As South Africans we have faced a great deal of tension in our county since the recent death of our beloved President Nelson Mandela. This has been aggravated because elections are looming in May 2014. Violence has erupted amongst new minority parties who have become disillusioned with the ANC rule under President Jacob Zuma. There have been numerous strikes and even xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals and my husband and I were weary from constantly hearing bad news. We were longing for a relaxing holiday in a safe, clean, crime-free environment.
With my Big 7 Birthday on the horizon, we decided to email a request for accommodation to a delightful hotel called Acajou on the pristine Cote D 'Or beach in Praslin, where we had enjoyed a wonderful holiday last May. It was with sadness that we heard that this lovely hotel was being totally renovated and would only be opening again in Nov 2014. We were delighted, however, to hear of other beautiful spots in the same area which came with strong recommendations. We approached Seyunique in Johannesburg and were overjoyed when Stephanie was able to book a 7 night stay for us at the amazing La Reserve hotel. With our Z.A.R and /Euro exchange rate being so poor, we really had to push the boat out this time seeing it was for a Special Birthday celebration. Our visit to La Reserve far exceeded all expectations and we received so much love and kindness there. We almost felt as if we were part of a happy family. My husband is 85 but comfortably managed the steps leading to room 107 which has a view to die for! The peace and tranquillity soaked into our spirits and we left feeling refreshed and renewed in every way. The staff made my birthday so memorable. After breakfast we found our 4 poster bed festooned with ribbons, the king size mattress was decorated with exquisite little tropical flowers spelling out "Happy 70th Birthday", a magnificent floral arrangement adorned the dressing table. During dinner the lights suddenly went out. We could not even blame Eskom this time! Just then the band and singers struck up with Happy Birthday and in came a beaming bevy of waitresses bearing a beautifully decorated birthday cake with candles blazing. All the guests joined in the singing and made my birthday away from home and family extra special.
It was our privilege to meet the fairly recent new owner of La Reserve, Mr Joe Albert and his charming wife Sylvie. What a humble, caring and unpretentious couple. They are blessed indeed to have inherited a fine staff Team such as those who serve with such dedication and commitment. We shall never forget the kindness and efficiency of Acting Manager/Front Office manageress Ms Lorna Awale, and the cheerful bubbly Marketing Manager, Chantal and the amazing team in the front office, and business centre,where the ever smiling and helpful Helena and Shirin attended to our every request. Not only was our room amazing ~ spacious and airy with heaps of cupboards and drawers.You can safely leave your spare hangers at home! The kingsize bed was firm and comfortable and we floated off to sleep each night hearing the gentle swish of the waves right below our room. We spent time chilling on the large balcony which has comfy reclining deck chairs, a coffee table and chairs and a most useful wooden drying rack for wet clothes. We opted for a half board deal and highly recommend you try that option.The quality and variety of food served astounded us seeing that everything has to be flown in to the island.The breakfast buffets were ample with delicious tropical fruits which we had not encountered before. The buffets were tastefully and creatively presented. Hats off to the excellent chefs and hard working kitchen staff who work so strenuously in the background and are often overlooked. We shall never forget the friendly little band of cheery waitresses ~Madeleine, Marina, Mathilda, Peggy, Flavia (Don't forget to sign your bill after dinner because she is a sprinter and will soon catch you if you slip away!!) Petula, Julina and the highly efficient barman, Jeanne Francois. .Nothing was ever too much trouble. We love and admire the Creole folk for their enthusiasm and excellent work ethos. They certainly know the meaning of service delivery. They spoke good English and communicated effectively with guests from all over the globe. Our only disappointment was that the time was not great for snorkelling. We heard that the full moon had affected the tides and that the fish were much further out. We did plough our way right through all the seaweed, in our snorkelling gear and flippers, to the furthest rocks on the right side of the private beach and were well rewarded. It was like swimming in an aquarium and we even snorkelled alongside a large amiable turtle! The sea was not too deep there and there were no strong currents.It must be fantastic when the tide is right and the seaweed has been dispersed. The swimming pool is truly magnificent. It's also the largest in the Seychelles and we loved the artistic features like the large granite rock with the waterfall, the little wooden bridges and the underwater bar stools where you can sip a drink in your swim suit. A most welcome "freebie" we appreciated was the tea/coffee/juice and cake served in the pool bar between 4 and 5pm.
A special highlight for us was to eat breakfast and dinner in the jetty restaurant with beautiful fish swimming all around us, They weren't bothered in the least by the full moon! We saw the biggest and most beautiful parrot fish we had ever seen. We were dismayed to see ignorant and non eco- wise guests tossing bread rolls to the fish in order to lure them to the surface for photographs. The reflections cast by the jetty restaurant on the sea at night were magical. If you want a truly memorable, tranquil and re-energizing holiday in an amazing hotel offering you attentive service and warm Creole hospitality you will not be disappointed if you book your next holiday at La Reserve.
- 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
- Le Domaine De La Reserve Seychelles/Praslin Island