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!
- 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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