“The authentic Seychellois experience blended with modern comforts for the discerning guest.” The H Resort Beau Vallon Beach
Nestled on the beachfront in north west Mahé, the largest of the Seychelles islands, STORY Seychelles (formerly known as The H Resort Beau Vallon Beach) is a sizeable and elegant 5* resort that offers guests a luxurious destination to relax and explore everything this beautiful isle has to offer.
While this UAE owned hotel benefits from a contemporary design it thoroughly embraces the island’s rich heritage with cultural and historic touches throughout the resort. This little piece of private paradise is located on the white sands of the popular Beau Vallon beach where the azure turquoise water laps up to the resort’s perimeter and offers guests plenty of watersports and snorkelling opportunities.
First impressions were good as we entered the large sliding wooden gates and made our way across the raised walkway to the open plan lower floor reception area. The check-in procedure was seamless, we were given lots of resort information and spa credit vouchers whilst sipping welcome drinks. Our very early morning arrival was way ahead of check-in time so we were given discounted breakfast vouchers and left to catch up on some sleep on the beach.
With just 100 suites and villas this resort labels itself as a boutique hotel despite its overall size. Every villa has a beach facing view and the suites look out across the lush well kept gardens with the beach beyond. Every accommodation has a private terrace with large cozy daybeds and an outdoor dining set as well as an additional table and chairs inside.
Our spacious elegant suite was located on the first floor and benefitted from an open plan bathroom room with freestanding bath, separate rain shower and toilet, king size bed with canopy and a chaise lounge. The suite was huge and comfortable with dark wood furniture offsetting the crisp white linen and coloured accessories, his and her sinks and wardrobes made for a tidy trip.
Sixteen exclusive beach villas are located along the fringe of the property. Each one features a private pool, deck with a cabana and direct beach access to the beach as well as outdoor rain showers.
Research into the affordability of dining in the Seychelles prior to our visit and the fact that the resort offered seven restaurants (one buffet, 6 a la carte) we decided uncharacteristically to book a half board package. Amazingly this package was upgraded on arrival to the premium dine-around option that gave us a three course meal in all the restaurants and included alcohol when dining in the main restaurant, Vasco’s.
Named after the Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama who first sighted the archipelago of islands, Vasco’s is open daily for breakfast and for nightly themed dinners. The open air venue which has both indoor and outdoor seating offers an extensive international and Creole breakfast buffet that caters for all tastes, there is an egg station where chefs cook to order and there’s even prosecco to kick start your day.
Each night the restaurant hosts a different theme with cuisines from around the world, we dined there on Italian and Creole night enjoying pizzas from the pizza oven and tasty curries, vegetarian options were quite limited. The service throughout our visit was hit and miss, requests were slow to be fulfilled especially with the alcohol orders but I must complement Alexaudre for his consistent service.
Our favourite restaurant was the intimate ‘secret’ venue, Eden. This romantic spot is tucked away in the gardens adjacent to the beach, the ambiance is set with a roaring firepit, candles and only a handful of tables. The food was excellent as was the attentive service, there was a good selection of seafood, meat and vegetarian options as well as fine wines, beers and cocktails. This was by far my favourite dining experience at STORY. I also enjoyed the cocktails and more casual dining menu at the lobby bar 1502 (name after the year da Gama discovered the Seychelles). A great spot for lunch, a night cap and a late night burger to soak up the over consumption of rum.
Another great spot is the a la carte Japanese restaurant, Seyshima (‘Sey’ for Seychelles and ‘Shima’ Japanese for island). This tiny venue has two evening seatings offering a theatrical show with the preparation and cooking of its authentic Teppanyaki dishes. Two chefs entertain their respective sides of the restaurant with their amusing interactive Teppan show, it was a fun evening and the other half thoroughly enjoyed his meal. The vegetarian options were somewhat tainted by cross contamination of the utensils from the seafood and it would have been with the meat too had I not spoken up in time.
Although the iced coffee was good at Ripples pool bar, I was distinctly underwhelmed by the poolside service which was practically non-existent. We visited the the standalone Trader Vic’s restaurant twice, once for pre-dinner drinks and the second time for dinner. We are familiar with the tasty cocktails from the Abu Dhabi venue and happy hour made for a good first visit even though our server was pretty clueless.
Our second visit was dire, the music was so loud the same confused server couldn’t even hear to take our order, the bartender could only remember one of our two drinks and the main course came before the starters. The vegetarian options were poor and the food was distinctly average, a poor experience all round. We didn’t try the private Tete-a-Tete dining concept but the bespoke menu and candle lit table on the beach certainly looked appealing.
The Sesel Spa (Sesel is Creole for Seychelles) was breathtakingly beautiful a tranquil space with open air areas and water features. A selection of signature massages, facials and treatments were available in the seven rooms including two couple’s suites and a separate Vichy Hydrotherapy room. Nails, hair and beauty therapies are also available at the La Vie En Rose salon located within the spa.
The holistic treatments are not cheap as expected in a five-star resort but with the spa vouchers from check-in and the additional thirty minutes available when booking a sixty minute treatment made it better value for money. I had the Sans Souci (‘No Worries’) De-Stress Massage that used the Nourished by Nature’s blend of nutmeg, cinnamon, patchouli, bigarade (local Neroli aka bitter orange) and rose oils. It was a relaxing treatment that was a perfect end to my holiday, the products smelt amazing and my therapist was excellent.
Located on one of Mahé most-loved beaches by locals and tourists alike, STORY affords guests the option to sunbathe by the pool or under the takamaka trees. Those more active folk can utilise the free watersports available such as paddle boarding and kayaking, the hotel also has snorkel and masks for those who don’t bring their own. Other facilities include the centralised infinity pool, twenty-four hour gym with lagoon views and the fitness studio that offers guests complimentary yoga. Sunset yoga and pilates are available on the beach if the demand requires.
There’s a tennis court at the top of the resort, volleyball, pétanque and table tennis are available in the gardens along with a giant chessboard. Diving is also available from local dive schools on the beach. This family-friendly resort offers a dedicated kids club for children aged 3 to 12 years and baby-sitters are available for younger children at an additional fee.
If you are looking for a luxurious Seychellois experience with elegant accommodation, plenty of dining options and amenities right on the beach look no further than STORY Seychelles. Aside from our couple of service issues everyone else we encountered was professional and friendly, especially Alexaudre as already mentioned and Yulia, overall the cuisine was good and the facilities were top notch.
The Nitty Gritty
STORY Seychelles, Bel Ombre Road, Mahé, PO Box 1626, Seychelles
Telephone: +248 438 7000
Spacious and comfortable suite
Good selection of dining options
Free fast wifi throughout the resort
The Not so Good…..
Intermittent level of service in main restaurant
All views are my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2017. All rights reserved. Room photos used with courtesy of story-seychelles.com/
Read more about the Seychelles in previous posts In Pictures | The Seychelles and Discover The Seychelles | Mahe, La Digue and Praslin
We booked our whole trip to the Seychelles with Expedia traveling with Air Seychelles (Etihad Airways also has daily flights) and stayed at STORY Seychelles (known as The H Resort Beau Vallon Beach when we stayed). We booked our airport transfers, island hopping boat excursion and hire car with Mason’s Travel.