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Serenity In The Seychelles: Private Pools And Ocean Views Guaranteed

At Raffles Seychelles, an all-villa hotel, ocean views and a private pool come as standard – and are met by tropical forests and farm-to-table dining.

Despite being the second most populated island in the Seychelles, Praslin, known for its palm-fringed beaches and cinematographic nature (it’s the inspiration behind the forests in the Avatar movies) is home to only around seven per cent of the country’s inhabitants.

A stay at Raffles Seychelles is one where fine white sands meet uninterrupted ocean views, lapping waves, al fresco spa experiences, and conscious dining at globally-inspired restaurants. Not to mention an opportunity to tour nearby islands by boat or by helicopter, cruise into the sunset, or to simply lay back and soak it all in.

The Vibe

There are three ways to reach Raffles Seychelles: via a 45-minute sea transfer taking you from Mahé to Praslin; a 15-minute Air Seychelles flight that runs several times a day from Mahé International Airport; or by helicopter, landing on the hotel’s private helipad.

Whichever way you choose, on arriving at the resort, you’ll be greeted by shimmering ocean views at an open reception before being whisked away to your villa by buggy. Every accommodation here is a villa, each stacked upwards from Anse Takamaka beach towards the top of the hill behind it; reminiscent of a small town. Surrounded not only by the picture-perfect waters but also by rolling green hills, this is a stay in some of the finest natural habitats on earth.

The Rooms

This is an all-villa hotel and, with 86 villas to choose from, each featuring a private pool overlooking the vast ocean, you can’t go far wrong. We opted for the Panoramic Pool Villa set among the resort’s highest points for truly uninterrupted ocean views. Beachfront Villas, just steps from the soft sands are ideal if you prefer to roll out of bed and into the sea for a morning swim.

The golden hours that soaked our spacious room on arrival – and for every evening that followed – transformed into a bright and airy cast by day. Decorated in contemporary style with dark-wooden panelling and coastal accents such as palm-patterned armchairs, and with plenty of space, one of the highlights of our room was the floor-to-ceiling window throughout, best enjoyed from the bathtub. The private outdoor space was equally enticing, its pool and a sunbathing deck making it impossibly hard to leave the surrounds of the villa.

The Food + Drink

It’s worth leaving your villa for the mouthwatering cuisine at any one of the resort’s three restaurants serving Japanese and Mediterranean cuisine with an Indian Ocean twist. Some of the highlights include the Creole eggs and acai bowel for breakfast at Losean, the Japanese scallops with lobster bloody mary sauce for lunch at the pool-side restaurant, and the Thai duck curry for dinner at Cruieuse. For pre-dinner drinks, Danzil Bar & Lounge is at one of the most beautifully-decorated spaces in the resort, and whips up Ernest Hemingway-inspired rum cocktails on its terrace, offering a luminous ocean backdrop best enjoyed during sunset. Private dining – at any location on Praslin island – can also be arranged.

The Spa

Spa treatments take place in one of 13 private, open-air pavilions, each shrouded in greenery and with views of the ocean. This combined with the sounds of the island – chirping birds, waves lapping and the occasional tropical shower – ensures an experience that not only soothes your body, but also your soul. In addition to massage, the spa offers body wraps, facials and scrubs, using products from Biologique Recherche, Aromatherapy Associates and The Refinery. Kid’s treatments are available, alongside yoga classes, a sauna, and a small outdoor pool.

The Little Extras

Every restaurant here has a farm-to-table approach to dining, and 98 per cent of fish served at the resort has been sourced from local fishermen. Furthering their approach to sustainability, the hotel is constructing coral nurseries, replanting endemic palms lost to a fire 11 years ago, operates a five-stage filtration process on water, and has a ‘no single-use’ plastic policy. Ask the staff about private transfers to take you around the island, always arranged quickly, or have them draw up a romantic bubble bath with rose petals and champagne – or a relaxing one with lavender sea salts and oils before bed.

The To-Do List

One of the most romantic experiences at Raffles Seychelles is a sundowner on Anse Lazio, one of the island’s most famous – and picturesque – beaches. Enjoy the moment with curated canapés prepared and served by a private butler. Elsewhere, island hop via boat or helicopter (on a trip to Curieuse island you’ll find wild sea tortoises), take a sunset cruise, go scuba diving (by day or night), try your hand at deep sea fishing, partake in art classes, or book a personal photography session. Of course, if you want to simply lay back and soak up the sun, that’s entirely encouraged too.

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