Seychelles & Fregate

Reply

Old Jul 16, 15, 11:32 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Programs: BA GGL
Posts: 182
Seychelles & Fregate

Hi there,

We're thinking of going to the Seychelles for a couple of weeks in late September. I'm slightly surprised to see that it seems to be the cheapest period of the year for Fregate from 1st July-30th September despite wikipedia suggesting that its quite a decent period to go ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seychelles#Climate )

We're both late-20s and its just the two of us travelling. My better half is unlikely to want to do too much so we're unlikely to leave whatever resort we're in and are probably there more for R&R than any 'cultural' toursim.

In terms of other options - it looks like Desroches is changing owners after the end of the year- this makes me a bit reluctant to go for it as I guess the resort may be winding down a bit.

Other than that obviously I've heard of North Island and see the relevant thread on FT and there are the obvious (larger) choices of Banyan Tree / FS. Are there any other good small-ish options that I should be considering? There's a lot of stuff written out there and plenty of top tens of people's seychelles resorts but very little in the way of genuine inter-property comparisons...

Thanks,

Paul
pauljeff is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 16, 15, 1:59 pm
  #2  
DSI
formerly declinespecificinformatiom
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 1,124
We stayed at Fregate recently, and when speaking to our butler, very few people even stay for a week to see the island. I can tell you it's great island and it takes at least five days to explore and enjoy. I think a lot of the honeymooners and others who spin through in a day forget that it is Fregate Private Island and not Fregate Hotel.

The beaches and wildlife there are spectacular--among the most spectacular in the world--which is why we wanted to go to the Seychelles in the first place.

Last edited by DSI; Jul 16, 15 at 2:13 pm
DSI is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 21, 15, 7:50 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: SF
Programs: UA MM, AA 2MM, AF Sil, Bonvoy Tit (LTG), HH Dia
Posts: 983
I, too, am trying to find some good info on Seychelles resorts. I was looking at the Constance Ephelia, mainly as we're thinking of bringing our nanny and son next spring, and it seemed to have some nice villa options. If somebody has links to good inter-property comparisons, that would be fantastic. Or if anyone has gone to the Seychelles (we never have) with a family and has experience booking 2/3 bedroom villas, I'd love any input.
ps9a is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 4, 15, 10:01 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: San Francisco
Programs: AS MVP Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 696
If anyone is already planning a stay at Fregate, this auction over at Charitybuzz may be of interest.

Depending on the final price, looks like you may be able to get 50%+ off normal prices.

Auction ends in 3 hours...
sfoactuary is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 4, 15, 1:34 pm
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: IAD/DCA
Posts: 31,479
fregate now from €2900
http://www.fregate.com/reservations/hotel-rates-2
Kagehitokiri is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 4, 15, 1:58 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: England
Posts: 1,273
Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
Not at the end of April it isn't....which is when I plan to go, now I've just won that auction

Thanks, sfoactuary!
MacMyDay is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 4, 15, 2:21 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: San Francisco
Programs: AS MVP Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 696
Originally Posted by MacMyDay View Post
Not at the end of April it isn't....which is when I plan to go, now I've just won that auction

Thanks, sfoactuary!
Congrats! Was surprised at the low level of interest, given how good of a deal it was based on the high bid. Normally the travel auctions end up much closer to the suggested value.
sfoactuary is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 4, 15, 2:33 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: England
Posts: 1,273
Originally Posted by sfoactuary View Post
Congrats! Was surprised at the low level of interest, given how good of a deal it was based on the high bid. Normally the travel auctions end up much closer to the suggested value.
Yep, it's an absolute bargain. It basically ended up as "pay 1 night, stay 3". I shall have to create a shrine in my garden for you now ;-)

I will do a trip report and comparison to North Island, as we'll leave North and head straight to Fregate for 3 nights.

P.S. There was another auction a few months ago that I was so disappointed to lose, as someone outbid me with about 9 seconds to go and then the website crashed. That was even more of a bargain: http://www.luxurytraveldiary.com/auc...lt_auc_id=7312
MacMyDay is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 11, 15, 3:16 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Programs: Starwood Gold née Platinum; AA Plat.
Posts: 461
If you're looking at other islands, we stayed for five nights at Denis Island in late 2009 (around the same time you're planning to go), booking it through a UK travel agency (though we are based in the US). I enjoyed it, though did have some criticisms here and there. We spent 2 days on Mahe, and then 5 days on each of Denis and Praslin.
jgold is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 9, 15, 2:31 pm
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Programs: BA GGL
Posts: 182
Just in case anyone is interested - in the end we spent a week at Fregate and then a week at Maia.

I managed to fall over jogging in the jungle on Fregate on day 3 and ended up limping out of the jungle bleeding copiously and had to get taken to the nurse. It's still a little painful to walk two weeks later.

