Buro 24/7 Middle East Travel Guide: Seychelles, the island life of luxury
T he Seychelles, a 115-island archipelago off the coast of East Africa, is a haven often likened to the Maldives but with an achingly authentic appeal of its own. Expect white sandy shores along the picturesque coastline — perfect for long lazy walks to secluded snorkeling spots — from which beautiful beachside hotels appear. This description is fitting of many of the dispersed (but not deserted) islands within the collection but the island of Mahe itself, the first stop on many a visitors itineraries, is a haven of haute hotels, restaurants and destinations. Here then is the Buro 24/7 luxe list to living life on the Seychelles...
Book a stay at the five star Eden Bleu hotel, located on the pristine man-made Eden Island. The 86-room resort comes complete with a picturesque pool that overlooks a glistening alcove of ocean. Then, there's the penthouse suite. The palatial pad is designed with a dreamy bedroom, luxe lounge littered with island-inspired coffee table books and Instagram-worthy shell decorations, Apple TV, the masterchef-equipped kitchen also comes with a must-try nespresso machine and the state-of-the-art bathroom is as seemless as the experience.
Then, moving away from the calm shores and closer to the beach, perched high on a hill is the Petit Amour Villa. The boutique hotel is a four-room palace, which is as chic as it is curated. Owned by Michele and John, the concept is laid out around a pretty pool, which beneath blue and white striped umbrellas, peers out on to a haute horizon — a sunset setting to behold.
Do island hop too. There's a plethora of places to be in the Seychelles, so start with Mahe and then venture offtrack to Praslin Island, La Digue Island and Vallee de Mai. Other hotels on the islands include the Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Four Seasons and Constance Lemuria.
Back at Eden Bay is a collective of local food hotspots, of which Bravo is one of them. Fairy lights, which lined the roof of the cool, casual marina bay restaurant, twinkled against the moonlit sky across the yacht-moored ocean. Beautifully crafted lanterns hang dreamily above guests as they delve into freshly caught seafood, prepared with traditional creole spice. Pizza and pasta are an option too. The restaurant is one of a few littered along the glistening harbour and on the Friday night we noshed, it was a full house.
Just around the corner is Marlin Bleu, a chic contemporary restaurant with a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu that sees a culinary serving of the island's best flavours. Think mouthwatering burger bites, crisp tangy salads and coconut gelato for dessert.
Then, when it comes to a tantalising traditional food experience, the beach BBQ is worth every bite. Seafood ceviche, freshly caught barbeque fish and skewers are more than memorable.
Beneath the warm waters swim schools of fish, think wahoo, sailfish and giant trevally. So it's only natural that a day on the water is a must, fishing rod in hand. Yachts and speed boats are a plenty in the Seychelles so chartering your own cruise is a cinch. Step aboard and soak in the sun, which sits high amidst the blue sky. Then settle in as the motor cuts through the crystal clear shimmering surface to an offshore location brimming with sea creatures. Not twenty minutes in and the reel is whirring to life, before landing the freshest catch of the day. Next stop? Lunch on a deserted island, which is inhabited by hundred-year-old tortoises, slowly making their way along the palm-tree lined paths. Captain's orders, the school has shifted and so too does the boat, on to yet another breathtaking vantage point. End the day with a deliciously refreshing dip in the Indian Ocean.
Snorkelling is a must in the Seychelles, especially at the Ste Anne National Marine Park. Sandy ocean floors make way for anemone littered rock caves, that creep around the coastline for miles. Swirls of jewel coloured fish are spotted across the aquarium floor, so have the underwater camera at hand. There are many charters to take in order to customise your time on the water too. Alternatively the beaches off the main islands are also easily accessible and worth a wander.
Emirates flies to the Seychelles direct. To book a flight visit emirates.ae and for more information on confirming your stay in the Seychelles visit seychelles.travel.