Le Jardin des Palmes is set in lush tropical vegetation...
Le Jardin des Palmes: Our full report
Le Jardin des Palmes is located in the south-west of Mahé, only 10 miles from the airport. Set in lush tropical vegetation high above the sweeping curve of Anse à la Mouche bay, it is a small characterful hotel with a strong French vibe and stunning sea views. Although you can't step out onto the beach, it's only a five minute walk to the sea, and the sunset views from the balconies more than make up for it.
Up some steep stairs from the car park, a welcoming reception, complete with cocktail bar (9am – 10pm) and lounge, offers the first glimpse of the Le Jardin des Palmes' focal point: its inviting swimming pool and small, but well-tended tropical gardens. Appropriately named, Le Jardin des Palmes is filled with exotic palms and flowering shrubs which ring the timber deck and line the paths to the suites. There is a small poolside restaurant with neat, inviting tables and sun-loungers for those keen to soak up the sun.
There are 10 junior suites in 5 timber, semi-detached chalets. Perched along the hillside, with stilts supporting their ocean facing terraces, the identical rooms are spacious enough to accommodate 2 adults and 2 children, or 3 adults. Vertical timber panels can make the interiors seem dark, but the coordinated cream and blue furnishings lend a homely, welcoming feel. Open-plan in design, there is a double bed, comfortable lounge area, complete with sofas, small tea/coffee/fridge area and satellite TV, as well as a slightly separate daybed area which can be converted into a children's bedroom with 2 single beds.
There is a pleasant en-suite bathroom boasting a bath and even an outdoor shower under a timber louvered ceiling, but the real draw of these rooms is the superb view from the terrace. Step through the patio doors, cocktail in hand and admire the delightful sweep of Anse à la Mouche bay with its bobbing fishing boats, swimmers and gentle tidal fluctuations – an idyllic view. For larger families or friends, the divider door on the terrace can be unlocked to join with the neighbouring suite, thus creating a single unit. Standard mod-cons in all the suites include: IDD telephone system, TV, minibar, fan, air-conditioning, wall-mounted hairdryer and a key-lock safe in the wardrobe.
There are few activities which take place within the actual the hotel complex, bar swimming, relaxing and a game of billiards, cards or table football - but the staff here are friendly and will happily arrange watersports, fishing excursions, island tours and car rental on request. For many though, just reading and relaxing by the pool is enough. The nearest beach is Anse à la Mouche, a short walk downhill, and its shallow waters and gentle tides make it particularly good for children and more nervous swimmers.
To conclude Le Jardin des Palmes is a well-kept, quiet, understated hotel: a great base from which to explore the west coast and island interior, or just to hole up for a few days soaking up the sun and sea.
Ideal length of stay: 3 nights or more
Directions: From Victoria or Mahé airport, transfers to Le Jardin des Palmes are easy, even for those hiring a car on the island for the first time. Following the eastern coast road south from either place, there are clear signposts to the west coast at Anse aux Pins and Anse Royale. From both of these, winding roads quickly cross the mountainous island interior, affording some lovely views of Mahé on the way. Le Jardin des Palmes is clearly signposted off the west coast road at the northern end of Anse à la Mouche. The many free Seychelles maps available on the island all mark the main hotels, restaurants and roads for easy navigation.
Accessible by: Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Half Board
Food quality: Adjacent to the swimming pool, the intimate, open-sided restaurant serves Creole and international fare at breakfast, lunch and dinner. It has the air of a small Mediterranean taverna, with tables closely packed, bright tablecloths and an eclectic mix of dishes.
Served between 7.30am and a civilized 10am, Breakfast is a continental buffet of pastries, cereal, seasonal local fruits and fresh juices. Cooked dishes can be made to order if eggs and bacon are more to your taste.
An à la carte menu of light bites and more substantial meals are available from 1-3pm daily. Local seafood, pasta and salads feature alongside heavier meat dishes, and can be eaten under the restaurant's shade or at the poolside patio tables.
Both an international à la carte menu and a Seychellois table d'hôte menu are on offer at dinner, the latter being served to half-board guests. Dishes are designed to use seasonal produce as much as is possible and were certainly very good when we ate here on our last visit. To accompany the food, there is an all-French wine list, with sample bottles displayed amid bunches of decorative plastic grapes at the entrance of the restaurant.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor Dining
Drinks included: Drinks are not included at Jardin des Palmes.
Further dining info: There is no room service at Jardin des Palmes.
Beach holidays: The nearest beach is Anse à la Mouche, a five-minute walk downhill. Its shallow waters and gentle tides make it great for family beach holidays, and more nervous swimmers. Explore further from here by car to find some of the best beaches on the Seychelles.See more ideas for Beach holidays in Seychelles
Attitude towards children: Le Jardin des Palmes is happy to have children stay, although it is not specifically geared to catering for babies and very young travellers. Steep steps from the car park to hotel, high drops from the balcony edge and the absence of child-specific entertainment are all worth considering if you are planning a family holiday.
Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions on children staying at Le Jardin des Palmes.
Special activities & services: Babysitting is available on request and will most likely be undertaken by one of the Seychellois staff. There are no special activities for young children though so travel prepared.
Equipment: Cots can be arranged if requested in advance of travel.
Generally recommended for children: Older children will enjoy the swimming pool, table football and easy access to the shallow waters of Anse à la Mouche; younger guests will need more careful supervision and entertainment in this location. Equally, given the prevailing peaceful atmosphere here, Le Jardin des Palmes is not suited to boisterous children.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: IDD telephones are fitted in all suites and mobile reception is fairly reliable. Email can be arranged through reception, but is recommended for emergencies only.
TV & radio: There are televisions in all rooms which show local television and limited satellite channels. There are no radios or DVD players.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Medical care: There are no on-site medical staff at Le Jardin des Palmes, though a basic first aid kit is available. The nearest hospital is in Victoria, Mahé's capital city, approximately 30-40 minutes' drive.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge
Money: There are key safes in the rooms.
Accepted payment on location: Le Jardin des Palmes accept payment by credit card and in most major currencies (Euros, US Dollars and Pounds Sterling).