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The Seychelles Islands...another world
The Seychelles Islands...another world

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Seychelles’ Tourism Minister pleased with level of standard following visit to small and large accommodations on La Digue

Tourism property owners on La Digue truly understand the importance of the tourism industry and go to great lengths to offer high standards of care to visitors coming from all over the world.

The Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Mr. Maurice Loustau-Lalanne said this on Friday last week, after visiting tourism properties on the island, as part of his ongoing door-to-door visits to holiday accommodations in Seychelles.

This was his first visit to tourism businesses on La Digue -- the Seychelles’ third inhabited island -- since he took charge of the tourism portfolio in December last year.

Accompanied by the Principal Secretary for tourism Mrs. Anne Lafortune, they visited 14 tourism establishments -- from a one bedroom self-catering apartment to a 70-room hotel – ranging from quite recently opened accommodations to those that have been standing for a good number of years.

The visit was an opportunity for them to see whether the properties were up to the required standard and to have a better appreciation of their successes and constraints.

Starting off at Anse Gaulette, the minister and his team called at the Le Relax Luxury Lodge -- a small hotel comprising of six villa as well as Lakaz an Bwa -- a two-bedroom self-catering. Both are quite new on the market having opened within the last two years.

Owned by Gerald Iglesias and his wife -- a retired couple originally from France -- Lakaz an Bwa, which has been built entirely of local wood, is one example of a tourism establishment on La Digue that has strived to showcase the Creole architecture.

Granite self-catering at La Passe was the smallest establishment visited. Owned by Sylvia Adrienne who has worked for several years in the tourism industry before venturing into her own business, the one-bedroom self-catering apartment is more of a family accommodation.

While at La Passe, the Minister also visited Chez Ahmed -- a two-bedroom self-catering, Kot Babi -- a nine-bedroom guesthouse that has been in business for 14 years, as well as the La Digue self-catering, which boasts six studio apartments located on the first floor of the recently built Mills Complex.

Chez Marston a small hotel of five rooms and a restaurant that has existed for a good 25 years is another property which the Minister visited at La Passe, where he met with the owner Mr Marston St Ange who is well known character on La Digue. Right across the road from Chez Marston, Mr Loustau-Lalanne stopped at the construction site of a new five-bedroom hotel, which Mr José St Ange is planning to open in November this year.

The delegation then headed to La Digue Island Lodge at Anse Reunion -- the largest establishment to be visited. The 70-room hotel owned by Mr. Gregoire Payet has been standing for around 45 years.

They were welcomed by the owner’s daughter Mrs. Brigitte Payet, who said the hotel was quite popular among honeymooners, while she showcased ongoing work to improve the standard of the hotel.

The delegation also called at Elje villa and Agnes Cottage two self-catering establishments, Villa Veuve –a small hotel with 20 rooms and Petra’s guest house a three-room bed and breakfast guesthouse all situated at Anse reunion. At L’Union, the minister visited Chloe’s cottage and Villa Source D’Argent.

Mr Loustau-Lalanne visited La Digue just a few days ahead of the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Patron Saint of the island on August 15, which is the busiest period of the year for the island. This meant that all of the establishments visited were fully booked.

At the end of his tour, the minister said that he had been able to ascertain that the owners -- most of the Seychellois --were very good at marketing their properties, as they confirmed that their full occupancy was not only for the August feast, but will last for the next two to three months.

Most of them noted that they were making use of booking websites such as Agoda, Airbnb, booking.com, seyvilla among others to market their business. When it comes to visitors, Germans topped the list of tourists that choose to holiday on La Digue. Visitors from Italy, France and Reunion also proved to be quite popular.

With regards to the level of standard, the minister expressed satisfaction with what he had seen during his visit to the various establishments.

“They have gone to great lengths to improve the standard of their products. I think they know that we will be introducing a new hotel classification system soon and they are getting ready before this happens. Everything I’ve seen from the one-bedroom self-catering establishment to a 70 room hotel, shows that they are all improving their products,” said Minister Loustau-Lalanne.

