The remote country of Seychelles may seem unfamiliar to many, but the quiet nation always seems to attract visitors who come for the pinnacle of all island escapes. The Seychelles Republic is an archipelago made up of some 115 islands, brimming with uninterrupted wildlife and inspiring shorelines. Rather than staying put on a single island in the Maldives, the heavenly cluster of islands in Seychelles are a much better option for those who enjoy a bit of fun and adventure.
This fabled nation is the epitome of romantic escapes too — the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge picked a secret hideaway in Seychelles for their honeymoon, and so did George and Amal Clooney among other famous faces.
As clichéd as it sounds, it is only when you’ve stepped onto the powdery sand, paddled in the crystal clear waters and felt the balmy breeze, then you will realise how close to an island paradise Seychelles is. To help you along with your journey, we’ve picked some of the best resorts in Seychelles for a little of that barefoot luxury.
How to get here
Take an international flight to Seychelles International Airport. Most connecting flights originate from Doha, Dubai, or Nairobi.
Maia Luxury Resort is an award-winning resort located Seychelles’ main island of Mahe in Seychelles, and is a 25-minute drive from Seychelles International Airport. The hotel offers a chauffeur service to and from the airport. The quaint resort caters to an almost monastic sort of privacy, but the nature of the stay is nothing in that same line. Verdant acres of forest-garden skirted by warm powdery sand set the scene for the 30 thatched-roofed villas — 10 ocean-fronting villas and 20 other panoramic ones, all made complete with private pools. The design for Maia was a collaboration between Bill Bensley and Lek Bunnag, two of the world’s most highly regarded luxury resort and hotel architects. The resort takes its cue from nature and was designed to fit within the existing Mahe landscape. Little details in the room such as amenities from Hermes and speakers from Bose also serve to elevate the guest experience. Those motivated to move beyond the resort’s beautiful grounds can partake in a variety of water-based activities such as snorkelling and canoeing, accompanied by diving and fishing at a fee.
Four Seasons Resort Seychelles sits along the horseshoe bay of Petite Anse, a short 19 kilometres from the Seychelles International Airport. With views overlooking the Indian Ocean, the resort is home to one of the most private beaches on the bustling island of Mahe. Its picture-perfect location ensures for safe swimming in the sparkling waters, and most are drawn here for unparalleled views of the sunset between the two headlands. Spend your nights at one of its 94 lavish villas and residences, nestled either on the jungle hillside or near the beach. Each accommodation type is fashioned with European-styled interiors and four-poster beds, and include upgraded facilities like private infinity pools as well. Those who choose to dine within the compounds of the resort can select between six food and drink options, comprising of Indian, Creole, Western and even Japanese cuisine.
North Island, an all-inclusive, all-villa luxury stay was once the honeymoon destination of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, so you know that privacy and splendour is not compromised. The car-free island roughly the size of Monaco is a good 28 kilometres away from Mahé, the main island of Seychelles. The work of famed safari camp architects Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens, the resort is home to 11 spacious, stylish villas whose designs were anchored in the fabric of the landscape. The experience here may be out of this world, yet each detail is an ode to where it all began. The island resort champions an experience of freedom and control — rather than a helicopter butler, guests are entrusted with bikes and electric buggies to get around the summer wonderland. Of course, a villa attendant will be available to guests as well, who functions as an aid to guide guests through the experience when needed. Activities such as yoga, hiking with the island conservationist, picnics on a private beach, diving in Silhouette’s marine park, a film screening or a full day of fishing can also be arranged.
Right across the main island of Mahe lies Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort and Spa, tucked beneath the second-highest mountain of Seychelles, Mont Dauban. Although peaceful, it’s location on Silhouette island is only a four-minute walk from La Passe town centre, and one kilometre away from ocean views of Pointe Varreur. Each of the 111 island-chic villas are elegantly designed with odes to the local community, which can be seen in their Creole-style roofs and wicker furniture. All rooms also feature outdoor rain showers in private patio gardens. The turquoise blue waters around the island is a marine reserve, so it is almost imperative for guests to partake in a dive that embraces the wildlife. In addition to eight restaurants and bars, holidaymakers are encouraged to treat themselves to its award-winning spa as well.
Felicite, the feeling of intense bliss and happiness, is mirrored directly only the lesser-known island of Seychelles with the same name. Here, all-villa luxury resort Six Senses Zil Pasyon sits on this private oasis, ringed by leaf-canopied jungles and glistening golden beaches. Each of the 32 stylish palm-thatched villas are nestled on a hillside that overlooks the Indian Ocean, complete with furnished terraces, private infinity pools, wine cellars and outdoor showers with free-standing tubs. Regular activities include daily morning yoga, kayaking, snorkelling and paddleboarding. Guests can also indulge in one of the African-inspired treatments (think fig and green coffee-infused body wraps and rose-crystal masks) in one of the hotel’s five private pavilions. In terms of eco-friendly behaviour, the establishment also highlights sustainability in its service: food is organic, home-grown or sourced locally. It also boasts its very own solar panels, desalination plant and gives back to the community by supporting a habitat-restoration project on Felicite Island.
Constance Lemuria, a sophisticated establishment set its roots in Praslin, Seychelles, fringed by some of the most stunning beaches in the country. The beaches have become a firm favourite amongst hawksbill turtles, with around 8,000 babies hatching there each year. Guests can join the hotel’s turtle manager to see this magnificent sight, happening during the months from October to March. The other side of the resort is bordered by a forest that ushers the way into the Vallée de Mai, a nature reserve so otherworldly that a British explorer thought he had discovered the Garden of Eden. Constance Lemuria is also home to 96 suites and nine villas, all fitted with modern facilities familiar to the contemporary traveller. Upgraded suites include whirlpool tubs, and villas add pavillions and butler service. Access to a private beach is also available for upgraded villas. Guests here are spoilt for choice with regards to its amenities. The resort boasts some nine restaurants and bars, as well as the only 18-hole championship golf course in Seychelles.