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“Simply outstanding.”
Review of Desroches Island

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Desroches Island
London
Level 6 Contributor
82 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Simply outstanding.”
Reviewed July 11, 2011

My last visit to Desroches Island resort was two years ago just when the 3 bedroom villas were being finished. I was very lucky to stay in one and was blown away by the quality of room, the service and overall ambience of this very special island location.

Two years on, I returned with my wife and 3 year old for a 7 night stay in suite number 3, the original accommodation type built at the same time as the original resort. Could it live up to my previous visit, would it work for the family.....? Read on...

The suites are all located around the main resort area in groups of two. Aesthetically from the exterior, they don't quite have the charm of the amazing rooms at Denis, however once inside, they are roomy and with the new white washed ceilings, they feel bright and airy. You get a stunning bathroom, which is open to the elements and a large patio area where you can relax in private.

From a family perspective with one young child, you cannot beat the location / size of the room. The walk to reception is 5 minutes along a covered path which is perfect with a buggy. In terms of internal fixtures, you get a wide screen telly, although we didn't use it once and lots of space to store your clothes etc.

The main resort area houses the restaurant, beautiful pool and lots of sun loungers. I counted a maximum of around 12 people around the pool at any one time, so you certainly get a real feeling of exclusivity, even in the suites.

You'll also find a library, where you can escape the midday sun and a bar, where you can gather your thoughts over an expertly created cocktail prepared by one of the very friendly bar staff.

Eating and drinking: Desroches is an all inclusive resort, with a twist, not everything is included. For your all in package, you get soft drinks, lush, non alcoholic cocktails, beer and wine with your meal, plus certain items from the mini bar. I'm sure your travel organiser will fill you in on the exclusions and it didn't present a problem for us. If you would like a cocktail in the evening, you'll only be set back the sum total of £6 anyway, so the 'extras' are very well priced.

The house wines are all superb and compliment the meals very nicely, which brings me on to one of Desroches's trump cards: The food...

It is not an overstatement to say that the food in this resort is without doubt the best I have ever experienced, not only in Seychelles, but arguably anywhere I have ever visited. The full board menu, varied every day outside of one element: it was consistently diverse and incredibly well thought out and utterly superb. There was always an option presented to us that attracted the 3 year old, with the chef offering a wonderful idea of child friendly choice.

The only problem with the food, is it is so good that you'll end up, if you're as undisciplined as I am, putting on weight....!

The resort itself is situated at one end of the island, the rest of the island being accessed via your bicycles which are placed outside your suite. from one end of the island to the other will take all of 40 minutes or so, but that is all dependent on how fast you go.

The journey itself will take you past various signposts, the first one of which states the name 'Madame Zabre'. To say the beach is stunning is like saying swiss chocolate is ok to a chocholic. It is utterly beautiful, seems to go on forever and is strewn with shells, pieces of fine coral and the most beautiful sand you could imagine. Total number of people on the beach whenever we visited? : 3 or 5 at the most. Paradise, and private paradise at that.

There are other stunning areas, Bombay Beach and up near the Lighthouse, but Madame Zabre was our favourite. I should also tell you that riding the bikes is easy as the island is flat, barring the odd hole created by the many crabs that live around the island.

You will also, if you take the time to ride through the heart of the island, encounter the giant tortoise pens, one for the young breeding adults and one for the off spring. If you do venture to Desroches with your little one(s), head up to the baby pen at 4pm for the feeding. The guys who look after them are brilliant, very informative and will give you one of the most amazing feeding experiences you could enjoy.... one of them...

One of the other experiences Desroches is famous for is the appearance of George, the female tortoise, at breakfast. She appears randomly in the mornings, and makes her way to the main restaurant to seek the odd apple or banana and is one of the stars of the show, again, especially if you have children. an animal of such size and age (she's around 90) is just one of those things you will never tire of. To be fair, she has excellent taste as the supply of fresh fruit is always good and perfect for human and giant tortoise consumption.

Other activities: We tried out the kayaks, the journey to Madame Zabre at this time of year is quite interesting as the waves come in over the coral banks making some choppy waters, but the experience was superb and again, the service at the watersports centre was excellent and informative.

Service overall in the resort, again is a massive plus. WIthout doubt it is the best in Seychelles that I've experienced and has raised the bar for expectations in this country that has had the odd issue with service over the years.

I was asked by one of the other guests about 'programs' for children, but I was not aware of any and you know, it was a good thing for one simple reason. You, as parents will enjoy, indeed love, the most wonderful, safe, warm and close holiday with your little ones, that you are ever likely to have. We brought along a pad of paper, some pens, glue and a few dvd's and that was more than enough.