The owners of the different tourism accommodations on La Digue also took the opportunity to raise several concerns to the minister. This ranged from lack of street lighting, problems with water and electricity supply, road condition, availability of local manpower, among others.

Minister Loustau-Lalanne said: “There are some issues and I managed to solve one or two on the spot, but there are others that I need to cross check with other colleague ministers because they are not of my responsibility directly and we will attend to those as we continue to do our work.” The minister also welcomed the desire of the various business owners to contribute towards the cost of solving the some of the issues highlighted, which he described as a good display of public-private partnership in the tourism industry.

Many of the establishments also highlighted their intention and desire to increase their room capacity to be able to expand their business to accommodate more clients and raised their concerns vis-à-vis a moratorium that is limiting new tourism establishments to five rooms only, based on a carrying capacity study done for the island.

Commenting on the matter, Minister Loustau Lalanne said: “We need to look at it not on a case by case basis, but rather in its entirety to see what needs to be done to contain this resounding success which we are seeing today on La Digue.”

The Minister has already visited a range of hotels on the Seychelles’ three main inhabited islands -- Mahé, Praslin and La Digue -- in his endeavour to have a better appreciation of the various services and products on offer, as well as to appreciate the successes and gain an understanding of challenges faced by these establishments.

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The Seychelles Tourism Board not limiting efforts to market the destination through digital means in Brazil

The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) office in Brazil has been increasing efforts to develop creative and diverse online marketing strategies to promote the destination, as it aims to increase the number of visitors from the South American nation.

Global Vision Access (GVA) -- a tourism marketing and communication company -- has been the Seychelles’ representation company for Brazil and South America since 2012. Founded by Gisele Abrahão in 2009, GVA’s vision is to effectively stimulate an important way of thinking for tourism trade and media professionals in Brazil -- a country with over 200 million inhabitants.

As part of its efforts to make Seychelles more visible, the Sao Paolo-based company launched a special Seychelles course on its e-learning platform at the beginning of the year. Ms Abrahão said that to date more than a hundred of the over 300 trade professionals registered on GVA’s e-learning platform are connected to the Seychelles project.

“The platform is used to constantly inspire our audience with captivating content that goes well beyond basic travel information through a practical, clear, and easily accessible format that has numerous features and options for innovation and constant improvement,” said Ms Abrahão.

“In addition, the Seychelles course educates and further develops the expertise of travel and tourism professionals on the experiences, products, and services offered in Seychelles by the local trade partners offer. It intensifies the destination presence in this market while drastically decreasing the budget we would normally need for sales calls and training seminars all over Brazil,” she added.

One of the main tools used on the GVA e-learning platform to promote Seychelles and its products is what is dubbed the ‘webinar’ section. This features live presentations that are later archived and become available on demand.

The webinars of 5 to 15 minutes cover special themes from services, events, culture, gastronomy, festivals or focus on specific segments such as MICE, wedding and honeymoon among others.

“We always have special guests and speakers sharing experiences. For example, chefs describing the destination through a recipe; a guest giving live testimonial, local people giving local tips, etc…The webinars tell stories, share insider facts, create interest, and allow interaction between the presenters and the audience,” said Ms Abrahão.

When it comes to Seychelles, Ms Abrahão says nature and romance top the list of what attracts Brazilian visitors to Seychelles.

To give a further boost to the romantic appeal of the island nation, GVA is expected to generate more content to promote the island nation as a honeymoon destination with the upcoming honeymoon trip of one of its representative in Seychelles.

The tourism marketing and communication company is also inviting more local trade partners to participate in the webinars so as to create more content that would help to market Seychelles.

Although it does not send an impressive number of tourists to Seychelles, Brazil has recorded remarkable growth in its visitor arrivals to Indian Ocean archipelago.

Statistics show that 839 visitors from Brazil have come to the island nation from January to June this year, compared to only 307 visitors during the same period in 2016, which is an increase of 173 percent.

Figures from the STB office in Brazil show that the numbers have increased further to 993 visitors at the end of July.

“We want to have at least 2000 visitors from Brazil visiting Seychelles this year, which would represent around 130 percent compared to last year, and we are working super hard to achieve this goal. It is important to mention that the numbers might be small but Brazilians usually spend between 4 to 8 nights in Seychelles and that is not so little,” said Ms Abrahão

On top of the GVA website, the STB representation office also uses other online channels including social media sites: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, an official website, the GVA blog all with Portuguese contents to help showcase the Seychelles islands and attract visitors from Brazil and South America.

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Seychelles Tourism Board saddened as Air Seychelles adjusts European network, but confident of maintaining visitor numbers in 2017

The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) is saddened by Air Seychelles’ decision to adjust its European network affecting Germany and France, as it signifies reduced seat capacity to cater for future growth, but remains confident that the performance of the main tourism markets will be maintained in 2017.

The national airline announced on Monday that it will suspend its twice-weekly flights to Düsseldorf from September 10 and reduce its Paris operation from four to thrice-weekly flights from September 12.

Explaining the commercial decisions, the Chief Executive of Air Seychelles Roy Kinnear said an in-depth review of the Düsseldorf route, which started in March this year had showed that the service is unsustainable, and highlighted weakened demand for air travel out of France when it comes to the Paris flight.

In a statement, Air Seychelles’ chairman Jean Weeling – Lee said: “Due to year on year increase of cost of fuel, an extremely competitive aviation market in Europe, and the high number of significant airlines already serving Seychelles though their connecting hubs, it unfortunately results in Air Seychelles being forced to consolidate these services.”

Commenting on the decisions on Wednesday, the STB Chief Executive Mrs. Sherin Francis said she is indeed saddened, as the extra capacity offered by Air Seychelles on the Düsseldorf flights for example, would have assisted the market in the medium to long term as the seats capacity filled up. The upcoming cancellation of the Düsseldorf flights also signifies a loss of marketing support for STB’s promotional efforts on the German market.

“The airline would have also been key during peak holiday periods were we are in competition with the other destinations for seats on airlines that go through the connecting hubs,” she added.

Nevertheless, Mrs Francis said the Seychelles Tourism Board will continue working with other airlines already serving the destination, to maintain and increase visitor arrivals from these European markets.

“STB’s role is to promote the destination and Air Seychelles is our preferred airline when it comes to marketing the destination points, where they are actually flying to. But we also make it a point to work with all other airlines serving the destination, given our priority is to ensure that we are able to increase visitor arrivals from our major markets,” said Mrs Francis.

“It’s always good to have direct flights, especially by your own national airline as this means the Seychelles’ experience starts the minute the client gets onboard, but unfortunately the [Düsseldorf] flight had to be stopped and STB will have no choice but to work with other airlines to maintain our performance on the German market,” she added.

Highlighting the importance of the German market, Air Seychelles’ CEO, Mr Kinnear has already said that the airline will continue to work with its codeshare partners to offer one-stop connections via Paris with Air France and via Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways.

Aside of several international airlines offering connections for German visitors from the main hubs, the Seychelles route is also served by German leisure airline, Condor, which operates two direct weekly flights to the island nation.

Mrs Francis remarked that STB will continue with its role of promoting the destination whether direct flights are available or not, and when it comes to France she added that STB will continue to support and market Air Seychelles’ thrice-weekly flights to Paris in September.

“It’s important that we work together to make it work and hopefully later on in their planning they can go back to four flights when the market starts to grow again. But for now it’s important that we support the three Air Seychelles flights as it still connects Seychelles to Paris and the rest of Europe,” said Mrs Francis.

Statistics show that 23,963 French visitors have disembarked in Seychelles up to July 30th, representing a 3 percent decrease so far this year compared to the same period in 2016.

In spite of recording a slight drop, which can be linked to several factors including the French elections earlier this year, France remains a significant market for Seychelles and the STB is pleased that the figures have been maintained at almost the same level as last year.

“Now that the elections are over it is the moment for us to come up with strategies to stimulate demand and achieve growth on that market for next year,” Mrs Francis added.

