Is half board worth it?

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Apr 28th, 2004, 05:21 PM
  #1
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Is half board worth it?

First of all, I want to thank all of you for your great advice in helping us plan our honeymoon trip to Seychelles and Mauritius. I am hoping this will be our last question
At the risk of sounding like the travel novices we are?. Is half board worth it? Our biggest concerns are food options. I don't understand how it works, but it seems like you only have limited food choices (like a pick of three entrees, or a visit to only one specific restaurant). Is this the case? Would you say the average dinner in either location costs $160 US? (We aren't big eaters or drinkers)
Thanks for ALL of your advice!
Cait
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Apr 29th, 2004, 04:34 AM
  #2
sandi
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You still haven't provided information as to which islands and which hotels and difference between B&B, Half-boards, or Full-board prices.

When we visited the Seychelles, we had our breakfast included. Most days we were out on full day-tours which included a lunch (beach BBQ or at a hotel restaurant) which were certainly sufficient. For dinner, we either ate at our hotel, or joined friends at their hotel (and vice-versa), at a la carte prices.

For meals not included, we just paid for whatever, the cost and in our case, these weren't really expensive (don't recall price). If you tie yourself into Half-Board, then you have to eat dinner at your hotel which eliminates the opportunity to maybe eat elsewhere - another hotel, restaurant, or not have a meal at all.

Remember that it is very very hot on these islands, many hotel restaurants are open-air (not indoor and air conditioned) and I personally don't have much appetite when it is so hot. Therefore, missing a meal or two was no big deal; there is always the bar for a cool drink or ice cold beer!

As far as three entre choices - that's more than enough (probably a fish, meat, and maybe pasta or vegetables) - but never be affraid to ask for something specific you may want. I don't eat fish, and one night the camp in Kenya was serving pork (another item I don't eat) - the kitchen had no problem preparing something to my liking.

Again, since you don't mention the island/hotel, and prices your talking about, difficult to answer specifically.
 
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Apr 29th, 2004, 12:36 PM
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....The price I gave above is per day.
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Apr 29th, 2004, 02:17 PM
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sandi
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Am I understanding correctly,
- that the cost of three meals, per day, per person is $160? or
- is is that two meals (Breakfast/Dinner) are $160/day/person? or
- is $160/day for both of you to eat (how many meals)?

If it's for both of you, then it isn't all that high if it's for 3-meals, and even for 2-meals each daily. Remember, you're on an island, and everything has to be imported, except maybe the veggies, toilet paper and beer (their Seybrew is a very good beer).

If it's $160/per person daily - that's high; even French Polynesia (Tahiti, Bora Bora, et al) doesn't charge that much (may $130/day for 3-meals).

Cait - you're still dribbling out little bits of information - causing me to ask more questions, because you don't provide enough from the getgo! It shouldn't be a secret as to what hotel your considering, which island/s, and even the costs? We've all been thru the same situations regardless the destination, the reason we ask specifically.

The Seychelles are expensive, and I'd hate to see you book a hotel that meets your budget, but might not meet your expectations. And I don't understand what you mean "eating in one specific restaurant" Few hotels are so big that they have more than one restaurant, and if it does, why are you being restricted? Food, is going to cost you whether at your hotel or at another, unless you want to dine on pizza (even that can be costly... we paid over $12 for what we consider an individual pizza for one person, at home).

Take the following from experience: If you have to decide whether to eat or not, maybe the Seychelles are not the destination for you.
 
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Apr 29th, 2004, 02:35 PM
  #5
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Sandi... I am SO SORRY! I posted more information earlier today, but when I went to read the posting... it wasn't there! The only thing it said was the per day comment. I must sound like a total idiot! For some reason you can only read my complete post from the "post a reply" page... it never showed up on the message board.

Well... I'm going to try again. This was my complete post from earlier. Thanks for being so patient with me--

Thanks for the help Sandi... and I apologize. I never seem to provide all of the necessary information.
We are planning to stay at Lemuria in Seychelles with a day trip or two to other islands. We haven't really decided on Maruitius yet, but are thinking about the Belle Mare. Both hotels include breakfast. Half board ranges from $160 US at Lemuria to $140 US at Belle Mare (per couple).
Our travel agent is pushing us to pay for half board... saying there aren't any other places to eat and the average dinner costs much more than that. Sounds like that isn't the case. Does paying half board usually limit you to eating in just one of the hotel restaurants each day? That would get old really fast. Thanks for the advice. If you have any other imput, please let me know.
...The price I gave above is per night.
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Apr 29th, 2004, 04:48 PM
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sandi
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Ok, now I think I've got it right - gather initial price for Lemuria from your TA was for bed & breakfast only. Now she's saying that it's $80/per person/day for DINNER! Wow, that seems high, and I bet wine isn't included.

It does appear that Lemuria, which is a rather large hotel does have two restaurants - The Legend, main restaurant, and the Seahorse at the Club House (I checked the website). I pressume it is The Legend, where you can eat. Most hotels only have one restaurant because they are much smaller - maybe 20 or 30 rooms/max., most are even less. The Seychelles are nothing like the Caribbean, or Florida, Baja, Mexico, or Las Vegas. You just do not have restaurants of every cuisine from which to choose.

What would I do? Personally, unless I knew there were no other options for food (example: on safari where there are no options in the wilderness) I'd book breakfast only - and deal with dinner each day, a-la-carte. You might want to try dinner at another hotel or a restaurant on the island (in both cases you'll have to taxi to/fr unless hotel has a service). On one of your day trips you might meet another couple staying at another hotel and are invited to have dinner at their hotel, or vice versa. Well, that's one meal you missed that was prepaid.

Assuming even the 3-choices of entres along with salad, cheese cart, dessert and coffee/tea are outstanding, I doubt you'll have the same entres every night. Then the portions might be such that it's too much to eat or you might want to share a course - salad, dessert, maybe even the entre. I can't believe if we're not talking about a Michelin star-rated hotel restaurant, that the meal can be all that expensive.

We often found that because of the heat, we didn't have an appetite for more than a salad and iced tea for dinner. It was a-la-carte all the way.

Hope this helps, now it's your decision to make.

Sorry, but I can't advise re Mauritius.





 
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Apr 29th, 2004, 07:29 PM
  #7
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Thanks so much Sandi. You've been incredibly helpful. I think we'd rather have the flexibility of eating what, when and where we want
Cait
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Aug 22nd, 2005, 09:13 AM
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sorry to be naive.

But what is half board ?

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Dhiraj
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Aug 22nd, 2005, 09:54 AM
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Dhiraj
Many hotels offer a number of reservation/ pricing options:

Room only (self explanatory)

Bed and Breakfast (Room plus breakfast)

Half Board (Room plus breakfast plus one main meal)

Some places that do half board specify dinner as the meal to be included, others allow you to select whether it's lunch or dinner. It depends on whether they have a restaurant that is open at lunch times or not.

Trouble is half board options often include only a restricted version of the a la carte menu.

If considering a HB option it's best to clarify which meal (lunch or dinner) is included (and whether one can swap each day) and what menu one will be eating from.
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