The trip to the beach became a wonder in itself, collecting shells and coral for pictures, the visits to the pool were so regular that within the week, I suspect my 3 year old almost became a mermaid, at least in her own mind. The pool being safe and shallow enough to play and swim.

To sum up then: Desroches is arguably now the number one resort in Seychelles. The service, food and attention to detail are superb and the staff there clearly love what they do.

The suites are not the most modern, but they have all the touches and facilities and size that will allow you a lovely holiday whether as a couple or a small family. If you have more than one little one, then you can always book the three bed villas which are outstanding, if a little bit more.

What is there to criticize? Not a lot. It was our favourite ever experience in the Seychelles and has changed the level of expectations. If this place carries on improving then the likes of North and Fregate will have to watch out.

It really is that good!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Mitchurchin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Aalborg
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2011

My wife and I visited Desroches Island for 8 nights in October 2010 for the second and last part of our second trip to the Seychelles. We had booked a beach suite after some correspondence with our travel agent - I'm a wheelchair user, but quite mobile both in and out of the wheelchair, so we needed to know whether this was a feasible holiday destination. We were told that Desroches Island is without paved roads as such, but that it has a number of good paths leading around the island, and we were promised that a golf car would be on call to bring us where ever we liked.
After spending a wonderful week on La Reserve on Praslin, we were looking forward to the remoteness and luxury of Desroches. The 45-minute Caravan flight made for a great start, the isolated green island coming into view in the middle of the ocean was a sight not to be forgotten. We were received with cold towels and fresh coconuts by staff and driven by golf car - not to our "modest" beach suite, but to a 440 sqm. luxury beach villa - we had been upgraded! The beautiful villa contained three master bedrooms, and a slightly smaller children's bedroom. There were large bathtubs and in- and outdoor showers for all three bedrooms, a spacious and comfortable living room with a large flatscreen tv and internet connection for our portable pc, a fully equipped kitchen/bar, a huge verandah with sofas, deckchairs and tables, and a large rim flow swimming pool. A short walk across the villa's lawn and you were on your own private stretch of beach with two kayaks and yet another outdoor shower. In all, there are 23 such villas, but due to them not being right on the beach, the palms and vegetation give a perfect desert island sensation - you are indeed on a private beach.
As the stay is all inclusive, save for brand spirits and premium wines, we were told that we could choose to have our meals either in the restaurant or in the villa, and for lunch we could even have a picnic basket packed to bring wherever we liked it. We tried in-villa breakfast two times, both very good. Food during our stay was delicious, plentiful and varied - there was a choice of menus for all meals including breakfast, but if you had special wishes, that were not according to menu, waiters were very accommodating. Especially their tuna sashimi, desserts and huge grilled prawns are worth mentioning - yum! The l'Amirantes Bar was a cozy place, where guests gathered before dinner - simultaneously it was a much used place for planning diving, snorkeling and fishing trips.
As we are both keen snorkelers, we spent a lot of our time checking out snorkeling spots on the island - we asked at the diving centre, and were told that "The Aquarium" and "Madame Zabre" were two of the best spots. Both had marking buoys, which, given the lack of buildings or rocks for guiding, was a well working idea. First we tried "The Aquarium" on the uninhabited northwestern part . The snorkeling was good, but what left the biggest impression on this spot was the silence and the feeling of being alone - and the huge lazy stingrays so near to the beach and us! We used the kayaks to get from our villa to Madame Zabre, and here the snorkeling was really good - a mix between turtle grass and live and - as is unfortunately the case in many places - dead corals. We saw many different fish, rays, large schools of tangs, parrotfish, cornetfish, turtles, squids and a single whitetipped reef shark.
Another thing to do on the island - this time overwater - is a walk to the southwestern tip, called Muraille Bon Dieu. It is a rocky tip of beach, which - depending on the weather - looks either idyllic or harsh and unwelcoming. We managed to see the place in both moods.
We know that the resort has probably opened their new spa by now, so we can't comment on the present facilities, but as we were left with the impression that it would be run by the same people, my wife sends her warmest recommendations.
To sum it up, we had a fantastic holiday on Desroches. The upgrade was a welcome surprise, the golf car service and help offered was impeccable, the food excellent and the sense of splendid isolation in unspoilt nature great. Whatever second thoughts I may have had about going due to my handicap was put to shame. The one minor gripe was the flies on the beach, but they were only interested as long as you were wet from seawater, and anyway, they're part of the fauna too.