Germany on the other hand has taken the number one spot since June, surpassing France, which has long been the main tourism market for Seychelles.

According to latest statistics available from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Germany has sent 27,078 visitors to the island nation up to July 30th, representing a 33 percent increase over last year’s figures.

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Seychelles’ restaurants -- ‘Cyann’ and ‘Lorizon’ win accolades at the World Luxury Restaurant Awards

The Seychelles’ Creole cuisine, which combines flavours from French, English, African, Indian, and Chinese cooking is one of the island nation’s unique factor.

The Creole food is one of the aspects that tourism operators, especially hotels and restaurants, strive to promote among visitors to Seychelles.

Two restaurants in Seychelles have received accolades at the World Luxury Restaurant Awards, which inspires excellence and ignites healthy competition in the luxury restaurant industry.

The second edition of the World Luxury Restaurant Awards ceremony was held on July 22nd, where winners were presented with their prizes at the JW Marriott Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Constance Ephelia’s signature restaurant ‘Cyann’ was crowned the Seychelles’ Luxury Resort Restaurant, while CaranaBeach Hotel’s ‘Lorizon Restaurant’ received the award for the Seychelles’ restaurant providing the Best Ambience or Romantic Atmosphere.

The Constance Ephelia resort is located at Port Launay on the western coast of Mahé. Its Cyann Restaurant, which offers a beautiful view over the Port Launay marine park, is open for both lunch and dinner. Guests can expect to experience the precision of French culinary techniques combined with local and Asian influences. The restaurant is known for its sushi and selection of signature dishes.

Commenting on the accolade, Constance Ephelia’s General Manager, Kai Hoffmeister said: “I am delighted that our team received this award, because it recognizes all the hard work and effort it has put into keeping our luxury hospitality standards to a higher level.”

Lorizon restaurant was nominated in the Best Ambiance/Romantic Atmosphere category after representatives of the World Luxury Restaurant Awards visited the restaurant in February this year.

Lorizon is the Creole word for ‘horizon’ as the restaurant provides guests with a dining experience that offers a sweeping view of the ocean, while they savour what the owners describe as their innovative cuisine using products sourced from the Denis Island farm.

CaranaBeach hotel’s Director Alan Mason said: “We're so excited for our team to be awarded with recognition of this calibre. It's one that recognises how the entire CaranaBeach concept has come together, from the idea stage right through to the execution.”

The World Luxury Restaurant Awards made its debut in 2016. Restaurants from across the globe are nominated based on three main criteria: interior design, the quality and presentation of the cuisine, and a reputation for excellent service and positive reviews.

According to the World Luxury Restaurant Awards, nominations are done by guests, food critics, bloggers and other relevant experts. The restaurants may also nominate themselves.

The 2017 nominees were competing in 81 different categories.

The final outcome is based on votes received per category and awards are presented on a country, continent and global basis.

In 2016, AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort and Spa’s ‘Tamarind Restaurant’ was crowned the Seychelles’ best in Thai cuisine.


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Another certified green hotel for Praslin: Acajou Beach Resort obtains Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label

The Acajou Beach Resort has become the latest tourism establishment to be awarded the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label (SSTL), after it was successfully assessed and certified as a resort that is integrating sustainability practices in its business operation.

The Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Maurice Loustau-Lalanne presented the Chairman of Acajou Beach Resort, Hugh Payet with the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label certificate on Tuesday 11th July.

The ceremony was attended by the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune and the Tourism Department’s Director for Product development, Sinha Levkovic.

Mr Loustau-Lalanne congratulated Acajou Beach Resort for the hard work displayed in attaining the certification and thanked them for adopting sustainable practices.

“The certificate could not have been awarded in a better year, you are being awarded with this certificate in the year for sustainable tourism for developments. The message is clear,” said Mr Loustau-Lalanne.

Applicable to hotels of all sizes, the SSTL is a voluntary sustainable tourism management and certification programme, designed to encourage more efficient and sustainable ways of doing business.

