Home > Africa, World travel > Five stars for three-star Indian Ocean Lodge

Five stars for three-star Indian Ocean Lodge

After a night at Praslin’s most exclusive hotel – the Constance Lémuria Resort – we try out something completely different: the three-star Indian Ocean Lodge, ten minutes’ away.

The Indian Ocean Lodge is charming, value-for-money and service and food surpasses its three-star ranking.

Expecting the move from five-star to three-star to be a disappointment, we’re quickly proved wrong.

From the moment we check in to our delicious lunch of fresh stir-fried Calamari and grey jackfish with tomato chutney, topped off with a fresh coconut milkshake, we’re sold by the personal service, charming setup and friendly laid-back feel of this small property.

Owned by Mrs. Mason – the Seychellois owner of Mason’s Travel, who Richard Simon, General Manager of the Indian Ocean Lodge, jokingly calls “our very own Margaret Thatcher”, one of the largest travel agents on the islands – it is part of a chain of three properties: one on Mahé called Carana Beach Hotel (under reconstruction) and a five-star resort on Denis Island called Denis Private Island Resort.

The 32 villas are all located close to the beach and carry the marine theme from the sand and sea into the bedroom so “guests don’t feel a conflict when they go inside,” says Richard. The double shower amuses me – “The honeymooners love it,” he jokes – as do the kitschy but cute Coco de Mer-shaped lampshades.

Tonight there is a set menu which I am not really a fan of, but, once I start eating, I’m impressed. The culinary experience kicks off with a watercress soup and I try the palm heart with fresh mint; after looking at palm trees for the past week, it’s the first time I taste this local ingredient. Main course is grilled barracuda steak, roast lamb loin or a local fish called bonito darne with ginger sauce served with coconut rice which I choose, seduced by the combination of fish, ginger and coconut. In a naughty twist, for dessert, they serve up the popular European desert Black Forest gateau with a watermelon coulis. It’s an unfussy dinner, a cosy atmosphere, the sound of the waves breaks in the background and the service is personal and fast. What more can you ask for.

The Indian Ocean Lodge is good value-for-money. Half board for two people per night will cost around EUR 220.

Tip: If you like the Indian Ocean Lodge, why not island hop between the other resorts in the chain. Spend a few days on the main island of Mahé when you arrive, followed by three or four days in Praslin and then head off for the five-star experience on Denis Island.

The Indian Ocean Lodge is a good base from which to explore Praslin’s wonderful beaches which are amongst the best in the world.

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