Since 1897 Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group Kempinski has spread its five-star formula across the globe, to Turkey, the UAE, Jakarta and, as of 2012, the supreme white-sand shores of the Seychelles – well, why not?
Mahé is the biggest of the Seychelles’ 115 islands, with the infrastructure and international airport (30 minutes by car) to show for it. Still, with secluded, Indian Ocean-lapped bays at the foot of lush mountains, the castaway idyll effect is in full force. It’s all bobbing fishing boats and teeming coral reefs on the coast; hiking trails through nature reserves and spice gardens inland.
With 148 rooms and four restaurants dotted across sprawling tropical grounds, this low-rise resort lets the landscape’s verdant good looks take centre stage (though the infinity pool linking lobby to beach commands attention). With muslin-draped four-poster beds, rustic-chic interiors channel a Seychellois palette of sandy shades with splashes of turquoise.
Honeymooners, of course. Kempinski has various romantic private dining options, from mountaintop picnics to candlelit lagoon-side suppers. In school holidays, families flock here too (there’s a kids’ club and giant tortoise feeding).
Having scooped Seychelles’ Best Resort Spa at the World Spa Awards 2018, it’d be a crime not to try the island-inspired treatments here – like the Signature Coconut Massage using gently heated coconut shells. Tap the watersports pavilion for kayaks, surf school, snorkels or paddleboards.
Whereas rival hotels on-island are all golf buggies and uphill villas, this classically cosseting retreat has direct access to an 800m beach and is easy to amble around.