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. Buxom mermaid statues are dotted around the garden and unusual marine mosaic murals adorn the walls of this small hotel's eight rooms, which offer stunning views of the ocean from their high perch on the hillside.
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 cream walls and pale laminate-timber flooring. 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. Although on previous visits there were plans to modernize the bathrooms in the future, when we visited most recently in July 2015, they hadn't changed and felt a bit dated.
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 a better view than those on the lower level. These rooms are usually reserved for honeymooners and cannot always be guaranteed.
There is no swimming pool at Hotel L'Ocean, though below the restaurant level is an open tiled verandah with sun loungers and over-sized chairs for a spot of sunbathing. That said, we thought the furniture could do with a bit of love and attention, as it looked quite tired and sun-worn when we visited. However, the nearby beaches of Anse Severe and Anse Patates allow for a convenient dip in the sea (with beach towels included), whilst bicycle hire (around SCR100 per day in July 2015) makes the island's other lovely coves an easy ride (the furthest point is only 5km away). Longer excursions, 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, in season 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 viewHotel l'Ocean feels a bit dated, but it's still likely to appeal to those looking for an unusual place to stay, with quirky and highly individual décor. Geared mainly to adult visitors, it's 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 more usual these days, by taxi. 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.
Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer
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 a Creole set menu 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, normally on a Friday, with free transfers available for visitors coming just for dinner.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £10-15
Drinks included: None
Further dining info: No
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, as well as a high chair in the restaurant. One extra bed can be provided in the room, though it would be a bit of a squash.
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.
Notes: Children should be monitored by their parents at all times.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Power supply notes: UK-style sockets with 3 square pins are fitted throughout, and international adaptors are normally available to borrow from reception. There is no back-up power in case the mains electricity fails.
Communications: There are IDD telephones in the rooms. The hotel has no email/internet access, or WiFi.
TV & radio: There are no televisions or radios at the hotel.
Water supply: Mains
Water supply notes: Each room has a flushing toilet and a shower only.
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
Fire safety: The hotel tells us that they have fire extinguishers in the bar, kitchen and rooms; though we could not see these for ourselves.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge. This is usually charged at around SCR10-15 per item.
Money: There is a safe at reception, but not in the rooms. The hotel does not offer currency exchange facilities.
Accepted payment on location: The hotel accepts payment by Visa or MasterCard credit card. Payments can also be made in cash with Euro, US dollars or Seychellois Rupees.