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Waldorf Astoria Seychelles Platte Island welcomes first guests today |31 January 2024

Waldorf Astoria Seychelles Platte Island welcomes first guests today

The Waldorf Astoria Seychelles Platte Island which forms part of the Waldorf Astoria, Hilton’s (NYSE: HLT) iconic luxury hotel brand, has achieved its highly anticipated debut in the country with the welcoming of its first guests today,  following its opening on Monday.

It was President Wavel Ramkalawan who had the honour of cutting the ribbon at one of the villas to officially open the luxury hotel in the presence of First Lady Linda Ramkalawan; Hilton’s president for Middle East and Africa, Guy Hutchinson; and Hilton’s vice-president, Operations, Africa and Indian Ocean, Andreas Lackner.

Also present were Elias Pertoft, general manager Waldorf Astoria Seychelles Platte Island, and other Hilton team members and guests.

 The cutting ceremony took place in the morning.

Waldorf Astoria Seychelles Platte Island houses an intimate collection of 50 seafront villas with personal concierge services, including one-to-three-bedroom villas as well as a master five-bedroom villa with expansive gardens.

The resort combines Waldorf Astoria’s sincerely elegant service and unsurpassed luxury with Platte Island’s timeless surroundings to deliver a once-in-a-lifetime experience for sophisticated travelers.

To commemorate the official opening of the hotel, President Ramkalawan symbolically planted a coco-de-mer nut as a long duration life contract between Hilton and Seychelles.

Apart from all the personnel who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the afternoon activity was attended by principal secretary for Tourism Sherin Francis, director general for destination marketing Bernadette Willemin and chief executive of the Islands Development Company (IDC) Glenny Savy.

President Ramkalawan said given the coco-de-mer bears its first fruit after 25 years, the expectation is for the company to stay in the country during that period and beyond.

“It bears one leaf per year until it will get to around 25 years where it will give you the first fruit. So this in itself is a contract that Hilton is signing with Seychelles that you will definitely be here for the next 25 years and more,” said President Ramkalawan.

The head of state said sustainable transformation on Platte Island has been very amazing and he thanked the IDC for having led the transformation in the construction and the Hilton team and owners for having turned the island into a jewel.

“I can say that Platte is indeed the jewel and crown of Seychelles’ tourism. Congratulations and let this be a sign for the future and a contract for life,” the president said.

In her remarks, PS Francis said the Waldorf Astoria Seychelles Platte Island Resort is a true testament to the extraordinary synergy of the Hilton brand and Seychelles' unparalleled beauty.

She noted that the country should never underestimate the enormous inflows in foreign direct investment of such a project to the Seychelles economy and with its opening the endless career opportunities for local artists and other talents, the various local suppliers and operators among others.

Mrs Francis stated that the partnership between Hilton and Seychelles has been nothing short of transformative, particularly through the innovative FITIR training programme which provides amazing career opportunities for young Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) graduates and a platform for their professional development.

“As we inaugurate the Waldorf Astoria Seychelles Platte Island Resort, let us embrace the bright future it holds for our youth, for Seychelles’ tourism and the continued partnership between Hilton and Seychelles. May this resort stands as a shining example of the definition of luxury, opportunity, and prosperity for the Seychelles islands,” said PS Francis who thanked Hilton leadership for its great vision, values, and principles have contributed immensely to the development of the country, especially in tourism.

Delivering his comments, Hilton’s president for Middle East and Africa, Mr Hutchinson said: “We are excited to introduce Waldorf Astoria to the Seychelles – creating a unique destination that beautifully integrates luxury hospitality with the natural beauty of Platte Island. The resort provides unforgettable experiences for guests and features eco-programmes and partnerships, led by the island’s specialist marine biologists, which aims to preserve and protect the surrounding nature and marine life at this outstanding resort destination.”

In an interview with the media, Elias Pertoft, general manager of Waldorf Astoria Seychelles Platte Island, said they want guests coming to the island to be either as active as they want or just to relax and to unwind. Apart from the 50 pool villas mentioned, the hotel has three restaurants, three bars and a big spa. He added that he the island’s concept sits on conservation and sustainability with the hotel being 95 percent solar powered. All the restaurants are focused on providing fresh produce to clients in terms of foreign and local dishes.

Mr Pertoft noted that recreational activities include extensive water sports such as scuba diving, fly-fishing, sports fishing, surfing, kayak ride or stand-up paddle, star gazing sessions, outdoor cinema experience and dancing under the island’s night sky among other active events.

Guests can take part in eco-awareness programmes designed to build a deeper connection with nature, while actively contributing to the sustainable development of the island.

Among the activities are coral planting with expert guides and exploring the island's diverse wildlife and natural wonders. They can also set sail on a thrilling blue safari seeking out majestic whales and dolphins. It also includes the chance to witness the egg-laying and hatching of baby hawksbill turtles from the 270 nests around the island.

Additional eco-conscious activities include a guided tour showcasing the solar power farm, chef's garden, and recycling efforts at the resort. The island also offers a variety of sea birds.

Through the Sea Scouts Kids Club, the hotel offers little ones an opportunity to embark on a journey of imagination, exploration, and discovery. It includes a range of activities from arts and crafts to culinary classes and cooking with freshly harvested ingredients from the chef’s garden. Teens can enjoy activities such as iPhone photography sessions, silent disco nights, mocktail mixology, island escape room, paddle board expeditions and bonfire storytelling.

The hotel employs 171 workers of different nationalities from 43 countries, including 57 Seychellois, among them four youngsters who underwent training with Fitir Hilton Academy. Mr Pertoft said that the team had been preparing for the arrival of guests since 18 months ago.

Speaking to Seychelles NATION, Tia Savy, 20, said she was really looking forward to meet her first client and to feel and experience her job as guest service agent. She successfully completed a three-month training course in tourism hospitality from June 20, 2022 at the Fitir Hilton Academy at Hilton Labriz Silhouette Resort & Spa. As a reward she further attended three months internship training at the luxurious Walford Astoria Hotel in the Maldives.

“I am very happy that I took on the opportunities that were available and I would like to encourage other young people to take all of the opportunities available or offered to them in tourism or others, to build on a career. The hotel is very nice and luxurious, it is the first time that I get to form part and experience a pre-opening and I am looking forward to it,” said Tia who also noted the economic benefits of working on outer islands.

Laureen Esparon, cluster assistant director of human resource – luxury and life style, said that the hotel welcomes anybody, especially young people with passion and the right attitude to join the workforce. She noted that workers get free housing, free meals and a day off after six days work to go visit families, among other benefits.

During his visit at the hotel, President Ramkalawan had the opportunity to conduct a walk and buggy tour of some of the hotel facilities where he also interacted with staff. He was also honoured as a team member of the Waldorf Astoria Seychelles Platte Island through a gratitude ceremony held at the Kafe Koko staff canteen where he had his hand printed on the gratitude tree.

The hand printing on the tree is held for new staff who join the hotel.  First Lady Ramkalawan, PS Francis, Mrs Willemin and Mr Hutchinson were also honoured.

Platte Island also known as Île Platte is located 130 kilometres (81 mi) south of Mahé and it is part of the Southern Coral Group of islands. It is administered by IDC.


Text: Patrick Joubert/Press release Hilton

Photos: Patrick Joubert




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