The islands of Seychelles are some of the most spellbinding places on earth. Located off the east coast of Africa, the colourful nation comprises 115 granitic and coral islands almost bobbing in the Indian Ocean. Thanks to their position just a few degrees south of the equator, they’re a tropical paradise – thick with lush vegetation, towering granitic boulders and home to white sand beaches, so beautiful, they have long been immortalised in worldwide commercials and movies. Travellers come for this scenery and these magical beaches, but also for a vibrant and rich heritage and culture reminiscent of the Caribbean – a fusion of French, British and Creole, creating a rainbow of people, flavours, stories and things to do. Luckily, the islands – the largest and most populous being Mahé, La Digue and Praslin – are home to some incredible hotels from the world’s most elite brands, but also charming guest houses. Here are nine fabulous Seychelles hotels to book now.
Chateau Elysium, Mahé
When it comes to Seychelles hotels, Chateau Elysium is one of Mahé’s best-kept secrets, located on the island’s most popular beach, Beau Vallon, and set in a stunning colonial-style house surrounded by verdant tropical garden. The charming boutique guest house has just seven king rooms – so booking well in advance is essential – and two private villas (one two-bed and one three-bed) with private pools and terraces. The property opened in 2019 under the name ‘Criollo House’, a young husband-and-wife duo who dreamed of opening a boutique hotel on the beach, and their personal touch and taste are apparent in the bedroom and design. Ocean-view suites are large and offer beautiful views over the ocean from their private balcony, marble ensuites, and soaking tubs, while mountain suites are large and airy with the same fantastic amenities. A homemade breakfast is prepared each morning, and tea and coffee are freely available for guests all day. Guests can enjoy the house’s main pool, relax on the shaded veranda or look out onto the ocean from the stylish relaxation lounge.
Beau Vallon Beach; doubles from about AED1,290 a night; chateau-elysium.com
Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas, Mahé
Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas, one of the most coveted and loved Seychelles hotels, lies on the peaceful golden sands of Anse Louis on the southwestern coast of Mahé. Nestled on the cliffs of a towering granitic rock, the Bill Bensley-designed ultra-exclusive hideaway has just 30 secluded thatched pool villas, peppered across the rocks and offers peace and privacy like no other. Check-in happens in the villa, with your personal private butler, and it’s rare to see other guests – apart from when pottering down to the main Tek Tek restaurant or to enjoy watersports on the beach. The villas themselves are full of rustic island charm, with spacious terraces framed by thick vegetation, infinity plunge pools overlooking the ocean and wood-floored living spaces with a canopied king-sized bed. Guests can arrive here, kick off their shoes and put away their wallets, thanks to the Beyond All-Inclusive offering – which includes unlimited food and beverages from four menus: Asian, Mediterranean, Creole and Indian, at any time of day.
Anse Louis, villas from AED6,800 a night; anantara.com
North Island, a Luxury Collection Resort, Ile du Nord
North Island is arguably Seychelles’ most famous and exclusive resort. The British Prince and Princes of Wales, William and Catherine, had their 10th wedding anniversary here, and countless other celebrities have called themselves guests. For a reason, too, as this is the epitome of peace, privacy and beauty. There are just 11 villas here – set along a slick of almost blindingly white sands – each around 5,000 square feet and crafted from local wood and stone with thatched roofs, marble baths, indoor and outdoor showers, plunge pools, en-suite kitchens (a chef is on hand at all times) and cosy relaxation nooks. Moneyed guests venture out of their villas to visit the spa, hidden away in the rocks, snorkel and dive in the coral-rich ocean or the main dining room surrounded by a serene lily pond. The resort’s mission to bring back almost wiped-out flora and fauna is admirable, and the island’s lush jungle is teeming with tacamahac trees, birds and tortoises. The island is just a 20-minute helicopter from the capital Victoria, making it surprisingly accessible.
Ile du Nord; villas from about AED22,000; north-island.com
Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Felicité
The dramatic boulders that hide Six Senses‘ Seychelles resort are otherworldly – like something from a movie or out of space. The property lies on the private Felicité island – a helicopter ride or speedboat from Mahe – and, like its brand is known for, is a feat of cutting-edge design with sustainability and wellness at its core. Rooms are up in the trees, nestled amongst the rocks, akin to ultra-slick treehouses with local Balau wood floors, four-poster beds, gigantic soaking tubs and glass walls drawing all focus to the stunning surroundings. The 17 multi-room residences are striking – like the lair of a wealthy supervillain or hero (think Thunderbirds or Glass Onion) with glass-bottomed pools and cavernous living quarters – plus private staff. As with Six Senses, food is excellent with a focus on health – the freshest tropical fruits, homemade granolas, everything avocado, plus Creole curries and seafood from the main Island cafe (best paired with a coconut mojito). Excursions to La Digue, Praslin and Aride Island are all possible from the island, and there’s an oceanfront spa (again, perched above the rocks) and ample opportunities for hiking and watersports.
