Having finally arrived after travelling for nearly 24 hours we were looking forward to our arrival on paradise. We waited at reception for some time whilst the owners were eating their lunch. Gretel said that she had sent a taxi to the airport for us, we weren't aware of this, our travel agent had contacted Gretel for an airport pickup but as they hadn't heard back we were advised to get our own taxi which we did. We explained this to Gretel and nothing more was said. We were shown to our villa but Gretel said that as we were staying for 14 nights she would move us the next day to a villa slightly higher up with better views and a better kitchen so we were told not to unpack. We were shown across the road to where there are 4 sun loungers and in between a white plastic table and 4 plastic chairs where you could have a romantic evening meal, this is right by the roadside, considering there is one road that goes around the island, who would want a meal sitting right by the side of the road. If the tide was right in then there was no beach at all so you couldn't even move the table to the beach.
The nearest shop is the next lane up from Sea View it was up a very very steep hill "word of warning" it's double the price of what you can get in Cote D'or.
As we were both so tired we asked if they could prepare an evening meal for us, we just wanted something simple and asked for omelette and chips with some salad. This was delivered on time but the omelette wasn't fully cooked, we couldn't get the microwave to work so managed to finish it off in a frying pan and we dined on the terrace. We had finished our meal and Kyle then came back with ice cream for dessert which we didn't ask for but was most welcome.
The next morning we got the bus into Cote D'or to see what was there and what the different supermarkets offered and to get supplies. You could find almost anything you wanted food and drink wise with no problem.
We when got back to our villa the other villa was ready for us to move into, it was as Gretel said and finally we could unpack.
The 2 villas we were in were both dated, in need of redecorating and maintenance. In our 2nd villa you could see daylight through one of the panels in the terrace door, there were gaps under the front door and terrace doors. The shower pressure was very low. It was unusually wet and rained at some stage of the day every day, no fault of the owners, but it was a problem with mosquitoes, we had brought our own plug ins and used mosquito repellent every evening, but we were both feasted on, there wasn't a day where we woke up in the morning with more bites. Mosquito nets over the beds would definitely be a benefit and not expensive to put into the villas. We had geckos inside the villa which wasn't a problem for us but what was a problem other than the mosquitoes was my husband was bitten about 2am by a 4 inch centipede which had got into the bed, we then spent about an hour trying to get it, fortunately it went onto my bag and managed to drag my bag outside on the terrace to get rid of it.
The villa was cleaned nearly every day, bedding changed and fresh towels when needed so I cannot fault that service.
There were a few times we went up to reception to ask for information but having called out and hung around there was no-one around, this seemed to be the norm unfortunately and in the end gave up trying. One evening we decided to go up to the bar for a drink before going out for an evening meal and we met Barrie who said that he was leaving to go and pick Gretel up from the airport, we didn't try again. I appreciate that Gretel and Barrie live on the resort but at the end of the day it's a business and as it states in the room resort book, reception is open from 8am to 8pm - if that's the case then someone should be available for the guests.
I appreciate we were not the norm in that we were there for 14 nights, most people stay only for a few nights but it doesn't change the fact that someone should be available to see and ask for information.
Kyle and Kamrul who cleaned the villas and done just about everything else were great, very friendly but they do not have the island knowledge that Gretel and Barrie do so couldn't always help with what we wanted to know.
If you are staying at Sea View you definitely need a car to get around, the buses are great and very cheap but finish at 6.30pm so evenings become a problem if you are car less although you can easily get a taxi.
The beach at Sea View is fine when the tide is out, and as I said earlier once the tide is in then there is no beach, there is of course then the problem of stingrays in that bay, so if you do venture into the sea there then you need to be very careful of them, we did see a few when we went in. The other beaches didn't seem to have that problem. The second week we didn't go into the sea here at all because of all the rain, the sea had become very cloudy at our end of the bay and wasn't very appealing.
On Sea View's actual website there are a few things that it says which we found not to be true - it does say suitable for elderly people, I have to disagree, there is only a double villa at ground level, the others are up steep slopes with steps and to get to reception and the pool there are steep steps so please bear this in mind. The other thing is water sports, If there was, we weren't told about this, nor did we see any equipment or see anyone use any equipment within the bay.
Saying all of this, we made the most of what we had and we had a lovely holiday but a couple of things that happened at the end slightly tainted it. Firstly, our last night we were relaxing in the villa and Kyle knocked on the door to give us our bill for the meal we had on our first night, the cost of which was 25 Euros which is a bit steep for omelette and chips but then left us feeling that Gretel and Barrie didn't trust us to pay for this when we checked out and secondly, our last morning, we had vacated our villa and had a few hours to go until it was time to leave, we sat around the pool and reception, on this occasion both Gretel and Barrie were around, it would have been nice if they had offered us a drink even a glass of water although after some considerable time Gretel gave me a couple of pens and a lighter......
If we were to go back to the island unfortunately it would not be at Sea View Lodge.
