Teeming with wildlife (Aldabra giant tortoises, magpie robins and hawksbill turtles to name but a few) and abundant in natural beauty, the Crusoe-chic Islands of the Seychelles are one of the top luxury relaxation destinations in the world. A favourite amongst the glitteratti, from royals to rock stars, the scattered archipelago houses some of the most lavish accommodations in the Indian Ocean - with some wonderful state of the art spas to boot...
Constance Ephelia, Port Launey
Perched on the stunning coastline overlooking Port Launey National Marine Park, set amongst lush tropical gardens, Constance Ephelia is a vast, super luxe resort with an intimate village feel. Split into two sections; suites and family villas sit along the South beach coastline - hillside pool villas tower over the North - several types of pool villas and suites span the tropical gardens between. Le Spa de Constance and The Shisiedo Spa meet in the middle of the resort to form The Spa Village - the largest in the Indian Ocean...
Hillside Villa 3, North Beach, is set high on the hill with spectacular panoramic views over the emerald bay and across the lush green mountains beyond. Cool and contemporary - a large living room leads on to a decked terrace with a private infinity pool and steps down to an oceanside gazebo with days beds.
The kingsize bedroom has direct access to the pool with sweeping sea views, and is open plan through to a large bathroom (with optional dividing doors). There's indoor and outdoor monsoon showers, a freestanding tub and a wonderful vanity area complete with dressing table and make up lights - complemented by ample his and hers wardrobe space. Amenities for Hillside Villas include a Nespresso machine, mini bar, a good range of Spa de Constance products, daily fruit and mineral water and private use of a club car.
Spa de Constance and the Shiseido Spa are situated in the middle of the resort in serene tropical gardens. The largest spa in the Indian Ocean maintains intimacy and creates an oasis of calm and serenity. Thatched treatment huts circle a hydrotherapy and thermal hub with a wonderful reflexology stone path running through. Guests are encouraged to use all the facilities before treatments to achieve "complete harmony of mind and body". Recently revamped by Doctor Nitin Bhota, an expert in Ayurvedic therapies, nutrition and yoga - his true passion for an holistic approach to health and wellbeing shines through.
Shiseido Bespoke Skin Analysis Facial. An in depth skin diagnoses using Shiseido 'skin mapping' (micro-images of the skin reveal any sun damage or developing fine lines) and a skin hydration test, determines the products and type of facial needed. I was prescribed the anti-ageing Ultimate Radiance Facial. All Shiseido treatments began with their signature relaxing foot ritual then a deep aroma inhalation. A double cleanse, is followed by a gentle exfoliating scrub - then an anti-ageing serum mask is brushed on, with extra attention paid to fine lines. A relaxing hand neck and shoulder massage is performed whilst the mask is cooking, then another cleanse and tone. An application of brightening serum and a 'lifting' face massage - leaves my skin feeling refreshed with a youthful rosy glow.
Seashell Massage, an alternative massage treatment using warm natural tiger clam Lava shells and aromatherapy oils. The calcium from the shells is used to naturally restore the skin and relax muscles. Performed outside on the villa spa pagoda with the sound of the ocean and wildlife as a soundtrack - it's absolute bliss!
Other Treatments Include
Hot Stone Ocean Experience, Serenity for Feet and Couples Massage Experience - which is followed with canapes and champagne served by candlelight in the spa pavilion. There's also a Shiseido spa collection for men.
From summer 2014 Spa de Constance will be offering bespoke well being packages to include nutrition advice, yoga classes and an Ayurvedic therapy menu.
Shiseido and homemade Spa de Constance products using local natural ingredients.
An choice of eleven eateries and bars scatter the resort from laid back beachside pizzas at Helios to French and Asian fine dining at Cynon. Try Adam and Eve for wonderful Dim Sum. In villa and romantic beach side 'dining experiences' are also available.
The Ephelia Zip Lining Experience, snorkelling in the bay, a whole day lazing in the spa!
Sainte Anne Resort and Spa
Set on a private Island in one of the largest marine parks in the Indian Ocean, Sainte Anne Resort and Spa is perfect for those looking for a spot of 'on site' snorkelling and diving. The all villa resort (villas range from studios to three bedrooms - some with private pools) is one of the few luxury resorts in The Seychelles to offer an 'all inclusive' option (including sports and water sports) so a great option for energetic families. The Clarins Spa is a serene Asian inspired tropical haven in the middle of the island.
Pool Villa 123 is a beachside pool villa with good size studio bedroom leading through to a marble bathroom with indoor and outdoor monsoon showers and a spacious walk in wardrobe. Doors lead out to a pretty lawned garden with a large dining and lounging area, and a small infinity pool with direct access from the garden to the white sand beach. Facilities include a complimentary mini bar, tea and coffee tray and bicycles to explore the island!
The Clarins Spa is hidden in lush tropical gardens in the middle of the island. Seven candle-lit treatment cabins surround an oasis of scattered calming water features. There's a yoga and meditation room as well as an Ayurvedic treatment suite. To create absolute relaxation for treatments and meditation a separate fitness centre, with a gym, steam and sauna and two hammams sits a short walk away from the spa and includes tennis courts and water sports centre.
Clarins Signature Massage begins with three deep inhalations then a light relaxing aromatherapy massage with attention given to back and shoulders using Clarins 'Relax' oil (containing geranium camomile and basil - its one of my favourites). The full body massage finishes with an invigorating Indian head massage and chime of a Tibetan bell.
Other Treatments Include
Ayuvedic therapies, hot stone massage, Clarins signature facials.
L'Abundance - the main all inclusive restaurant, which serves an international buffet - is a popular choice with families, or Le Mont Fleuri for grown up fine dining with wonderful harbour views. Le Robinson for romantic 'do it yourself' candlelight beach dining.
Snorkelling in the marine park - a trip to nearby Moyenne Island to search for buried treasure!
Emirates fly to the Seychelles from London Heathrow and Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow. Economy flights via Dubai start at £787 return with business class fares starting from £3141.39.
Words: Lisa Stokes