Tropical relaxation with an upbeat vibe – AVANI hotels arrive in Seychelles
An aerial view of the new AVANI hotel in Seychelles, situated at Barbarons on the western coast of the main island of Mahé (AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The hotel formerly known as Le Meridien Barbarons, situated on the peaceful west coast of the main Seychelles island of Mahé, has reopened under new management as AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa, bringing additional offerings to the growing Asian tourism market in the Indian Ocean archipelago.
The hotel closed in 2014 to make way for a major revamp to the hotel’s decor by its owners, Mauritian company Currimjee Jeewanjee, costing around $8 million.
At its glitzy official opening ceremony on March 14, attended by the who’s-who of Seychelles, including Vice-President Danny Faure and Tourism and Culture Minister Alain St. Ange, the stylish new facilities were unveiled, including the upgraded conference facilities and pool area.
|The opening ceremony was attended by high-ranking government officials, including the Seychelles Vice-President Danny Faure and Tourism and Culture minister Alain St. Ange (pictured on left) (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC BY-NC|
The Minor International group of hotels, which owns the AVANI brand, was represented by its Chairman and CEO William Heinecke, and Currimjee Jeewanjee’s Managing Director Anil Currimjee was also present.
According to AVANI Barbarons’ Sales and Marketing Manager, Anna Pothin, the resort’s two new restaurants offer something for every palate; ‘Elements’ – which offers home-style ‘comfort foods’ and fresh seafood dishes with international and Creole flavours and ‘Tamarind’, which serves authentic Pan-Asian cuisine with a modern, creative twist.
|AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort and Spa boasts two modern restaurants: Elements (above), which offers international and Creole cuisine and the Pan-Asian restaurant Tamarind (below) (AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa) Photo License: All Rights Reserved|
The resort also offers an upgraded bar, fitness centre, spa facilities and children’s club, and with 124 rooms offering garden or ocean views.
“The focus is mainly on European source markets but we are also looking at Asia as a secondary market for Seychelles,” said Pothin, in an email interview with SNA. “For the Asian market, we have Asian cuisine... with Tamarind, our Pan-Asian restaurant.”
|An ocean-view room at the resort. All the 124 rooms have been upgraded to include modern, stylish decor and maximise the use of light and space in the rooms. (AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa) Photo License: All Rights Reserved|
Pothin said the reception had been positive, both by the local tourism sector stakeholders and tourists.
“So far, business pace is very good and we are being well liked and received on the local market.”
|Picture-perfect pool view: the warm Indian Ocean to one side and the lush green mountains of Mahé on the other (AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa) Photo License: All Rights Reserved|
One of the oldest existing hotels still in operation in the country of 90,000 people, the buildings at the serene Barbarons beach have stood the test of time, holding many happy memories for both tourists and locals alike since its original opening in 1978.
Always a favourite location among Seychellois for weddings, conferences and year-end corporate functions, the AVANI hotel will be looking towards securing the hotel’s future popularity with residents of the Seychelles with upcoming residential offers.
|The colourful new library (above) and the relaxing new Gravity Lounge area (below) (AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa) Photo License: All Rights Reserved|
As for overseas guests, rates start from 160 Euros (around $175) per room per night, including breakfast.
Pothin said that the hotel currently has 140 members of staff, 10 percent of which had stayed on from the old Le Meridien Barbarons Resort.
With over 120 hotels and resorts in 21 countries across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Europe and South America, AVANI Barbarons is the first resort in the Seychelles and the Indian Ocean in its portfolio, although according to an announcement made by Heineke at the Barbarons opening ceremony, a project is currently in the pipeline in Mauritius under Minor International's five-star brand Anantara.
Update - April 2, 2015 08h00:
Hotel rates are seasonal and may fluctuate based on the time of year. For more information on reservations, visit the AVANI Seychelles Barbarons website.