Published: August 7th 2008August 1st 2008
July 25 - July 31
Following our relatively painless 4 hour flight from Johannesburg we arrived late evening in the Seychelles, a group of tropical islands in the Indian Ocean south of Dubai and between India and Africa.
This is a complicated and expensive place to get to if you are not in the area and are coming just for a holiday in Seychelles.
This is a very small country of about 84,000 people total. We are booked into the Le Meridien Barbarons for the next six nights for some relaxing in the sun.
Sun ??? What is that ??? We didn’t see the sun for more than five minutes at a time for the entire 6 days except the day we left !! The weather was terrible, period. Wind, rain, rough seas, and cloudy all day and night. I guess we can’t control the weather.
We had planned to visit some of the neighboring islands but we passed on that due to the rough seas. Diving was not an option for the same reason. I don’t recall when we have done so many crosswords, Sudoku and computer games and watched so many old ( some
very old ) movies including a classic “ British “ version of Lassie. Frankly it was a long six days.
We did travel one day from the resort to the main city of Victoria for a look around town. Nice little city with a few shops and the usual tourist stuff. They have a very nice museum but not a lot to do.
Our last day we took a local driver and car for a short tour of the main Island and some of the highlights. There is a lot of new development with 5 or 6 new 5 star resortd being built.
The beaches are great and the facilities for diving look good. There are some great bird watching opportunities here and it is a great place for sea turtles at the right time of year. This is a beautiful place and probably a better bet for travelers from Europe, India, Africa or the Middle East.
We were expecting more than what we got at Le Meridien as it is billed as a 4 star resort. Service was far from four star. Food was great, albeit a bit expensive ( classic resort prices similar to
The Maldives ) 40 Euros ( that’s 65. US / Can $ ) each, plus a 10 % service charge, and gratuity for a buffet dinner. As we have said the food was very good for the most part particularly the dinner buffets.
It appears they need some tuning up in the customer service part and we bitched and it did seem to improve as the week went by. They have a ways to go to get to what we would call 4 Star. The facility and location is nice but it is not operated like a 4 star. 3 maybe or more like 2 star. Could be 5 Star with very little work and some major change in attitude in regard to customer service. The service was typical of what we would expect at a regular, cheapy, all-inclusive resort in Mexico.
It is not hard to see why Europeans are flocking to the Caribbean as the costs here are getting out of line with everything in Euros. Resorts are all using Euros and not the local Rupies. Looks to us like a good way to get away with charging more. We learned it is wise to use
local currency where you can as there is no sense, what so ever, in the exchange from merchants, taxis etc. IE; 30 Euros for a taxi to the hotel, ( or 200 Rupies if you ask to pay in Rupies ). The standard rate is 30 Euros if you ask. 30 Euros is about 360 Rupies at the banks or ATM’s !!! It pays to ask.
Quite frankly we would not consider coming back to the Seychelles for another vacation considering the value for the bucks we spent.
Off tomorrow to South Africa for our connection to Livingstone, Zambia and Victoria Falls.
There are more photos below