Anse Soleil Beachcomber is set on the edge of the beach amongst the rocks...
Anse Soleil Beachcomber: Our full report
In south-west Mahé, Anse Soleil Beachcomber lies at the foot of a steep, winding road, flanked on either side by massive clumps of bamboo and exotic palms. A laid-back family-run hideaway with a picture-perfect crescent of sandy beach, it's perennially popular for its casual atmosphere, simple accommodation and scenic location.
The seafaring theme of the arched entrance to Anse Soleil, clad in fishing baskets and draped nets, continues with driftwood mirrors, aquatic turquoise walls and a colourful reef fish mural in the welcoming reception. From the comfort of the seating area or the adjoining upper-level restaurant, the sparkling sea is tantalisingly close.
There are 18 rooms and apartments at Anse Soleil: five ‘standard’, five ‘superior’ and four ‘premier’ rooms, and four new, beautifully outfitted one-bedoom self-catering apartments. Facilities and styles vary, but all the rooms have sea views and individual terraces.
The ‘standard’ and ‘superior’ rooms are built right above the smooth granite glacis (large boulders) that dot the coastline, only metres from the water, whilst the ‘premier’ rooms sit a little further back to allow them more space. All the rooms are en-suite and well-equipped with tropical island essentials: ceiling fan, air conditioning, electronic safe and mini-fridge.
- The five ‘standard’ rooms are the smallest of the three room categories, though they remain perfectly comfortable, and with the beach and ocean's crashing waves a mere stone's throw from the small private terrace, their location is excellent. These rooms lack the bath and TV found in the more expensive room categories, but have similar furnishings to the ‘superior’ rooms: solid timber beds, cool tiled floors, white walls and colourful soft furnishings.
- The five ‘superior’ rooms are set into the rounded glacis near the reception, with balconies virtually cantilevered over the lapping water and views back to the golden curve of Anse Soleil beach. Inside, these rooms are spacious, airy and immaculately clean. The walls are white and the floors similarly tiled, and these, together with white bed linen, make the room feel a touch austere, but it's bright and cool. There is a sitting area with wicker chairs and plump cushions, facing a television with local channels. The large en-suite bathroom to the rear has a walk-in shower, and some also have a bathtub. While a bit old-fashioned in our opinion, the shell mobile and wooden fish reminded us of our proximity to the sea. On a practical note, the ‘superior’ rooms have low balcony edges and we do not recommend them for families with young or 'adventurous' children.
- The four ’premier’ rooms are raised up in the gardens behind the main building and are very different in design and style. Inside these neat ‘semi-detached’ buildings, island-style simplicity gives way to thoroughly contemporary fixtures and fittings in enormous, linear rooms. Through the concertina terrace doors, sand-coloured concrete floors, heavy dark-wood furniture (king-size bed, dressing table, day bed and expansive dressing table) and modern audio-visual equipment beckon, whilst at the back of the room a stunning walk-in glass and turquoise-tiled shower comes complete with twin shower roses and a seat for total indulgence. The wide terraces are surrounded by tropical planting and offer views over the roof tops to the sea. For us, these rooms are a cut above the others at Anse Soleil.
- Newly built and opened in early 2014, the four self-catering apartments are set further back from the beach, a few minutes’ walk up the hill. These lovely, modern apartments are divided between two semi-detached houses, with large verandas and a lawn area in the front. The sea view is somewhat blocked by the lush trees and foliage, but we did catch glimpses of the sea from the veranda. Each apartment has a spacious bedroom, an en-suite bathroom with shower and toilet, and a separate, good-sized lounge and kitchenette. There is a fan in both the bedroom and the lounge, though the bedroom also has air conditioning. Wooden and wicker furniture, together with brightly coloured curtains and cushions, give quite a tropical feel. The kitchenette is well equipped with a gas oven and stove, microwave, toaster, kettle and utensils, and guests are thoughtfully provided with a starter pack of tea, coffee and sugar, as well as eggs, bread and milk. For those who would like the space that the apartments provide, but prefer not to cook for themselves, it's possible to have breakfast, and even dinner, included.
Away from the sunshine and seashore, Anse Soleil Beachcomber has a relaxed Creole restaurant, which offers basic but filling dishes and generous portions. Open-sided and raised up above the reception, its taverna air with neat white tablecloths, simple place settings and friendly staff give it a welcoming feel.
Independent of the hotel, a short wander across the beach brings you to one of the islands’s best restaurants, Anse Soleil Beachcomber Café, which serves up delicious fresh seafood; it's great reputation is justified, even if the service was rather surly when we were there.
Organised activities are fairly limited but diving, fishing and boat excursions can be arranged. Anse Soleil also has complimentary snorkelling equipment for guests to use, though they do ask for a small deposit which is refunded when the equipment is returned. On our most recent stay in July 2015, we took advantage of this and snorkelled straight from the beach in front of the hotel. For that time of year, when the water can be a little rough on many of Mahé's beaches, the water was quite calm in the bay and visibility was pretty good too!
