Bottom Line: The resort is beautiful to look at, but underneath the surface, the hills are frustrating, the service is terrible, the beach/other restaurants are far away, and if you have any trouble, the management - at the highest levels - will treat you like you are the problem. STAY AWAY!
I have 15 reviews on TripAdvisor - all of them pretty positive - so I think I'm a pretty credible reviewer! This hotel was the worst place I have ever stayed, and I highly recommend against it. It literally ruined our stay in the Seychelles. The Le Meridien Babaron is the same price and much nicer (and actually on the beach!).
My mother and I have never left a hotel, and we had to leave this one half way through our stay. Here are our reasons:
First, it's on top of a mountain that is very difficult to climb without a car. I read that it was steep, but I didn't realize HOW steep until I got there. It's a no-go without a car.
Second, the resort is not beach front. The beach is at the bottom of the mountain and across the road. I\The resort has beautiful views but not easy accessibility to the beach.
Third, the driver who picked us up from the airport told us to get 500 rupees for the trip. I didn't have internet and couldn't calculate the exchange rate, but I trusted him. It turns out, 500 rupees is about $40, which is definitely not enough for three days. We ended up stuck with a taxi charge later on that we couldn't pay because we didn't have enough money, etc etc.
Fourth, once you're at the resort, you're stuck. The food at the restaurant was mediocre at best and insanely expensive (like $50 for a personal pizza and club sandwich). There is no ATM within walking distance nor any other restaurants. A cab to go 4 miles and back was $80.
Fifth, the resort itself is on a series of hills, so our room was up steep stairs from reception. The pool was up even further. To get wi-fi, which was not available in the rooms, the restaurant, or the pool, we had to go to the bottom of one of the hills and sit in an area tied to reception. This was the only spot for internet - you couldn't even pay to get it elsewhere.
Sixth, one evening, I wanted to take some medicine before bed, and you can't drink the local water. I went to the fridge, opened it, and... empty. Strange - where is water? I called reception (which miraculously picked up even though they were closed 15 mins before). The guy at reception told me the hotel did not provide water - even at a charge - when the restaurant was closed. He also said it was not common practice for hotels to have water in the room (a claim the manager repeated later). He suggested... and I'm not kidding... that I boil water on the stove, then put it in the fridge. I was paying $300+/night, and they wanted me to boil water to take medicine...!
Seventh, they had overbooked the hotel - even though just three days before I received an email saying it was fine. We were "upgraded" to a family room, but it didn't have a sea view like the room we had wanted. In addition, the "upgrade" wasn't for the entire time - they told us we would have to re-pack our bags and move the next day. When we came back the next day after diving (which was a bit earlier than we planned), they told us our new room wasn't ready. So even though we had paid for a room, we couldn't get in it.
This was our last straw. We were told we'd have to wait an hour to get in the room. We asked to speak to the manager. He showed up with his hand on his hip demanding to know "what our problem was." I told him I had a series of issues and started to explain why we were upset (particularly about our non-available room). He told us this was common practice worldwide - to move clients from one room to another (in my experience, not true). He also said that he had told the receptionist our room would be ready in 10 minutes. She confirmed - in front of him - that he had told her one hour. I called him out on the lie. He was very aggressive in his demeanor and rude. Shockingly rude, actually. I felt like Candid Camera! He refused to listen to more than 2 of my complaints before storming off.
We were booked for 2 more nights, which we had already been charged for. They agreed to refund us one night when we chose to leave to go to another hotel. As we were leaving, the receptionist called out to us and told us the manager (maybe the same guy? maybe not?) had agreed to refund both nights. I thanked them, and we left.
The hotel was NOT able to refund me directly on my credit card and had to get my bank details in order to process the refund. This was another hassle, but I provided the details. They said the refund would arrive within 1-2 weeks. After two weeks, I emailed them, and they had not yet even processed the refund and were now saying they had never promised to refund two nights. They refunded me only one night. The emails were written by a woman, Debby, who was not there for these events and was very rude via email. She accused me of "fabricating stories" and claimed the manager we had spoken to said I was lying. I pointed out that he had lied (about the hour v 10 min) previously and perhaps should not be trusted. I believe these two people are the owners. At no point during our email exchange did they inquire about what upset us in the first place. If I owned a hotel, I'd care less about the $$ and more about why I had two guests decide to leave my hotel mid-stay.
Bottom Line: The resort is beautiful to look at, but underneath the surface, the service is terrible, the beach/restaurants are far away, and if you have any trouble, the management will not care and may even accuse you of lying. I do not recommend the risk.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Valmer Resort is a luxury establishment nestled in the heart of Baie Lazare, located on the southern-coast, the most untouched part of Mahe Island. The Resort is just a few minutes walk from the sweeping Baie Lazare white sandy beach. Valmer Resort is a family-run establishment, and the owners have applied their own high standards in providing a comfortable stay for their esteemed guests, a philosophy which has ensured the success and growth of this small hotel. Valmer Resort has undergone extensive refurbishment and renovation in 2012 of all its public areas and all villas, introducing new facilities including more parking spaces, children's playground, club car service, 2 new Junior Suites with jacuzzis and new Pool Villa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Valmer Hotel Mahe Island
- Valmer Resort Mahe Island
- Valmer Resort Seychelles/Mahe Island