Being alone in the world. Enjoying exceptional moments in a true haven of peace. Welcome to North Island. A unique place in the world where luxury is the prime thing. Forget about your shoes and enjoy barefoot luxury. This private island is definitely suitable for couples. An excellent destination for your honeymoon.
This hotel review is a translation from the French published on our French site, Easyvoyage.com.
North Island is situated north east of Mahé. The distance between the two islands is about 20 miles. It takes 15 minutes to get there by helicopter. Silhouette island is also 3 miles away.
North Island sits on 506 acres of land: 2 miles long and 1.5 miles wide. It is one of the rarest granitic and undulating islands in the Seychelles. It has three hills, including Grand Paloss whose peak is 590 feet - the highest. The hotel was built to blend with the island's natural layout and not the other way around.
The owner has always loved nature. So he wanted to ensure that threatened species were reintroduced into the island. Since 2005, an expert has been organising botanic and ornithological tours. The island is indeed a sanctuary for animals and plants. Various indigenous bird species have already made a home there such as the robin, the rarest in the world, the black flycatcher or the warbler of the Seychelles.
Other birds had been on the island long before man came: land and sea turtles. The first ones have been moving about everyday on the island for more than 150 years! Some like being fondled while others like being fed. If you are very fortunate, you will may see a sea turtle coming to the beach to lay its eggs. You may, besides, see some areas surrounded by wooden poles into which access is prohibited: this small barricade is set up to protect the eggs. In the evening, you may even see the eggs hatch. The baby turtles then leave for the sea.
North Island enjoys the Seychelles climate, a tropical climate that is mild throughout the year. Most of its staff are Seychellois and South Africans.
On arrival, each guest is given a twenty-minute massage aimed to enable them unwind after their flight and start off their holiday with serenity.
When alighting from the helicopter, someone comes to welcome you in a buggy. Then he takes you to the reception where a welcome cocktail is offered to you. Here the decoration is refined and every detail is taken care of. Every infrastructure was built using only natural materials: wood, stone, glass, thatch...
Here, you live outdoors. All the common areas are simply protected by roofs and most of them are supported by takamakas built in reverse order! It is both amazing and gorgeous. The reception area is surrounded by a small basin. There is a beautiful interplay between a large creamy stone curtain and the rays of the sun. The place exudes a calm and intimate atmosphere, rocked by soft background music.
Overhanging the restaurant, hidden in the mountain, the hotel's swimming pool is surrounded by a teak floor. Its round shape blends perfectly into the vegetation, adopting the shapes of the rock. You will hardly meet people there... only some birds and sometimes very beautiful small lizards. Notwithstanding its proximity to the restaurant, it is invisible. 148 feet long, it offers a breathtaking view of both the island and the ocean. You will find there several deckchairs which rather look like beds, sheltered under large parasols and accompanied by light grey towels, supplied on request.
Not far from the reception is a library equipped with books about the Seychelles but also with novels (the majority are in English). A laptop is available to the guests. It enables you to get connected to the Internet freely.
North Island has a wellbeing centre. This spa offers all sorts of treatment. Some can even be done at home, inside your own villa. In addition to conventional medicine, you will be offered other treatments to rejuvenate the body, the soul and the mind. The list is varied: complete moisturising bath in marine mud and massage, complete wild yam and moisturising soja bath... Located among palm trees, facing the ocean, the place invites to relax... We specially endorsed the "Hot stones massage": a massage effected using hot stones... All treatments are invoiced 60 pounds sterling/half an hour.
North Island has eleven 4,842 ft² villas. Villas 1 to 9 are distributed between the forest and the beach of Anse Est. On the other hand, villa 10 (Villa Royale) and Villa 11 (Villa Ile Nord) adopt the shape of the rock. They are concealed in the forest of takamakas.
Each villa has its own buggy: a small electric cart that does not pollute the environment. Moving up a few steps, you will arrive at the Robinson Crusoé palace. A big king size bed is inviting the exhausted traveller. Protected by a mosquito net, the night is more peaceful than ever. A double dressing allows for setting up your personal effects without space constraints. It is separated by a small table that can be used as a dressing table, above which there is a big mirror. Surrounded by large glazing doors, the room equally has a lounge area furnished with cutting edge equipment: quality hi-fi equipment, flat screen (satellite television) and DVD player. It is equipped with air-conditioning while the other rooms have blade fans.
The bathroom is fabulous... The room is external and protected only by a gorgeous wooden roof. There is a large marble bathtub set opposite two large basins. A little further you will see two showers: one is internal and the other external. Both the shower curtain and the toilet door are made of canvas, they are sand-ballasted to maintain privacy. It is difficult to imagine taking a bath in the open-air, facing the Indian Ocean and yet.... Close by the external shower there are two massage tables.
The villa equally has an isolated office above which can be used as a second room. Inside, it is equipped with a basin, a bathroom, and outside, there are the toilets.
After the rooms, then comes the terrace: 2,152 ft² of pure happiness. An outdoor lounge with a dining area is facing the ocean. The style is uncluttered, centred around beige hues and wood. The area is protected from rare mosquitoes by sweet smelling and mesmerised incense. There is a kitchen adjacent to this area. It is very well equipped: coffee machine, sink, crockery, refrigerator? It is a delight to see a small private covered swimming pool at the end of the terrace. There is also a large and comfortable white pad, surrounded by white veils: perfect for a pleasant and long siesta...
Finally, another small wooden staircase, from this area, leads directly to the beach.
No matter where you are in this villa, the ocean is always in the background. And the Asian-style decoration, created using natural materials, becomes more beautiful at night owing to the subdued light of the villa.
In a bid to make its guests feel most comfortable, a headwaiter is assigned to each villa. Thanks to the 24-hour room service, it is possible to request anything!
The main restaurant is situated near the reception. Tables are positioned here and there, according to the wish of the clients. It could be on the sheltered terrace or on the bare sand. Made of wood, the tables are adorned with simple and effective decorations such as star anise or colourful seeds. No matter where you are seated, the tables are arranged in such a way that nobody can interrupt your privacy. A small area, near the wine cellar, is surrounded by a basin where water gently flows from a tree trunk.
No menu board here, as menu varies each day depending on arrivals. David Godin, the chef, proposes and the client enjoys. Besides, he will ask our tastes and suggestions at the beginning of your stay. There are both Seychellois and international dishes: a mix from Africa, India, France and Asia... A refined and unique cuisine that can be accompanied by the greatest French crus and wines from the New World, stocked in an impressive wine cellar. You will be very pleased with the hearts of palm salad... North Island has a bar near the restaurant. There you can sit on tree trunks shaped like stools. On the other side of the island, you will find the Sunset bar, less than five minutes away by buggy across the tropical forest. Set up by the beach of Grande Anse, you will enjoy the sunset there. The cocktails are excellent: made from fresh fruits and coconuts often harvested in our presence.
However, in North Island, the client may be capricious. He can eat lunch or dinner anywhere on the island: by the swimming pool, in the villa, at the Sunset bar, and, especially, on the beach under candle light, right on the sand... And if you suddenly desire to go picnicking, no problrems... at least, if only this can be called a picnick: delicatessen, vegetables and fresh fruits. This will definitely be followed by a siesta in the hammocks set up in the shaded area near the beach.
North Island has four beaches. They are located in each corner of the island. A vast stretch of white sand seen only on postcards. The reflection of shells by the shore makes for a stunning view. And the sunsets are nothing but fabulous... However you will have to be vigilant as the currents may sometimes be quite strong. All of these beaches are beautiful. Petite Anse, opposite the restaurant, is the most sheltered. It enables you to wade in the water in serenity. There you will often come across very little stingrays moving near rocks.
No matter where you are on the beach, the staff will bring you a deckchair and towel on request. These large wooden deckchairs equipped with comfortable, thick and cream-coloured pads, accompanied by large parasols of the same colour.
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