Perched on the hillside and offering stunning views,....
Le Chateau de Feuilles: Our full report
Perched on the edge of a craggy coastal hilltop at Pointe Cabriz, Praslin's easternmost point, Le Château de Feuilles is without question the island's premier boutique hotel. Here, south of France chic meets natural safari style in a simply stunning setting. Panoramic views at every turn capture the white sandy beaches of Anse Consolation and Anse Marie-Louise, the hotel's verdant manicured gardens and the Indian Ocean's distant denim blue horizon.
Unsurprisingly, given its French ownership, Le Château de Feuilles is a member of the prestigious hotel chain Relais & Châteaux; service and style being hallmarks to which both aspire. Although the hotel was established over 35 years ago, its renovation in 2005 has brought it bang up to date in style terms.
With only 9 rooms and suites, catering to a maximum of 20 guests in a secluded location, Le Château de Feuilles guarantees privacy. The thatched granite bungalows are tucked amid immaculately clipped hillside lawns and established tropical shrubs and trees; the turquoise swimming pool sparkles in the centre of the gardens and the main restaurant is hidden under an adjacent palm-thatch shade.
In keeping with the overall style of the hotel, bedroom interiors are consciously natural and delightfully minimalist. They are not particularly large but they are beautifully finished, carefully compiled and a pleasure to stay in. Bare timber, Latanier palm leaves, flax, linen and glass are used throughout the room, and are offset with the latest in contemporary mod-cons. There are panels of rough hewn pink granite in the walls, pale ivory floor tiles, neat sisal rugs, smoothed timber headboards, clever curled rope bed-side lights, moulded glass sinks and a natural linen curtain to divide the integrated en-suite bathrooms from the main bedroom. For followers of cool, contemporary style, the clear effort which has been devoted to every element of the room will be much appreciated – it certainly was by us!
Air-conditioning, a ceiling fan, mini-bar, plasma television with satellite channels, a DVD/Divx player, digital safe, cordless IDD telephone, free Wi-Fi, a Nespresso coffee machine and a hairdryer are included in all rooms, with bath robes, slippers and an assortment of indulgent organic toiletries added to encourage relaxation. In addition, the Deluxe Suites and Villa all have a 20-inch iMac computer for guest use, whilst the Villa also has a JBL docking station for iPod and iPhones.
The 9 rooms (1 Château Room, 1 Château Deluxe Suite, 3 Junior Suite Bungalows, 2 Deluxe Garden Suites & 1 Deluxe Family Villa) are carefully divided into a number of subtly different categories, but all are extremely tastefully decorated. Their broad distinctions are:
Château Room (1 only)
Located within the main 'Château' building, above the reception area, this king-size bedroom (25m2) looks out towards the sea over the lush lawn and swimming pool, and enjoys direct garden access. There is a small but stylish en-suite bath and a separate toilet, whilst the sink is within the bedroom area.
Deluxe Château Suite (1 only)
Also within the main 'Château', the Deluxe Suite (40m2) is much larger that it's counterpart in the main building. In addition to all the usual facilities, it enjoys two superb balconies for lazy ocean-view breakfasts, sunbathing and stargazing; a living room and an en-suite bathroom which has a perfectly appointed bath for enjoying sea views as you soak in privacy.
Deluxe Garden Suites (2 only)
The linear master bedroom in the Deluxe Garden Suites (50m2) opens onto a large teak decked terrace or twin balconies depending on ground or first floor location. In addition to these idyllic outdoor seaview areas, these rooms come complete with a lounge (inc. sofa bed for a child) and a small 'office' corner for those who need to keep in touch or simply fancy downloading their digital holiday snaps. The en-suite bathroom has twin sinks and a bath and shower with Indian Ocean vistas through the windows.
Junior Suite Bungalows (4 only)
Like all of the rooms at Le Château de Feuilles, the four Junior Suite Bungalows (35m2) have been beautifully finished for a natural relaxing feel. Located in the garden across from the swimming pool area, these rooms have fabulous panoramic sea views through full width glass patio doors and a wide, shady private terrace. One of these bungalows also has an outdoor Jacuzzi. There is an integrated en-suite bathroom, divided from the bedroom by a natural linen curtain divider, with a bath and shower (in some rooms these are combined) and a separate toilet.
