Creole people who speak good English and who have so much to offer. The islands reminded us of Phuket and Phi Phi, with stunning turquoise sea and long stretches of soft powdery beach sand that is so white it dazzles one's eyes. We were most impressed with Air Seychelles from Joburg to Mahe, then transferred almost immediately to Praslin, the second largest island.It was exciting buzzing across from Mahe to Praslin in 15 minutes, in a tiny de Haviland with propellers spinning.
Our meet and greet land arrangements were handled by the Creole Travel group. We can heartily recommend Sabrina, Dora and Marie-Helene~ 3 bubbly Creole ladies who could not have been more helpful in overseeing our airport transport, hotel bookings,confirming our flights and arranging exciting excursions.Seychelles is far more expensive than Thailand and as pensioners, we soon found out that our South African rand buys very little. A bottle of water or a can of Cold drink costs about R50 so we boiled our kettle water and kept our water bottles full! We paid for one exciting day excursion which cost us R1600 each but it was definitely worth the sacrifice.The Robinson Crusoe Adventure on the catamaran with snorkeling off St Perre Island and a barbecue on board is a must! It was a great way of seeing so many other beautiful little islands.We were staggered at the size of the amiable giant tortoises on Curieuse island, which was one a leper colony. One tortoise enjoyed having me pop my sunglasses on his little flat nose! Another sipped Coke from a fellow tourist's can! It was exciting hopping in and out of the rubber dinghys to reach land from the catamaran but I managed even with one titanium (replacement) knee. The barbecue on board a the end of the morning was very welcome as snorkelling certainly stimulates one's appetite.Throughout our stay the water was 29/30 deg and we wallowed for hours like happy wales.The sea was calm and there were no hectic waves or dangerous currents. The beaches are perfect for families with young children or for elderly folk who only want to bob in the surf!
It's no wonder so many romantic young folk choose to get married on beaches in the Seychelles. Swimming at sunset is an awesome experience. As oldies, we felt as if we were starring in On Golden Pond, with the sea like molten silvery satin and the waves which caressed us, tipped with magenta and gold.
What a gem of a hotel we found in the Acajou. (mahogany) Acajou is a family run enterprise, started 17 years ago by Joanise Doway and her family. Joanise is an amazing lady and has assembled around her a vibrant, dedicated and hard working staff team who are wonderful Creole ambassadors. Within hours my husband and I felt part of their Acajou family. We encountered some amazing folk there and our 8 night stay passed all too swiftly. It was sad to discover that not many South Africans even know about hotel Acajou. Nowhere in South Africa would we find a 3 star hotel of this calibre! Were we glad we had opted for the half board package! The breakfasts were adequate with loads of delicious fresh fruit and tantalizing extras like home baked croissants and decadent Danish pastries. The 3 course evening dinners were astounding and no menu was repeated in our 8 day stay! Congratulations to the amazing chefs for their creative and appetising creations and mouth-watering desserts.The waitrons were cheerful and efficient and went the extra mile to make our stay memorable. On our first night we arrived at 10pm so guessed we would have to survive on a South African banana and a bottle of water. To our amazement there was a knock at our door and there stood"'Papa Francis," the Food and Beverage Manager,a beaming, larger than life Creole character, who would be snapped up for Vodacom adverts if he lived in South Africa! He oozed charisma and within minutes we felt we belonged! He had saved us a delicious supper of cold meat and salads and with fresh home made bread, fruit juice, tea and coffee, we settled in for a good night's rest. We loved our upstairs room, number 14, where we had brilliant green chameleons and friendly little red robins/red sparrows visiting our balcony.Our room was spacious and spotless and our bathroom large and well appointed with a super shower and loads of hot water.The staff could not have been more welcoming. The manageress, Joanise, is intelligent and charming and keeps an eye on the smooth running of her delightful little hotel without ever being officious or over-bearing. She leads by example and the work ethos of her staff was most commendable. Joanise's lovely, vibrant sister, Barbara, heads up the Reception team of helpful efficient young
ladies who all spoke good English. The bright young Indian accountant proved most helpful and knowledgeable when I needed help with securing a Seychelles sim card and air time for my cell phone.
One evening my husband inadvertently left his rucksack on the beach after sunset.It contained his Kindle, brand new spectacles, wallet, video camera and beach hat! He had not even missed it and after his shower, there was a knock at the door and a very honest young member of staff from the Philippines, had come to tell us that he had found the rucksack and had handed it in at Reception! A huge thank you to Pablito (nickname Jun) for your integrity. As South Africans, this is something we value very much indeed. I am not sure this would have happened on one of our beaches! We are most grateful to Joanise and her awesome Acajou A Team for making our first Seychelles holiday such an inspiring and memorable experience. We have fallen in love with the Creole people and with the island of Praslin and would love to return. There is nothing we would want to change about your hotel. We loved everything about it and are not one bit surprised that General Gordon of Khartoum thought Praslin could have been the site of the original Garden of Eden!
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