Despite this we had a fantastic time at Fregate - it's really special and we actually felt like we could have stayed for a lot longer than a week. There is a ton to do, lots of awesome beaches, some cool hikes, and the fact that you feel like you've got the Island to yourself makes it really fun. I think the only thing we thought they could have done better was the food - they were good at customising if we asked to stuff but there wasn't anything particularly interesting / innovative on the menu and sometimes simple stuff was poorly executed - for example my eggs benedict was nowhere near having runny yolks. But that I think is the trade-off - we had dinner in 7 different locations on the 7 nights and so they transport a chef to you to cook for you - which I guess means they lose any of the benefits of specialisation.

The hard product was also fantastic - two massive pavilions with an adjoining 'room' in the middle and an infinity pool actually long enough to be a lap pool (well, I would estimate 12m long or so). The gym was ok (running machine, cross trainer, and a non-functioning bike) and the spa seemed nice but I'm not really an expert.

Maia suffered by being second on the itinerary. The food there was definitely better and they were excellent at customizing. We're not normally tricky customers but a slightly patronising waiter told us to 'challenge' him so I asked for Pani Puri (my aunts make some mean Pani Puri) which they did with aplomb. My wife has a nut allergy which they dealt with well too.

The hard product at Maia is very good but suffers in comparison with Fregate - it looks a bit more tired and the pools are shorter (think maybe 7-8 m.) The bathrooms with the outside baths are very neat and I think if we'd gone their first we'd have thought it was awesome. As it is we spent most of our time by the (very empty) poolside area.

Both Maia and Fregate came with some included booze - Fregate had 3 different whites and reds and Maia came with c.12 of each and a long cocktail list that was also included. Neither wine list really grabbed me (as in, I don't think I tried any wines for a second time...) but my tastes may be a tad particular- Maia's definitely looked like a good try. Both had non-complimentary wine lists included too which seemed fairly comprehensive.

I think my biggest gripe with Maia would probably be that I'm not really sure what its raison d'etre is- what is the point of going there to stay? We had a perfectly nice time but really could have been anywhere in the world. I would guess its the food and drink - they claim their food is the best in the Seychelles - and maybe we weren't blown away by that because we normally eat out in London which is a pretty decent benchmark. And I may be being a bit unfair to Maia as it did have to follow up an amazing stay at Fregate.

I did a dive discovery course courtesy of Maia which happened to drop some people off at the beach at the FS. My (totally uninformed) view was the FS looked massive but it did also look like it had an excellent beach.

Other holidaymakers were very very complimentary about La Digue, and fairly complimentary about Praslin. Desroches also has a very decent rep. If we ever make it back I think we'd definitely go back to Fregate and then try one of L'Orangerie / North Island / whatever ends up being built at Desroches.

I'm sure MacMyDay will end up writing a much better trip report in a few months time so I'm going to stop there but feel free to PM me if you have further questions.
pauljeff is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 10, 15, 1:02 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: England
Posts: 1,273
Great write up, pauljeff - thanks a lot and I hope you're back to full strength soon. My view from having looked into North Island and Fregate is that Fregate looks like it will win in terms of the room vs North Island, but you're far from the first person to complain about the food there, which for the prices they're charging per night is a real shame. You said in your original post it's off season, so out of curiosity, was the weather nice the entire time?
MacMyDay is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 10, 15, 7:54 am
  #12  
DSI
formerly declinespecificinformatiom
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 1,124
Great write-up pauljeff and glad we could correspond a little before the trip. I still think that the best combo to do the Seychelles is like 7 days at Fregate and then a little safari in either Kenya, Tanzania or South Africa (direct flights from SEZ).

My thoughts are very similar to yours and you expressed them better than I could. However, I would add a few points.

We both had the same butler and he was awesome. Super nice and wonderful with the kids. Very much thinking of how to make your stay awesome.

Even things like waiting until you left the villa--watching you--so they could start cleaning.

And being able to eat at a different venue every day is really awesome.

It's a totally awesome experience when you think in terms of the teeming wildlife, the privacy, the custom dinner locations, the butler, etc.... than you'll see from some of the typical reviews: free one day trip for the "press" or honeymooners there for a day or two, as I don't think those approaches are able to appreciate what it can offer. I mean are these people hiking to the top of the mountain there, walking over the cool boulders/magma? Doubt it.

Yeah, the food needs work. The trick is to order what you want--not what's on the menu.

