Worldwide icon-chevron-right Africa icon-chevron-right Seychelles icon-chevron-right The 11 best hotels in the Seychelles
MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa, Mahé
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa, Mahé

The 11 best hotels in the Seychelles

Take a peek at the best hotels in the Seychelles; idyllic retreats for breathtaking views and eco-friendly luxury

By Amanda Statham
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Paradise is an over-used word when it comes to the islands of the Indian Ocean, but this archipelago a thousand miles east of Kenya is just that. Not only are the 115 islands home to some of the world's best beaches (the white sand of Beau-Vallon on main island Mahé instantly springs to mind), they're also a nature-lovers dream, with dramatic rock formations and exotic plants and animals to discover, like Praslin's UNESCO Vallée de Mai where the rare coco de mer grows or Frégate island, where giant tortoises roam.

Best of all the Seychelles has largely managed to avoid environment-ruining development and its sprinkling of royalty-approved hideaways are some of the most eco-aware (and pricey) hotels on the planet. Here we round up some of the best; whether for the astonishing views, gourmet cuisine, nature-focused themes or eco credentials, our pick of the best hotels in the Seychelles should offer something for everyone.

Best hotels in Seychelles

North Island Seychelles
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

1. North Island Seychelles

For a total blow-out, it’s got to be North Island. Seamlessly blending bespoke eco luxury (it has just 11 handcrafted villas) with absolute relaxation, it’s a picture-postcard retreat of white sand beaches and granite boulders where high-profile guests like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who honeymooned here, can completely switch off. As much a conservation project as a resort, giant tortoises wander, rare birds tweet in the treetops and the rich marine life is heaven for snorkellers. Transfer by helicopter from nearby Mahé for the ultimate 007-style arrival.

Frégate Island Private
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

2. FrĂ©gate Island Private

With a reputation as one of the best five-star private islands in the world, this is honeymoon heaven. Seven beaches, two infinity pools, a couple of restaurants serving creole and African cuisine and 16 immaculately furnished thatched villas; think muslin-draped four-poster beds and mahogany furniture. Ecology takes an important role in the resort too, with conservation efforts to protect rare birds and turtles top of the agenda. In the heart of the island rises the forested slopes of Mont Segnal; no visit is complete without summiting it.

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Bird Island
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

3. Bird Island

As you may have guessed from the name, It's all about nature on this remote island resort at the northern tip of the archipelagos, where rare birds flock, turtles nest and giant tortoises amble. And if you truly want to switch off, this is the place to do it as none of the 24 rustic chalets have TVs, phones or air-conditioning, they do however have four-poster beds and shuttered windows with Indian Ocean views and a natural breeze. One restaurant serves up anything from goat curry to catch of the day, the beaches are insanely beautiful and a resident conservationist gives walking tours.

Cerf Island Resort
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

4. Cerf Island Resort

Wannabe castaways will adore this tiny island (one mile long, less than a mile wide) with no roads and just a couple of paths. Twenty-four low key villas (with the biggest outside bathrooms ever) are scattered amongst trees overlooking a beach and lagoon. Other than that there's not much aside from a small infinity pool, rustic creole restaurant (the jackfruit ice cream is delicious) and tiny bar, but what else do you really need? Grab a snorkel and kayak and explore the Sainte Anne Marine marine park separating you from nearby Mahé.

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Carana Beach Hotel, Mahé
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

5. Carana Beach Hotel, MahĂ©

You aren't likely to bump into royalty at this budget-friendly, contemporary hotel run and owned by Seychellois, but who cares when its 40 sleek ocean-view chalets (some have a pool) overlook stunning Carana Beach? There are also cabanas to lounge on, a restaurant where you can try local dishes (grilled octopus salad, anyone?) and the list of activities that can be arranged is impressive, from diving and hiking to sunset picnics and horse rides on the sand.

MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa, Mahé
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

6. MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa, MahĂ©

One of the most romantic getaways in the Seychelles, Maia sits on a forested granite headland beside beautiful Anse Louis beach on the island's southwest coast. Each of the 30 thatched villas is served by a butler, who will do everything from floating tea lights and frangipani petals in your al fresco double bath to organising dinner on the beach at sunset. A massage in one of the Balinese-style spa's open-sided pavilions is a must, ditto a yoga session at sunrise (if you can extract yourself from the enormous bed).

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Le Méridien Fisherman's Cove, Mahé
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

7. Le MĂ©ridien Fisherman's Cove, MahĂ©

If you don't want to break the bank but do still want Instagram-friendly extras like an infinity pool overlooking Beau-Vallon (the best swimming beach on Mahé), this is a great option. With a Polynesian-vibe to the thatched reception and plenty of coconut palms swaying in the wind, it's laid-back to the max, but with plenty to explore and do – including two restaurants and bars (serving free afternoon tea as well as some decent cocktails), Elemis spa and even a flood-lit tennis court if you get the urge to be active. Rooms are light and airy and there are family suites too.

Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Félicité
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

8. Six Senses Zil Pasyon, FĂ©licitĂ©

The new player in the Seychelles' super-luxe hotel game is dazzling. Situated on Félicité island, a dot on the map close to Praslin and its famous Vallée de Mai, there are 30 spectacular villas (think infinity pools with submerged sun loungers, four-posters, swing seats in the bathrooms…), various restaurants, including the fabulous Ocean Kitchen (it serves the best ceviches around), and lots of fun activities like a cinema under the stars and even a treasure hunt.

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Cabanes des Anges, La Digue
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

9. Cabanes des Anges, La Digue

Proof that you really can stay in the Seychelles on a budget, this charming guest house has six bungalows split into apartments with a sparkling clean bedroom, kitchen, living room with colourful art work and terrace. It's not on the beach, but it is set in lush gardens (with a pool) and you're only a short stroll from shore, including Anse Source d'Argent (which often tops lists of the world's best beaches). Self-catering means there's a chance to sample creole curries in the restaurants clustered around the nearby port.

Four Seasons, Mahé
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

10. Four Seasons, MahĂ©

This family-friendly, high-end resort is set on a forest-clad hillside with fantastic panoramic views of Petite Anse bay on southwest Mahé. Little ones are treated like VIPs, with childrens' bathrobes, their own dining menus and kids' club - a fun place to discover about marine life or paint a tropical picture while mum and dad are trying out the dreamy spa (treatments use locals herbs and spices) or diving. Hillside villas with pools are hard to leave and everything, from the pop-up seafood barbecues to the golf buggies that transport you up and down the hillside, is done with Four Seasons class.

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Le Chateau De Feuilles, Praslin
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

11. Le Chateau De Feuilles, Praslin

One for gourmets, this nine-room boutique retreat on a granite peak above Baie St Anne is the only Relais & Chateaux hotel in the entire Seychelles. Unsurprisingly its vintage wines and dishes featuring organic veggies from the garden and fish plucked fresh from the sea ensure evenings spent in the open-air restaurant are memorable. There are cooking classes too, so you can learn how to roast a giraffe crab or whip up a coconut mille-feuilles with mango sorbet when you're home.

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