The Seychelles are an archipelago of 115 islands set in the Indian ocean roughly 1100 miles east of Tanzania. Many of these wild islands of granite and coral are uninhabited and largely unknown compared to their neighbor islands, the Maldives. Less polished and definitely less visited than the Maldives, the Seychelles are known best by the gigantic, surreal rock formations fringing unspoiled beaches and unimaginably clear water. The Seychelles are also home to lush green forests, a creole culture steeped in tradition, and a host of fascinating endemic animal species. And then there are the resorts….
I recently caught up with an old acquaintance from childhood who just returned from a stay at the stunning Maia Resort on the island of Mahe in the Seychelles. Jock and his wife are discerning world-travelers and have sought out the most luxurious properties in places like the Maldives, Vietnam, and Thailand. They prefer smaller, more intimate resorts where they can mingle with the staff and guests. With just 30 villas set on a private peninsula overlooking a pristine white beach, Maia has perfected the concept of restorative travel.
“Our expectations were very high and Maia just blew us out of the water”, stated Jock. He went on to describe the resort and the island as an “absolute, unequivocal paradise” with “mountain peaks shooting up out of this emerald water”. “The landscape is phenomenal, the beaches are gorgeous, and the people are unbelievably nice. My wife and I left thinking we could live there.”
Each guest room at Maia is set between gigantic granite boulders in flower and spice-filled gardens and comes with a private infinity pool and sunken outdoor tub. A dedicated butler is available 24 hours a day for the ultimate in personalized attention.
Relaxation is an art form at Maia, with its garden sanctuary spa featuring traditional Balinese massage as well as beautifying treatments utilizing ingredients found on the island.
Dining at Maia is a unique experience due to its “whatever, whenever, wherever” concept, featuring rotating menus that encourage guests to request changes and special additions to the cuisine as well as dining locations. Previous guests raved about having dinner on the beach, in the wine cellar, and even at the helipad.
For adventure-seekers, Maia provides a variety of once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as helicopter rides to deserted islands and swimming with sea turtles, although you may choose to do nothing at all…
Maia on the island of Mahe can be accessed via direct flight from Nairobi or Istanbul.
*All photos courtesy of Jock Bradley