If you wish to go to the capital of the Seychelles, a beautiful botanical garden and experience a mountain hike with a great view, you should consider going to Mahé.
When we went to the Seychelles last summer (2018) our vacation startet and ended at Mahé. Mahé is the main island in the groups of islands that make up the Seychelles. Here you can find the capital Victoria, and the airport is only about a 20 minute car drive away. We arrived at the airport an early Sunday morning in the middle of June. Here we first had to go through immigration and passport control. It went surprisingly fast and all of a sudden we had our luggage and were on our way to the hotel.
I have written a post with general information about the Seychelles earlier, so you’re welcome to check this out before reading any further. In this post I will write about the hotels we stayed in during our time at Mahé, and about what we did on the island.
We spent a total of five nights at Mahé, the four first at «Avani Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa». Then we stayed at Praslin and La Digue before we had our fifth and final night at Mahé. The final night we stayed at «The H Resort Beau Vallon Beach». We should’ve had the four nights at our last hotel because that hotel was amazing, but we’ll remember that next time. Further you can read a little bit about the hotels we stayed at.
AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa (4 stars)
AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa is, as the name states, a resort and is located in the middle of the island. It’s a 30 minute drive from the airport. We arrived the hotel quite early, and even though their check-in time is from 14:00 we got to check in right away. The check in didn’t take long and we were on our way to our room in no time. We had a standard room, which was nice. After a shower and a change of clothes after the long flight we went out to explore the area. The hotel is in walking distance from a couple of small shops and a café (which was closed when we were there). There were also bus stops right outside the hotel. Just talk to the receptionist and you’ll get the time tables.
The resort has a spa and a gym. They also have their own beach, Anse Barbarons. A great beach, but big waves most of the day so it wasn’t that much fun swimming here. But they also had a pool with a good temperature.
In AVANI breakfast was included, and it was a tasty buffet with something for everyone to eat. They also served lunch in the same restaurant, and in the evening they had themed buffets, one theme for every day of the week. My favorite was the bbq night. In addition to this they had a thai restaurant and two bars at the resort.
How do we rate the hotel, and what do other people think?
It was an okay resort that had what we needed at the spot or just outside the resort. We wouldn’t mind staying here again, but like i mentioned earlier, we liked the other Mahé hotel even more. In general it seems like most people are happy with this hotel. It has 4 out of 5 at Tripadvisor. But now you might be curios about the other hotel?
The H Resort Beau Vallon Beach (5 stars)
The H Resort Beau Vallon Beach is also a resort, but this is located north on the island. It’s also a 30 minute drive from the airport. We arrived at the hotel around check-in time (15.00) so we got to check in immediately. Here we got to choose between juice and prosecco as our welcoming drink. I chose prosecco. It was a lovely glass of prosecco after a long day of traveling from La Digue.
After checking in we were taken to our Junior Suite. An amazing room with a big bathroom, king size bed, and an outdoor area with a sofa, seating area and sun beds. A shame we only had one night booked here. We didn’t get to see that much of the area the day we arrived, but we had a great lunch at the pool bar, and we witnessed a beautiful sunset.
Spa, gym and a swimming pool
In this resort you’ll also find a spa and a gym. The resort has two pools where one of them is for children. But if you rather swim in the sea the beach is right next to the hotel. I think that Beau Vallon is a better place than Barbarons Beach for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. But like AVANIA, the H Resort is also within walking distance from several shops and bus stops.
Food at the resort
At The H Resort breakfast was included, and the breakfast buffet were even bigger here than at AVANI. Lots of tasty food and snacks to choose from, and they also had champagne for those who want that. It takes a lot to get tired of the food here, because they have 5 restaurants that serves lunch and/or dinner. It’s the pool bar that serves simples dishes like burgers and sandwiches, a Japanese restaurant, a bbq restaurant, themed buffets, and a Trader Vic’s. In other words; a lot of different food to choose from. But if you were to get tired of the food at the hotel, there is restaurants close to the hotel as well.
What did we think, and what do others think about the hotel?
As you probably already noticed we were very happy with this hotel. But we did only spend one night here so I think we can say that we really got a good first impression. If we are ever going back to the Seychelles and Mahé we are probably going to choose The H Resort. It was delightful having a big, great area with several restaurants, a «swimming friendly» beach, and that gorgeous room. It also seems like other people are happy with the hotel with a score of 4,5 out of 5 at Tripadvisor. I would definitely recommend staying here if you want great standard and are able to (and want to) pay a little extra for a hotel.
What we did at Mahé
Victoria is the capital of the Seychelles, and is considered one of the smallest capitals in the world. We took the bus from our hotel to Victoria one day, and took a look around the city. We also got a look in the botanical garden. We also had lunch here before going back to the hotel. Try the food at «Le Café de L’horloge» if you ever find yourself in Victoria. The food was great here (at least the pizzas we had).
The clock tower shown in the picture above apparently is an attraction in Victoria. Not very exciting, it really just worked as a roundabout. We also walked by a church, a tempel and the local marked. For us, Victoria wasn’t very exciting, apart from our visit in the botanical garden. But it was still fun to have a day away from the hotel where we got to test out the local buses and got to look around the city.
The botanical garden
The botanical garden is worth a visit if you are in Victoria. We spent about an hour here looking at the plants and animals. We got to see Coco de Mer, the world’s largest nut, for the first time. It grows naturally in the nature reserve Vallée de Mai at Praslin island, but it has also been planted here. It’s the female trees that get the special nuts shaped like a butt. The thing on the right in the picture underneath comes from the male tree. You might understand why many tourists find it funny placing these two next to each other…
Further up in the park there is a little Asian inspired garden. The highlight here was that we got to see megabats (also called fruit bats). They are huge and can get up to 40 cm long and have a wingspan up to 1,5 m! The bats were gathered in the top of some trees and even though they are big, it was really just a coincidence that we saw them before moving along in the park. A cool experience having those huge bats flying above us. But we learned that there were also many megabats in the area close to the AVANI resort, so we got to watch them there as well. Under you can watch a short video clip of one single megabat.
There were many beautiful plants to see, and the park is divided into different themes. You can follow the map you get when you buy the ticket to find the parts you want to see the most. The ticket cost 100 SCR, and it was absolutely worth it in my opinion. After we were done we went back to the city center to have (the already mentioned) lunch before heading back to the hotel.
We had read that at the top of Morne Blanc we could get this amazing view over Mahé. So we decided to go for a hike. We took the bus from Grand Anse, a bus stop a little further away from the hotel, to Port Launay. This was sort of a bus terminal, and from here we were going to take the bus further up to Morne Blanc. When we arrived at the terminal we had to wait for a while for the next bus. Then we got a chance to check out the beach that was nearby. A beautiful and almost deserted beach. We were quiet early though, so there might be more people throughout the day.
After a while it was finally time to leave. As I mentioned in the last post about The Seychelles, the bus cost only 7 SCR per trip. We spent less than two euros each to get back and forth to the mountain by bus. That’s almost free.
The hike were pretty steep, but it wasn’t a long way to the top. When we were getting close to the top we had a nice view of the surrounding mountains. But by the time we got all the way to the top a thick fog ruined the view. A bummer, but we still got ourself a nice hike.
I read somewhere that the hike in total takes about two hours, but we did not use that much time.
When we came down we followed a path nearby and walked by a tea plantation. Up there we got a nice view of a part of Mahé, but from a much lower point than Morne Blanc. There were some cool plants growing here though; pitcher plants.
We really enjoyed our time at Mahé, but we were looking forward to beaches and Coco de Mer at Praslin. That you can read about in my next post!