Deluxe Family Villa (1 only)
The largest of Le Château de Feuilles' accommodation options, the Deluxe Family Villa (85m2) is a two-bedroom detached cottage in the gardens with simply lovely views down the grassy lawn to the sea. The large master bedroom has a private, ocean-view teak deck whilst the second bedroom looks into the forest. There is a lounge, complete with sofa-bed and desk area, two bathrooms, one en-suite to the master room with a bath and a shower room adjoining the second room, and an independent toilet.
If you feel like venturing beyond the immaculate gardens, and the sea below the lodge starts calling, the closest large beach to the hotel is Anse Consolation, a reasonable 15 minute walk or short drive (car hire included in hotel rate), whilst neighbouring Anse Marie-Louise is a picture-perfect cove for swimmers. The staff at Le Château can also arrange various activities including scuba diving (with a PADI dive centre), snorkelling and deep-sea fishing. For a more terrestrial experience, a round of golf at Lémuria Resort's challenging 18-hole course can be organised, as can bicycle rental, and a trip to the island's magical national park, Vallée de Mai.
Back at Le Château de Feuilles, there is a resident Balinese masseuse who offers hot-stone treatments, massage from deep-tissue to invigorating scalp massage and exotically-scented aromatherapy. Enjoy these treatments high above the ocean with panoramic sea views and a nearby Jacuzzi for further post-pampering relaxation.
For a truly magical excursion, the island of Grande Soeur, 6km northeast of La Digue, is reserved for the exclusive use of Le Château's guests over the weekend. Day-trips (weather dependent) with luscious barbeque picnics (extra charge) are a fun diversion and offer the opportunity for some good snorkelling.
The rates at Le Château de Feuilles are expensive but the property is beautifully furnished and offers a natural, understated elegance lacking in almost all of Praslin's other hotels, and it tops this with simply the island's best scenic outlook.
Ideal length of stay: 3 nights or more
Directions: Being a chic retreat, Le Château de Feuilles has a private helipad next to the hotel reception for inter-island transfers to/from Mahé. If the budget doesn't stretch that far, transfers from Praslin Airport take approximately 20-30 minutes.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Half Board
Food quality: Beside the swimming pool, Le Château de Feuilles' main restaurant is an essay in natural material construction and decor. Made up for bare timber, palm thatching, silvered decks and rough pink granite with white linen cushions tree trunk artwork and glimpses of ocean through the open sides.
Continental breakfasts are served here or in-room, light lunches and afternoon ice-cream breaks are pleasant in the cool, shady bar, whilst dinner menus are heavily seafood orientated, with the likes of tuna fish carpaccio, grilled lobster in garlic butter and Seychelles giraffe crab featuring on menus alongside more international pasta and meat dishes. A selection of imported wine and champagne is always available, as are freshly shaken cocktails.
Most guests stay here on a half-board basis, though bed and breakfast rates are also available.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included: Drinks are not included
Honeymoons: Stylish, sophisticated and supremely romantic, Le Château de Feuilles is undoubtedly Praslin's premier hotel. With only 9 rooms and cliff-top gardens offering panoramic views across the Indian Ocean and neighbouring islands, it's an idyllic, private hideaway. Leisurely breakfasts on your own teak terrace, a chilled glass of champagne in the Seychelles' most impressively sited Jacuzzi, and cool, contemporary bedrooms make this a thoroughly relaxing retreat for some real romance.See more ideas for Honeymoons in Seychelles
Beach holidays: Unusually for the Seychelles, Le Château de Feuilles is not right on the beach. Instead, it is perched high above the ocean on the granite coastal peninsula of Pointe Cabriz, Praslin's easternmost point. Given this situation, the sea views are stupendous; several beaches are within walking distance and with car hire included in the hotel's rates the island's entire coastline is only a short drive away.See more ideas for Beach holidays in Seychelles
Generally recommended for children: There is a very slick, sophisticated vibe at Le Château de Feuilles, so whilst older children can stay here, it is very much an adult establishment and probably better for couples and friends travelling without younger companions.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: The entire complex has WiFi internet access and in the deluxe and villa category rooms, an iMac computer is provided for your stay. There is also an Apple PC in the central building. IDD cordless telephones are standard in all the rooms.
TV & radio: There are plasma TVs with satellite channels as standard in all the bedrooms.
Health & safety
Malarial area: No
Medical care: There is a first aid kit on site at Le Château, and there is a hospital within 10 minute drive at Baie St Anne where English speaking doctors available. There is an ambulance for real emergencies and a helicopter transfer (daylight hours) to Mahé if additional attention is required.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in all of the rooms and in the common areas.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge