Le Domaine de l'Orangeraie is an Eastern-influenced hotel…
Le Domaine d'Orangeraie: Our full report
Le Domaine de l'Orangeraie, La Digue's most stylish accommodation, is an Eastern-influenced hotel just north of the tiny La Passe harbour. Set in immaculate tropical gardens, its 63 villas offer island chic rarely found in this simple island community.
Spread out across the gardens and hillside of L'Orangeraie are five accommodation categories: 20 Garden Villas, eight Garden Suite Residences, 31 Villas de Charme, three Villas de Charme Elegance, and one Presidential Villa. All have air conditioning, satellite TV, a small electronic safe, and tea/coffee-making facilities.
- The 20 Garden Villas (each 60m2) are housed in ten two-storey buildings, and offer a cool, contemporary retreat from the sun. Furnished with natural and white wood furniture, their rich, bright colours are striking against the white linen and walls, and atmospheric lighting really adds to the modern feel. In the large, open-plan bedroom and lounge area, a low sofa can be used as an extra bed – there's plenty of space!
Just as smart, if compact, is the beautifully finished en-suite shower room. Small pebbles line two of the walls to great effect, and mood lighting is provided in here too, There is a small dressing area that leads off the main room, with shelving and hanging space for clothes, as well as a handy umbrella. Outside, each villa has a large veranda or balcony with a couple of sunloungers and a small table and chairs for alfresco dining.
- A walk through the gardens and just up the hillside brings you to the eight Garden Suite Residences (100m2). Opened in April 2015, these smart, modern villas have a main bedroom with separate lounge, and the same mod-cons as the Garden Villas. The lounge can be turned into a second bedroom, making them a convenient option for a family of four.
- Set up in the steep hills above Le Domaine de l'Orangeraie is a further collection of villas, reached by golf buggies. Each of the 31 stylish Villas de Charme is 70m2, with a large open terrace at the front overlooking the resort. Neutral browns and creams, chic fittings, and billowing fabrics give the rooms a natural yet elegant feel. The walls are dotted with arty black-and-white photos taken from around the island, though we found that the design of the room meant it felt a bit dark on a bright day. Each villa has a low sofa, which can be used as an extra bed, high ceilings, a writing desk, a small luggage alcove, and a minibar (filled on request). There is a large and rather impressive outdoor bathroom with rain-shower and a huge bathtub. We particularly loved the alfresco shower!
- Similar in style and design are three Villas de Charme Elegance, which are bigger, at 85-100m2, and boast the addition of a private whirlpool.
- The largest villa, the 'presidential suite', is set high up in the hills – offering stunning views and a very private experience, including its own infinity pool. Its 250m2 of floor space incorporates three en-suite bedrooms: one double, one twin, and an extra room that would be ideal for children or a nanny. In addition to the mod cons found in the Villas de Charme, the Presidential Villa has a music docking station and Nespresso coffee machine, and guests staying here have a dedicated butler service.
Also on the hillside is the Eden Rock spa, a calm, serene place with a warm welcome. As well as a dedicated mani/pedi room, there are three double treatment rooms offering an array of massages and body treatments, and stupendous views. There is also a steam room and a Jacuzzi.
At the base of the hillside is the main reception building where there’s a boutique selling locally made products and gifts, as well as a selection of clothes and suncreams. In the small library, friendly staff can help with arranging excursions. You’ll also find a small day room with a television, tea/coffee-making facilities and two shower rooms for guests who arrive early or depart late.
Separated from the rest of the resort by the main road, and directly overlooking the ocean, is the very smart dining and pool complex of Le Domaine de l'Orangeraie. At the epicentre, directly next to the infinity pool, lies the open-sided Le Combava Restaurant under a tall, thatched roof. This serves à la carte lunch and dinner six days a week, whereas the buffet restaurant, Santosha – which overlooks the ocean –,is open for breakfast and and dinner every day. Our Arabian-themed meal here was further enhanced by friendly, attentive waiters, who even made suggestions on what we should try first.
The complex has two bars. The Alambic, near the main entrance. is popular for pre-dinner aperitifs and nightcaps, but for us the less formal Infinity Pool Bar was more appealing. Although it is open only during the day, lunchtime sandwiches and salads are available to order, and it offers super views of the ocean.
As at many establishments on the Seychelles, few activities are available directly from Le Domaine de l'Orangeraie, but the staff are happy to facilitate excursions through outside operators. Several beaches, including Anse Source d'Argent and Anse Severe, are close by, as is the Veuve Reserve, the wooded home of the paradise flycatcher. Island exploration is easy, and with free bicycle hire you can explore La Digue in your own time.
Our viewLe Domaine de l'Orangeraie is a beautifully designed, luxurious property. If you can draw yourself away from your smart villa and the resort’s facilities, there are plenty of beaches within a short cycle ride. It’s certainly a departure from the simpler options on La Digue, but will suit those looking for a bit of pampering and indulgence.
Ideal length of stay: 3-4 nights
Directions: Access to La Digue is by ferry from Praslin (approx 45 minutes) or Mahé (approx two hours). Guests for Le Domaine de l'Orangeraie are met at the airport or harbour by colourful ox-carts or open-sided buses for the ten-minute transfer.
Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer
Staff: Erik Boulanger, the resident manager, is a smart European with a relaxed, easy manner and clear plans to develop the property well. He is keen to establish his tropical fruit garden to supply all of Le Domaine's needs. July 2015.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: B&B
Food quality: We were a little surprised at how good the food was at Domaine de l’Orangeraie.
On our most recent visit in July 2015, the breakfast selection at Santosha was extensive: eggs made to order, with the usual cooked breakfast accompaniments, pancakes, pastries, cold meats, cheeses and lots of fresh fruit. In the evening, the Arabian-themed buffet dinner was delicious.
At lunch, light snacks (sandwiches and salads) can be ordered from the Infinity Pool Bar.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included: Drinks are not included.
Further dining info: Room service is available.
Honeymoons: Le Domaine de l'Orangeraie is a modern, contemporary and stylish hotel, offering stunning rooms that are both chic and hi-tech, an excellent spot for a Seychelles honeymoon. With several beaches a short cycle ride away, an idyllic spa and excellent food, it's a wonderful choice.See more ideas for Honeymoons in Seychelles
Beach holidays: For a beach holiday on the Seychelles, the modern and luxurious Le Domaine de l'Orangeraie is a very good option. Just a short bike ride away are many of La Digue's beaches, including Anse Source d'Argent – arguably one of the world's most beautiful beaches.See more ideas for Beach holidays in Seychelles
Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at Le Domaine de l'Orangeraie, but in the hillside villas the terraces at the front are high and open so may not be suitable for small children.
Property’s age restrictions: No guest age restrictions apply here.
Special activities & services: There are no dedicated kids' clubs or activities at Le Domaine de l'Orangeraie, and babysitting is not usually available, but good-quality bicycles – including those for children – are available for free, the beach is close by and the swimming pool is likely to be a hit with all ages.
Equipment: Cots and highchairs are available. Babysitting is not usually available here.
Generally recommended for children: The Garden Villas and Garden Suite Residences are the most suitable for families, and the gardens provide space for children to run around and let off steam. Children are welcomed by the hotel but parents need to be aware that among other hazards, the pool is very deep. We think l'Orangeraie is better suited to families with older children.
Notes: The pool is deep and unfenced. There are also a lot of steep drop-offs on the hillside and it is necessary to cross the main road when moving between the villas and the restaurants and pool. Children must be supervised by parents at all times.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Power supply notes: UK -style 3-square-pin sockets are fitted throughout. International adaptors are available on request.
Communications: There is an IDD telephone in each guest villa and cellphone reception is generally good. Free WiFi is available in reception and also around the Alambic bar. WiFi is possible in the villas, but there is a charge.
TV & radio: There is satellite television in each villa with mainly news, sports and a few movie channels.
Water supply: Mains
Water supply notes: All villas have a flushing toilet and plumbed-in shower, and some have a bathtub.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Medical care: La Digue Logan Hospital is only ten minutes from Le Domaine and offers 24-hour medical care, including dental and paediatric services. There is an ambulance for emergencies.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: The hotel has security guards on duty 24 hours a day.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers or fire hoses outside each villa.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge. In July 2015, the cost was around SCR50 per item.
Money: There is an electronic safe in each room. The hotel does not offer currency exchange facilities.
Accepted payment on location: Visa, Amex, MasterCard are accepted, as are cash payments in Seychellois rupees, euro, US dollars and pounds sterling.