Burrowed in a tropical hillside on the remote island of Mahe’, is a dream resort. It is a sanctuary with poetic views of one of the finest unspoilt beaches we have ever set eyes on. Welcome to the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, a place where Laveena and I were blissfully castaway during our recent diwali holidays.
There is a direct 4 hour flight on Air Seychelles from Mumbai. Although business class does not offer flat beds, the service and food onboard is satisfactory. The Seychelles, located in the Indian Ocean, off East Africa, is an archipelago of 115 islands. It has a population of around 90,000 easy going people. On arrival at Mahe’ we were greeted by a friendly immigration officer who stamped our passports with a visa and welcomed us to the Seychelles. A Four Seasons Hotel chauffeur Mervin was waiting to drive us to the resort. I have to say that the 30 minute journey from the airport was by far the prettiest drive we have had with the most awe-inspiring white sand beach and blue ocean views we have ever seen.
Far far away from the everyday stresses of city life, we arrived at the fantastic Four Seasons Seychelles resort and while checking in, we were met by Adrian Messerli, the GM of the property. A wonderful and charming young man, originally from Switzerland, Adrian warmly welcomed us and gave us a brief insight on the property. He also introduced us to the ever smiling, eternally happy, Oliver Jean Marin, associate director of sales. Oliver explained that the 67 villas at the resort were spread across 170 acres of green jungle foliage which included cinnamon and takamaka trees. He said that the tree house like villa designs hinted at the island’s Creole traditions. We were thrilled to learn that we had been upgraded to the serenity villa. This 2,002 sq. ft. villa is perched on top of the hillside. It has its own plunge pool with breathtaking views of the beach and the ocean. A golf cart dropped us at our villa where we spent the rest of the morning soaking in the sheer natural beauty of the place which was nothing short of spectacular. What immediately caught our attention was the horseshoe-shaped beach which was so clearly visible at the foot of the resort with unrestricted views of dark granite boulders which nature contrasted beautifully against the dramatic blue waters and the powder like white sand.
After a brief rest, we called for a golf cart to drive us down to the beach. It was time for lunch at the Kannel restaurant. Located by the pool, we had stunning views of the Indian ocean. While Laveena chose to eat the tuna Nicoise salad, I asked for the crispy Cajun Chicken Sandwich in a brioche bun with oven-dried tomatoes, pickled jalapeño and grain mustard aioli. I washed down my meal with a coconut flavoured takamaka ( a locally made delicious rum) on the rocks.
Post lunch we were lazy and went to the secluded beach where we chose two sun beds, dressed down into our swimwear and lay back for an afternoon siesta overlooking the blue azure waters of this magnificent cove. It wasn’t long before we both drifted into a deep sleep, serenaded by the soft mesmerising sounds of the gently lashing waves and the familiar smell of the sea salt which is so distinct at a beach. Laveena awakened before I did and she tugged at me, saying that she was eager to cool off in the ocean. It was hard to resist and we both set our feet down, in perfect synchronisation, onto the soft sand and walked the beach which we noticed was free of any kind of debris, washed up coral or sharp shells and we dipped ourselves in the therapeutic waters of the glorious ocean. A couple frolicking nearby recommended we use the clean soft sand as a body scrub. We reached out through the crystal clear waters and scooped out some sand with our hands, which Laveena and I then rubbed onto our bodies. The paste-like pure sand was so smooth and gentle, it felt fantastic. It wasn’t difficult to wash off as we rolled and splashed around in the cool waters of the Indian ocean not too far from the shore. In the distance, I watched a couple paddle away into the horizon on a kayak and I immediately decided that this was something we would definitely do during our 5-day stay on the island. As we continued to caper around in the water, Laveena spotted some fish swimming near us. The sight was beautiful as the fish darted between us playfully, oblivious of our presence in the expanse of this aquamarine paradise.
We returned to our room to watch the sunset. Although views from the beach promised to be equally spectacular, we were keen to watch our first sunset from our private infinity pool at the villa. With an evening cocktail in hand, we stared out at the horizon and watched the heavens orchestrate one of the most colourful, most stunning sunsets we have ever seen. Hues of yellow, orange and gold, threaded their way through the sharp blue colours of the sky, merging into a single kaleidoscope of mixed tones, perfectly put together on a paint palette which belonged to the heavens. Hypnotised by this sheer beauty, we agreed that this experience is a must for all who love to dream the impossible dream and want to captivate themselves with that perfect sunset wish.
After a quick shower, we visited the ZEZ Lounge where we both had a chilled glass of veuve clicquot champagne and ordered a plate of grande anse sushi and sashimi, a dish we shared and loved. Post dinner we walked down to the beach where a waning crescent silver moon cast a light hue on the sand. Ghost crabs were out in droves, scurrying along the shoreline for a late dinner. These little iridescent critters are thankfully so alert and sensitive to any unusual movements or sounds that as we walked along, they darted hurriedly away in both directions ensuring that we didn’t accidentally step on them. Hand in hand we walked and talked in this secluded piece of heaven, the soft sand now cool to the touch and ever so healing.
We were excited about the next few days in this tropical paradise. We had a couples massage at the Ila spa planned the next morning at 11:00 am. Oliver promised it would be more than just a memorable experience as the well-trained masseurs would transport us into a world of peace and tranquillity, one in which we were told, our bodies and minds would rejuvenate at the gentle touch of supple hands, well oiled with fragrant and enticing aromas. I chose to do the signature earth massage, a treatment which used slow, stroking movements using natural wood-scented plant oils and essences. Laveena asked for the Kundalini massage, a treatment which promised to balance the nervous system with soothing and strengthening oils and the application of Himalayan salt and marigold to help balance the chakras. She was told that the massage was named after Kundala – the Hindu goddess of awareness who takes the form of a coiled snake – Kundalini is the dormant energy in the base of the spine. When awakened, this energy travels upwards to the third eye, increasing vitality and spiritual enlightenment.
Well rested and revitalised we headed to the beach post the massage and decided to go out snorkelling. Laveena was very keen to watch some reef fish. The Four Seasons has a Marine discovery programme at the resort and the marine educators for this programme are Georgina, Hannah and Krishna. They met with us and introduced us to the remarkable efforts undertaken by them to protect and care for the ocean community. They also told us about their fascinating reef restoration project. Krishna sat us down and explained that the snorkelling adventure would be a guided one. He said he would go along with us and before doing so, in a pictorial journal, he picked out the fish we were likely to encounter when snorkelling. Hannah helped us with our equipment and then we headed out, excited to rendezvous with the Sea God Poseidon and his fascinating and colourful world beneath the surface of the water. An hour flew by in a heartbeat as Krishna pointed out hundreds of powder blue surgeon, bullethead parrotfish, scissor tail serjeants, big fin reef squid, Petite Anse coral, Eagle rays, thread-fin butterfly fish, Moorish idol, peacock grouper and the Picasso triggerfish to name a few. On returning to shore, we decided it was time to take the kayak out. I had done this many times before, but for Laveena it was the second time. She insisted I allow her to guide the boat out, to turn it left and right and around. While her strong arms did a lot of the work, I sat back and enjoyed most of the ride, stepping in only momentarily when Laveena said that she was tired. The kayak experience was a super exercise for Laveena and more of a cruise for me, but we both loved it and when we returned we showered at the beach and then decided to dip in the hotel pool to cool off. Not before I got myself another Takamaka on the rocks though. By now this drink had almost become synonymous with truly chilling in the Seychelles.
The Four Seasons resort has a pop-up sandwich bar by the beach. Fedrick picked us up from our villa to drive us to lunch the next day. On the way, he stopped the golf cart, stepped out and grabbed some leaves in one hand and a twig in the other. He asked us if we recognised the aroma of the leaf. To enhance the smells, he crushed the leaf between his fingers and almost immediately we could tell it was the unmistakable smell of fresh cinnamon. Fedrick explained that the dense foliage on the property had many such natural spices and he enjoyed introducing guests to the mysteries of nature. At the restaurant, we each had a fish sandwich with french fries and coconut water. For that little extra buzz, I asked for a shot of takamaka rum to be added to by coconut water which dressed it up quite nicely. The sandwich of-course was delicious. The diverse flavours captured well the cultural mix of this exotic island.
Feelings of exhilaration greeted us every morning as we sat on our villa patio sipping on our Nespresso coffee and soaking in the dancing colours of the blue lagoon. The dramatic rock formations in the distance and the tropical vegetation surrounding our villa added to the thrilling feeling of isolation as our carefree tropical days melted so effortlessly into those enthralling and exhilarating sunset evenings. The Four Seasons Seychelles offers guests all the comforts of a top world class resort. It defines luxury in a way which must be experienced at least once in your life and it completes everything that true hospitality stands for. This holiday by the pristine powder white sand and scintillating blue waters of the Indian ocean is one which we as a couple will be talking about for a very long time to come.