Silhouette Island – it’s paradise, or not?

Now we’re now on Silhouette Island. At the Hilton Labriz Resort. “YAY! THIS IS PARADISE!” or so I should probably write, because so I felt when I booked the stay. Yet in the beginning I mainly felt… disappointment.
Here comes the paradise:
It is a beautiful island. White sandy postcard beaches, green jungle and clear, turquoise waters…
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The beach villas have a reduced, elegant interior design in natural colours that remind of sunbleached and wooden materials. The resort landscape is beautiful and green.
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Housekeeping is sooo sweet and polite and supportive and works with great care and attention.
The food in the restaurants is delicious. And the staff provides mashed vegetables or fruit for little guests with no teeth or few teeth and inefficient chewing technique.
Here comes the snake…
I expected the hotel to be more relaxing than our self-catering apartment on Mahé. On Mahé I could not choose from a huge breakfast buffet or order from the dinner menu, but had to prepare each meal. Yet the opposite was the case! Why? This was interesting for me to notice. Because nothing stresses a young “Mama” more than not being able to properly respond to her children’s needs. It’s not the fact that they cry. It’s the feeling of helplessness and incompetency. In a self-catering apartment I can feed them and bring them to bed as needed. Here I have to align with the restaurant schedules. At 5 pm my children are ravenous and at 7 pm they fall sleep. Dinner here starts at 7 pm. I think you can imagine the rest. Try to enjoy your dinner if 1-2 children insist that your arms are better than daddy’s while you curse evolution for having taken away your monkey tail.
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There is no supermarket to buy suncream, throw-away nappies, tampons, a coke in the evening, some cookies for the beach etc at reasonable prices. Only a resort “boutique” with prices x4 or more and a very limited product range. I never came across this problem on Praslin or Mahé or any other vacation. I’m so damn lucky that I have cloth nappies with me!
The restaurants are styled in a try-too-hard way. Maybe I’m too much of a minimalist and most guests will like it. Examples for try-too-hard… “table cloths” made from thick bamboo sticks to underline that the food served is really ASIAN fusion. Strangely bent cutlery in the Italian restaurant… maybe because Italy is associated with style? I prefer to let taste and flavours speak for themselves.
The water taps of bathroom sink and shower were a bit loose and first needed fixing. Should not happen in this price category.
One quarter of the clothes line in the villas backyard was covered with plants and could not be used to try my daily nappy laundry. Yes, I do use eco-friendly cloth nappies, even while on vacation, and I only use throw-away nappies when I expect “something big and nasty”. Fortunately housekeeping noticed my need for clothes lines and brought a laundry rack.
I expected sealife to be more divers and more colourful than on Mahé. But the reefs were as el-nino-destroyed and bleached as on Mahé and we saw less interesting animals than on Mahé. Of course, with the animals you can be lucky or not and I wasn’t, but the reefs are currently not worth it. Why worth it? You pay nearly 80 EUR per dive and that it clearly too much, if you can have the same for less money on Mahé. Furthermore I disliked the habit of some dive guides to poke some of the animals they wanted to show us in order to make them move. Octopus, stonefish, etc. I have never seen that kind of “performance pressure” on any other diving vacation.
Compared to Mahé and Praslin and La Digue beaches the sea is a bit wilder and less suitable for children playing in the water. I had also been warned that there are dangerous underwater currents. Regarding fun with your children at the beach, Praslin is my favourite! Below you see that the waves on Silhouette can be quite demanding for toddlers.

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Can you spend a nice vacation on Silhouette Island? Yes, you can!
Would I spend another vacation here? No. It’s comparably expensive. Praslin or La Digue offer a better value-for-money for me. Or go for Mahé if you don’t mind some car traffic.
Would I spend another vacation here if I had not to pay for it? Again, no. I don’t like being limited to the resort only. And for the diving I liked the White-tip Divers on Praslin and the Ocean Dream Divers on Mahé much better.
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