Dan and I had a little over an hour to kill in the Mahé airport when flying back from the Seychelles to Abu Dhabi (and eventually to New York). The Salon Vallee De Mai Lounge in the Mahé airport offers complimentary entrance to Priority Pass members, so we went in for an adult beverage. This is my review of the Salon Vallee De Mai lounge (as of November 2022).
The Salon Vallee De Mai lounge is located on the second floor of the Mahé airport, up a short flight of stairs across from the Takamaka Rum bar. The entrance is quite pretty and keeps with the “tropical island” theme, which follows throughout the lounge. As you will read below, while some areas were lacking in the lounge, the decor was not one of them. From the ceiling to the tables and chairs, I was definitely getting “tropical vacay” vibes – too bad we were leaving! The check-in lady was lovely and answered all of our questions. Once inside, the lounge opens up into a large room scattered with tables and chairs spread throughout. The ones on the right side have great plane views!
The left side is home to the small bar and buffet area (see below), restrooms and a tiny bit more seating. The sole TV in the lounge is on the back bar. It played World Cup Soccer when we visited.
While the decor was A+ for the locale, the food at Salon Vallee De Mai was lackluster to put it nicely – good thing we were not hungry! I don’t know if we visited at an off hour or if this is how it always is, but the food offers were not great. The food trays also needed to be refilled but we saw no refilling during our time in the lounge (we were there for over an hour). Given the look of the food, I did not try anything. Others in the lounge seemed to be enjoying it – or maybe they were just hungry.
In terms of hot food, guests had a choice of lemon pepper chicken wings, mini beef burgers, margarita pizzas and some sort of seafood cake. Honestly, the first two didn’t look too bad. Many guests seemed to be enjoying them. The pizza and the seafood cakes seemed a little odd and not very popular.
IMHO, the drinks at Salon Vallee De Mai were a step up from the food selection. On offer was a self-serve espresso machine, a cooler of soft drinks and juice, water and a self-serve bar featuring liquor, wine, beer, and Takamaka Rum!! The Takamaka was a fantastic local touch, of which we certainly took advantage. Dan made his own “Takamaka cocktail.” It tasted pretty good. I also tried the red wine, which was not to my taste. Others seemed to be drinking it.
Hmmm, not many, LOL. The lounge did have clean restrooms, decent wifi and seating, staff walk around and tell guests when certain planes are boarding (Mahé is a small airport, so this can be done) and there was a TV playing Word Cup during our visit.
All in all, the Salon Vallee De Mai is a good place to kill time and have a drink, but I would not prioritize entering the lounge. It was a bit crowded on our visit and the food was less than fantastic. For us, it was free, so certainly better than buying a soda in the main terminal! Otherwise, however, it’s skippable.
STEAL OUR LOUNGE
Salon Vallee De Mai: Airside, after Security. Turn left after Security and walk towards the Departure Gates. The lounge is located on the “1st Floor” (and the first floor is one floor up from the main level, across from the Takamaka Rum bar). We got in free with our Priority Pass. The lounge’s website indicates that anyone can get in for $50 USD.
ON A BUDGET
If you’re on a budget, I would not pay $50 USD to enter this lounge. Instead, go next door to the Takamaka Rum lounge and buy drinks as you go. There is also a small cafe or two on the main level selling drinks and snacks, as well as a few souvenir shops.