Villa Bella (Mahe)
Our check in was easy – the owner was waiting for us and showed me around while Eric unpacked the car. There was an additional tourism fee that needed to be paid in local currency (25scr pp/night) so I’m glad I went to the ATM! The internet took a little bit to get connected but then worked for the rest of our stay. A drying rack and laundry detergent were available – nice bonus! We knew ahead of time to bring loads of ziploc bags to store open food as the sugar ants are everywhere and that was very true here. On our first morning we had a bag of granola on the counter with its own seal system, and later found ants swarming a tiny crumb that was on the outside of the seal…
The AC in the bedroom was also quite appreciated. The bathroom was quite large, and the shower had good temperature control and water flow options. A nice smelling shampoo and body wash was provided.
We thought this side of the island would be quieter, but the road noise was somewhat louder than expected. In most cases the ocean drowned it out and we liked the outdoor patio area and garden views. In hindsight I would consider staying closer to Beau Vallon given the concentration of restaurants, and to have better access to a walkable beach.
Seashell Beach Villa (Praslin)
Parking was available at the front of the hotel, with reception accessed via a walkway from the main road. We were greeted warmly and shown to our room, a spacious suite with a fully equipped kitchen, sitting area, king bed and balcony.
Rooms were serviced everyday and we were able to borrow beach towels during our stay. The ants weren’t as big of an issue here (vs Mahe) but perhaps that’s because we were on the second floor? Air con unit was only in the bedroom but was sufficient for our stay. My only knock was the lack of paper towels and wash cloths. The bed was comfortable and there was shower gel available (no shampoo).
The beach area was great! Loungers were available in the shade, you just grabbed a cushion when you wanted to use the space and put it back in the main hallway when you were done. Lot of hammocks were available as well. We walked on the beach whenever it was low(ish) tide. At high tide there is almost no dry beach.
The location was also great, within a few minutes drive of a few markets and restaurants. It was also super quiet, no road noise and minimal plane noise (a concern being a few minutes from the airport).
O’Soliel Chalets (La Digue)
By the time we booked this place there were only the higher-priced superior rooms left but we got a small discount by booking directly with them rather than using Booking.com. We were super sweaty after our ten minute walk dragging luggage from the ferry, so the woman showing us to our room handed me a cold water straight from the fridge. :D The decor here is definitely beachy and there is a ton of space, including a full kitchen and indoor and outdoor eating areas. Air con only in the bedroom (I am seeing a trend) but cooled the space off nicely. We appreciated the screens on the windows for less bugs! We were able to pay by credit card which was a bonus. Aloe was provided (which I ended up needing!) but no other toiletries like shampoo or body soap. We also would have liked actual wine glasses, this was the only place with plastic glasses.
The gardens were quite lush, and the outdoor shower was nice for rinsing sand off after our numerous beach trips. Anse Severe Beach is just a 1 minute walk down the road, close to lots of beach bars. Although no beach chairs were available, we were able to borrow beach towels for our stay. We also stored our luggage for a few hours in between when we checked out and when our ferry departed.
Seaside Self-catering (Mahe)
For our second stay on Mahe, we wanted a place on the south side so we could try different beaches and restaurants. Once we got the owners attention, check in was smooth although we weren’t asked to pay until two days into our stay. We paid cash in USD and she wouldn’t accept bills older than 2000 because of the bank (?) – she checked the date on each one.
Parking was available just off the road in front of their gate or on the grass to the side. The kitchen was nicely equipped and being a studio, the air conditioning worked for the whole space, but just barely; the kitchen remained noticeably warmer. As other reviewers mentioned, the road noise is distracting during the day. Lots of motorcycles revving engines and large trucks. At night it wasn’t too bad but bring eye shades because the outdoor lights are super bright through the glass block windows. The bed was also very, very firm and the ants were trying to get into everything again. I cannot state any more strongly to bring Ziploc bags with you. Upside was we came back from the beach on the first day and all the laundry we put in the basket had been done for us and was air drying outside!
Some cons included a plumber AND electrician were called to our apartment during our four day stay. The toilet took forever to fill back up with water after flushing and an electrical kettle plug couldn’t be removed from the outlet.
Overall, not an expensive place to stay but the experience was a mixed bag. We preferred the restaurants on the northern side of the island near Beau Vallon, but liked the beaches on the south and west side better.