Concierge Recommendations

Seychelles

Feb 27, 2014

We asked Selwyn Boudanne, Concierge at Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, to gather the savviest sight-seeing suggestions he could find—not just his own, but also those of other local connoisseurs, including some he works with every day at the Resort. The pristine islands of the Seychelles archipelago, which were largely uninhabited until the 18th century, retain the charm of an undiscovered paradise.

Adventure on the high seas

One of the best ways to experience the beauty of the Seychelles is to charter a boat for fishing, island-hopping, snorkelling or diving. Bring your fresh catch of local tuna, red snapper, grouper or jobfish back to the Resort, where the chefs will prepare it according to your specifications—barbecued, in sushi, Creole-style or baked with just a hint of lemon to bring out the fresh taste.

Castaway beach

The island of Mahé’s best-kept secret is the secluded, horseshoe-shaped beach at the foot of Four Seasons Resort Seychelles—one of the most beautiful in the world. Black granite boulders provide a dramatic backdrop to the powder-white sand and azure waters of the cove. The bay is sheltered by dense vegetation and the water is extremely calm, making it ideal for swimming and safe for families.

Of the 115 islands that make up the Seychelles, one of the top destinations is Praslin, which boasts spectacular secluded shores. On La Digue, Anse Source d’Argent is one of the archipelago’s best beaches. Visit the tiny restaurant there for a taste of delicious Creole-inspired cuisine as you feel the sand between your toes. Explore the island on two wheels: Whizzing around the neighbouring plantation on a bike is the best way to see vanilla fields and spot giant tortoises. Don’t miss the unusual rock formations off La Digue’s coast.

Artful shopping

Instead of glitzy malls, designer stores and international chains, Seychelles visitors will find local art galleries and quaint shops selling handicrafts. Kenwyn House, a 19th-century French colonial mansion, is home to an art gallery and high-end jewellery store specializing in South African diamonds and tanzanite. The George Camille Studio showcases the work of its namesake, a local artist who works with a variety of media to capture the colour and spirit of Creole life.

For retail therapy closer to home, the Resort’s Spa features products from Ila, Sodashi and local brand Yi-King, whose products are all blended in the Seychelles. Signed, limited-edition prints by local artist Alyssa Adams are available exclusively for Resort guests to purchase. Depicting the wild beauty of the jungle and inlaid with real gold, these souvenirs to treasure are sure to evoke beautiful memories of your time in Petite Anse.

The spice route

Once a colonial spice plantation, the hilltop Le Jardin du Roi is now a favourite Creole restaurant on Mahé. Visitors can stroll the property to see not only the colony of giant land tortoises, but also the spices grown on site, including vanilla, cinnamon, saffron and nutmeg. Meals are served in an open-air restaurant that overlooks the sea, and dishes feature spices and fruits grown on the plantation.

Gardens and views

Explore more of the islands’ natural splendour at the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens at Mont Fleuri. More than 100 years old, this national treasure comprises 2 hectares (5 acres) of landscaped and beautifully maintained tropical gardens. The orchid house, showcasing orchids endemic to the islands, is a must-see. On the journey home, take a drive on the Sans Souci route in Morne Seychellois National Park, and stop at Mission Point to enjoy some of the island’s most stunning vistas from the road’s cool highlands.

Island nightlife

With a few notable exceptions, nightlife is largely a low-key affair in the Seychelles. Dance the night away at Eden Island, an island marina close to Victoria, the capital city of the Seychelles. Enjoy cocktails or a local SeyBrew beer at one of the area’s many restaurants and bars as you watch the yachts bob on the harbour’s moonlit waters.

Romance by moonlight

While the island’s bars, restaurants, casinos and discos are undeniably lively, friendly and fun, romance blooms naturally in the Seychelles. Enjoy an intimate candlelit dinner on the Resort’s beach as you watch the sky break out in an array of sunset colours. End your meal with a walk along the shore and light a sky lantern together, then watch it float into the star-filled sky.

Island souvenirs

Snap up colourful, printed pareus and locally made T-shirts at Pineapple Studio, just a 10-minute drive from the Resort. While they shop, visitors can watch the artisans at work. Stop by Michael Adams Art Gallery to view an impressive selection of his work that reflects the Seychellois life and culture. The gallery sells silk screens, postcards and calendars. Antik Colony, located on Independence Avenue in Victoria, is another must. The shop stocks a beautiful range of handmade silk and cotton batik fabrics and clothes, as well as maps, prints, and scented soaps and oils made from citronella, coconut and vanilla.

Only in the Seychelles

The exotic and isolated location of the Seychelles only adds to its appeal—and to the number of attractions. Snorkellers can swim amid a kaleidoscope of fish. Divers can try to spot migratory whale sharks between September and November, or take their pick from a shipwreck or a moonlit night dive. On Praslin, visitors will find the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site with the world’s largest population of coco de mer palms, known for having the largest nut of all plants.

The Seychellois life

Built in 1840 and renovated in 1999, the colourful Sir Selwyn Clarke Market in Victoria remains the bustling heart of the capital and the best place to buy fresh fruits, fish, vegetables and spices. There’s also an array of boutiques and shops selling everything from art to textiles. For an ultimate taste of the Seychelles, stop at a roadside stall to buy a fresh coconut. For just a few rupees, a local vendor will select a tasty coconut and slice it open before your eyes. It’s the best way to hydrate after a day in the sun.

You can also catch a glimpse of life in the Seychelles without leaving the Resort. Every Saturday evening, Kannel comes alive with a Creole barbecue buffet featuring local dishes like grilled asparagus with mixed bean salad, grilled octopus skewers with sweet chilli glaze, reef fish slow-cooked Creole style, oven-roasted pork loin with spicy honey, and fish with curry. A local band and dancers will get diners on their feet, and on-site market stalls showcase local crafts and fashion. Save some space to enjoy “La Daube,” a delicious specialty dessert made with sweet potato cooked in coconut milk.

 

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One Comment about Seychelles

  1. Margaret Hine says:

    Don’t leave your postcards to be posted by the hotel. We did, on the advice of helpful staff, in the first week in March and have been contacted by friends who have just received them, postmarked June 22nd. I suppose we should be glad they were posted at all……………

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