I’m just back from 12 incredible nights working (yes, working) in the Seychelles for one of our long standing Association clients.
Despite much ribbing from friends and family about how lucky I am to be working in paradise (and it was), those of you in the industry will know it IS hard work. 18 hour days in 30+ degrees and high humidity takes its toll, regardless of the beautiful surroundings. Fortunately the strength of the Fuse team, coupled with outstanding relationships with our client, AV team and the superb Constance Ephelia ensured a successful outcome.
But the purpose of this blog is not to boast about glorious destinations, but to offer a few words of advice to industry colleagues who may be considering the Seychelles as a conference or incentive destination. Note, I’m talking solely about the largest island, Mahe.
Firstly, for an event that requires conference facilities, its very limited. There are three viable options, all that have their pros and cons depending on the clients budget and expectations:
- Kempinksi – I really liked this hotel. Excellent conference facilities, really fine restaurants and the bedrooms are in keeping with the location, and very comfortable. A solid 4 star hotel. It lacks a really decent bar and the public areas are really sparsely decorated which leaves it looking bare, rather than contemporary. The location is also bad for a group, a good 45 minutes drive from the capital Victoria/ airport/ port, also the pool is tiny.
- Savoy – this hotel is in the popular Beau Vallon area so really busy on the sea front and a number of good restaurants and lively clubs nearby. This hotel is ideal for a young group. A huge pool area would make for a great party, but the hotel is let down by a really poor conference room (small and low ceiling), and bedrooms that, whilst clean and well designed, were lacking in thoughtful design and could have been anywhere in the world!
- Constance Ephelia – Our choice and comfortably the best groups resort on the island. Its a large resort spread over a vast space, but that just adds to the feeling of space and calm. 5 excellent restaurants, one of the finest spas I’ve ever been in, 2 beaches, a host of onsite activities and first class conference facilities. Add to that a team of dedicated conference staff and you have a perfect venue for a group of 50-250 pax. The downside is the rates…..approx €350 half board, which seems pricey, but this is 5 star paradise, its worth it!
Two other takeaways from the event:
- Choose your DMC carefully. There are only 3 real options on the islands and we chose badly (I’m not naming names). Working with a DMC in Seychelles reminded me of Cuba or other Caribbean islands 20 years ago. Great intentions, lovely people, but a lack of quality leaders with experience. We got away with it, but only because of our team’s experience plugging the gaps and spotting potential pitfalls.
- Offsite restaurants – these are limited for groups. We visited Le Grand Maison and they just weren’t prepared for such a large group. The food was, and is, outstanding at the restaurant, but the service was painfully slow for 100 pax. Mahe’s restaurant culture is still growing, so I’d recommend doing as much in the resort as you can.
Fuse are always happy to take questions from industry clients, suppliers or end users about destinations, so please do get in touch if you want to chat about the Seychelles, or any other destination.