Hotel L'Ocean on La Digue Island is a small and friendly accommodation, set on a gentle hillside.
Hotel L'Ocean: Our full report
On La Digue's northern headland, Hotel L'Ocean is a funky little establishment filled with all sorts of curiosities. Fabulous marine mosaic murals adorn the walls (including a particularly spectacular lionfish), buxom mermaid statues are dotted around the garden and an entertaining young staff is keen to ensure guests have an enjoyable stay.
Hotel L'Ocean itself, on the island side of the coastal road, sits on three terraced levels on a gentle hillside. Surrounded by palms and granite boulders, it offers sea views and cooling breezes, and easy access to La Passe village and the island's coastal attractions.
The eight standard rooms at Hotel L'Ocean are all named after islands in the Seychelles. All face the ocean with terrific balcony views to Coco and Felicite islands. The naturally themed interiors all have a distinctly local flavour, with timber, palm, hessian, shell and bleached coral all featuring against a backdrop of white walls and pale laminate-timber flooring. Lampshades and bins are made from coconut husk, old sepia photographs are framed on the veranda, and a comfortable double bed makes for a pleasant, peaceful place to take in the eccentric attributes and lovely sea view.
Each room has a small en-suite bathroom, with an electrically heated shower, small granite-topped dressing table and toilet. The quirky detail is evident here, too: the toothbrush stand is made from half a coconut; the soapdish is a wall-hung shell; and the large mirror is framed by driftwood and bleached coral. On our most recent visit, in May 2010, there were plans to modernise the bathrooms in the near future.
The rooms at Hotel L'Ocean all have air conditioning, a ceiling fan, minibar, digital safe, UK-style electrical sockets and international adapters. Although all the rooms are technically in the same category, the two at the top of the hotel – Grande Soeur and Petite Soeur – are slightly bigger and, being higher up, benefit from the extra view. These rooms are usually reserved for honeymooners and cannot always be guaranteed.
There is no swimming pool at Hotel L'Ocean, but the nearby beaches of Anse Severe and Anse Patates allow for a convenient dip in the sea (with beach towels included), whilst bicycle hire makes the island's other coves an easy ride (the furthest point is only 5km away). Longer excursion, such as snorkelling, diving and deep-sea fishing trips, can be arranged with ease.
All meals are served in the popular Patatran Restaurant, just above the road. (Don't confuse this with a nearby hotel of the same name; this is L'Ocean's own restaurant.) An open-sided, shady spot, with orange-cushioned chairs, it is often busy with guests and non-residents alike stopping for a cold drink or some Creole fare. As creatively decorated as the rooms, the glass-top restaurant tables are filled with sand and lobster carcasses, Creole figurines and shells to create amusing sea and island scenes. The table numbers are crafted from coconut husk to resemble sailing boats, and you're as likely to have breakfast to the rousing sounds of Handel's Messiah, as eat dinner to the tunes of a local reggae band.
Our ViewFor a friendly, alternative place to stay with quirky and highly individual décor, Hotel l'Ocean is a good choice. Geared mainly to adult visitors, it's fresh and fun but within easy access of the village and beach.
Ideal length of stay: Stay here 3 nights to explore La Digue
Directions: Transfers to Hotel L'Ocean from La Digue heliport or jetty can be arranged by ox-cart or small painted bus. For those choosing to walk or cycle from La Passe harbour, take the tar road to the left, heading north along the coastal road. Follow this road around the coast (for approx 15 minutes by bike). Hotel L'Ocean has a roadside location on the right side and cannot be missed.
Owner: Hotel L'Ocean is Mauritian owned.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Half Board
Food quality: Guests staying at Hotel L'Ocean can do so on either a bed-and-breakfast or half-board basis, though the latter is more popular. Non-residents are also free to use the restaurant facilities at any time.
The food is good with Creole set buffets and international a la carte options available daily. In keeping with the impressive fish sculptures which hover over the bar, seafood is particularly popular.
Live local entertainment is provided on Wednesday and Saturdays, with free transfers available for visitors coming just for dinner.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Outdoor Dining
Attitude towards children: Hotel L'Ocean welcomes children of all ages.
Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions on guests.
Special activities & services: There are no dedicated children's facilities or activities at Hotel L'Ocean, though registered babysitters can be booked through reception.
Equipment: A cot is available for babies.
Generally recommended for children: Given its terraced design and location on the coastal road, plus a rocky drop off to the ocean, we feel that Hotel L'Ocean is more suited to adults than families with young children.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: There are IDD telephones and email/internet access available at the hotel reception.
TV & radio: There are no televisions or radios at the hotel to maintain a peaceful atmosphere.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Medical care: La Digue Logan Hospital is on the coast, just south of La Passe jetty, approximately 15 minutes from Hotel L'Ocean. It offers a basic 24-hour health service, including dental care and a child health facility. There is an ambulance available for emergencies.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge
Accepted payment on location: All hotel services must be paid for using foreign exchange currency.