Top Extraordinary Experiences of Seychelles
Did you know that Indians were among the first tourists that visited Seychelles? Due to its distant location in the Indian Ocean and lack of an airport most tourists who visited Seychelles arrived on Cruise ships. In the 1930’s three such ship companies stopped in Seychelles one of which had a route running from Mumbai to Mombasa.
Even then due to its remote location Seychelles was a holiday destination for an elite few. Today even though the Seychelles is accessible from most places in the world thanks to air travel, there are islands and experiences that are extraordinary and very exclusive.
You can reach Mahe, Praslin and Ladigue easily but there are remote islands that serve as a private sanctuary for those willing to pay. These resorts listed below are not just hotels but an experience in themselves.
North island resort
Situated 30km north of Mahé, North Island, this mini private island is as big as Monaco but one can spend weeks here exploring the grassy plateaus, undulating granite peaks that rise as high as 180 metres, tropical forest and 4 bone white beaches with some of the softest sands in Seychelles.
The island is only accessible by helicopter from Mahe or a boat from Silhouette Island. With such beauty, secluded location and just 11 ocean-view villas hidden amidst 201 hectares of exquisite natural beauty, each measuring over 450sqm with private plunge pools and direct access to the beach it is no wonder that this Seychelles resort was chosen for the Royal Honeymoon of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
At North Island they believe in Luxury the way Nature intended it. North Island’s 100-strong team of specialists have crafted the delicate footprint of this pioneering barefoot luxury lodge in a way that it barely disturbs the island’s extraordinary natural beauty.
But this does not mean any creature comforts are compromised. From restaurants and a spa to yoga classes, island conservationist to take you hiking, romantic picnics on a private beach, scuba diving in the surrounding marine park, a film screening or a full day of fishing they offer everything. Instead of constant hand holding of guests with overly assiduous service, the real gift here is giving guests the run of the place. With bikes and an electric buggy at your disposal, it feels like you’ve been entrusted with the keys to Eden, which is both a privilege and a pleasure.
We need not say more, only a visit here can do this place a justice and till then make do with the video below.
Six senses Zilpasyon
Six Senses Zil Pasyon is located on Félicité, a private island and also the 5th largest island in Seychelles. On this ecological jewel of Seychelles, step in tune with nature or swim with the turtles while enjoying an intimate destination that offers every comfort.
Six Senses Zil Pasyon or Passion Island was the brands first foray into Africa with 30 gorgeous villas each with a private pool with amazing views of the ocean and located between granite cliffs providing a great deal of privacy. Six senses as a brand is known for its eco friendly resorts and minimalistic sensibilities.
That said luxury is not to be compromised. From an award winning spa, a cinema under the stars to private wine cellars in each villa, you will want for nothing here. The hotel is extremely earth loving and serves locally grown organic food, eco friendly cleaning products, has solar panels and a desalination plant and uses its grey water to water the plants. Can you think of a better way to holiday? Enjoying luxury in nature without disrupting it, nothing epitomizes luxury more than this!
The resort, because its built on granite cliffs has many stairs and can be difficult to access for those in wheelchairs or those traveling with very young children. The resort can be reached by a direct helicopter from Mahe or a short speed boat ride from the islands of Praslin and La Digue.
Fregate Island Private
Selected by National Geographic as one of its unique lodges of the world. This Private island resort of Seychelles is part tropical paradise, part wild isle – a place where brochure-worthy beaches are inhabited by creatures seemingly plucked from the Galápagos according to National Geographic.
With only 16 secluded Villas amidst three square kilometres of pristine nature designed for carefree luxury in harmony with our precious environment. The lodges owners have worked hard to take the island back to its pre-plantation days. Today the island is home to 3,000 free-roaming Giant Aldabra Tortoises and nests of hundreds of endangered Hawksbill Turtles and have even managed to save the Seychelles Magpie Robin" from extinction.
You can ofcourse choose to glide in your private pool enjoying the glimmer sea view and calm or you can get our and explore the island. There are jungle paths to be explored with a resident naturalist, marine treasures to be discovered with the PADI certified dive school and beaches often voted as top beaches in the world to laze on. Even lazy days on Fregate’s beautiful beaches help with island conservation—a portion of all lodge proceeds are used to support ecosystem regeneration. A range of dining venues, including an elevated tree house set up in the oldest Banyan tree on the island makes for some fantastic gourmet experiences.
Getting to Fregate Island Private is easy. You can opt for the 15 minute helicopter flight or enjoy the 1.5-hour boat trip from Mahé Island.
Denis Private Island
Located on the second most Northerly Island of Seychelles Denis Private island is as close to living on our own desert island as most of us will get. The resort says ‘There is no in-room internet. No cable television. This is for you to unplug from digital distraction and reconnect to the loved ones you hold dear, and to the earth that you share with them.
Probably the least expensive and a lot more simpler rooms than the other resorts we have mentioned in this list Denis Private island is no less in terms of an experience. Because of its remote location you can reach here only by a 30 minute flight from Mahe.
This family run resort is a paradise for diving enthusiasts and known for delicious food grown on the island and harvested from the ocean. Currently the hotel has no swimming pool so sea bathing is the only option. Lately the hotel has WIFI in public areas but not in the rooms. The resort also does not have a separate spa building but there are therapists on hand to pamper you with a selection of therapies inspired by Seychellois, Indian and Swedish techniques.
Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island
Located furthest from Mahe in the Amirantes group of islands The Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island is different from all the other resorts and experiences we have mentioned here. For one, the island it is located on is not a grand granite island Seychelles is known for but rather a volcanic coralline island.
The resort is also a lot bigger with 71 Beach Villas, Suites and larger Residences designed in a colonial style with African accents. All rooms have private pools and access to the beach. Another point worth noting is that though this maybe the only resort on the island there is a Creole village nearby. The island has been inhabited for many years and there has been some kind of hotel here for more than 30 years.
Though the hotel has a full time conversationalist it does not come across as eco friendly as the rest we have mentioned perhaps due to its size. However they are trying hard to change the islands plantation past and promote indigenous plants. Due to its coralline nature the diving and snorkeling here can be better.
To reach here you must take a private flight from Mahe which takes about 35 minutes to get you to Desroches. Please note that there is no cellular network on Desroches Island. Calls may be placed through the landline connection or via the Wi-Fi network.
Besides these fabulous private island resorts that are an experience unto themselves Seychelles also has some other resorts worth mentioneing. These maynot be as private or Luxurious but they are a lot more affordable.
Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa
located on Silhouette island occupies one end of a sandy beach in front of a shallow lagoon and has incredible views towards North Island and Mahé. The La Passe settlement is a 10-minute walk from the resort. The interior of the island is completely undeveloped and most of it is national park land. The waters around the island are a marine reserve. The humidity is always high, but Silhouette offers some of the best walking trails in Seychelles.
Cousine island Resort
located on Cousine island not far from Praslin is another beautiful island with just one resort. But its easy to get to and you may end up sharing your private paradise with day trippers from Monday to Friday from 9.30 am to 12.30pm. The resort is small and built in the French Colonial style. They can accommodate only 8 people at any given time. This remote, privately owned nature reserve is home to rare birds and breeding turtles, offering a very private tropical island experience. But for the price you pay the above mentioned resorts are probably a better choice compared to Cousine island.
Bird island and Alphonse island are two other such resorts in Seychelles that offer a private island experience but don’t make the list of top experiences yet, atleast for us.