The SSTL, which was recently recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), works on a point-based system. All hotels have to satisfy 24 “must” criteria, and depending on their size, the hotels have to score additional points in each of eight theme areas -- Management, Waste, Water, Energy, Staff, Conservation, Community and Guests. Scoring an additional six points in any area, is the third criteria that has to be fulfilled to obtain certification. The criteria are specifically designed to ensure that minimum standards are met by each establishment.

Acajou Beach Resort is a Seychellois-owned business that labels itself as Praslin’s Green hotel in the Seychelles. The resort has invested heavily in two specific areas in order to push its business model towards a greener approach, which has helped towards accumulating the desired points required for the SSTL certification.

A photovoltaic system (PV) installed at the hotel presently caters for over 50 percent of the energy requirements of the whole establishment, while a new Sewage Treatment Plant is up and running producing recycled water for the hotel’s garden. Further to this, the hotel also has an in-house energy management system.

The Chairman of Acajou Beach Resort, Hugh Payet said he was happy and proud to join the list of Seychelles hotels that have achieved SSTL certification.
“We are extremely happy and our investment is paying off, considering we invested over 7 million rupees in total to meet our green objectives,” said Payet.
“It’s not only about winning the certificate but now we need to maintain the standard,” he added.

Established in 1996, the Acajou Beach Resort presently has 52 rooms spread across five different room categories. Located at Cote d’Or, Praslin, the hotel is surrounded by lush green tropical vegetation, and offers guests a great view of the nearby sandy shore and clear turquoise ocean.

The resort is known for its eco-friendly initiatives, including tree planting activities involving its employees in conjunction with a Praslin-based non-governmental organisation -- the Terrestrial Action Society of Seychelles (TRASS).

Commenting on the added benefit of the SSTL certification, Mr Payet said: “this certificate provides the hotel with a lot more credentials, which we will use in all our marketing efforts.” He has also dedicated the recognition to all the hotel’s staff, clients and the whole of Praslin island.

Acajou Beach Resort is the fourth hotel on Praslin to be awarded the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label.



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Tourist establishment in Seychelles supporting community initiatives in the fight against climate change showcased on CNN’s Inside Africa

Seychelles, a tiny archipelago of 115 islands, has once again been featured worldwide on one of the world’s most popular global television network -- Cable News Network (CNN).

The international news channel has thrown the spotlight on how communities in Seychelles, including a tourist establishment, are working to mitigate and fight the effects of climate change.

The visit of a filming crew to the Indian Ocean islands earlier in May, has led to the production of three segments aired on CNN’s Inside Africa programme. The first airing was on Friday 7th July.

The first two segments entitled Seychelles: 115 islands vs climate change and After the storm: How to rebuild a coral reef highlighted the threats of climate change to the islands, including changing weather patterns, coastal erosion and the effects of rising sea temperatures on the coral reefs.

The direct impacts of these occurrences on the lives and activities of the locals and several initiatives being conceived, including underwater coral gardening to help restore the reefs were also showcased. Augustin Desaubin -- a local fisherman residing at Anse Forbans on the southern coast of the main island, Mahé, is one who got to compare the harvest of his fishing trips as a young boy and now that he is almost in his 50s.

In the third segment entitled Seychelles is making a difference, Inside Africa shows that it’s not only the government coming up with initiatives, but that ordinary citizens are also taking action to combat climate change.

The CNN producers got to film work being done by the Cerf Island Conservation Program and the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles to clean the coastlines and rehabilitate the reefs. They also spoke to Lisa Laporte Booyse, the Marketing Manager of a local tourist establishment -- Chalets d 'Anse Forbans -- who was inspired by such conservation efforts to join with people in her neighborhood to set up the Anse Forbans Community Conservation Programme. The non-governmental organization, which was launched in February this year, is already working with other partners to develop its own coral restoration and wetland restoration programmes as well as mapping out new hikes and trails for the local community and tourists.

