With 115 islands sprinkling the emerald lagoons of the Indian Ocean, Seychelles isn’t a one-size-fits-all tropical destination. Two of the country’s most luxurious properties, the Four Seasons Seychelles and the Four Seasons Seychelles Desroches Island, offer two distinctly different island escapes. Here’s how to tell which one is the best fit for you.
Location, Location, Location
The main island of Mahé is home to palm-tree-laden hilltops, towering granite rocks, and one of the world’s smallest capital cities. A 45-minute winding drive past roadside fish markets and local homes leads you to the Four Seasons Seychelles.
Perched on one of the island’s verdant hillsides, its 65 villas, suites, and residences are breaks in the greenery of this one-time fruit plantation. But it’s the nearly mile-long stretch of white sand below that steals the show. Framed by weathered granite boulders and coconut trees, Petite Anse is known as one of the best beaches on the island.
A 35-minute propeller engine flight from Seychelles International Airport is the island of Desroches. The Four Seasons Seychelles at Desroches Island shares this expansive land with a handful of privately-owned villas and an Aldabra Tortoise Sanctuary, run by the Island Conservation Society.
Here, 71 villas, suites, and residences sit on white sands with crystalline ocean views and private beach access. Travelers won’t find the Seychelles signature hills here; Desroches is flatter than a freshly filleted fish from their Lighthouse restaurant raw bar. Its smooth, sandy surface makes it the perfect place to cruise around on your private villa bikes, soaking in the Seychellois sun.
No Two Rooms are Alike
The number of spacious villas, suites, and residences are roughly the same at each property, with Desroches having a handful more, but the design aesthetics are a world apart.
The Four Seasons Seychelles is glamorous to its core. The standalone accommodation on Mahé is inspired by Creole design with African-style furniture and artwork throughout. The textured wood flooring, four-post beds with mosquito netting and white-washed wood walls with pops of pink and yellow create an island feel. But its massive marble bathroom with panorama views of the villa-dotted hillside and white waves crashing onto the beach are the main draw.
The large outdoor space includes a covered cabana, private pool, and lounge area. Be sure to book a room with an ocean view; it’s a property highlight.
On the Four Seasons Seychelles at Desroches Island, you’re truly on island time. The pace is slower, and the villas are more rustic. Standalone villas line the beach with massive outdoor areas featuring cushioned cabanas and private pools. Inside, a more rustic, bohemian vibe permeates the space. Woven wall decorations and lampshades decorate the bedroom, while matte-black lanterns hang in the bathroom. Mosaic tiles are a theme throughout the villas, as are pops of bright, beachy colors.
Octopus, Snapper and Wagyu, Oh My!
Four fabulous restaurants and two cruisy restaurant bars serve local dishes and Japanese favorites at the Four Seasons Seychelles. The breakfast area overlooks the beach from the Japanese izakaya restaurant Zez. Fresh French pastries are passed around, while a variety of cheeses, meats, yogurts and menu items are on offer.
Beachside, Kannel serves local dishes like octopus curry and red snapper ceviche. When the sun goes down, Zez crafts Wagyu katsu sandos and pork belly bao while the masters at Koi create sashimi and sushi rolls. And when the weather is right, the grill is fired up for surf and turf at the Steak Shack.
There are three laidback restaurants and two chic bars to choose from on Desroches. The main restaurant Claudine hosts breakfast with a Bloody Mary station and a leg of prosciutto for slicing. For lunch, indulge in a charcoal cheeseburger or tuna tartare. If you’re in between snorkels or spa sessions, the Deli has quick bites, including a crudo bar, wraps, or a make-your-own-ceviche.
At night, the second floor Lighthouse Lounge is the place to be for sunset cocktails. Then, head downstairs for raw bar and grill specialties like dry-aged beef and black cod. At Claudine, the menu is Mediterranean with seafood pasta, fish dishes, or a lamb shank.
Rest and Relaxation
Its location as the highest point on the property means the Le Syel Spa at the Four Seasons Seychelles has views for days. So come for an afternoon yoga class, an after-sun massage, or just a photo; its sweeping vistas are known to elicit a “wow.”
At ocean level are five treatment pavilions on Desroches. From personalized aromatherapy massages to sound healing therapy sessions and treatments with visiting practitioners, each is as calming as the next.
Make Your Own Vacation
Being on the main island of Mahé has its advantages. Travelers can tour the island, visiting art galleries in the south and markets in the north. Do a rum tasting at local Takamaka Rum or stroll the limited streets of the capital city, Victoria. There’s also plenty to do at the resort, from coral planting with a WiseOceans marine conservationist, surfing with TropicSurf or the popular 30-minute hike to the top of a nearby granite boulder for a meditation session.
On your private island paradise, things are a bit more relaxed. When you’re not basking by the beach, the main draw is the Tortoise Sanctuary. Every Monday and Wednesday afternoon, guests can feed these fascinating creatures and learn about the Island Conservation Society’s efforts to protect them.
In addition, there are over nine miles of biking trails spanning the entire island, tennis, stand-up paddleboarding, surfing, snorkeling, and some of the world’s best scuba diving with Blue Safari. For the perfect end to an evening, grab a beanbag and a cocktail for stargazing on the runway.
Each resort offers a totally unique experience, from its different dining options, spa offerings, and beaches. And if you’re still conflicted, book a stay at both.