Seychelles : Mahe Island
Mahe is the largest island of the Seychelles, and is the gateway to the all the islands. A lush green, 27 kilometre mountain range runs the length of the island offering great guided walking and birding, but the main draw is the coastline. From the famous Beau Vallon in the north to Cape Lazare, a beautiful cove in the south, the coast is dotted with deserted beaches and hidden coves, offshore islands and protected marine areas. Mahe boasts fantastic snorkelling, sailing and swimming, while a trip to the vibrant hub of Victoria and eating out in one of its many restaurants will give you a colourful cultural insight to island life.
The Banyan Tree is one of the most exclusive places to stay on Mahe. Overlooking Intendance Bay and with spectacular views of the Indian Ocean, it has 60 stunning pool villas. Each one reflects the natural style of the Seychelles and is beautifully designed with local furniture and Eastern decor. They all have their own pavilion and pool. Some villas overlook the beach while others have views from the hilltop. There is the Presidential Villa for those who want the ultimate in luxury, exclusivity and privacy, with two swimming pools, an outdoor jacuzzi, outdoor shower and a separate living / dining pavilion. The hotel can organise many watersports as well as spa treatments but the emphasis is really on complete, uninterrupted relaxation.
The Beau Vallon Bay Hotel is surrounded by lush vegetation and tropical gardens, off one of the most beautiful beaches on the island of Mahe, a 15 kilometre drive from the airport. There are 182 air-conditioned en-suite rooms all equipped with mini-bar, telephone, hairdryers and television. There are also 2 restaurants (1 being a Chinese specialty restaurant) pizzeria, bars, swimming pool, floodlit tennis court, casino, live entertainment, boutique, duty free shop, billiard, water-sports centre, dive centre and baby sitting on request.
The Hilton was one of the first hotels in the Seychelles, built before World War I, and the hideaway of choice for the likes of Ian Fleming, Somerset Maugham and Noel Coward. It was completely rebuilt from the ground up in 2005 and re-opened as a 5-star hotel. Sympathetically designed to retain its old world Seychellois friendliness and charm, it has 40 luxurious villas nestled along small beach coves and on the hillside. There are 14 Deluxe Oceanfront Villas and 26 Ocean view Hillside Villas, all with stunning views. The hotel has two restaurants, an Ocean View bar, a spa for relaxation treatments and a watersports and scuba centre, as well as a small beach. It is just 35 minutes from the airport.
La Rousette Hotel is a small owner run hotel on the quiet southern part of the island. The hotel has 10 en-suite rooms that are well kept and comfortable, the friendly managing couple will make you feel totally at home and will go out of their way for you. The extensive stunning gardens are home to bougainvilleas and allamandas and only a short walk to the beach and other larger hotels offering Golf and a wide selection of water sports.
Sainte Anne Resort is located on a private island just 10 minutes by boat off Mahe. There are 87 exclusive luxury villas on this unspoilt island, which is in the centre of a Marine National Park protecting over 150 species of fish. It is the only accommodation on the island, leaving the majority of the island undisturbed and free to explore the fascinating flora and fauna either by bicycle, or on foot. Sainte Anne is a Beachcomber Hotel, and with a full range of facilities, is a great choice for first-timers to the Seychelles. Activities from the resort are all on your doorstep, and the surrounding clear waters invite you for swimming, diving, snorkelling and non-motorised water sports.
The Sun Resort Hotel is located on the northern coast of Mahe Island in an unrivalled location only minutes walk from the busy Beau Vallon Bay Beach, yet this hotel is set in quiet private gardens. There are only 12 air-conditioned rooms each one has a pool view and self-catering facilities should you prefer to prepare you own meals. The Hotel is set amongst lush green vegetation and has a picturesque mountain view which all blend in with the tropical exotic flowers and landscape of the hotel grounds. There is one restaurant serving a variety of creole and international cuisine prepared by local chefs. For water sports lovers, the Beau-Vallon beach is a minute's walk away where windsurfing, water skiing, deep-sea fishing and scuba diving are all on offer. This is one of the best values on Mahé as it seems to be quite under priced for what you get.
Sunset Beach Hotel is one of the finest small hotels on Mahe, located on the northern point of the island. The hotel is perched on a rocky outcrop with panoramic views of the ocean, perhaps one of the most stunning settings on the island. There are 29 rooms altogether, including junior suites and two luxury two-bedroom villas, all of which are air conditioned and have a balcony or terrace. The hotel is only a short walk to the secluded, private beach, with some of the best swimming and snorkelling on the island. There is a fresh water swimming pool, small gym, games room and sundeck with stunning views. The intimate restaurant serves excellent international and Creole cuisine, and is well known for its juicy steaks. Sunset Beach Hotel is a lovely luxury retreat in a great location.
Le Meridien Fisherman's Cove is a sophisticated five-star retreat and spa, peaceful and intimate, yet with an easy access of all the activities Seychelles has to offer. Tucked away at the southern end of Beau Vallon, it has 70 guest rooms, suites and cottages all of which are just steps away from the beach. Each has lovely views over the ocean and the gardens and feature oversized bathrooms and a private terrace or balcony. There are two restaurants, a 70-metre infinity pool, a floodlit tennis court, a small gym and a spa offering a choice of treatments including hot stone therapy. Snorkelling equipment, windsurfing, kayaks, hobbycats and canoes are available free of charge, and there is a watersports centre a short distance from the hotel with all the usual motorised watersports.