Coral Strand Smart Choice offers cheerful accommodation for the budget family traveller – simply furnished apartments with en suite bathrooms and wifi. It’s a 2-minute walk to the gorgeous beach and its fantastic reef, which is popular with snorkellers. You’ll find plenty to see and do on Mahe when you’re settled in at Coral Strand.
Our flight in from Johannesburg meant we arrived pretty late in the evening. On arrival, we were quickly seated in the lobby with a glass of iced tea to beat the humidity, and cool towels to wipe down. The lobby was quiet – understandably, with a luring draw towards the landing near the pool and ultimately to the beach. After a quick check of our passports we were shown down the winding route to our room.
Our rooms were on the second floor, not much of a view but we could hear the ocean as clearly as though we were standing on the beach. The rooms weren’t as big as I imagined, but the bed surely was. I looked at it in wonder – a thin sheet to sleep with? I’ve just come from the cold winter and all I have is a sheet?! But it didn’t take long for the island heat and humidity to settle in before I realized, a sheet is all you need! Their cupboards have an additional blanket for us cold blooded animals that need an extra layer to sleep in! Coral Strand has 6 room types and 160 rooms – so there’s much to offer your budget while still giving you complete access to the Beau Vallon beach.
Seychelles’ biggest industry after tourism, is fishing. their dining hall had all types of fish. Everything from squid curry, red snapper fillets to the ol’ faithful grilled prawns and jobfish. There’s a saying in Southern African that goes “the eyes were hungrier than the stomach”. I wanted to taste everything. I put it on my plate but my stomach could only take so much! Thankfully, I got to catch up the next night with all the things I didn’t get to try! Seychelles are a group of small islands, and to their disadvantage, much of their meat is imported from places like South Africa. I think I especially loved the beef stir-fry because it tasted exactly like it does in Johannesburg! Their desserts were exceptional. Their coconut cake, chocolate mousse cake and fruit salad had me filled to the brim. If I ate anymore, I’d have to be rolled back to my room!
8/10 – I enjoyed my stay at Coral Strand. It wasn’t spectacular, neither was it underwhelming. It ticked all the boxes to create great experiences for locals and tourists alike. It’s not far from the airport (less the 30mins) and has great access to the cultural sites you must see in Mahe.