Commenting on her appearance on CNN’s Inside Africa programme, Mrs Laporte Booyse explained that the international new channel had approached the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles (MCSS) for community groups to discuss climate change effects on the environment and their livelihoods. The efforts of the various groups to educate tourists holidaying in the Seychelles about climate change, its effects on the archipelago and what is being done to mitigate the impacts were also featured in the CNN programme.

Mrs Laporte Booyse who is also the Chairperson of the Anse Forbans Community Conservation Programme said: “Such global reach impacts not only Chalets d’Anse Forbans exposure, but the Seychelles internationally. It has highlighted how communities are doing something to combat climate change, how the Chalets are a part of sustainable tourism, how they care for their environment and want to make a change.”

Chalets d’ Anse Forbans is a self-catering beach establishment built on a former coconut plantation. Boasting 12 beach chalets and 2 family chalets, the establishment owned by the Jumeau family has been in operation for 23 years. It is described as a quiet tourist area offering peace and tranquility to visitors also wanting to be in touch with nature.

Seychelles and its community-based efforts to tackle climate change can be viewed online on the CNN website.

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The Seychelles Tourism Board & Air Seychelles treat German travel agents to a ‘spontaneous weekend’ in Seychelles

As Germany maintains its position as the Seychelles’ top tourism market in 2017, the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) continues to work with local trade partners to boost the knowledge of German travel agents on the destination.

Air Seychelles, with organizational support from the STB and generous sponsorship from various trade partners, treated eleven travel agents from Germany to a “spontaneous” familiarization ‘FAM’ trip to the islands from 7th to 9th July 2017.

The trip has been realized as part of Air Seychelles’ marketing drive to promote its twice-weekly non-stop air link from Düsseldorf, Germany, to Mahé. The eleven travel agents were in fact the lucky winners of a quiz-type competition, which saw the participation of more than 300 agents vying for a chance to win an educational trip to Seychelles.

Accompanied by Mr. Victor von Schweinitz, Area Manager for Air Seychelles and Ms. Roya Fadai from the STB Office in Frankfurt, the group took off from Düsseldorf – a city of 1.2 million people in the densely populated westernmost part of Germany – just before 8pm local time on Friday 7th July. Touching down in Seychelles at 8am on Saturday, they were greeted by STB’s Director for Germany, Austria & Switzerland, Ms. Edith Hunzinger and Senior Marketing Executive, Ms. Stephanie Lablache.

Extending its courtesy towards the group, local DMC Mason’s Travel organised their transfer to the Seychelles capital, Victoria, where they enjoyed some deliciously sweet and refreshing coconut water at the Victoria market, which was bursting with locals doing their weekend shopping.

After checking in at the Coral Strand Hotel, which sponsored their overnight stay, the group visited H Resort Beau Vallon beach before enjoying a Creole lunch at the Boathouse restaurant accompanied by Air Seychelles and STB executives.

As this was a familiarization trip, the German travel agents got to explore Beau Vallon – a district on the northern coast of the main island Mahé, at their own leisure on Saturday afternoon. Those who preferred a more relaxing moment, got to know what it feels like to have a peaceful afternoon on theBeau Vallon beach, one of the island nation’s most iconic and popular beaches. Saturday evening ended with a visit at the Savoy Resort and Spa were they were treated to dinner hosted by the management.

The educational visit moved to the southern part of Mahé on Sunday as the group enjoyed a sightseeing tour provided by another local DMC 7° South. This included a trip to Jardin du Roi – a 21-year-old garden located in the hills of Anse Royale. There they got to discover various spices such as nutmeg, black pepper, vanilla and cinnamon as well as exotic and tropical fruit trees, which are all very popular among visitors.

After lunch accompanied with musical entertainment at the Chez Batista restaurant further up at Takamaka, the group was transferred back to the Coral Strand by Creole Travel Services.

A farewell cocktail concluded their brief, but highly informative and much-enjoyed stay in the Seychelles, after which Creole Travel Services returned the group to the airport in time for their 10.15pm departure.

Reaching Düsseldorf at the very start of a new work week the eleven travel agents are now more confident and knowledgeable to start selling Seychelles’ vacations to holidaymakers calling at their respective agencies.

