C’est Chic in the Seychelles

by Editorial
The pool at Primland Spa.
The lobby in the main lodge.
Primland Resort, part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, is nestled among 12,000 acres of hills and valley.

The government has strictly enforced conservation laws since British colonial days and the islands are home to two UNESCO world heritage sites (the world’s largest exposed coral atoll and Vallée de Mai on the island of Preslin, the exact spot thought by some Biblical scholars to be the Garden of Eden). Frégate is just as aggressive in sustaining wildlife and creating a limited carbon footprint – the owner hired a naturalist to bring the seventh most rare bird in the world, the Magpie Robin, back from near extinction. The naturalist has preserved the area that Aldabra Giant Tortoise made its own from hundreds of years. In fact, these sea creatures have never known humans to be predators, and so it is possible to feed and hug them. During breakfast, I was also able to feed the island’s main bird, the Fairy Tern, out of my hand. A majority of the food is produced through state-of-the-art hydroponics. While most of the hotel industry considers itself “green” if they don’t’ wash the sheets every day, Frégate Island demonstrates a new standard for environmentally friendly resorts.

The Rooms: Each gust stays in a one-bedroom villa that includes a large sitting room with television, mini-bar, and bathroom with outdoor shower. The four-poster beds curtained with netting add to the rustic romantic atmosphere. The resort has a pillow menu; one can choose from 24 types of filling, including feather and memory foam. The large bathrooms have Italian marble soaking tubs and two separate showers (outdoor and indoor). Outside, each villa has its own pool and comfortable day beds.

Service: Each guest is assigned a private butler, who can be reached via cell phone, and who does everything from play with smaller guests to arrange e meals. “Anytime, anywhere,” is the resort’s motto – on demand, they will procure rare Cuban cigars, guacamole, and even fresh king crab legs from Hong Kong. The resort flew a plan to pick up the latter (at some cost to the guest, naturally).

Activities: The Seychelles are an aquatic playground, known for diving and snorkeling. An estimated 1,000 species have been recorded in its waters. Deep-sea fishing is also world-renowned. Most guests use their personally-appointed golf carts to find private beaches around the island and mark their spot by putting a “privacy please” sign.

The Spa: Last year, the resort implemented an all-natural spa. Every item is edible: coconut scrubs, cashew nut massage oil, and papaya creams. The gardener goes out each morning to pick the necessary ingredients for the day’s appointments. Signature treatments include a four-hand massage (perhaps the most heavenly thing I’ve ever experienced), along with a cinnamon wrap.

Food: Frégate features one Mediterranean restaurant connected to the Balinese-style reception area. Few guests actually dine in the pavilion (In general, running into another guests seems like an accident that shouldn’t have happened). Most dine at various spots throughout the island: a specially-structured tree house, on the beach, in the villa or gardens, etc. With food being all-inclusive, staying on Frégate is like having a short-order cook on hand who will whip up anything from sushi to fried chicken. There is also an exotic ice cream menu, with flavors such as chili chocolate and rosemary strawberry.

The bottom line: Frégate is expensive and hard to get to, but if privacy is the ultimate concern, you’d be hard pressed to find a more heavenly location. Rats are available on request (about $3,000 a night)

Frégate Island Private, The Seychelles, +49-6102=50 13 21, www.fregate.com

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