Our Apartment was on a mountain cliff and we needed to climb a long way on some very
dangerous stairs. The equipment and facilities on the apartment were maintained at a very low level and most of them were irrelevant. The toilets were leaking and broken. the shower barely worked and the water stream was too weak. Staying inside the apartment was unbearable because of the bugs and the Lizards which made us uncomfortable and forced us to use the
apartment for sleeping only. In addition, the Lodge owners weren't polite, unpleasant and Not serviceable. Their attitude made us want to leave immediately. On the last day the owners accepted our request for a late check- out and allocated a room for rest and shower. Then we realized that the room we received on the first day was very old and not maintained compared to the other rooms. To conclude , it was a very unpleasant stay for us, which spoiled our enjoyment on the trip to the island of Praslin. We travel worldwide and we have never encountered such a heedless treatment towards the guests by the owners, especially the Lady owner.
We spent in this place most of our time in Seychelles. And with the time on these beautiful islands we learned that they are not only beautiful but also different from many other islands. Here the beauty comes at a price. And with the price I mean not just what you pay. No-one assumed Seychelles is a cheap place. But the question is what you get for what you pay. Apart of the views and the nature you get the lesson to be humble. Sea View Lodge is one of the places that teaches you this lesson.
Let's start with the upside. The views in Sea View Lodge as the name suggests are to die for!! From our villa we had a perfect view at the mountains and at the bay. The street (which is between the hotel and the sea) was almost invisible. The location is very beautiful. For all the readers who may oddly believe that "Sea View" implies also being close to the beach - it is not. The shore right at the lodge is muddy, full of parked boats etc. - not meant for swimming. A better beach is farther up the North, about 10 min driving.
Staying here you definitely need a car. The beautiful public bus (those who used to know what i mean) is comes every hour. We rented a car from the lodge. The owner gave us a good rate of 40 euro per day. Many thanks! By the way - the liability insurance both for the car as well as third party liability comes with 1500 Euro loss deductible, which you cannot decrease. So you would pay for the first 1500 Euro for whatever damage happens. It is very significant, given that the car you get is the very simple manual gear Kia picanto..
Another great thing is very good and stable WiFi quality everywhere on the premises.
Last but not least - privacy. We felt very much on our own in those villas - you hardly see any other guests there.
Now the things we were less excited about. The villas themselves are dated and a bit shabby. And I mean everything is dated - from the kitchen staff to the shaky wc bowl. Mold on the ceiling. Some broken tiles. We had cockroaches in our room - coming from the untight balcony door (not to talk about all other types of insects). Old towels.. Welcome to an old wannabe-3-star African villa... Everything is made somehow carelessly. Cables everywhere... To give some credit: they know how to surprise even a seasoned traveller: they put the wardrobe into the bathroom)).
Please don't get me wrong: it is not an old but still charming cozy place with some things that may look weird but still are hilarious, if you know what i mean. It is just old.
A few words about self-catering. "Self-catering" is an catchy term to mention in the name of a hotel, but ... Praslin is definitely not the right place to self-cater! Shops are rare, eyewateringly expensive and shut at 6 pm... I don't know where the poor island folks are doing their groceries but on Praslin you pay for food through the nose! Strangely, even abundant local stuff costs as if they would sell it in winter in Siberia. One bloody coconut costs on the street 3-4 bucks. If you suddenly wanna eat something except coconuts and bananas - it gets completely ridiculous. To give you an idea: tomatoes are - 12 Euro per kg. Oranges - 8 euro. Kiwi - 20 euro. We could not find any milk and cheese at all. No-one is bothered to sell it.
After a couple of days we got the point and ate mostly at the neighboring beautiful Raffles hotel. You get there really great food, beach and all in all you pay not much more than with all the self-catering hustle and bustle)).
A lot has been written here about the hosts. I think they are ok. If they want to be helpful, they are. If not, it is difficult even to find them. You get the feeling as if they don't mind you staying at their place but "please do not annoy us, don't call after 9pm etc.". Gretel, I hope we were good guests).
As for Praslin itself - i think if you don't stay at Raffles or at another place for $500+ per night, than to escape here for 4-5 days is ok. After that you have seen everything and you are ready to move on to another place where you would enjoy not only the beach but also a bit of good food, good facilities and good service.
P.S. The roads in Praslin are baaaaaad! Don't drive at night - too many strange people on the roads, left cars, no lights or they blind you with long-distance light, no guardrails even at the cliffs etc.
My chalet had a stunning view of the sea and sunsets. Ahh! Even having a drink on the beachfront watching the sunset was beautiful. Gretel and her family were such great hosts and the place made it feel so comfy. Will definitely return there!
location is in front of beach ,bus stop is very near even other shops and market is also easily accessible by bus.Villa is also very good with all facility of self catering.
We love Praslin and find the location of SeaView lodge great in that we can walk to our favourite beach, Anse Lasio which is truly the most beautiful beach in the world. We also walk into town to buy groceries, draw cash and enjoy a meal out if we wish. Was great to swim in the pool in the evening after all the walking.
We had a wonderful stay. The staff were accommodating and very generous. The rooms were well maintained with a great self catering setup. We enjoyed dinner at night on our balcony. The grounds are filled with beautiful fruit trees. We will return!