Thinking of travelling to the Seychelles? Then you probably are aware that the 2nd largest and one of the must-visit-Island in the archipelago is Praslin? Praslin is said to be the original Garden of Eden with its famous Vallee de Mai, a UNESCO World Heritage Site home of thousands of palm trees, some being native from the island such as the Coco de Mer. The island also has many “out of this world” beaches like Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette to name a couple.
Where to stay in Praslin?
Still not sure where to stay in Praslin? Well I have the one place to be and it’s called RAFFLES SEYCHELLES. This beautiful hotel is located on the northeastern side of Praslin on the hillside of Anse Takamaka, and offers breathtaking and panoramic views of the entire bay and Curieuse Island. The 86 beautiful villas (yes the hotel only offers villas with private pools) spread out amongst over 40 acres of lush gardens all over the hillside. Depending on where up on the hill you villa is, you will definitely need to use one of the many buggies that run throughout the hotel. All you need is request one of them at anytime and anywhere you are in the hotel: from your villa or any of the restaurants, they will meet up with you within minutes.
Whatever your villa category, know that the villas are among the largest accommodations in the archipelago, ranging from 125 to 275 square meters (1345 – 2960 square feet).
They all come with an outdoor pavilion / cabana area with sundeck beds, a dining table and a large outdoor couch as well as a beautiful and private plunge pool with dramatic panoramic views on the bay. Inside you get a spacious bedroom overlooking the plunge pool with a stylish sitting area and a separate dressing area. The bathroom is equipped with a deep soaking tub positioned to offer stunning views of the ocean, an indoor AND an outdoor rain shower.
Raffles Seychelles claims to have the largest swimming pool in the Indian Ocean with a length of 45 meters or 150 feet. It is centrally located and lined by several rows of comfortable sun loungers where you can spend time soaking up the sun and drinking cocktails from the Pool Restaurant & Bar.
The beach nearby is lovely and offers non-motorised watersports free of charge (snorkeling kits, kayaks, paddle, etc).
If you’d rather rest in paradise, you can spend some time at the resort’s’ Spa which is the largest in the Seychelles. Once you’ve stepped in the massive entrance, you can book a treatment in one of the 12 treatment pavilions. They all offer breathtaking views of the ocean, the tropical gardens and dramatic granite boulders. Some of the Spa suites also come with steam showers, Japanesesoaking tubs, and observation decks.
Where to eat at Raffles Seychelles?
Raffles Seychelles features a wide selection of restaurants and bars, each offering a good mix of local and international cuisine.
- Losean Restaurant is the main dining venue, and is also where breakfast is served either a la carte or with a buffet. Even the pickiest will find something to enjoy since the selection is impressive. They also serve contemporary Mediterranean cuisine with a touch of Indian Ocean. Some nights you can also enjoy a tasting menu with live music.
- The Pool Restaurant & Bar offers casual food at anytime of the day. Some nights it turns into an all new place called Shisha Night Arabic Grill & Mezze where you can enjoy Arabic cuisine while smoking a shisha and watching some old classic Arabic movies on a wide screen.
- Curieuse is the resort’s signature restaurant, offering Indian, Chinese and South East Asian food.
- The ‘Sushi Room’ is set within Curieuse restaurant in a in a glass-sided space. As its name indicates it offers the best selection of sushis and sashimis with local fish!
- Danzil Lounge Bar is the main bar of the resort. The selection of drinks is very wide and the view towards the ocean priceless.
- Takamaka Terrace & Shisha Lounge is a rooftop lounge, located below the reception area where you can enjoy cocktails while smoking shisha and watching the shining stars at night.
- Pti Zil Beach is the pop up restaurant that sets on the beach at night. You can enjoy shoeless under the stars dinner.
What to do in Praslin?
First option would be to never leave the resort as there are so many things to do right on site. But if you feel like spending a day or a couple of hours out of the resort, I would suggest to visit the famous Vallee de Mai. There you should request a guide for a private visit and to get as much info as possible. If you walk there by yourself you’ll miss 90% of what is to see and learn. There you’ll know more about the mysterious coco de mer and how it reproduces (quite unlikely), and many other species of tropical trees and plants. If you’re lucky you may also come across one of the Black Parrots that are only seen in Seychelles. The whole tour can easily take under 2hrs.
Even though the hotel beach is quite big and has the typical Seychelles polished granite rock formation spread out all over, you may want to spend sometime on one of the many others beaches on the Island. Priority being given to Anse Lazio. The beach is only a 10-minute drive from the resort and is oriented west, so you can enjoy the beautiful sunset in the evening. But if you feel adventurous enough you can try and walk the beach a bit further and will find many of the bigger rock formations that make it unique there.
Other worth seing beaches on the Island are Anse Georgette, but this one you need to go all around the Island to visit since you need to go across Constance Lemuria to reach it.
Another beach not to far from the hotel is Anse Volbert with amazing white powder like sand. It faces a small island called Chauve Souris Island (literally translating to Bat Island)
Another option of activities to do in Praslin is to book a half-day trip to Curieuse, which is right in front of the hotel. There you will find beautiful beaches and wild tortoises! But be aware the hotel does own a few tortoises that you can come feed at any time of the day. The park where you can find them is right by the helipad.
Finally you may want to book a day trip to La Digue, which is a 20 minute boat ride from Praslin with Cat Rose Ferry. But I do suggest you spend the night on the island since there are so many mindblowing beaches on the small island. One of them being the #1 ranked beach in the world Anse Source d’Argent! Definitely worth the trip.