Indian Ocean Lodge is right on the beach on the south-west side of Praslin Island...
Indian Ocean Lodge: Our full report
The Seychellois owned and run Indian Ocean Lodge is a good-value, small family-friendly hotel situated on the sandy beach at Grande Anse, on the outskirts of the village of the same name.
Dotted around the gardens, either side of the central building, there are eight, two-storey whitewashed buildings, each housing four identical en-suite rooms. Each has a veranda or balcony view across the palm filled garden to the beach, with the sea being quite literally a two-minute walk from the front door.
The 32 spacious rooms were completely renovated in 1998, with soft furnishings and mattresses being replaced in December 2007, and again in 2012. Light and cheerful interiors with whitewashed timer furniture, crisp white bedcovers and sofas scattered with cushions in pastel, earthy tones; together with tiled floors, timber louvred windows and light walls make for a cool, calm midday retreat.
There is a four-poster, king-size bed and a simple L-shaped lounge which can be converted into a sleeping area for children. All of the rooms have en-suite shower rooms and there is a small, shady terrace with large deck chairs and plump cushions for afternoon siestas and general relaxation.
At 45m2, the rooms can each comfortably accommodate two adults and two children under 11 years, or three adults, and for larger families or travelling friends, rooms can be interconnected with ease. As standard, each has air-conditioning, as well as a ceiling fan, mosquito nets, tea/coffee facilities, a mini-fridge, telephone, television (limited channels), safe and a hairdryer.
Inside the main building there is a residents' lounge and restaurant. In the latter, the neatly laid tables are used for breakfast and dinner, with lunches usually being served on the breezy patio overlooking Grande Anse beach. Both local specialties and international cuisine are served, with barbeques held every Wednesday and Creole Night featuring on a Saturday. Live entertainment is presented three times week.
If a cool dip is needed, there is a good size rectangular swimming pool and small children's pool surrounded by a timber deck and some palm thatch parasols. From here, tropical cocktails can be enjoyed whilst planning the next day's activities. Locally available watersports include windsurfing, canoeing, snorkelling, fishing and scuba diving, while for something land-based, golf, bicycle rental and helicopter sightseeing can all easily be arranged. A trip to nearby Vallée de Mai is however the island's absolute must-see attraction!
If you're contemplating Indian Ocean Lodge for your stay on Praslin, then be aware that between about June and September, and a little in December, the prevailing south-east trade winds deposit seaweed along the shoreline of Grande Anse. An annual natural occurrence, this can make the sandy beach less picturesque and the usually clear waters less pleasant for swimming. However, it is worth remembering that Indian Ocean Lodge operates a free shuttle service (departs daily in the morning) to Côte d'Or Beach (15mins) on the east coast, where the beach is algae free at this time of year.
Our viewOverall, for an affordable, laid-back hotel, where children and couples are both equally welcome, Indian Ocean Lodge is a good beachfront option on Praslin.
Ideal length of stay: 3 nights or more
Directions: If you're arriving by plane (approx 20mins from Mahé), Indian Ocean Lodge is located a mere 2km south-east of Praslin's small airport. The coastal road sweeps alongside the northern reaches of Grande Anse bay affording glimpses of the sea between the guesthouses and homes. Alternatively, if you arrive by ferry in Baie St Anne from either Mahé or La Digue, you can follow the clearly marked signs from the jetty towards Vallée de Mai and Grande Anse. This road will take you over the lush, hilly island interior; giving a taste of the island's famed tropical forest.
Accessible by: Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Half Board
Food quality: On the seaward side of the main building, the Blue Marlin Restaurant at Indian Ocean Lodge serves an eclectic mix of international and Creole cuisine. It feels rather formal in with crisp table linen and neatly folded napkins always on display, but like the rest of the hotel, in actuality it is really fairly laid back.
Breakfasts and dinners are served buffet style and can be enjoyed indoors or outside under the covered veranda, while casual lunches can be enjoyed outside on the patio. Some of the buffet evenings are themed, with live entertainment provided. Honeymooners staying at the hotel will often be treated to a seafood gala dinner and some sparkling wine during their stay.
There is a small but well-stocked bar where the barman will happily make up cocktails from fresh juices and imported spirits.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included: Drinks are not included.
Further dining info: No
Attitude towards children: Indian Ocean Lodge welcomes children of all ages.
Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions on guests.
Special activities & services: Babysitting can be arranged with the hotel's staff (paid to them directly), though note they're not professionally trained child minders. The hotel is happy to cater for alternative meal times for families with children, as long as this is organized with advance notice.
Equipment: A cot is available for babies; please request this at the time of booking.
Generally recommended for children: The flexible accommodation, proximity to the beach, shady gardens and large swimming pool, together with an informal welcoming atmosphere, make Indian Ocean Lodge a good family hotel.
Notes: Obvious care must be taken by parents when beside the water, both sea and pool, and on balconies. The rooms on the ground floor would be most suited to families with younger children.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Power supply notes: UK -style 3-square-pin sockets are fitted throughout. International adaptors are normally available from reception, though it would be wise to bring your own, if required.
Communications: There is an IDD telephone in each guest room and mobile phone reception is good. Complimentary WiFi is available in the hotel's public areas.
TV & radio: Local television with some news and children's channels is available in the guest rooms.
Water supply: Mains
Water supply notes: All rooms have a flushing toilet and shower only.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Medical care: There is a first aid kit kept on the property and for more serious incidents, Praslin Hospital in Baie St. Anne offers health care services 24 hours a day. There is an ambulance available, helicopter for emergency transfers to Victoria Hospital on Mahé (no night flights), and medical staff speak French, English and Creole.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: The hotel has 24-hour security.
Fire safety: Fire extinguishers are located outside the rooms, and there is a smoke detector in each room.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Laundry facilities are available for an extra charge. At the time of our last visit in July 2015, charges varied from around SCR5 to SCR20 per item.
Money: There is a small safe in each room. Currency exchange facilities are available at the hotel reception as well as at nearby banks.
Accepted payment on location: Visa, MasterCard and Amex credit cards are accepted at Indian Ocean Lodge. Cash payments in Seychellois Rupees, Euro, US dollars and Pounds Sterling are also accepted.