For some gentle distraction, there are a number of small artists’ studios within a short drive of Anse Soleil (ask for directions to Michael Adams, Pineapple Studios or Tom Bowers), and some pleasant gardens at Le Jardin du Roi in the mountains. Because of the fairly remote location, we think it's worth hiring a car. Anse Soleil has a small fleet of rental cars, so you could arrange this locally if you prefer, and they even hire them by the half day if you don't want to head too far for too long.
Our viewWith a range of relatively simple but immaculate rooms and friendly service, Anse Soleil Beachcomber is a great option for those who prefer a relaxed, informal and unpretentious atmosphere. We loved it. The gorgeous beach and relatively calm water in the bay are also a real attraction and we think the universally positive comments in the visitors' book speak volumes about this lovely hideaway.
Ideal length of stay: 3 nights or more
Directions: Driving to Anse Soleil Beachcomber from the airport, on the eastern side of Mahé, is straightforward, and island maps are easily available, free of charge, from car-hire companies; Air Seychelles usually provides international passengers with a handy, compact map too. There are several trans-island roads which offer a pleasant glimpse of the lush, hilly interior. Once on the west coast, head towards Anse Soleil beach in the south-west of the island and follow the colourful, painted sign off the main coast road down towards the bay. If you prefer not to drive yourself, we can arrange transfers.
Accessible by: Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Owner: Owned and run by the Albert family.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: B&B
Food quality: Anse Soleil Beachcomber offers both bed-and-breakfast and half-board accommodation. The intimate restaurant serves Creole cuisine daily.
Continental and simple cooked breakfast options are available in the restaurant, accompanied by fresh tropical juices and tea/coffee.
For lunch, there is a snack menu featuring toasted sandwiches, omelettes and salads, as well as a selection of more substantial daily specials of curries and fish dishes.
From garlic crab with rice to baked fish in banana leaves; spaghetti bolognese to macaroni cheese, there is a varied choice of international and Seychellois food on the dinner menu. Vegetarians are also well catered for with stir fries and veggie curries, while children may prefer chicken goujons and hamburgers. We found the food to be on the stodgy side, so don't come for haute cuisine; rather, expect simple, filling food and generous portions.
Guests staying in the self-catering apartments are welcome to eat in the restaurant if they prefer not to cook.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £10-15
Drinks included: Drinks are not included.
Further dining info: There is no room service.
Beach holidays: For a beach holiday on the Seychelles, Anse Soleil Beachcomber's location on an idyllic, secluded sandy cove is a great attraction. The water is warm enough for swimming year round, shallow enough at its edge for beach holidays with children, and clear enough to offer excellent snorkelling conditions most of the year.See more ideas for Beach holidays in Seychelles
Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at Anse Soleil Beachcomber, though care must be taken due to its proximity to rocks and the sea.
Property’s age restrictions: None.
Special activities & services: There are no organised kids’ clubs or children’s activities at Anse Soleil, so parents must be prepared to entertain their children when the excitement of sandcastle building fades. Child-friendly meals feature on the menu.
Equipment: A cot and highchair are available by prior arrangement.
Generally recommended for children: Children will enjoy the soft sand, relatively calm seas of the cove and resident giant tortoises, as well as the colourful interiors of the main building. Parents will probably appreciate the casual atmosphere and provision of children's meals to fussy eaters.
Notes: Anse Soleil is right on the shoreline, without barriers to the boulders and sea. Children, especially young children and toddlers, will need to be made aware of the potential dangers and carefully watched by their parents. Some rooms have balconies cantilevered over the rocks and sea; we do not recommend these for families.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Power supply notes: UK-style 3-square-pin sockets are fitted throughout. There is a back-up generator in case of a power failure, though the premier rooms and self-catering apartments are not currently connected to this. (The hotel plans to rectify this in the future.)
Communications: There is cellphone reception. Free WiFi is available in the main area, and in the self-catering apartments.
TV & radio: There are small televisions in the superior and premier rooms, as well as in the self-catering apartments. A TV can be provided on request if you are staying in a standard room. Note that only local channels are available.
Water supply: Mains
Water supply notes: All rooms have a flushing toilet and plumbed-in shower. Some also have a bathtub.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Medical care: The nearest hospital is in Victoria, Mahé's capital, about a 45 minute drive from Anse Soleil Beachcomber.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: There is normally at least one security guard patrolling at night.
Fire safety: The rooms are fitted with smoke detectors. There is a fire extinguisher outside each room, as well as fire hoses in the grounds.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge
Money: There is a safe in each room. The hotel does not offer currency exchange facilities.
Accepted payment on location: Anse Soleil acceps Visa and MasterCard, as well as cash payments in Seychellois rupees, euro, US dollars and pounds sterling.