Edith Hunzinger, director of the Seychelles Tourism Board office in Frankfurt said she was very pleased with the outcome of the FAM Trip.

“It was a spontaneous trip, born from a spontaneous idea we had only a few weeks ago. However, our office has had plenty of experience with ‘crazy’ weekend trips of this kind, and it always helped us build an even tighter bond between our destinations and the agencies that sell it to the consumer,” said Ms Hunzinger.

“This trip gave me confidence that the positive trend for the German-speaking market will continue throughout the year and beyond,” she added.

Since last month Germany has overtaken France as the leading source market for Seychelles when it comes to visitors’ arrival. Up to 9th July Germany had sent 24,146 visitors to the island destination.

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Kafe Kreol -- Seychelles’ popular beachfront restaurant at Anse Royale reopens with new name, look and ownership

Kafe Kreol -- a café and restaurant offering authentic Seychellois and Italian cuisine will be open for the first day of business on Friday 14th July. The newly refurbished beachfront restaurant replaces the former Kaz Kreol -- the popular feet-in-the-sand eating place at Anse Royale.

The new owners -- the Frichot family -- bought the place after it was closed down for several months. It has taken Mahé Design & Build around six months to completely refurbish the restaurant giving it a modern feel.

A mixture of vibrant colours, décor, furniture and other accessories have been used to have it resemble a more traditional Creole architecture. This includes wooden and glass bottle decorations and the use of brown gunny materials to adorn the ceiling.

Prior to Friday’s opening to the public, Gilbert and Carola Frichot, their children and staff gave family members, close friends, neighbours, tourism industry representatives and press a taste of what the place has to offer. This was during a cocktail evening held on Saturday July 1.

The Managing Director of Kafe Kreol Carola Frichot said although they could not keep the former name of the restaurant, they would like for it to continue to be as popular among both the locals and visitors.

“The restaurant seeks to offer tourists and Seychellois families alike a place to eat good food in a relaxed atmosphere only a few steps away from the sea,” she said.

An inside lobby with a brightly coloured mural can be used by anyone wishing to stop by for a coffee, some ice cream, pastry, light meal or a slice of pizza. Outside is the more open air restaurant where guests will be able to sit with their feet in the sand while enjoying their meals. A Children’s corner has also been built in a secure area, featuring slides to keep the younger ones entertained while their parents get to eat and relax.

Kafe Kreol is not only about providing good food but is also keen on promoting arts and culture.

Paintings of local Seychellois artists will be exhibited and even on sale. The daughter of the Frichot’s, Andrée and her school friend from the United States, Nicole Briel are the brains behind the brightly coloured mural that sets out to become quite an interesting attraction.

Nicole who is on holiday in the Seychelles, has been collaborating with Andrée to fill up the mural with cut outs from newspapers found in the archives highlighting important political, cultural and other events that has happened in the Seychelles history.

“We spent days at the library. The earliest official documents date from 1921 up to 1996, unfortunately we could not get earlier documents as the archives is under renovation. We do have stuff from the 1500s onwards but this is more information people have accumulated over the years but not official documents but this will be involved as well,” said Andrée.

Definitions of some of the names of the Seychelles islands and their history, fun facts, as well as some interesting characters who have become known in the Anse Royale district will also feature on the mural.

Kafe Kreol will specialize in authentic Seychellois and Italian cuisine, with the Italian menu featuring mainly pizza and fresh pasta.

Gilbert Frichot said that a chef from Italy is going to be in Seychelles for a month to train the local staff how to prepare the Italian dishes.

Both Gilbert and Carola have said that they would like to have a mostly young Seychellois workforce. In terms of their products they have noted that they will be sourcing fresh local fruits, vegetables and fish from the local farmers and fishermen.

Mr Frichot said: “We would also like to involve the community, as we would like to have students residing at the Youth Hostel as clients but also as trainees. We would like students to come and gain experience working at the restaurant and earn some money. As a student that’s what I did.”

Kafe Kreol will open every day from 10am to 10pm.
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