We stayed here over Christmas and from booking (which we did directly with the hotel), we were made to feel welcome - greeted by the manager with a cocktail by the small infinity pool while paperwork was completed. Our bungalow by the private beach was perfect - just steps away from the soft white sand. The room was tasteful with a large comfortable bed overlooking the beach with a large wet room and separate toilet. There was a private balcony which gave a fantastic view of the bay and the maid service provided was second to none. When we asked for all the soft drinks in our mini-bar to be replaced with just Coke, our request was carried out straight away. The grounds were lovely and very well maintained and all areas of the hotel were clean and nicely decorated.
Breakfast was served right on the beach and there was a great selection, including fresh fruits and pastries and a cooked option -can recommend the cinnamon pancakes with maple syrup! Lunches were great too - but oh, so expensive! The fries were to die for!
The service in the restaurant was where it all started to go wrong... if you were a couple you could only sit at a table for 2 - even when the restaurant was empty and there were so few guests it was never going to fill up! Service was rotated daily, so even if you sat at the same table, you never got the same server - which was a shame, as we found one server who knew what he was doing and went out of his way to make our meals a pleasant experience - but it was hit or miss as to whether we got him or not (John). Mostly, the serving staff were either fawning and didn't listen to orders/requests or surly and couldn't care less! The restaurant manager spent his time walking round interrupting you eating to ask if you had a nice day, rather than supervising staff efficiently. Bearing in mind this was a 5-star hotel, if you ordered Coke, the tin and a glass (you had to request ice separately) was slammed down in front of you unopened! The wine order was often wrong and we were on more than one occasion billed for more expensive wines than we ordered. Often you found that people who had come in after you, were served before you - especially if they spoke French! As Brit, I often felt like a second class citizen there with inferior service and attention. We had to request condiments at EVERY meal and I resorted to stockpiling butter from breakfast to have with my bread in the evening, because even if I requested it, it was hit or miss whether I got it before the dessert course!! The food was like something off Junior Masterchef where the chef was trying to impress the judges with too many flavours and spices on one plate - none of which quite worked together. If you were half-board, you had two options for your evening meal if you didn't want to pay the extortionate a-la-carte prices. Often I went hungry.
There were lots of hidden charges - prices shown did not include tax or the gratuity which was always added on to your bill. Perhaps if the gratuity was not added to the bill, but paid by the customer - then the service might have been a lot better in the restaurant!!
The beach clearing was often done just as the guests were sitting down on the beach after breakfast instead of first thing in the morning as you would expect - and they used a smelly diesel emitting truck to clear away the seaweed!
On checking out, we were disappointed that the manager completely blanked us - perhaps he had already read our survey! We would have been quite happy to discuss the problems we had with him.
All in all, we did enjoy our stay and it was a lovely location and hotel - shame about the food and service in the restaurant - not 5 star - or even 4 star I am afraid compared with the accommodation which was definitely 5 star!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The hotel is located on praslin at the end of the famous cote d'or Bay, overlooking the secluded beach of Anse Gouvernement. L'Archipel hotel enjoys an idyllic setting with all rooms offering sea views, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the tranquility. 5 Superior rooms 60sqm, 18 deluxe rooms 60sqm, 7 senior suites 65sqm and 2 family suites 120sqm. Hotel L'Archipel proposes some of the best cuisine on the island in its two reputed restaurants: La Feuille d'Or and la Gigolette which offer a variety of delicious international and memorable Creole dishes featuring the very best seafood and local produce. Attractions include the live cooking of seafood right on the beach, weekly themed nights and spectacular Barbecues. The special Creole night comes complete with a moutya dance and, on occasion, live entertainment. We are happy to cater for guests with special dietary needs and clients who go fishing may request the chef to cook their catch. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel l Archipel