Anse Soleil Beachcomber is set on the edge of the beach amongst the rocks...
Anse Soleil Beachcomber: Our full report
In southwest Mahé, Anse Soleil Beachcomber is located at the foot of a steep, winding road, flanked on either side by massive bamboo clumps 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.
Entering through the arched entrance clad in fishing baskets and draped nets, the seafaring theme 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 with varying facilities - 5 Standard, 5 Superior and 4 Premier – but all have sea views and individual terraces. Newly built and opened in early 2014, are the four beautifully outfitted 1-bedoom self-catering apartments. The Standard and Superior Rooms are built right above the smooth granite glacis (large granite 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 of the rooms are en-suite and well-equipped with tropical island essentials: ceiling fan, air- conditioning, electronic safe and mini-fridge.
The Standard Rooms are unsurprisingly 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 are lacking 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 Superior Rooms are set into the rounded glacis to the left of the reception, with balconies virtually cantilevered over the lapping water and views back to the golden curve of Anse Soleil beach. Inside, the rooms are spacious, airy and immaculately clean. The walls are white and the floors similarly tiled, and together with the white bed linen, the room does 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 is to the rear, and all superior rooms have a walk-in shower, though some also have with 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, these rooms have low balcony edges and we do not therefore 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 houses, island-style simplicity gives way to thoroughly contemporary fixtures and fittings in these enormous, linear rooms. Through the concertina terrace doors, sand-coloured concrete floors, heavy dark wood furniture (kingsize 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 available here.
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 verandahs 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 verandah. Each has a spacious separate bedroom, en-suite bathroom with shower and toilet, as well as a 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 them quite a tropical feel. The kitchenette is well equipped with a gas oven and stove, microwave, toaster, kettle and utensils. On arrival, guests are also thoughtfully provided with a starter pack of tea, coffee and sugar, as well as eggs, bread and milk. Though, for those who would like the space that the apartments provide, but prefer not to cook for themselves, it's also possible to book the apartments with 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 reception, its taverna air and friendly staff give it a welcoming feel. Independent of the hotel, a short wander across the beach brings you to the 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.
For some gentle distraction, there are a number of small artists studios located within a short drive of Anse Soleil (ask for directions to see Michael Adams, Pineapple Studios or Tom Bowers) and some pleasant gardens to explore at Le Jardin du Roi in the mountains. Because of the fairly remote location, we think it's worth considering hiring a car. Anse Soleil has a small fleet of rental cars for hire, 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!
Organised activities are fairly limited but diving, fishing and boat excursions can be arranged. The hotel also offers complimentary snorkeling 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 the time of year, when the water can normally be a little rough on many of Mahe's beaches, the water was actually quite calm in the bay and visibility pretty good too!
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 is straightforward and island maps are easily available, free of charge, from car hire companies (Air Seychelles usually provide a handy, compact map to arriving international passengers too). There are several trans-island roads which cross from the east to west coast and offer a pleasant glimpse of the lush, hilly interior. Once on the west coast, head towards Anse Soleil beach on the southwest of the island and following the colourful, painted sign off the main coast road down towards the bay.
Accessible by: Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
Usual board basis: B&B
Food quality: Anse Soleil Beachcomber offers both bed and breakfast and half-board accommodation. The intimate restaurant is casual and welcoming with neat gingham tablecloths, simple place settings and Creole cuisine served daily.
Continental and simple cooked breakfast options are available in the restaurant, accompanied with fresh tropical juices and tea/coffee.
A snack menu is available at lunchtime featuring toasted sandwiches, omelettes and salads. There is also 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 certainly a varied choice of international and Seychellois food available on the dinner menu. Vegetarians and children are also well catered for with stir fries and veggie curries to chicken goujons and hamburgers available. When we ate here we found the food to be on the stodgy side – don't come here expecting haute cuisine, rather simple and filling food. Beer, house wine and a small number of spirits are sold alongside soft drinks to accompany these meals.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor Dining
Drinks included: Drinks are not included.
Beach holidays: Anse Soleil Beachcomber's greatest attraction is its location on an idyllic secluded, sandy beach cove. The water is warm enough for swimming year round, shallow enough at its edge for beach holidays with children, and clear enough to offer best snorkeling conditions.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 special kids clubs or activities organised at Anse Soleil so parents must be prepared to entertain their children when the excitement of sand-castle building fades.
Generally recommended for children: Children will enjoy the soft sand, relatively calm seas of the cove and resident giant tortoises, as well as the fun, colourful interiors of the main building. Parents will likely also enjoy the casual atmosphere and provision of children's meals to fussy eaters. It is important to recognise that this hotel is right on the shoreline though, and without barriers to the boulders and sea. Children will need to be made aware of the potential dangers and carefully watched by their parents, especially young children and toddlers.
Notes: Some rooms have balconies cantilevered over the sea; we do not recommend these for families.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: There is mobile reception and guests may use the office phone during opening hours.
TV & radio: There are small televisions in the Superior and Premier Rooms.
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
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge