Around the Residence
The Residence can be accessed via a golf cart driveway linked to the closest hill villa of the Banyan Tree Resort. Guests of the Residence on the Rocks have the option of calling for this services to go to the restaurants, beach, bar, gym or spa. Alternatively there is an easy walk down the beach on first following the road to the left when turning out of the Residence and then following a well laid golf cart track past the tennis court to a small private beach and then on to the main Intendance Bay. If guests have rented a car then you can drive down to the Intendance beach by turning right just after the Banyan Tree Security gate.
If you are a confident driver or have one in your party we strongly suggest you rent a car for your stay at Residence on the Rocks. It will give you the freedom to explore Mahe and especially the wilder parts of the South of the island. At present there is a car rental package of Euro55/per day for a SUV Hyundai Tuscon on offer. Based on this package an agent will pick up guests at the Airport and drop them off at the Residence. Upon departure the car can be returned at the airport. Having your own car will also allow you to sample a range of local food and beverage outlets located at the southern end of the island.
There is a taxi stand down below at the resort but the rates tend to be high even by international standards.
Dining Out and Excursions
The Banyan Tree Resort has three restaurants and the butler will be able to tell you what they are all about and make bookings. In addition you will find a room service menu in the bedrooms. Hotel restaurants have the reputation to be expensive compared to local Creole food oriented outlets. The list below does not claim to be complete. It lists the places we or friends have visited and can recommend.
First we are going up the East side of Mahe to Anse Royale which is the second biggest 'urban center' after Victoria and besides shops and restaurants also features a bank and ATM machine as well as a hospital.
At 3.4 kms from the Residence up on the main road is Taka Maka where there is a very well stocked super market called Sekaar. It is open most of the days and quiet late into the evening, It has pretty much anything you will need to stock the refrigerator and bar. They take credit cards as well as cash.
Next to it is the Three Roses Take away. We have not tried it but friends recommend it and one can place an order on the phone and pick it up within half an hour - they say,...
Further up the coast at 5.5 km from the Residence is the Hilton Alamanda Hotel. A very new four star property owned by a Maldivian group and catering mostly to an Italian clientele. Their Palm Restaurant is open from19.30 to21.00 and generally consists of a buffet or set menu (at Christmas 2010 Rs,450per person)
At 6.6 km from the Residence is the Surf Cafe right on the road overlooking a very pleasant beach. It is open for lunch and dinner as well as casual snacks. It is reasonably prized with a range of Creole and Western items. It is ideal for a lunch outing combined with a swim going out while waiting for the food to be served.
At Anse Royale, at 10.3 km from the Residence, there are two restaurants: The Kaz Creole is Creole has good Pizzas and a Chinese section to the menu. It is a feet in the sand type of place, not as cheap as it is casual. It can be popular with some waiting time. Take away pizzas are also on offer. Parking can be a problem.
Again having a swim, while waiting for lunch, is possible. Just outside the restaurant there is a fish display area where in the morning the local fisherman lay out their catch. Talk to the butler and see if he is up to preparing a freshly caught Bourgeois which is one of the tastiest specimens caught around the island and is on display pretty much every day. There is also another new restaurant called Les Dauphines about 100 yards further south. A little more up market, less popular but good service and food with indoor and outdoor tables to choose from.
Going up the West coast
After passing the supermarket at Taka Maka the road turns downhill towards the Taka Maka beach the one you can see from the upper level of the Residence and during the monsoon you can hear the waves break. Before you get to the beach there is a turn off to the Chez Baptist a Restaurant and guest house. Located on a beach which has been classified as one of the most outstanding not just in Seychelles but the world. The Restaurant and service generally does not live up to this rating. There is an a la carte menu and quiet often a buffet for visiting tour groups. It is at 7.2 kms from the Residence.
Go up along the coast and you come to the Anse Soleil turn off which leads down to the Four Season Hotel (and the Plantation club when it reopens as a Kempinski Resort at the end of 2011) The Four Seasons is at about 9.4 kms and an advance reservation is required. Further down past the hotel is a turn to the right to the well-marked Chez Julien Restaurant. Again very casual right on another amazing cove with small beach. Casual Creole food in keeping with most of the restaurants already mentioned.
Just above the Four Season property there is a road which branches to the left and takes you down to the Plantation Club and another nice beach. If you go down this narrow road you will come to the Maria Rock Cafe on your left. It is not on the beach but looks attractive although we have not yet frequented it.
At 12.6 km up the road at Anse la Mouche is the Islander Restaurant. Quiet a popular local hang out for the community of Anse la Mouche. Not cheap but good and ample helpings. Owned and run by Keith, an American who can be good company.
The Opera Cafe is 300 yards further up the road. Again not directly on the beach. A Casual open air restaurant with Ok food and reasonable prizes. The TV is sometimes very loud and switched to some sporting activity which impacts dining pleasure.
Except for the Safron Thai Restaurant at the Banyan Tree none of these places are air conditioned but the once at the beach tend to benefit from a breeze and offer a nice setting for casual dining. Just after the Opera Cafe there is a turn up to the right which leads you back to the Anse Royale area and the restaurants already described. Both sides have one petrol station. They generally close at 7 pm.
That is about it when it comes to dining and eating out in the very south. However there is a wide range of other restaurant outlets on the East and West of Mahe as you drive towards the north.
Stocking your Kitchen and Refrigerator
The supermarket at Taka Maka mentioned earlier is an ideal place to buy a wide range of alcoholic and none alcoholic beverages and food items including fresh bread fruits. The butler will know where it is and will be happy to join you on such a shopping excursion and prepare casual meals at the residence.