Giltedge Senior Travel Consultant, Rhynhardt Naurattel, was recently invited by the Seychelles Tourism Authority to visit the islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. In this post, he chats about his experiences on Mahé – the largest of the Seychelles islands.
The Island of Mahé
The flight from Johannesburg to Mahé takes just under five hours. Rhynhardt flew with Air Seychelles and was impressed by the airline’s high levels of comfort, food and friendly service.
Travellers flying from or via Europe can touch down at Mahé and then easily catch a connecting flight to one of the smaller, outlying islands (should they want to). But, if the Seychelles is the last stop on your Southern Africa itinerary, then the later landing time of 8.30pm means at least one night on the main island.
It would be a shame, however, to think of Mahé as simply a stopover. Fringed by wide sweeps of sand and tucked-away coves, this Indian Ocean island has a number of excellent resorts that offer the perfect tropical island escape: white sand, turquoise sea, sunny days and sunset cocktails.
Many travellers to the Seychelles never get further than the occasional stroll to the beach. And who could blame them with such luxurious accommodation and idyllic settings? But Rhynhardt recommends setting aside time for a daytrip to a few places of interest including Victoria (one of the smallest capital cities in the world) to get a feel for Seychelles unique Creole culture.
Maia Luxury Resort & Spa
Honeymoon-perfect Maia lies on a hidden beach, on the southwest coast of Mahé. A member of the prestigious ‘Leading Hotels of The World’, this luxury resort has stunning villa accommodation and offers exceptional levels of service with your personal butler who’s never more than a phone call away.
Maia’s Signature Villas are surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, making them wonderfully private. Staying here you have your own garden, a sandy path straight to the beach, and glimpses of the turquoise ocean. Higher on the hillside, Maia’s Ocean Panoramic Villas each open onto a rim-flow pool and beautiful Indian Ocean views.
The villas are decadently luxurious with plenty of indoor and outdoor space. Meals are served whenever and wherever you choose: the open-air restaurant, a private barbecue in your gazebo or candlelit dinner on the beach. Also, Maia’s “Beyond All Inclusive” rate not only covers meals, but also a good selection of wine, unlimited scuba diving and many other extras.
Finally, Maia has one of the most amazing spas that Rhynhardt has ever seen. Each treatment pavilion is a spacious 120m2, and includes his-and-hers massage beds and Vichy showers.
- Perfect for honeymooners
- Beyond All Inclusive offering
- Exceptional butler service
- Incredibly spacious and relaxing spa
- No activities for families or children
Four Seasons Seychelles
The Four Seasons overlooks a white stretch of sand which curves away to a rocky headland, cutting the beach off from the rest of the island so that it feels quite private. This larger, more established resort has 67 villas scattered across the rainforest-clad hillside; the views improving the higher up you go. A fantastic feature of each villa is the deep soaking bathtub, which has a glass wall so you can gaze out over the bay.
The protected bay has calm water for kayaking and SUPing. There’s a dive centre right on the beach, and coral reefs close to shore (great for snorkelling!). The Four Seasons also has a well-run Kids’ Club, and organises loads of fun activities from surf lessons to rock climbing. And, if you are travelling as a family, you have the option of the 2- or 3- bedroom villas.
Also worth mentioning is Maia’s lovely swimming pool complete with poolside dining, and the hilltop spa is the best place to toast the sunset.
- Beach feels private
- Snorkelling close to shore
- 2- and 3-bedroom villas
- Baths have incredible ocean views
- Great Kids’ Club
To the North West of Mahé lies Constance Ephelia, a larger property carefully laid out in beautifully landscaped gardens. At the centre of the resort is a mangrove forest, and there’s not one but two soft sand beaches to choose from.
Ephelia is a great option for families who prefer villa stays: rooms are large and comfortable, there’s plenty of private space and your own swimming pool. Just bear in mind, you probably won’t have direct access to the beach, but there are bicycles (and kiddies’ bicycles) for cycling around as well as a buggy service that never keeps you waiting long.
Breakfasts are absolutely extensive from fruit and fry-ups to crepes and waffles. There’s a stunning spa with yoga lessons available. And, like many resorts, Constance Ephelia has a reserve where they protect families of giant tortoises, so at 4 pm you can feed the tortoises with your kids. Other great activities include snorkelling in the marine park and kayaking through the mangrove forest.
- Well laid-out resort
- Two beautiful beaches
- Great family villas
- Plenty of activities
- Breakfasts are a real treat
Dreaming of travelling to this tropical island paradise? Then get in touch with a Giltedge consultant for more first-hand tips and travel planning advice.