Hotel L’Archipel celebrates 35 years of hospitality service |20 April 2022
Hotel L’Archipel situated at Anse Gouvernement on Praslin has celebrated 35 years of providing hospitality service to foreign and local visitors alike on Praslin, the island of the Coco-de-mer.
“Today marks 35 years of delighting travelers from all over the world and making holiday dreams come true.
“We opened our doors to our first guests on April 11, 1987 and have ever since strived to create unforgettable holiday experiences through exceptional services, an unrivalled passion for the hospitality industry and of course our unique Creole flair,” said Lucas D’Offay, the general manager of Hotel L’Archipel.
Lucas D’Offay is the son of late owner Louis d’Offay, one of the pioneers of the Seychelles’ hospitality industry and a tourism icon.
Mr D’Offay was addressing guests during a ceremony at the hotel on April 11, 2022 to commemorate the auspicious occasion and milestone in the hotel’s journey over the years as well as honour its founder Louis D’Offay and award long serving staff of the establishment.
“Hotel L’Archipel’s ‘home away from home’ model is built on the principle of offering all guests the very best personalised service, ensuring that expectations are not only met but surpassed, complemented with creating a warm and inviting home-like feeling set in one of Praslin’s most exclusive locations. Guests live as family and friends, often returning again and again throughout the years,” Mr d’Offay shared with everyone present.
Hotel L’Archipel was inaugurated by Cecile Hodoul and Louis d’Offay and when it welcomed its first guests on that unforgettable day of April 11, 1987, it had only nine rooms, one restaurant, one bar, and a small watersport kiosk.
Rock Bedier of Côte d’Or was the main building contractor who worked on the construction of the establishment. This was in a very challenging era when building materials had to be hand carried in gunny bags and wheelbarrows throughout the challenging landscape.
Over time, the small hotel made a name for itself and within a few years, it had to increase its capacity due to its increasing popularity and high bookings.
The establishment underwent several major renovations and upgrading and today it boasts 32 rooms ‒ four superior rooms, 16 deluxe rooms, 10 senior suites, and two family suites ‒ two bars, two restaurants, a water sports centre, a diving centre and swimming pool.
In 2020, there were plans for an extension but this had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 35th anniversary ceremony was attended by Vice-President Ahmed Afif; Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism Sylvestre Radegonde; principal secretary for tourism Sherin Francis; Paul Lebon, director general for destination, planning and development; Bernadette Willemin, director general for destination marketing; members of the National Assembly Doyace Poris, Wavel Woodcock and Churchill Gill; Guy Adam, chairman of Compagnie des Iles; Eddie d’Offay, managing director of Hotel L’Archipel; shareholders; management and staff of Hotel L’Archipel, trade partners and in house guests.
Minister Radegonde shared with everyone present how honoured and privileged he felt to be celebrating this special occasion with the Hotel L’Archipel team. He described the establishment as a place which combines optimal standards of island style ‘feet in the sand’ relaxation with just the right degree of elegance and style combined with a strong dose of our Creole culture.
“This ethos and approach has been at the centre of our Seychellois establishments that continues to thrive despite the advance of international brands in our islands. The fact that they now thrive side by side and complement each other gives us a colourful and diverse tourism industry,” said Minister Radegonde.
He particularly paid tribute and saluted the work of Hotel L’Archipel founder Louis D’Offay. “Tonight is also an opportunity to salute the Seychellois spirit. I would like us to inspire the young people joining the tourism industry. Louis was a great believer in staff training and development and having a succession plan with Seychellois in mind. He worked tirelessly to secure his legacy, which is visible here today through Lucas but also to help everyone through his years’ work with the Seychelles Hotel Association.
“Tonight, we are above all celebrating Seychellois entrepreneurship, team spirit and the Seychellois workers in our tourism industry,” Mr Radegonde highlighted.
Several long serving members of staff were also rewarded for their loyalty and devotion during the ceremony. They were Noeline Jupiter, the longest serving staff with 25 years of service, May Jeanne Louise (20 years), Mervin Jean and Jovan Laira (both 18 years), May-Paul Brioche (17 years), Tessy Dubel (10 years), Jemmy Esther (9 years), Nadia Vidot and Jean Cafrine (both 8 years), Christopher Marimba and Rhondy Renaud (both 6 years).
Mrs Jupiter, the laundry supervisor, joined the hotel team in 1997 as a laundry attendant and according to her she was eventually promoted to laundry supervisor due to her devotion, patience, perseverance and love for the job. She was very proud to receive such an award and called on the youths joining the tourism industry to have patience and perseverance, especially during the toughest of times.
“Despite all the increasing competition that we face, I am proud to say that Hotel L’Archipel has retained its place as one of the top recommended hotels on Praslin. Throughout the years, the hotel has won numerous awards and recognitions, both internationally and locally, as we strive to create unforgettable holiday experiences through our exceptional service and unrivaled passion for the hospitality industry, and not forgetting our unique Creole flair,” shared an enthusiastic Mrs Jupiter.
In concluding the official part of the ceremony, Lucas D’Offay said: “As we celebrate our 35 years of wonderful memories, we also remember all our trade partners, as it would not have been possible without them all. Special mention to our exceptional employees for maintaining the good service standards, our valued guests for continuously returning to their second home and leaving us as friends or as family. We look forward to a brighter future as we continue to offer unforgettable experiences to all L’Archipel’s friends and family and to another 35 years of creating lasting memories in paradise!”