My husband and I are, between the two of us, seasoned island travellers, within the Indian Ocean (Mozambique, Mauritius, Maldives, Zanzibar and surrounding islands, Seychelles etc) as well as elsehwere. He in particular has stayed in luxury island resorts all over the world, and I worked in Seychelles for a year so am familiar with what most of the resorts there have to offer. Fregate for us stands head and shoulders above ALL the resorts we have been to, even the most high-end ones in the Maldives. I should add that we are not fussy travellers but also not pushovers and we expect the best for the kind of money spent on resorts like this. We do not like to feel taken advantage of, but happily this was not the case with Fregate.
We did a large amount of research before leaving, including reading all of the reviews on tripadvisor, so I was interested on what Fregate would prove to be like in reality.
The service was generally impeccable.
Room service were quick and quiet and serviced the room when it was convenient for us.
Restaurant staff were attentive but not imposing.
Public areas, beaches etc were always spotless.
Dan, our private assistant, was the best we have ever had. Discreet, always available, bent over backwards to make sure our every wish was catered for yet did not impose on our private family time. He was also very knowledgeable about the history of the island and Seychelles, the wildlife, what the resort had to offer etc. We have a toddler so I had sent a long lost of requests to the resort ahead of our stay, and Dan and the resort's contact on Mahe (I forget his name...Gustav?, he met us at the airport- lovely guy) made sure that every request was met, and then some. Not only was the cot, high chair and baby monitor I had requested available, but also baby bath and bath toys, cot linen (and the cot was decorated with flowers and fluffy toys-to take home- every day), a microwave to sterilise bottles, and a personalised cake on her brithday! Nothing was too much for Dan.
My only gripe with the service was that one of the chaps who handled our suitcases seemed to hang around for a tip. Urgh I hate that.
We ate almost exclusively off the in-villa dining menu (which, I should point out, is a full combination of all the reaturant menus as well as other dishes), and even after a week had not grown tired of it. The food was delicious and presented nicely. If I had to criticise the food I would say that the pasties for breakfast were cold and a bit uninspired, and the bread could have been fresh out of the oven, but I am really trying hard here to think of any criticism. It is hard for a chef to put up stellar food in Seychelles, soemthing I have learnt through bitter experience, as most items need to be imported and the lack of freshness impacts on the flavour, but on Fregate you would think you were dining at a first world first class restaurant.
Fregate House restaurant was lovely- we were the only diners there and the views and decor were beautiful. Note that if you are looking for a resort with nightlife or a buzz in the bars, communal and dining areas, this is not it. Fregate is for those looking for privacy and seclusion. Some people consider a lack of people to be a lack of "atmosphere", we consider it a blessing! We did not go to the Plantation House restaurant.
Note that alcohol is pricey, as it is everywhere in the Seychelles resorts, particularly the private islands as there needs to be further transport from Mahe. What did baffle us a bit was the high price of the local brew.Happily for us we do not drink much at all so the price of the alcohol was not an issue. Obviously soft drinks and juices are included in the daily rate and we drank these freely.The fridge was always well stocked.
We loved the little gifts from the chef delivered as a surprise to the villa, as well as the complimentary coconut coktails, chocolates, cookies etc upon arrival. Buggies reparked each night (after batteries recharged) to allow easy departure in the morning, being able to order whatever you want even if not on the menu etc Attention to detail like this was evident everywhere and speaks volumes about good management.
If you have active toddlers who are walking/running/crawling everywhere, I would go for a beach villa (I think there are 3 or so to the 13 or so hill villas), but our villa on the hilla was spectacular. The view was amazing. The rooms were spotless. The design of the villas are more colonial style than the latest trend towards Robinson Crusoe, but that suited us, and what lovely rooms they are. We found the second bathroom particularly useful when our child was alseep in the main bedroom (which is open-plan with the main bathroom, divided by a three quarter wall). We ate in the outside pavilion in general (fantastic) but found the indoor dining-room useful when the sandfly squadrons were out in force (more on that later).