They need to include mixed drinks and some champagne.
DSI is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 11, 15, 1:21 am
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Programs: BA GGL
Posts: 182
Originally Posted by MacMyDay View Post
Great write up, pauljeff - thanks a lot and I hope you're back to full strength soon. My view from having looked into North Island and Fregate is that Fregate looks like it will win in terms of the room vs North Island, but you're far from the first person to complain about the food there, which for the prices they're charging per night is a real shame. You said in your original post it's off season, so out of curiosity, was the weather nice the entire time?
We went Sep 20th - Oct 4th with the first week at Fregate and second at Maia. The week at Fregate was great - maybe one cloudy day. The first 5 days of week 2 were rainy + cloudy. I spent a fair bit of week 2 kicking myself as Maia is on the west coast of Mahe and if you're at all familiar with the West Coast's of New Zealand or Canada the clouds basically dump all the rain they can onto those West coasts and then inland a bit is fine - i.e. suggesting that Maia should have worse weather normally than Fregate. A bit of googling suggests that the prevailing weather patterns in the Seychelles actually don't imply that kind of behaviour so I suspect I've over-theorised this one. And the guys at Fregate did say they'd had terrible weather the 2-3 weeks before we arrived.

DeclineSpecificInformation went earlier in the Jul-Sep 'off-season' and I think suggested the weather was great. July and August are in fact the lowest rainfall of the year for the Seychelles. I think the reason its the 'off-season' is that (a) everyone in Europe is in the south of France and (b) I think the seas are a little bit rougher which makes diving conditions worse.

Food - I partially agree with DeclineSpecificInformation in that often when we asked for something off menu it was excellent and so the range is less constraining than the menu implies. But I do feel like occasionally some food was just not executed particularly well. I never had a dish that was disgusting / inedible so its more a case of it not being excellent than anything else.

Drinks - I can't recall the pricing for anything 'off-list' but DeclineSpecificInformation's recollection certainly suggests that if you want to drink champagne you should bring your own - given how much they're charging to stay I think that the additional alcohol really shouldn't be marked up that much over cost.


Originally Posted by DeclineSpecificInformation
It's a totally awesome experience when you think in terms of the teeming wildlife, the privacy, the custom dinner locations, the butler, etc.... than you'll see from some of the typical reviews: free one day trip for the "press" or honeymooners there for a day or two, as I don't think those approaches are able to appreciate what it can offer. I mean are these people hiking to the top of the mountain there, walking over the cool boulders/magma? Doubt it.
100% agree - again thanks for all the info in advance and for talking me into going. Its amazing how after 7 days there I still felt like there was a ton more to do and its on the (rare) list of places where, having left, I felt like I'd happily go back next year if I could make it work. I know you particularly appreciated it as your child also really had a great time; we were just the two of us and felt like it was also a ton of fun as a couple, even when one of us was limping around the and the other was dealing with morning-sickness we still thought that we were having a great time.
pauljeff is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 11, 15, 6:08 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: England
Posts: 1,273
Originally Posted by pauljeff View Post
We went Sep 20th - Oct 4th with the first week at Fregate and second at Maia. The week at Fregate was great - maybe one cloudy day. The first 5 days of week 2 were rainy + cloudy. I spent a fair bit of week 2 kicking myself as Maia is on the west coast of Mahe and if you're at all familiar with the West Coast's of New Zealand or Canada the clouds basically dump all the rain they can onto those West coasts and then inland a bit is fine - i.e. suggesting that Maia should have worse weather normally than Fregate. A bit of googling suggests that the prevailing weather patterns in the Seychelles actually don't imply that kind of behaviour so I suspect I've over-theorised this one. And the guys at Fregate did say they'd had terrible weather the 2-3 weeks before we arrived.

DeclineSpecificInformation went earlier in the Jul-Sep 'off-season' and I think suggested the weather was great. July and August are in fact the lowest rainfall of the year for the Seychelles. I think the reason its the 'off-season' is that (a) everyone in Europe is in the south of France and (b) I think the seas are a little bit rougher which makes diving conditions worse.
That's interesting. I chose April due to it supposedly having the warmest weather of the year and one of the lowest amounts of rain falls. I am cursed when it comes to bad weather, so it's almost irrelevant and will likely rain non-stop regardless of when I go.

Just on topic of the auction and in case anyone ever comes across this thread in future, within 2 days of winning that, I had a confirmed booking with Fregate and everything taken care of. The dates I wanted for the end of April are confirmed.
The only thing that is left to organise is the helicopter transfer, as it's currently a bit daft that I need to take a helicopter from North Island to Male, then get on a separate helicopter from the same company to head to Fregate - they're still sorting that out at the moment.
MacMyDay is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 18, 15, 12:09 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 1,048
It would be great to hear a comparison between North Island, Fregate and FS Seychelles. Gallivanters went to the Seychelles recently and it's a real shame that they did not visit North Island.
Londonjetsetter is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread