Emily Bamber reports on the best places to preen and pamper yourself in the Seychelles
Many of the Seychelles’ luxury hotels have extensive spas in stunning surroundings. A full day’s pampering or a quick facial, a locally sourced seaweed wrap or traditional Thai massage could be just what you need to unwind.
Le Spa de Constance: Best for variety of treatments
Where? Lémuria Resort, Praslin
Why? Local ingredients are incorporated into treatments at the extensive Shiseido spa at this five-star resort.
Suggest the Creole Seychelles Exotic Dream package, which uses coconut and passion fruit seed mixes from Praslin to exfoliate, and papaya from Mahé in the relaxing wrap. There are also Indian, Japanese and Thai massages plus activities such as yoga and meditation.
Sample product: Somak Holidays has five nights’ bed-and-breakfast accommodation, including return flights and transfers in February 2009. Body treatments start from €50 for a 20-minute aromatherapy massage. The Creole Seychelles Exotic Dream costs €170 for 90 minutes.
Maia Spa: Best for yoga and meditation
Where? Maia Resort, Mahé
Why? The La Prairie Maia Spa is surrounded by dense tropical foliage set among dramatic granite boulders and consists of three thatched pavilions, each with treatment areas, private garden, bathing and changing areas.
Complimentary morning yoga, shiatsu and qi gong classes for guests and staff set the relaxing tone and there are three resident yoga instructors for private lessons. The simple treatment menu focuses on body and beauty therapies.
Sample product: Kuoni offers seven nights’ bed-and-breakfast accommodation, including flights via Doha, Qatar and transfers in resort, from £4,453 per person
twin-share in November. An Island Pleasure package, consisting of a scented bath, 90-minute massage with optional La Prairie Caviar Firming treatment for the face, costs €340.
Sainte Anne Spa by Clarins: Best for escapism
Where? Sainte Anne Resort and Spa, Sainte Anne Island
Why? The Clarins spa at this private island resort has just been refurbished and extended, and now offers guests a hammam and sauna area, eight treatment rooms, a yoga room and balneotherapy room (for therapeutic bathing), all set around a Japanese-style slate pool. Lush tropical gardens surround the spa, creating a real feeling of escape in this large resort.
Sample product: Elite Vacations offers five nights’ half-board accommodation from £2,348 per person, including return flights, lounge access and private transfers in January 2009. The two-day Sainte Anne Daydream Package includes a body polish, two massages, balneotherapy session and a facial, costing €257 per person.
Aquum: Best for local flavour
Where? Labriz Silhouette, Silhouette Island
Why? Tucked among boulders and lush vegetation at the end of a pristine beach, the Aquum spa at Labriz Silhouette is inspired by its jungle and ocean surroundings and many of the treatments use local ingredients such as brown sugar, nutmeg, coffee and coconut.
Treatment pavilions cling to the hillside and there is an outdoor relaxation area with plunge pool, hot tub and saunas. Therapists specialise in face and body treatments and can create bespoke spa packages for guests.
Sample product: Hayes and Jarvis has seven nights’ bed-and-breakfast accommodation for £2,199 per person, including return flights from Heathrow via Nairobi with Kenya Airways in November.
The 150-minute Creole Inspiration package includes a polish, wrap and massage for the body and a hair mask, all using Seychellois ingredients, and costs €295.
Banyan Tree Spa: Best for Thai treatments
Where? Banyan Tree Seychelles, Mahé
Why? Therapists at this first-class spa undergo 300 hours of training at Banyan Tree’s Spa Academy in Thailand, and it shows – both the treatments and the staff ooze Asian tradition and hospitality.
Eight treatment pavilions sit high on the peninsula that frames the hotel’s private beach overlooking the ocean, and therapies focus on body, face and beauty. There is also a tropical rain mist menu.
Sample product: Carrier offers seven nights’ bed-and-breakfast accommodation for the price of six, from £3,115 per person including return flights and private transfers in November. The three-hour Thai Ginger Healer consists of an hour-long massage, a herbal heat treatment and a Thai herbal wrap, and costs €170.
Seychelles travel facts
- Local Time: GMT +4
- Capital city: Victoria
- Population: 82,800
- Languages: Creole, English and French
- Driving: Driving is on the left. Valid international or EU licence required
- Currency: Rupee (SCR 14 = £1)
- Tipping: A service charge of 7% is added to hotel and restaurant bills. Tipping is not obligatory
- Climate: Generally dry November-April with hot, sunny days. The rainy season runs May-October, peaking July-August.