La Digue Island Lodge is a wide-stretched resort on the western coast of La Digue...
La Digue Island Lodge: Our full report
The extensive resort of La Digue Island Lodge is strung along a beautiful sandy stretch of Anse Réunion beach, on the western coast of La Digue. Set in manicured tropical gardens, the range of accommodation options and facilities make it popular with both families and couples. It is one of La Digue's largest properties, with over 60 rooms, but these are distributed over a large area, allowing the place to retain a low-impact feel.
There are five accommodation options within the La Digue Island Lodge complex, of widely varying standards:
- Set at the back of lovely gardens, the Yellow House is a canary-coloured, colonial clapboard house. Built in the early 1900s, and strikingly photogenic, it is now a Seychelles National Heritage Site and, though its single rooms are available to visitors, restrictions on renovations mean that they are extremely basic. We do not recommend them.
- The 'standard' rooms at La Digue Island Lodge are in a low, single-storey, motel-style row, known as Le Petit Village. At the northern end of the resort, set back from the sea in the gardens behind the Plantation House, this small terrace of rooms offer good value, bijou accommodation. Pale floor tiles, whitewashed ceilings and matching timber furnishings offer a reliable, if dinky and slightly dated, base. Down a small step at the back of the room is an all-white en suite with a bath, separate corner shower cubicle, toilet, bidet, sink and a wall-mounted hairdryer. Nothing is fancy, but if you are keen to have access to the resort's other facilities, notably the pool and beach, for a cheaper rate, then these small rooms are perfectly acceptable.
- The majority of the accommodation at La Digue Island Lodge is in 44 distinctive A-frame chalets dotted around the gardens. These are sub-divided into two categories: Beach Chalets close to the ocean, and Garden Chalets, which are set back in the gardens (although No 19 also has a sea view). Otherwise, except for the bathrooms, the chalets are broadly the same in design. Built from local takamaka wood and with steep pitched roofs made from latanier palm leaves, they all have an en-suite double bedroom on the ground floor, and a small mezzanine deck with two single beds for older children. This upper level is accessed by a vertical ladder fixed to the wall, and is high up in the roof space, so is not suitable for very young children or anyone unsteady on their feet. The interiors are surprisingly light and airy in feel, with natural flooring, bright white walls and usually a vase of country-style flowers. The chalets all have air conditioning, an IDD telephone and satellite television, and a pair of sunloungers on the terrace outside.
Every chalet has a narrow dressing area with a tea/coffee station, leading to a good-sized en-suite bathroom. At the time of our last visit in July 2015, the bathrooms in the Beach Chalets had been extended and renovated to a very high standard. Each has a toilet, large walk-in shower, and a white handbasin sunk into a curved wood cabinet. Clever use of glass, wood, natural stone, sleek tiles and a semi-open roof at the back lend a modern, open and spacious feel. The bathrooms in the Garden Chalets hadn't yet been renovated, though we believe there are plans to do so in the future. They have a shower, toilet and 'floating' bidet. Although quite old fashioned compared with the new bathrooms of the Beach Chalets, they are still quite spacious and some also have a bathtub.
We consider these chalets to be the best accommodation option at La Digue Island Lodge, a good place to retreat to after a hard day's sun and sea worshipping. We particularly like the Beach Chalets with their lovely bathrooms.
- Overlooking the beach at the northern end of the lodge, the thatched, whitewashed Plantation Beach House offers nine 'superior' rooms (five upstairs and four at ground level), each with a veranda or balcony overlooking the beach. The exterior is styled to resemble a colonial plantation house, and we were delighted to see on our most recent visit that the once dark and heavy rooms have been updated to a more modern feel. They've retained the timber flooring and dark wooden furniture, but the timber-panelled walls have been whitewashed and the use of crisp white bed linen and pastel-coloured curtains and lampshades makes the rooms seem much brighter and more in keeping with the seaside setting.
Each ‘superior’ room has an en-suite bathroom with shower and toilet, though some also have a bathtub. Admittedly these could all do with a bit of an update, but the rooms are very spacious. Four of them also have an extra bedroom attached, with two small single beds, making them suitable for a family. As in the chalets, air conditioning, satellite television and IDD telephones are standard.
The main resort areas of La Digue Island Lodge are extensive. Away from the parasols and sunbeds of Anse Réunion's long, sandy beach, its is lovely to wander through the particularly well-maintained gardens of the lodge, where flowering trees and plants, mainly frangipani, hibiscus and bougainvillea, attract a great number of sunbirds. The swimming pool is large, with a big shallow section for small children, though it’s a bit worn around the edges.
The main restaurant, La Veuve, occupies a prime beachfront spot between the swimming pool and sweeping curve of the gardens. Housed in an imposing high palm-thatched building a few steps from the beach, it is open sided yet somehow feels a bit dark and gloomy, especially on a bright, sunny day. In spite of the relative formality of the menus, the sand-under-foot setting, nearby lapping waves, and tables under the stars give it a more relaxed feel than you might anticipate. There is occasional evening entertainment to accompany meals.
For special occasions, the lodge has a lovely beachside restaurant, and a more casual poolside restaurant for lunch, under a lovely shady tree. From this spot it's possible to watch the boats at sea as well as those taking a dip in the pool, making it an equally pleasant place for a cool drink or a sundowner cocktail from the poolside Coco Tendre bar – if you can find a bartender! In the reception you’ll find a more formal bar for pre-dinner drinks and nightcaps, as well as a lovely boutique to purchase trinkets, sarongs and books.
On the activities front, La Digue Island Lodge is well-known for its on-site PADI dive centre, once the only dive centre on the island. At the time of our visit, however, those planning to dive would have been sorely disappointed at the lack of boats in working order, and thus the lack of diving trips at the time. so if you are planning to dive, do check with them before travelling. Schooner boating trips are also on offer at the lodge, and bicycle hire can be arranged at reception.
Our viewJudging by its location, its facilities and its publicity, La Digue Island Lodge should be fantastic – but, sadly, it often seems to miss the mark. We were very pleased to see the changes and updates on our most recent visit but, like much on the island, parts of the lodge are still stuck in something of a time warp, and the service is somewhat variable too. Provided that you understand this before visiting, and can accept the lodge's limitations, it does offer a good, reliable base, with reasonable accommodation and food, and immediate access to a stunning beach.
Ideal length of stay: We'd recommend three nights to explore La Digue.
Directions: Transfers on arrival at the airport or jetty can be arranged by ox-cart or, more usual these days, taxi.
Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Half Board
Food quality: The main restaurant, La Veuve, offers both tropical breakfast buffets and table d'hôte or buffet dinners.
For light daytime snacks and lunches, the casual poolside restaurant serves the likes of fresh fish goujons and chips, salads and spring rolls.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included: Drinks are not included.
Further dining info: No
Family holidays: On the wide sandy beach of Anse Réunion, La Digue Island Lodge could be a good choice for low-key family beach holidays on Seychelles. The sea is generally shallow and often calm and the sand just made for building the best sandcastles. It is easy to walk or cycle to the many neighbouring beaches, too.See more ideas for Family holidays in Seychelles
Attitude towards children: La Digue Island Lodge welcomes children of all ages.
Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions on guests.
Special activities & services: There is no children's club at La Digue Island Lodge, though babysitting can be arranged on request. Note that childminders are not formally trained.
Equipment: Cots and highchairs are available for babies.
Generally recommended for children: La Digue Island Lodge is one of La Digue's most suitable hotels for families. A large swimming pool, sandy beach, casual poolside dining area and babysitting service are all conducive to a relaxing holiday for all.
Notes: As with all places near water, children must be supervised at all times. We do not recommend that young children sleep in the upper level of the Beach and Garden Chalets.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Power supply notes: UK-style 3-square-pin sockets are fitted throughout. International adaptors are normally available on request.
Communications: There are IDD telephones in the bedrooms. Free WiFi is available in reception, though we found that the internet can be very slow in the Seychelles.
TV & radio: Satellite television in the rooms offers movie and news channels.
Water supply: Mains
Water supply notes: All rooms have a flushing toilet and shower. Some, though not all, chalets have a bathtub.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Medical care: We are told that there is a first-aid kit kept on the property. For more serious incidents, La Digue Logan Hospital is approximately five minutes from La Digue Island Lodge. It offers basic health-care services 24 hours a day, including dental care and a child-health facility. There is an ambulance available for emergencies.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: Security guards patrol the grounds at night.
Fire safety: Fire extinguishers are located outside the chalets, and smoke detectors are fitted inside.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge
Money: There is a safe in each room.
Accepted payment on location: La Digue Island Lodge accepts Visa and MasterCard credit cards, as well as cash in euro, US dollars, pounds sterling and Seychellois rupees.