We had no problems with our aircon, and I found the criticisms of the villas being somewhat dated unfounded. They are in tiptop condition and fixtures, fittings and furniture do not look old. The only issue we had with the villa was that our sound system had a few glitches and someone had to be called to fix it, but that was sorted out soon enough.
We had no problems with millipedes. In fact, on the third day of our stay, I went hunting for them as I had read so many reviews about them I wanted to see the damn things. I suspect, though, that reviews about the millipedes predated a bit of a revamp of sorts in which all gaps to the villa ceilings were plugged with foam and trees overhanging villa roofs had branches trimmed- I noticed this on our villa as well as public areas and it does seem to have resolved the millipede problem. Perhaps the millipedes invade villas certain times of the year? They were not evident at all in October.
The geckoes and lizards did pose a bit of an ick factor at meals in the outside pavilion, and the brids were a bit pesky during meals, but one is on their turf so, in our view, it was a happy compromise.
Perhaps our only real problem with Fregate-which is not one which is attributable to the resort itself- was the sandflies. We heeded the warnings of previous travellers and applied the repellant provided in the villa religiously, yet were still eaten alive. Our biggest mistake was to eat outside every night and to not use the incense burners at our disposal. We did not think much of the sandflies while on the island but boy did we feel the pain on our return home- on the day of our departure and thereafter there erupted about 300 bites each and (a month later) I still have them. I strongly recommend taking the best repellant possible with you (you are provided with a passable repellant by the resort but it was not very effective for us), and if you eat outside, use the incense burners and wear trousers!
We did not find the birds problematic. Yes they are raucous and yes there is guano everywhere around the area in which they nest, but the villas are not located there and our time there was really restricted to arrival, departure and the odd buggy drive.
Anse Victorin and Anse Macquereau are something else. No words or photos will do these beaches justice- you have to see it to believe it. The only beaches in Seychelles which, to my mind, compare, are perhaps Anse Source D'Argent on La Digue, and maybe Georgette on Praslin. Victorin and Macquereau are in walking distance from the villas on the hill (though you can use your buggy of course), and Macquereau becomes your private beach for the day if you just flip the sign. We had our lunch brought down to the beach and it was fantastic.
Note that the currents are quite strong around Fregate and the breakers large, so the swimming is not for the faint of heart (we are not swimmers so it was not a problem for us), but still doable. I would be wary of kids swimming without strict supervision, however.
Grande Anse has a completely different "feel" (less private, larger and windswept, but lovely to walk on- Victorin and Macquereau too small for walks).
Drinks and water are available all day every day in cooler boxes on each beach- a lovely touch.
We did not make use of the spa, though I used the gym every day so saw a lot of the spa, which looked lovely. Other than that I can't comment.
The gym was good- small and not too many cardio machines- one treadmill- but this was fine as the island was not full. I was the only person in the gym every evening. I cannot comment on whether the gym would be too small if the island were running at full capacity, but my guess is that it would still suffice as there are only 16 villas on the island.
Other noteworthy factors were the free 2hrs per day babysitting service (we did not make use of this but it was nice knowing it was available), the ability to eat wherever you want, when you want, and general friendly atmosphere and the staff's general desire to please.
A fantastic holiday, thank you Fregate- you will not be soon forgotten.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Fregate Island Private is a secluded paradise, 4 degrees south of the equator and 35 miles off Seychelles' Mahe coast. Guests will discover the castaway idyll of their dreams amidst relaxed luxury. Fregate Island Private boasts 16 luxurious Villas, each perched over rocks looking towards the sea, and naturally isolated from one another. Interior architecture is simple and elegant, faithfully reflecting a colonial architectural heritage. The master bedroom, the dining and living rooms have heavenly views. Outside, an infinity pool seemingly spills into the exotic blue of the Indian Ocean. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Fregate Island Private Hotel Frigate Island
- Fregate Island Private Frigate
- Fregate Island Private Seychelles