Room Tip: Best snorkeling outside villa 117
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  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Kirsten M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2011

My Wife and I visited Desroches in 2009 and there (seriously) has not been a week that has gone passed that we havent dreamt or talked about it. It beat all expectations that were built up from this websites reviews as well as other reviews.
Food, service, digs, fishing, weather, beauty.......if i had to show pictures of paradise to an alien, it would be the photos from this holiday.
There is one big problem however..................
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.
.
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I dont own a villa here and dont know anyone who does!!!!
I've been thinking of a way somewhere could better Desroches....and after 2 years....i've still not thought of anything that could......there are not enough stars to rate this place...

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Twilkx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pretoria, South Africa
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2011

Desroches was amazing. We stayed at the Villas. The rooms are amazing. The food is amazing. The service is outstanding!! The place is really a soul renewal! I would send any client there and know that they have an amazing time!! '')

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MegzieP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DesrochesIsland, General Manager at Desroches Island, responded to this review, February 24, 2011
I'm so glad you had an amazing time in our villa's. They are the perfect place to relax and unwind.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2011

Paradise found

Why: Desroches Island Seychelles

When looking for an idyllic island holiday away from the hustle and bustle of normal busy life, I was referred to this remote island resort as being exactly that a remote island when one can unwind.

The journey starts with a long plane flight from Australia to Dubai, Shopping and onto the Mahe in the Seychelles, one night stopover at the Eden island resort and back to the airport for our 40 minute flight to Paradise.

As you approach the island you get a first hand view of how remote this island paradise is as you cannot see any other land mass for miles and miles, as the plane lines up to land on the air strip you can see the lagoon that surrounds the island and the palm trees that line the white sandy beaches.

The plane lands and we taxi to a stop at the end of the runway, Management of the island is there to greet us with a welcome to Desroches island smile.

Once settled into our villa we are given a quick tour of the resort to get your bearings and then you are left to explore your own piece of paradise on push bikes.

We arrived for lunch at the main resort restaurant and the food was of the type that would not be out of place in a Michelin star restaurant.

Fishing Team, within 15 minutes of leaving the shore we find ourselves in deep blue water, through a lure out the back and strike. Tuna, Job fish, sail fish what more? all within two hours.

Diving, Caves and some of the best in the world

Snorkelling: right outside the villa, Turtles and large reef fish.

So Why Desroches over the islands within Australia

• The trip getting there is an adventure on its own
• Remoteness
• Quality of fishing “the best in the world”
• Unspoilt wilderness
• Diversity of diving
• No “venomous creatures” such as snakes and spiders.
• No Venomous Jelly fish.
• No Mobile phones
• Very hospitable island

Summary
I arrived on the island and left my shoes and mobile phone at the airport, switched off and had the most enjoyable holiday that one can imagine,

To the management and staff at Desroches Island, thank you for an experience one will never forget.


David Hoskins
Managing Director
Computer Air Services.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank David6044
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DesrochesIsland, General Manager at Desroches Island, responded to this review, February 24, 2011
Thank you for taking us on your journey on Desroches. You truly experienced the Desroches magic.

Looking forward to welcoming back to our island paradise.

Mark, Renee and the Desroches Island Family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2011

We just returned from our stay at Desroches Island Resort and can truly say that "We found our paradise!". The island itself is fairly large and you can always find a secluded spot though we always felt alone and undisturbed (despite the fact the resort was 95% occupied!). The climate is perfect with air temperatures around 29-30C and water around 28C (during Dec/Jan). As it is a tropical island with extensive vegetation, there are quite a lot of mosquitoes but there is an insect repellent in every room so no worries if you forget it. Also you will see a number of huge spiders, keep you head low when cycling, but it shouldn’t stop you exploring the island as they are absolutely harmless (we discovered some fantastic places). One small negative, you don’t have any headlights or torches so be careful cycling at night (you can’t get lost but it is quite dark). The ocean is warm and waters are crystal clear even after a small storm, just go to the opposite side to where the wind is coming from. There is an extensive reef around the island offering great snorkeling. You do have to swim out a bit on some of the sites (but it’s worth it). Most of the sites are better explored at high tide (Madam Zabre, Aquarium, Lighthouse) and if you go about 200m right at the end of the runway you can snorkel in low or high tide and it offers great experience. Marine life is incredible albeit it’s not comparable to Maldives experience. You can find anything from small tropical fish to sea turtles, all kinds of rays, sharks (small ones) and manta rays. We also went kayaking around the island (do it at high tide) which took us around 2hrs. You can also ask the hotel to prepare a small picnic basket for you so you can disappear exploring the island.

