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The Seychelles Hotel Bel Air reopens as “A home away from home”

The Seychelles Hotel Bel Air reopens as “A home away from home” ( Seychelles congratulates Roland&Natasha Rassool on the reopening of their Hotel Bel Air in Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles. This was the message echoed by Alain St.Ange, the island's Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture.

Mrs. N. Dennis of the Today Newspaper in Seychelles covered the reopening of the Seychelles homegrown hotel property. Mrs. Dennis writes: Hotel Bel Air, one of the country’s oldest guest houses, offering a home away from home with all the intimacy and warmth, has reopened its doors after renovations.

The small hotel is one of Victoria’s best kept secrets – a family pension with all the modern amenities almost in the heart of town with an impregnable view of Port Victoria’s harbor and the inner islands.

The Hotel Bel Air’s soft opening on Friday, August 9, 201,3 was a special occasion for owners and managers, husband and wife team Roland and Natasha Rassool, to show off their renovated gem. Accompanied by members of the large Rassool family and close friends, including the former Anglican Bishop French Chang Him, Mr. Rassool, was joined by Tourism and Culture Minister Alain St.Ange in cutting the ribbon into the little hotel that has kept its soul despite its fresh and modern new look. Also present for the occasion were former Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Elsia Grandcourt, as well as the current CEO, Sherin Naiken.

The hotel, located on the road to Sans Souci just a short distance from Revolution Avenue, and a little more than a stone’s throw from State House, is not simply a “home away from home” but offers the best of Seychellois hospitality from its special vantage point overlooking Victoria. The colonial-style architecture captures the art of living in a Seychelles of “autrefois” and takes its guests back in time, while hosts Roland and Natasha take great care of their guests from the moment they arrive until they leave.

Addressing the guests on Friday evening, Mr. Rassool said, “It is a truly special occasion today for Natasha and myself to launch our small hotel which has been almost totally revamped, a little more than 40 years from the date in 1973 when my parents had first converted our family home into the Pension Bel Air.”

“We are very pleased with the work of both the contractor, Shahjanand, and our consultants, Selwyn Lawen, the architect, and engineer Vladimir Prea. The newly-renovated building has all the modern facilities, but we have kept the architectural style even in areas where the building has been extended. I turn my thoughts to my mother who had been the main pillar of this project and who supervised the work on the original building,” recalled Mr. Rassool.

To mark the reopening of the hotel, a reception was organized for the invited guests and later followed to the touring of its premises.

The hotel has five twin bedrooms and two double bedrooms fitted with all the comforts of modern times and a very spacious garden. Facilities available include Internet access, air-conditioning, fans, and tea/coffee-making facilities in all the rooms, private bathrooms, television, bath and beach towels, mini fridges, and laundry facilities. With its bar and restaurant facilities that can cater up to 25, the hotel also offers self-drive car hire opportunities.

The hotel is only 10 minutes from the Seychelles International Airport, 3 minutes from Victoria, 10 minutes from Beau Vallon beach, and 5 minutes from the Inter Island Quay and the ferryboat to Praslin. So all in all, it’s only a hop away!

With the town so close by, the Botanical Garden, souvenir shops, and Victoria market are accessible on foot.

“Looking back, I realize that my parents had a lot more foresight than I credited them with at the time, since our best value is indeed our location. Today, I can proudly say that Hotel Bel Air has, over the years, been the most popular town hotel both for business clients as well as visitors transiting between Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue,” concluded Mr. Rassool.


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