The Berjaya at Beau Vallon Bay is about to enter into new “e” territory, when in early February they will officially launch “I-Surf” across the entire hotel with a state-of-the-art wireless system installed and operated by Cable and Wireless Seychelles. Hotel guests, as well as casual visitors, will be able to buy airtime cards from the resort’s reception and can then access the Internet for either one hour or two days, as required. The two-day option allows the guests to sign out of the connection when done and keep their credit for future web or email activity, until the 48-hour mark has been reached.
Cable and Wireless also introduced a “smart” solution, whereby bandwidth grows and shrinks as per the actual demand at the time, avoiding costly idle time for the system. Trials at the hotel have already commenced, and guests are presently trying out the system before the official launch on February 4.
Internet charges across the Seychelles, compared to Eastern Africa, are still relatively high, as they depend on satellite up and down links, whereas Eastern Africa now has access to two fiber-optic cables, with a third one landing by mid 2010. Having switched their traffic to the cables, the ISPs in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda only keep a satellite link as back up, and costs have, therefore, substantially reduced for subscribers to Internet services. At the same time, the bandwidth provided has doubled at no extra cost.
According to general manager Ken Choo, the Berjaya Beau Vallon Beach Resort and Casino is also undergoing a phased refurbishment to bring the property, currently rated in the 3-star range, back to a full 4-star rating. With just over 230 rooms and suites, the hotel is presently the largest in the Seychelles, an attribute it is soon to lose when a new 345-room resort on the other side of the island will open its doors later in the year. It is also one of the oldest hotels on Mahe, opened in 1974 and, therefore, a pioneer in the Seychellois hospitality sector. Located at the end portion of the Beau Vallon beach, it offers guest sweeping views across to Silhouette Island and along the entire bay crescent.
Visit www.berjayahotel.com for more information.