Paradise Found in the Seychelles
Business Traveler|February 2016

Take time to kick back Creole-style on the spectacular island of Mahé

Michelle Harbi

Mornings are my favorite time on Mahé. Rising early, I snuggle down on the daybed on our hilltop terrace with a cup of tea, watching as the ascending sun turns the sky ever bluer and the forest ever greener, the ocean below glistening under its rays.

The previous night had seen rain, and so a delicate rainbow threads through what remains of the clouds as the island’s birds conduct their exotic early morning conversation.

Finishing my cuppa, I pad down the hill to Petite Anse beach – a perfect horseshoe of white sand lapped by water the color of peppermint. Other than a hotel worker pulling the covers off the sunbeds, and a man farther out to sea in a fishing boat, I’m alone.

I wade into the water – warm even at this time – and swim slow strokes, working up a little appetite for the breakfast buffet ahead.

When writing about far-flung beach destinations, it’s all too easy to lapse into the well-worn phrases of travel prose – crystal-clear waters, powder-white sands, swaying palms – but then, few places embody the paradise island idyll quite as effortlessly as Seychelles.

Or, rather, paradise islands, the country being comprised of 115 of them, clustered about a thousand miles east of mainland Africa in the vast Indian Ocean.

The largest, home to the international airport and most of the former French and British colony’s population, is Mahé.

While island-hopping is easy, we’re not here for long, so are content to stay put and enjoy the less than laborious task of exploring a land mass only 17 miles by 5 miles in size.

Our first base is the Four Seasons. Opened in 2009, it sits on the island’s rugged southwest coast. With 67 villas and suites spread across the granite hillside, offering garden or ocean views, it’s as spectacular as I’ve seen anywhere. Private and expansive, the villas have elegant décor, sizeable infinity pools and huge verandas.One of your toughest decisions here will be where to lie for the day – on the sun deck, the shaded bed under the pavilion, or the cozy circular daybed? Or will you instead summon a golf buggy to whizz you down to the beach?

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