Are the Seychelles overrated?

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Mar 12th, 2009, 10:33 AM
  #1
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Are the Seychelles overrated?

We have 5 nights at the end of our honeymoon in November (first half will be in Uganda, gorilla trekking at Bwindi) and are considering the Seychelles.

Is it worth it? The top of the line resorts seem insanely expensive, but have amenities that are hard to find at some of the cheaper places (such as a private plunge pool). Are they really worth the price tag? On tripadvisor I have read about bug problems and bird stench at North Island and Fregate.

We care about: (1) private villa with private plunge pool (2) being able to swim in the ocean and (3) the ability to take a day trip/picnic to a private beach (is this possible in Mahe?)

Any thoughts or tips would be appreciated!!
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Mar 12th, 2009, 10:56 AM
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While the Seychelles are beautiful and we had a wonderful time there, I'm not sure that I could see paying the rates that some of the resorts charge either. We used FF miles and Hilton points so our flights and accommodations were essentially free. We didn't find the cost of food, drink and excursions to be too bad (seemed in line with most other resort areas). I'm not sure if there are any true private beaches on Mahe but when we went around the island one day, we stopped at 3-4 beaches and there was never anyone else around. Beau Vallon and the beach at our resort were the only ones where we encountered other people.
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Mar 12th, 2009, 01:40 PM
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The Seychelles are a wonderful extension, especially from an East African (incl. Ugangda) safari. We visited after safari for 1//weeks and enjoyed our stay, split between time on Praslin (visit to La Digue) and Mahe, very much, this was also before Fregate, North and some of the other private single resorts came into existence. And while these are lovely, they are very very expensive. If money is not an issue, go for it, but there are lovely, private villa resorts closer and less expensive.

In Kenya, there is the lovely "Shompole" located on the border with Tanzania, only 7/large open plan houses, each with private plunge pool. The Little Shompole with 2/even larger villas have private butlers and own wait staff for all services. Besides "just chillin'" you can go on game drives, meet local tribal villagers, biking on the plains with rangers, canoeing (if water levels high enough); even arrange a local wedding ceremony with Masai warriors and mamas as your attendants, a draped Range Rover as chariot, medicine man for a blessing, private dinner and photographer.

On the Kenyan coast, south of Mombasa at Diani Beach is "Alfajiri" with 3/large private cottages, and few guests. In fact, where Branjelina hid away in 2005 from the press (not very well apparently as pictures appeared everywhere), but where many known folks holiday.

On Zanzibar Island (off Tanzania coast) there is "Mnemba Island Resort", with 8/thatched cottages, beautiful beaches, fresh fish delivered daily, perfect place for relaxation and romanace.

On Zanzibar proper, northeast coast is the "Matemwe Retreat" with 2/private cottages and lots of relaxing attention. Also on Zanzibar is "The Palm", small with 6/self-contained air conditioned cottages and private plunge pools.

I'm sure I missed something, but check out some of these and see whether they might fit and not break the bank. In fact, with the economic situation as it is, some of the properties in Kenya might even have some "special" pricing for extended stays.

Best wishes and keep us posted.
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Mar 12th, 2009, 02:30 PM
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Thanks Sandi - yes, we were originally considering Alfajiri but I think we really like the idea of being on a smaller island without that many people around. Diani Beach seems a little overwhelming!

I am now also considering the Maldives - the flight will be longer because we will have to go through Dubai as opposed to direct, but the resorts seem more in line with what we are looking for. Do you have any thoughts on that?
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Mar 12th, 2009, 02:39 PM
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How about Funzi Keys? I haven't stayed there but it's on a private island. The Maldives seem like a long way to travel for 5 nights.
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Mar 12th, 2009, 02:43 PM
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Forgot to add, no plunge pools though.
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Mar 12th, 2009, 03:17 PM
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Maldives! Wow... way too long/far to go for 5/days; most will be eaten up by travel. Best to save these for a beach holiday on it's own. SEZ is only 3/hrs from NBO; Maldives will take forever.

Patty reminded me, also on the Kenya coast besides Funzi Key, there is also down Diani-way "Msambwena Beach House", "Kinondo Kwetu," and on Lamu Island "Manda Bay" There might not be private plunge pools, but you've got the beach and ocean right outside your door. And, these places are relatively small.
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Mar 12th, 2009, 06:42 PM
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All pools in Seychelles are expensive to maintain so you'll only find them in the larger places where they can afford and stockpile the parts and chemicals (mainly chlorine). This all because of stringent currency management regulations.

A few years back there was a chlorine and algicide shortage (lack actually) and all but 2 pools I know of were closed and a terrible green color.

As to private beaches, there are a fair number on Mahe but you need to hunt them down. May personal favorite is Grande Anse, accessible only by boat and by an easy 90 minute walk from the end of the road in Bel Ombre.
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Mar 13th, 2009, 07:33 AM
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Thanks Sandi - Msambwena looks very nice - do you know how that compares to Alfajiri? From the website it says they have a private beach so no beach boys - that is a big difference in my book!
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Mar 13th, 2009, 12:16 PM
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Haven't stayed at either. Alfajiri, of course, has been around longer and new properties are always coming on the market (as Msambweni). Both are great choices and the infinity pools at the later are real tempting.

As to beach boy/gals, even with a private beach, they seem to get wherever; for me personally, regardless the country, have never been a concern (I just ignore them). If this would be an issue, be sure to ask when obtaining price quotes.

Whatever your choice, for 5/days only I think it's best to stay on the East African coast then spend the time traveling. Good luck.
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Mar 13th, 2009, 01:43 PM
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I don't think you'll find too many beach vendors in Msambweni. This area is mostly private homes and villas, not very commercialized.
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Mar 14th, 2009, 10:02 AM
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re your Seychelles question - there is a great adage about the Seychelles - 5 star islands with 3 star accommodation and 6 star prices. accommodation choices have improved of late - have a peak at the Banyan Tree http://www.banyantree.com/en/seychelles/index.html - great beach great hotel and private pool - but it is not cheap

Re Kenya http://www.msambweni-house.com/ is cheaper and more "rustic" than Alfajiri though they are both good choices (Msembweni is much less busy than the area around Alfajiri.

Another thought for you would be one of the suites at Ras Kutani just south of Dar which are beautiful, and totally secluded beach, and have a private plunge pool - http://www.selous.com/ras-kutani - which cost about $330 pp pn

Good luck in your decision …
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Jul 21st, 2012, 03:52 AM
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Grand Anseis on the west coast of Mahe.There are roads to take you there. If you stay in Bel Ombré it is true you can go by boat or walk. However, travelling by car is easier and it wii take less time than walking. In the past there were lots of empty beaches on Mahe especially the south. Eg; Intendance beach, now the Banyan Tree resort is located there. Anse Soleil beach( Four Season), Anse Louis(Maia ), Port-Launay(Constance Ephelia resort), Anse Forbans beach(Chalets D'Anse Forbans). You will meet a few tourists around but the beaches do not get crowded.
Frigate Island is a nature reserve. If you are frighten of insects please avoid it because they will be everywhere. I do not mind the gecko but I really, really dislike the skink lizards. It 's full of them there. I would love to see this place but they put me off.
Sez is 2 and a half hours from Nairobi.
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