seychelles: discovering mahé.

I always knew that I wanted to celebrate my 30th birthday doing something different, memorable and amazing – and it was the perfect occasion to start ticking off my travel bucket list. Initially intended as an all-girls trip, destiny planned for me to take my first solo holiday to the Seychelles Islands and after a month of impatient count down, it was finally time to travel!

Following a short 4 hour flight from Abu Dhabi on Air Seychlles, I welcomed a beautiful sunrise as I landed at 7am on Mahé – the largest island in the Seychelles inner island archipelago, located in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The efficiency of the immigration in Seychelles is impeccable – I only waited 10 minutes before I got a perfectly adorable stamp in my passport to make my trip official. 20170305_105800

A friend’s family member picked me up from the airport and took me on a scenic drive to my hotel; I couldn’t stop staring at the beautiful nature. A collection of trees, bushes and flowers covered the robust landscape while the towering hills overlooked the island. The airport is located approximately 10 minutes from the capital city of Victoria and about 15 minutes away from my hotel in Beau Vallon. As we entered the gates of the H Resort & Spa, I had to pinch myself because I was in awe of its splendour. After 5 years of wishing to visit Seychelles, I couldn’t believe I was finally there!

My room wasn’t ready as I arrived early, however I was offered breakfast while I waited, and after a long journey, I definitely need a refreshing meal. Everything about the resort is designed to be in harmony with nature, from the dark wooden elements, to the beautiful lagoons, fountains and gardens – the combination of green and brown hues completely relaxed me. The reception complex is open air and features the main restaurant, lobby bar, gift shop, library, and a beautiful outside sitting area which is the perfect place to relax. I enjoyed a continental breakfast with items from around the world, even mini manakeesh which made me smile 🙂

I headed to the beach which is only a few metres away from the restaurant, and the minute my eyes caught a glimpse of the ocean and my feet touched the cool sand, my mind was empty as I was in awe of God’s majestic creation. I told my friends, I wanted to wake up in the Seychelles watching that picture perfect screensaver, and yet, here I was, in the screen saver itself! The sound of the ocean’s waves were so serene, while the puffy cotton-like clouds provided the perfect backdrop for my camera. 20170303_091125

My room, a Junior Suite, was massive, again featuring dark wood elements and a burst of red accents, had a large balcony overlooking the ocean side, so I could listen to the waves all day and night long. After a short nap, I decided to explore the resort a bit before spending my day between the beach and pool. Rooms are housed in apartment style complexes and spread throughout the property as well as the gym, tennis courts, Japanese teppanyaki style restaurant “Seyshima”, however nothing impressed me more than the Sesel Spa which featured a blissful open air relaxation room with a small pool and beautiful collection of bamboo trees. I treated myself to the “Coco-nuts” 2 hour treatment which consisted of an exotic scrub and deeply relaxing 1 hour massage using coconut, vanilla and patchouli oils ….basically it put me in a state of complete nirvana that I actually fell asleep!

The infinity pool at the resort is simply idyllic; surrounded on one side by spacious private cabanas and on the other side with a pool bar restaurant and located at the beach so guests can enjoy the best of both worlds. The majestic hills overlook the ocean on the other side of the resort which gives a perfect contrast of green and blue hues. Surrounding the pool are natural paths designed for pure relaxation, however again respecting nature. I fell in love with the warning signs of snails crossing and the coconut weather forecast system. I didn’t look even once at my watch as time seemed to melt away in this picture perfect postcard that I was in. The evenings were extremely peaceful as the resort became lit with discrete lamps and my awareness turned to the serene sounds of the waves. I slept better than I ever have in my entire life … the bed had a lot to do with it – it was simply heavenly.

My friend Naan picked me up the following day and took me on a drive around Mahé Island which featured different landscapes. The northern part of the island where my resort is located is characterized by white sandy beaches, large rain forests, as well as a beautiful backdrop of giant rocks, hills and strong waves. The southern part however was completely different and a little bit more leveled with peaceful currents, yet crystal clear water. The city of Victoria is charming and typical Creole style architecture can be seen with blending influences from the British and French colonies. It has a lively open market, cinema, boutiques, restaurants and a blend of religious institutions including churches, a Hindu temple and a mosque. I fell in love with the official currency which was recently reprinted featuring the animals of the country, and it made me realise how much pride and respect the Seychellois have for their country.

We had lunch in a restaurant on the top of a large hill overlooking the eastern coast of Mahé, called Le Jardin Du Roi (the king’s garden) … and it most definitely is a garden fit for a king! It was built as a spice plantation for trade and is home to countless types of plants and animals. I was able to see the lemongrass, cotton, avocado, cinnamon, nutmeg and many more plants growing in their natural state, and a view to die for. Our lunch consisted of grilled fish, mango salad, apple salad, breadfruit, chicken curry and vanilla ice cream … bursting with fresh flavour and typically Creole – I was in love! Breadfruit is an extremely interesting fruit which has a very starchy flavour and tastes like a sweet potato when boiled, however can also be fried like chips.

Driving back to Beau Vallon, where my hotel was located, I couldn’t stop admiring the ocean views on one side and the beautiful rain forests on the other side, even through the very steep and winding roads. My day ended with dinner in Trader Vic’s where I enjoyed grilling my own Beef Cho Cho and sipping my favourite Chi Chi (coconut based) cocktail while listening to beautiful Cuban music.

The next day I spent exploring Praslin and La Digue, the 2 second largest islands within the inner island archipelago, check it out with the next postcard arriving soon 🙂

More photos can be viewed by clicking here, enjoy!

Visit Information:

A special thanks to my friends Aliette, Hillary and Naan who made this trip possible <3

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