Carioca Outpost: The Seychelles
As a winter resort destination, you can’t do much better – or more iconic – than the Seychelles. The archipelago consists of 115 beautiful islands scattered across the Indian Ocean, with their unspoilt beaches the major draw. The sand is of the white powder-soft variety and the water clear and turquoise, as much suited to jealousy-inducing Instagram posts as to a private retreat. The local motto is “relax and enjoy”, made all the easier by the climate: year-round sunshine and warmth.
This is surely a destination for chilling out, but a trip to the capital is worthwhile before heading on to a more secluded resort. Victoria is located on Mahé island, and is small enough to cover on foot in a day. Local galleries and craft boutiques offer unique gifts and artworks to take home, while a selection of restaurants offer authentic créole food.
There are many peaceful hideaway options on the Seychelles, but the Six Senses Zil Payson hotel is the archetypal paradise resort. It benefits from total privacy as the only property on the jaw-droppingly beautiful Félicité island. The majority of the property is a dedicated reserve, a celebration of the native environment and species, amongst which are nestled 30 villas, each equipped with a private pool.
The nation is renowned for its level of commitment to sustainability, and the Six Senses resort is no different. Water is filtered and recycled, an organic garden contributes to the kitchens, and energy is derived from solar generators. Conservation is another national value, and the island is a haven for sea turtle monitoring, as well as hosting a coral nursery.
If you manage to grow tired of the on-site spa, hiking trails, or beach relaxation, the nearby Coco and Grande Soeur islands offer some of the most beautiful snorkelling backdrops in the world. We’re also assured that Top Hill is an “unforgettable experience… guests relax in oversized beanbags, perched at the edge of granitic boulders, and watch the sun dip below the horizon.”
The beanbags, picnic and champagne are optional enhancements. Wherever you stay, a Seychelles sunset is a unique experience, with the light creeping slowly over the unspoilt, Edenic landscape. Remember: relax, enjoy.