Having been lucky enough to holiday on all the most visited Indian Ocean islands, including Mozambique, Zanzibar, Mauritius, Maldives and Seychelles, I have to say the latter is my favourite. The combination of lush, rugged hillside juxtaposed with turquoise, still, waters is jaw dropping. Space is no constraint, so resorts occupy sprawling acres of land, surrounded by private beaches, with guest suites dotted along the coast.
The factor that deters most people from an island holiday (me included) is the thought of doing virtually nothing for the duration of the trip. I enjoy laying on a deck chair on the beach, paging through magazines and sipping on pina coladas as much as the next person, but after a day of it, I am usually itching to explore. The downside of the Seychelles, like other islands, is that there is very little to see in terms of sightseeing, so you’ll have to find other ways to entertain yourself.
Fortunately, there are a few places which offer options for adventure lovers, while not compromising on the luxury people expect from the island’s high-end resorts.
Here are the top three luxury adventure resorts in the Seychelles.
Located across from two beautiful beaches on Mahe (Seychelles’ biggest island), Constance Ephelia overlooks the marine national park of Port Launay, making for spectacular views of the 120 hectare property. My hillside villa came with its own golf cart, allowing me to zip through the resort at my leisure. I also had my own private pool, with a panoramic view of the surrounding hills, as well as a separate lounge area.
With numerous sport activities included in the room rate, I was able to take my pick from working out in the fully equipped gym, playing tennis or squash, or making use of the resort’s watersports, including pedal boats, catamarans, windsurfing and kayaking.
Payable activities on offer are fishing, PADI certified diving, yoga lessons, as well as ziplining and rock climbing. Rock climbing is enjoyed on a one of a kind 18 meter natural granite rock face, where everyone, from kids to experienced rock climbers, can enjoy the sport. Once I was kitted out in my rock climbing gear- helmet, harness and all, I made sure to stay close to the guide, and follow his exact steps- harder than it looks. The sport requires a great deal of self-trust, because the ledges on which you step on are only a few centimeters wide. I managed to get halfway up and then called it quits, my fear of heights getting in the way of my adrenaline rush.
Ziplining is an equally exhilarating activity. The series of aerial ziplines are suspended within and above the forest that covers the hillside within the resort, facilitating a unique way of exploring the terrain. Being able to glide through this canopy is a wonderful feeling- when I saw 6 year olds doing it with ease; I got over my fear and had a blast.
The resort has 5 restaurants and 5 bars for you to take your pick from once you’re ready for some relaxation. Each outlet has its own concept, ensuring that there is something for everyone in terms of culinary and bar experiences.
Four Seasons Seychelles
One of the more intimate properties on the island, the Four Seasons Seychelles features 67 villas, either on the beach, or perched on stilts on the hillside. The resort has plenty on offer for the adventure traveller.
If the fully equipped fitness centre isn’t enough, the resort has a six-kilometer jogging trail which circles its lagoon, its steep elevation changes showcasing beautiful views of the resort. There is also a rock climbing wall, and three complimentary yoga classes per day. As with most resorts, you’ll also be able to enjoy a variety of water activities, including deep-sea fishing, jet skiing, surf excursions, sailing, snorkeling and diving.
Just off the property, you’ll find a grueling hike that leads to the top of the huge, granite mountains, where you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views of Petite Anse Bay.
If swimming with whale sharks is on your bucket list, then Four Seasons Seychelles is the place for you. The resort’s dive centre collaborates with the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles to provide snorkeling trips (with the help of a microlight aircraft) during the month of October, when sightings peak.
The first Kempinski property in the Indian Ocean, this resort epitomizes luxury. It’s got its own helicopter pad, and remarkable hospitality. Here, the draw card is sports — the property features an Olympic-length swimming pool, two tennis courts, a beach volleyball court and a badminton court.
The resort is located in the Baie Lazare beach area, which is known for sightings of turtles and spectacular marine life. The water sports centre supplies snorkeling equipment, and also provides advice on the best routes to follow.
In the unlikely event of rain, you’ll be able to make use of the extensive library, which also serves as the games room, with a snooker table; or if you prefer, try your luck at Casino Paradiso- Kempinski is the only five-star hotel in the Seychelles with a casino. The hotel’s spa is another fabulous way to spend a few hours. Therapists combine modern and traditional treatment methods, resulting in you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
This property is an ideal choice for families with young children. Dedicated staff will plan and oversee activities for kids between 4-12 years of age at no extra charge, and there is a shaded wading pool that is also supervised. Kempinski even offers a babysitting service should you want to enjoy a quiet dinner at one of the hotel’s two restaurants. My recommendation is L’Indochine, the signature restaurant, which offers a gastronomic fusion experience focused on fresh seafood in a stunning setting.