Despite the size of the island, the hotel is not very big and is very well spread around the island which adds to the feeling of exclusivity. The villas (if you can stay in one) are amazing and are located along the best beaches on the island but the hotel bungalows are also very spacious and tastefully organized. If you do stay at the hotel, ask them for bungalows from 15 to 18 as they are positioned on a far end of the main reception and the runway. The food was just divine so our special thanks to the Chef! Most days it is ‘a la carte’ dining offering good choice. Breakfast was our favorite part of the day, try ‘Eggs Seychellois’. The Spa is not very big (though they are building a new one due sometime in ‘11), so don’t expect huge number of treatments, but it is very good. The girls at the spa are very skillful! The island also has its own diving center. Diving off Desroches is considered one of the best in the world and it truly is. Jacques (the diving master) and his team are very professional, fun and are very knowledgeable of sites, all of which makes great experience even better! If you can, do a snorkeling boat trip to St.Joseph/D’Arros Island, it is an absolute jewel for snorkeling. We were swimming with 4 manta rays, an unbelievable and unforgettable experience. One more thing, there is absolutely no telephone connection and WiFi connection is only around main reception and some villas.
To summarize couple of practical tips: there is an insect repellent in every room, take a torch or a headlamp to cycle at night as the hotel doesn’t provide any, take enough sun protection as you will get burned even if it is cloudy, take an underwater or waterproof camera, and, ladies, you only need a pair of flip flops for cycling.

We were lucky to celebrate New Years Eve at the resort and will most definitely be returning to celebrate again! Everything was perfect, the food was amazing and plenty, they even made a couple of suckling pigs, the hotel flew in a live band for the night and we didn’t stop dancing and, the best thing were the people, everyone from the hotel staff to the hotel guests. We made some great friends during our stay! So if you have a chance to stay on Desroches during NYE – you won’t regret it - the slight problem might be that you would want to repeat it year on year thereafter!

One last thing, as island life tends to be a lot more laid back, which is great but that result in (sometimes) delays in domestic flights. We were delayed by more than 3hrs on both legs of our travel. The delay returning to Mahe isn’t that bad as you are prolonging your stay on Desroches but the delay to Desroches (particularly after long haul flight) was quite frustrating. The hotel doesn’t have any waiting lounge and we ended up sitting around hangar waiting for our plane to be fixed. The frustration disappears once you get to Desroches. Perhaps that’s something that the hotel management should consider in the future.

Oh! and Desroches Island Resort has been voted one of 10 'World's Most Remote Hotels' by Forbes and it truly deserves it!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank MGundlach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed December 27, 2010

We spent 5 wonderful days on this idyllic island - too short!
Desroches Island Resort has so many great features that it is hard to list them all but here's an attempt:
1) Complete exclusivity - the resort and villas is the only commercial development on the island and there are kms of deserted, unspoilt beaches and tropical forests.
2) Being a relatively small, flat island you can cycle around easily (bicycles are provided free of charge) and there is always a sheltered beach even when the wind blows.
3) The sea is just as you imagine a tropical island - unbelievabily clear, warm and calm. You can snorkel right off the beach in front of the resort, the diving is incredible and the dive centre/school very professionally run. if you like fishing this is amongst the best in the world. Fly fishing, deepsea - whatever you want..
4) The resort is impeccabily run by the management couple, Mark and Rene. The food is excellent and the service friendly and efficient. We stayed in one of the villas which was spacious, comfortable, beautifully decorated and with all the best equipment including a TV with satellite connection. There is a spa too!
5) Accessibility - it is an easy 30 min hop by plane from Mahe.
I cannot recommend this destination enough. if you have the time and can afford it - go!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Mark W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DesrochesIsland, General Manager at Desroches Island, responded to this review, February 25, 2011
We are so glad you and your family had a great time on the island. We thoroughly enjoy sharing paradise with you.

We hope to see you all again soon.
Mark, Renee and the Desroches Team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Desroches Island

Property: Desroches Island
Address: PO Box 378, Desroches Island, Seychelles
Location: Seychelles > Desroches Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Desroches Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Desroches Island 5*
Number of rooms: 75
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
PARADISE PERFECTION ON A HIDDEN SEYCHELLES ISLAND The advent of civilisation can often disturb the allure and simplicity of paradise. To delight in ultimate luxury there usually has to be sacrifice. But what if we want it all . . . To experience an untouched natural sanctuary on an island in the far reaches of the Indian Ocean, without leaving behind the sophistication that modern life has to offer . . . Desroches Island is a luxurious Seychelles Resort in the Amirante Archipelago, considered to be of the most pristine and untouched islands still around today. The naturally inspired and tastefully modern Beach Retreats and Exclusive Villas provide the epitome in luxury and opulent indulgence. Blessed with one of the world's healthiest climates, and miles of unblemished beaches, Desroches Island is a refuge for romance, adventure and pampered relaxation. ... more   less 
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