Felicité island; villas from AED5,200 a night; sixsenses.com
Mango House Seychelles, LXR Hotels & Resorts, Mahé
A shoot for Vogue France first brought Italian photographer Gian Paolo Barbiere to Seychelles in 1975. He loves it so much, he built a home on Anse Aux Poules Bliueues – on the wild southwest coast of Mahé – which he named his Mango House. Fast-forward to today, the once private house has been upgraded into a beautiful new boutique hotel by Hilton’s LXR brand, keeping the affectionate moniker. The 41-room five-star property is built along the shoreline and features stunning suites and villas with views across the bay and onto the hotel’s tiny sun-dapped beach. Guests will love the earthy, natural aesthetic, with vivid prints from local artist Alyssa Adams – prevalent in the modern rooms, spa and public spaces. The hotel has made a name for itself as a leading f&b destination on the island, and both visitors and guests come to dine in its four outlets: Japanese, Creole and Italian restaurants and a stylish Spice-route-inspired cocktail bar.
Anse Aux Poules Bleues; doubles from about AED2,235; hilton.com
Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, Mahé
Four Seasons operates two gorgeous resorts in Seychelles, an exclusive tree-house style hideaway on the south coast of Mahé and the private Desroches Island. The former is one of the best hotels in Mahe, set on a forested hill around the protected Petite Anse bay, where swimming is safe all year round. The 67 vernacular villas sit on stilts on the hillside, offering beautiful sea views, with 62 single and five two- and three-bedroom villas to choose from – all marrying traditional Seychellois design touches with contemporary luxury. Breakfast is one of the most impressive around – a buffet laden with the freshest fruits and delights like shrimp rougaille, and the hotel also houses a sushi bar and all-day eatery.
Baie Lazare; villas from about AED5,830 a night; fourseasons.com/seychelles
Raffles Seychelles, Praslin
Praslin – the second largest Seychelles island – is a popular tourist spot thanks to its outstanding natural beauty. Raffles Scyehlles lies on the northeastern side of Praslin, almost tumbling down the cliffs onto the narrow beach of Anse Takamaka. All the 86 villas are stacked up the mountain – meaning ocean panoramas are truly breathtaking – and even the smallest garden view accommodations are, in fact, huge, at 125 square metres. The largest are the two-bedroom, two-bedroom,m beachfront villas with touches of private terraces, pools, and indoor and outdoor showers. Raffles is a brand which prides itself on ‘royal service’, and this certainly isn’t lost on its island destination – which some guests may find a little too stuffy, while others will love the pomp and formality. Where this hotel wins is its facilities, including, of course, Raffles’ signature 24-hour butler service, a spa with 13 pavilions, a sauna, steam soaking pool and yoga pavilion, a main 45-metre pool and six restaurants and lounges (including a sushi bar) – plus free non-motorised watersports.
Baie Saint Anne; villas from about AED5,000 per night; raffles.com
Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island
Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island is the only resort on a six-kilometre-long coral island, offering guests the chance to totally disconnect from the world and live a castaway lifestyle (albeit exceptionally luxurious). The rustic, beachy-chic resort is a beautiful blend of modern and traditional Creole architecture – most apparent in the 71 beachfront villas, full of earthy tones and natural textiles with African touches. For such a small island, the resort managed to fit in a Castaway Centre for diving, deep sea fishing and fly fishing on nearby St Joseph’s atoll, and there’s cycling, yoga, tennis and a gym. Claudine restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine and mesmerising sunsets, while Lighthouse Restaurant is an unmissable spot for a romantic dinner with 360-degree views and a menu of dry-aged French beer, Creole classics and raw locally caught fish. While seemingly utterly remote, the property is reached in just 35 minutes via a Four Seasons private plane from Mahé.
Desroches Island; villas from about AED2,755 a night; fourseasons.com
L’Escale Resort Marina & Spa, Mahé
L’Escale Resort Marina and Spa sits in the north of the island, just a short drive from the airport and capital Victoria, sandwiched between Morne Seychellois, the highest peak in the archipelago, and the ocean. The property made news when it opened in 2020 as the first hotel with its own marina specially catering to superyachts – and this accolade sets the tone for your stay. Renowned yacht designer Andrew Winch designed the only hotel and, as a result, the inside feels more like a superyacht or swish private resident than a hotel. The design is impeccable: soothing natural tones of cream and taupe, shiny wood, piles of chic coffee table books on heavy oak coffee tables, rattan cabinets, and artwork from local artists. There are just 23 rooms and suites, meaning no fighting for the plush cream sunloungers, and standard double rooms have either ocean or mountain views. Despite its size, the hotel is also home to a sprawling wellness centre with a Japanese water garden, outdoor rainfall shower and Jacuzzi, and a vibrant restaurant and terrace with live music nights.
Roche Caiman; doubles from about AED1,470 a night; lescaleresort.com