Where to Stay in the Seychelles for a Local Experience

Le Domaine de L'Orangeraie is set on a secluded hillside on La Digue island
Le Domaine de L'Orangeraie is set on a secluded hillside on La Digue island | Courtesy of Le Domaine de L'Orangeraie / Expedia
Photo of Glynis Horning
3 March 2021

Leave your troubles at home and make like a local in the Seychelles. Life on these laid-back Indian Ocean islands is about stripping away life’s pressures. Stroll barefoot on Petite Anse beach, swim under the year-round sunshine, then hike the tropical forests with wet hair. Settle into the relaxed rhythms and rituals of island life and sample the simple, fresh fare. Here’s where to stay to blend in with local life.

Eden Island Luxury Apartment

Apartment, Luxury
Map View
Eden Island Luxury Apartment
Courtesy of Eden Island Luxury Apartment / Booking.com
On this tiny artificial isle off the main island of Mahé, you can stay in your own luxurious self-catering villa with a pool in a residential marina near four perfect little beaches. You’re also just a quick, inexpensive taxi ride from the capital, Victoria, where you can taste the vibrant local life at restaurants and bars, or connect with a Seychellois guide.

South Point Villas

Villa, Luxury
Map View
South Point Villas
Courtesy of South Point Villas / Expedia
These secluded villas come with their own private plunge pools set on decks above the tangled forest of Cerf Island and the endless blue sea. Go snorkelling, kayaking or sailing, then hook up with the Cerf Island Conservation Programme, taking the Cerf Island Trail and watching for whale sharks, herons, bats, geckos, crabs and turtles, preferably with a friendly islander as your guide.

Le Domaine de L'Orangeraie

Hotel
4.4/5 (155 Reviews)
Le Domaine de L'Orangeraie
Courtesy of Le Domaine de L'Orangeraie / Expedia
Set in Zen-like serenity among granite boulders, on a secluded hillside of La Digue island, the area around this hotel is home to secret beaches and coves. You can rent a bicycle to explore them – but why not catch a ride on an ox-drawn cart instead? In town, hit the little Creole restaurants offering curry, fish, pork and rice dishes, and buy fresh vanilla beans grown right on the island, which make great unusual gifts.
More info

At a Glance

Free Wifi
Outdoor pool
Full-service spa
Business Centre
Concierge Service
24 Hour Front Desk
Laundry Facilities

Anantara Maia

Resort, Spa Hotel, Hotel
Map View
Anantara Maia
Courtesy of Anantara Maia / Expedia
Designer Bill Bensley’s edgy villas bring a special aesthetic to island living on a pristine stretch of Mahé coast. When you are ready to drag yourself away from Anse Louis beach, take a day to explore the largest of the Seychelles Islands – though it’s still just 6km by 25km (4m by 15mi). Do it like a local in a blue bus, a cheap and easy transport option that will take you anywhere on the island, giving you a taste of everyday life in the Seychelles.

JA Enchanted Island Resort

Luxury, Resort, Spa Hotel
4.7/5 (48 Reviews)
JA Enchanted Island Resort Seychelles
Courtesy of JA Enchanted Island Resort Seychelles / Expedia
There’s no better way to experience island life than on your own private (and yes, enchanted) little island; all you’ll find here is your villa (and nine more) concealed in the greenery above your own private stretch of beach in the middle of Saint Anne Marine Park. But if you hanker to meet Seychelles people, it’s just a 15-minute boat ride to Mahé, where you can hang out in a Creole cafe and sample island delicacies with the locals.
More info

At a Glance

Free Wifi
Outdoor pool
Restaurant
Full-service spa
Concierge Service
24 Hour Front Desk
Fitness Facilities
Laundry Facilities
Multilingual Staff
Bar/Lounge

Six Senses Zil Pasyon

Hotel
Map View
Six Senses Zil Pasyon
Courtesy of Six Senses Zil Pasyon / Expedia
On this pristine, ecologically protected private island, there is not much to disturb the peace but the sound of seabirds and the sea slapping on the coral reef. But if you do fancy some company, it’s only a short hop to Praslin or La Digue islands by speedboat or, for the more adventurous, by helicopter to Mahé, with its cool little restaurants and bars.

