Sunday, March 29, 2015

AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa

The view from our balcony

AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa just opened its doors a couple months ago after a multi-million dollar makeover.  We took advantage of its grand opening rates and decided to spend the last leg of our vacation here.  Formerly known as Le Meridien Barbarons, the new hotel boasts a "contemporary tropical island vibe."

Our taxi drove into the hotel gates a little past 4 PM on Saturday afternoon.  Upon check in, we received a "Welcome Passion fruit Popsicle" in lieu of the traditional welcome drink.  Check-in was a breeze! The woman was very kind and funny as she went over the details of our booking.  The lobby boasted intricate lighting and pendants that added a touch of glamour to the beachfront area.  It was spectacular!

She was kind enough to give us a 3rd login for WIFI bu the internet is a bit on the slower side.  It's kind of hard to blog and check work emails unless I'm up at 5 AM when no one else is online.

Being an avid cook and foodie that I am, I also inquired about the cooking lessons to see if there was a discount for 2 people instead of one and she would check with her manager.  We also inquired about a round trip ferry trip to Praslin/La Digue, She thought it would be best that I booked through Creole Travel due to the discount but I have yet to receive any clarifications on either excursions.

The resort has its own private beach area and plentiful sun loungers. There were no complaints from the guests as we had experienced at Savoy Resort and Spa earlier.  I should also probably mention that Savoy was booked to capacity and the new AVANI was not completely booked, that might be a variable.

To our delight, we were once again upgraded to an oceanview room with balcony.  Originally, we had booked a garden view lower level room with no balcony.  The rooms were like an ocreanfront condo rental in the suites.  The blue and turquoise tiles were reminiscent of a friend's beach house back in the states.

Also, we had to make the adjustment of getting less towels. We were pampered with 4 bath towels for our twice daily showers previously.  Here, we only had 2 bath towels and 2 hand towels with no face towels.  At turn down service, we asked for replacements towels but there seem to be some confusion.

The ocean view was partially covered from the palm leaves in front of our building.  Despite that, it was still gorgeous.

We took a dip in the pool and it was MUCH TOO HOT to our liking.  I asked an attendant and I was advised that there was no pool temperature regulation.  A pool should be a refreshing experience but I felt like a toddler being force to take a bath in 90 degree temperature.

After we explored the resort, we went back to our room for Happy Hour with sangria and snacks that I packed from the states.  You can never have too many snacks when traveling.

The resort also has a library where guests can borrow books from.  This will come in handy since I no longer have a Kindle.

While we drank, we got dressed for dinner.

The resort was celebrating "Earth Day" where they would be turning off the power and lights for a couple of hours.  The onsite pan Asian restaurant, Tamarind, was hosting a specialty BBQ beach buffet in lieu of the traditional fine dining.  I thought that was a cool way to show that the hotel chain cared about the environment and being "green." It also added a magical touch to the whole dining experience.  Guests walked to the restaurant with candlelit mason jars.

Upon arrival, we were given the option of a fresh coconut cocktail with Malibu rum or without. We'll have the booze filled coconuts please!  

The buffet included 4 plated appetizers: Duck spring rolls, salmon salad, papaya salad and fried calamari .  I liked them all except for the overcooked calamari.  Service was a bit inconsistent, we kept flagging down a sever that clearly wasn't ours and had to summon our actual server who was no where to be found.  The rest of the staff was brilliant and was eager to please.

While diners enjoyed the scenery and the appetizers, the chefs got the grill going and started with the sates, beef and colossal prawns.

There was an array of dipping sauces to choose from: peanut sauce, cucumber sauce, hoison sauce and 2 types of chili sauce, I felt like we were dining at home! (Sans the sound of the ocean and sand between our toes)

Dinner was great. I kept going back for more prawns! "Hero", one of the grill masters featured above, ensured that I had my share of prawns! Good looking out Hero!  THe mixed vegetable stir fry was the best that I've ever tasted on vacation. There was garlic and I believe a hint of oyster sauce. Usually the veggies are bland and tasteless but this was NOT THE CASE.  The lady  manager from France, came around to greet all of us. She was sweet and very nice and suggested that we eat at the reservation and try their dinner menu.  We will definitely try it!

AVANI SEYCHELLES Barbarons Tamarind Restaurant "Earth Day" Beach BBQ Buffet

Dessert was ice cream with coconut parfait and passion fruit compote.  It was good!

It was a brilliant meal for 599 SCR a person, which is about $44.00 USD each. Afterwards, we walked barefoot along the beach and looked at the stars and moon which was so clear in the dark sky.

Although I was sad to leave Savoy Resort and Beau Vallon, I loved AVANI Barbarons and what it had to offer (minus the hot tub pool), we'll see what happens tomorrow  Until next time, what a great day!

Check back later when I review the breakfast buffet and full day at the resort!