The Seychelles

Mandy Walsh on 27 November 2018

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Without a shadow of a doubt the Seychelles is the most beautiful destination I ever had the privilege to visit. It was simply 'heaven on earth' and honestly took my breath away each and every day.

The Seychelles is made up of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean. We started our adventure by landing in Mahe International Airport and headed straight to the island of Silhouette to stay in the Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa. Easily reached by the hotels very own speedboat from the Bel Ombre jetty which took about 35 minutes and also can be reached by helicopter. It was like arriving at another world - a true island experience surrounded by lush jungles and mountains. We stayed in a beautiful King Garden Villa, a very spacious contemporary villa with a large bathroom offering an indoor and outdoor shower. They were just a short stroll to the stunning beach. We knew after our first night in the Seychelles we were in for a very special and unique few days.

Our next stop was back to Mahe to the Constance Ephelia, which we reached by the very scenic and memorable Mission Lodge. This was a very different property set within 120 hectares and situated on two of the most beautiful beaches on Mahe, overlooking the Marine National Park of Port Launay. Perfect for both couples & families - the Kids Club here was so cool and funky, complete with its own pool. All the suites & villas are very spacious, and we stayed in a Family Villa with private pool which was simply a sanctuary in itself. No visit to the Constance Ephelia would be complete without a visit to the unique U Spa Village. It's a spa like no other - an oasis amidst the tropical gardens offering a truly blissful spa experience. You can simply do as much or as little as you want at this beautiful resort as there are plenty of activities available including numerous water sports & diving opportunities.

We then headed to the Hilton Northolme Resort & Spa - a mere 25 minutes from the airport in the Northwest of Mahe and lovingly known as the smallest Hilton in the world with just 15 villas. This hotel is a true escape with every villa ocean facing and offering stunning views of the Indian Ocean & Beau Vallon Bay. Let's just say the room we stayed in moved me to tears - it was one of those moments in life that you realize that life is not measured by the number of breathes we take but the moments that take our breathe away. There are numerous dining options including the unique 'floating trays' and with a very talented Irishman headhunted as Head Chef for the last 5 years be prepared to experience the most amazing culinary experiences. Snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding or simply just enjoy a cocktail by the infinity pool. The Hilton Northolme will certainly hold a special place in my heart for a very long time.

An early start today to explore Victoria, the world’s smallest town, before heading to the luxurious 5 Star Banyan Tree for lunch and onwards by ferry to the island of La Digue. The island of La Digue certainly did not disappoint, famous for its beaches like Anse Source D'Argent which is dotted by the granite boulders infamous to the islands of the Seychelles. If you are looking for a relaxed island vibe with beautiful beaches and a touch of local life, then you will love La Digue. With very little traffic on the island and everyone exploring by foot or on bike you will fall in love with the atmosphere on this gem of an island. We stayed at the Le Domaine De L'Orangeraie.

Praslin was our next stop, a mere 15 minutes by ferry from La Digue. Praslin is the 2nd largest island of the Seychelles and was certainly one of the highlights of my week in the Seychelles. Lots more beautiful palm fringed beaches surrounded by the granite boulders that will WOW you even more than the last. We stayed at the very modern 4 Star Coco De Mer & Black Parrot Suites which has just completed a $12 million renovation this year and the hotel reflects this from the moment you arrive. Its very privately located and passionately ran and owned by a local Seychellois. The hotel runs complimentary shuttles to the Anze Lazio beach and you can stroll or use bikes to explore the many sandy beaches and coves located close by. Another must is the Unesco World Heritage Site of the Vallee De Mai, home to the rare black parrot & the Coco de Mer.

Our final afternoon took us back to Mahe which we did so by air - a breathtaking 15 minute flight with Air Seychelles before our last transfer of 20 minutes to the Carana Beach Hotel - this locally owned boutique hotel has just 40 chalets, 12 of which have private plunge pools and all within a short walk from the beach. The perfect end to a more than perfect week with each chalet overlooking the breath-taking waters of the Indian Ocean. The colours and concept of the Carana Beach create an authentic Seychellois sanctuary. Its nearly like the hotel imitates the colours of the Seychelles. Each chalet is modern with rustic touches inspired by the sea. We loved our stay at the Carana especially our treatments at the Sens Spa, thus leaving the Seychelles with a calm only the islands can provide.

The service, the standards of accommodation and the cuisine on the Seychelles was second to none. Most of the hotels in the Seychelles are on a Half Board basis with drinks on par with what you would pay here at home, unless you try the local beers which are very reasonable. I would estimate that a couple should allow for at least €100 to €150 per day for drinks and lunches.

I would go back in a heartbeat, so whether it’s for a honeymoon, wedding anniversary, special birthday or just simply been on your bucket list for too long, please don't hesitate to contact me to find out more. You must once in your lifetime 'Live the Seychelles Experience' if nothing else to stop me going on and on. It was paradise!

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