laïla Resort officially opens |27 May 2023
By Sunny Esparon
As part of the Marriott Bonvoy’s growing collection of independent hotels, it welcomed the latest addition in Europe, the Middle East and Africa with the opening of laïla, Seychelles, a tribute portfolio resort.
The ceremony was held yesterday evening at the resort itself at Anse Royale.
When addressing the guests, director of laïla Resort, Gilbert Frichot, thanked the President of Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Sylvestre Radegonde, for being present for the auspicious occasion and for the government’s help when it was needed.
Turning his attention to the minister, Mr Frichot further said the minister’s team had given an exemplary service in their aid to building and opening the resort.
“We have developed an excellent relationship during the construction and during the opening,” he stated. “We are passionate to work with you and look forward to contributing to the development of this industry.”
Addressing Karim Cheltout, regional vice-president of Marriott International, Mr Frichot thanked him for uniting the island family under the Mariott Tribute Portfolio brand. “You designed this relationship and we hope the resulting product exceeds your expectations,” said Mr Frichot.
He went on to thank the elected member for Anse Royale, Hon. Sylvianne Lemiel, for her unwavering support, but in her absence, he saluted her family who was present instead.
“We hope to improve the life of our village of Anse Royale and we are committed to laïla supporting community projects,” added Mr Frichot.
In addition, he stated that laïla will grow and in turn benefit the entire neighbourhood business community.
Mr Frichot thanked all those who were involved in the project including business partners, the building contractor team members and all associates.
To conclude, Mr Frichot stated that the resort is committed to providing the Seychellois people with a quality and diverse product that has been accomplished with passion.
For his part, Minister Radegonde stated that the resort embodies the perfect fusion of a quiet village atmosphere, a wholly Seychellois owned property, and the renowned Marriot brand, creating a haven of luxury and hospitality that is uniquely Seychellois.
“Today marks a significant milestone not only for the hospitality industry in Seychelles but also for our local community,” said Minister Radegonde.
He continued by mentioning the fact that laïla stands as a testament to the potential that lies within the Seychellois entrepreneurs and their ability to create ventures. Moreover, the property stands tall as a symbol of innovation, passion, and the relentless pursuit of excellence, “embodying the true spirit of our Seychellois people”.
The minister stated that he felt especially proud as a Seychellois for the architecture that depicts the culture and the local style windows and looks just like the old houses of Seychelles.
“The soft landscaping with ‘vouloutier’ to remind you that you are in the Seychelles. I am proud as the tourism minister to have had the privilege to bear witness to this momentous event,” continued Minister Radegonde.
He added that the collaboration promises an unrivaled hospitality experience, combining Marriott’s expertise with the warm and genuine Seychellois hospitality that has captivated the hearts of travellers worldwide.
He concluded his speech by saying that with the inauguration of laïla brings many opportunities for the local communities.
“This establishment will serve as a catalyst for employment, offering job opportunities to our Seychellois people.”
He explained that the infusion of local talent will not only contribute to the success of the hotel but also foster economic growth, empowerment, and development within the community.
President Ramkalawan and Minister Radegonde both unveiled the plaque of laïla resort.
As a Seychellois-owned tourism, establishment, President Ramkalawan expressed pride and support to the management and staff of the new resort.
“I am extremely proud to see one of our very Seychellois making great strides in this industry and providing a product of such high standard. This is clear testament of what we can achieve and that possibilities are endless. I wish the laïla team the very best for the future,” said President Ramkalawan.
In addition, Father Collin Underwood blessed the opening ceremony with a prayer, before the night was ended with a performance from Jany de Letourdie, Jean Marc Volcy and Joe Samy.
Others who were present during the opening ceremony included First Lady Linda Ramkalawan, Vice-President Ahmed Afif and his wife Stella Afif, Speaker of the National Assembly, Roger Mancienne and wife Marguerite Mancienne, Chief Justice Rony Govinden, Designated Minister Jean François Ferrari and wife Brigitte Ferrari, along with leader of government business Honourable Bernard Georges and wife Annette Georges.
There was also a minute of silence in memory of Archbishop French Chang-Him, who passed away in the early hours of yesterday.
The resort was designed by MMAC Design and has 76 bespoke guest rooms decorated with nature inspired aesthetics. It has a water sports centre, outdoor swimming pool and 24/7 gym, spa, barbershop, and kids’ recreation area.
The resort features five restaurants and bars designed to capture the spirit of the Seychellois community and attract tourists and locals. After a day of activities, guests can relax at the spa with expert therapists who offer a full range of facial and body treatments, which include healing practices using only organic and handmade products made with local ingredients, such as coconut, vanilla and cinnamon.
The accompanying photos show some highlights of the opening ceremony.
Photos by Joena Meme