Story Seychelles

Resort, Luxury
Map View
Story Seychelles
Courtesy of Story Seychelles / Expedia
Set on Beau Vallon Bay on the northwest coast of Mahé, this is a hot base for diving and snorkelling because of its crystal waters and coral reefs. For a taste of local life, join a reef safari, led by the hotel, that meanders along the coast and through Baie Ternay Marine Park, searching for the archipelago’s abundant underwater creatures (sea turtles, over a thousand species of fish, white-tip shark and more), rounded off with a feast of authentic Creole cuisine.

Savoy Resort and Spa

Luxury, Resort, Spa Hotel
4.3/5 (409 Reviews)
Savoy Resort & Spa
Courtesy of Savoy Resort and Spa / Expedia
The Savoy is one of the biggest, most sumptuous resorts on Mahé, its swimming pool the largest in the archipelago and its excellent restaurants spilling out to poolside terraces raised above the view. For a more personal slice of island life, catch a bus to the capital, Victoria, and visit the market. The stallholders love to share their knowledge of locally grown fruit and veg, and tips on how to prepare the various freshly caught fish for Seychellois Creole dishes.
More info

At a Glance

Free Wifi
Restaurant
Full-service spa
Business Centre
Concierge Service
24 Hour Front Desk
Fitness Facilities
Laundry Facilities
Multilingual Staff

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  • Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort and Spa

    Resort, Chain Hotel, Luxury
    Map View
    Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa
    Courtesy of Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort and Spa / Expedia
    The Hilton has Silhouette Island all to itself, giving you a clear run at the rainforests, mountains and extraordinarily clear waters. For an unforgettable experience of local wildlife, you only have to walk into the shallows at Anse La Passe, the main beach: the water is so clear you can see fish and other creatures at play. You can also visit the little conservation centre on the jetty and learn about the island’s protected status – if you’re in luck, they sometimes have baby turtles that you can see.

    Kempinski Seychelles Resort

    Resort, Chain Hotel, Luxury
    4.4/5 (417 Reviews)
    Kempinski Seychelles Resort
    Courtesy of Kempinski Seychelles Resort / Expedia
    These low-key, stylish villas above the beach on Mahé will provide all the peace and tranquillity you’ve come for, with great diving and hiking into the bargain. You’re also just a taxi or bus ride from Victoria, where you can discover some of the finest artists of the Seychelles at the National Library and Art Gallery, the French Cultural Centre, historical Kenwyn House, Carrefour des Arts and the Michael Adams Paintings Studio.
    More info

    At a Glance

    Free Wifi
    Outdoor pool
    Full-service spa
    Business Centre
    Concierge Service
    24 Hour Front Desk
    Fitness Facilities
    Laundry Facilities
    Multilingual Staff
    Bar/Lounge

    Fairy Tern Chalets

    Apartment
    Map View
    Fairy Tern Chalets
    Courtesy of Fairy Tern Chalets / Booking.com
    Play castaway in one of just two self-catering chalets on the tiny island of Cerf in the Sainte Anne Marine National Park 4km (2.5mi) off Mahé. For an unforgettable local experience, take a day trip to the even tinier Moyenne Island. In the 1960s, it was bought by Brendon Grimshaw, a former UK newspaper editor, who planted trees, built nature paths and bred giant tortoises, turning the island into an idyllic national park in its own right before he died. It’s said to have more species per square foot than anywhere else in the world, the graves of two pirates and (whisper) buried pirate treasure.

    Cabanes des Anges

    Hotel
    Map View
    Cabanes des Anges
    Courtesy of Cabanes des Anges / Booking.com
    You will be loath to leave the idyllic stretch of beach in front of your simple white-walled cabin or the flower-scented gardens at Cabanes des Anges, but take a 15-minute stroll to the pretty port of La Digue for a taste of island life at the Old Pier Cafe. Here, seafood is prepared and served simply, with subtle spices, in the Creole-flavoured Seychellois way.
    These recommendations were updated on March 3, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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