It's official, the Seychelles are every inch as heavenly as you'd think they would be. The cluster of islands, 115 of them to be exact, are located in the Indian Ocean and have established a reputation synonymous with paradise. The term 'paradise' has been thrown around to no end when it comes to travel, but we are here to assure you the tropical islands are fully worthy of that status.
Home to the world's most beautiful beaches, the intriguingly rare coco de mer tree, sculptural granite rocks and magnificent giant tortoises, the Seychelles offers no shortage of must-see experiences that will offer the trip of a lifetime.
The Seychelles are renowned for breathtaking beaches and picture-perfect panoramas
Map the winding roads of Mahe Island that are lined with luscious green foliage, indulge in some traditional Creole cuisine and sail over to the dreamy white shores of Silhouette Island for the most memorable experience. Leave your worries and Instagram followers quaking with envy behind and delve into blissful Seychellean culture.
I had the pleasure of exploring the Seychelles for six days while staying at the exquisite, eco-friendly Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa. Here is what I got up to and how I threw myself into island life during my time there.
Where to stay
Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa
"Welcome to paradise" are the first words you hear when you step onto Silhouette Island soil. And trust us, that is no word of a lie.
Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa is located on Silhouette Island, a 40-minute boat ride from the mainland of Mahe Island. The tropical island is home to soaring mountain peaks that brush the clouds, flourishing jungle and miles of idyllic pristine white beaches lined with beautiful shells, starfish and stingrays. Think Garden of Eden but with creamy white beaches and cocktails and you have Hilton Labriz.
Hilton Labriz is the only resort on the island, so it automatically conjures up the feeling of a private beach retreat. With large, family-friendly grounds to explore, several pan-continental restaurants, glimmering swimming pools and sports facilities, it's the ideal place for families, couples or groups of friends to kick back and relax.
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Head to the activities centre and participate in beachside yoga, cycling, fishing, snorkelling, and creole cooking classes to keep you active during your stay. Explore the resort via foot, bicycle or buggy, and drift past crystal clear waters that stretch to the horizon, state-of-the-art wooden architecture, bowing palm trees, organic gardens where vegetables are home-grown for the chefs, swathes of untouched tropical beauty and so much more.
Sustainability has earned pride of place in today's zeitgeist – and for good reason. Hilton Labriz is located on the Seychelles largest National Marine Park – Silhouette National Marine Park. The park is home to a dazzling array of fish, hard and soft corals, and other marine animals. The resort’s team are passionate about protecting this unique environment as well as educating and involving guests on how they can help with the preservation of the protected marine ecosystem.
With assistance from the Island Conservation Society (ICS), reef and sea clean-ups allow guests to explore the wonders of the undersea world at Silhouette while helping to keep the waters clear of debris. Additionally, the ICS collaboration includes a variety of sustainable projects that drive forestry care and protect the endangered Seychelles Sheath-Tailed Bat. The resort has supported this cause by opening a new sanctuary for the island’s population of Aldabra Giant Tortoises – who love a chin tickle as we discovered.
Hilton Labriz has famously adopted a no plastic bottle or straw policy and hosts regular sustainability days which include beach and lagoon clean-ups, as well as meat-free menus. The resort recently installed a state-of-the-art water filtration system that harvests water from the Mount Dauban Waterfall and fills reusable stainless-steel bottles gifted to guests on arrival. To date, this scheme has saved over 292,000 plastic bottles.
The expansive property is powered by renewable solar energy with panels fitted on buggies, villas, and water heaters, hydropower, and occupancy sensors for lighting and air conditioning, LED lights, and reduced water flow rates in shower heads and basins. Having witnessed the hotel's dedication to maintaining an eco-friendly outlook, we can say the resort's progress really is phenomenal.
As of October 2022, Hilton Labriz announced that they have received the prestigious and significant Green Globe re-certification for outstanding sustainability practices.
What to do
The list of activities offered by the hotel is endless. Hop on an exclusive sunset cruise with canapés and sparkling wine, spend a few hours scuba diving and exploring the thriving reefs, hike across the island's diverse landscapes, spot a turtle or two while snorkeling, spend the morning fishing with locals, book a session of aqua yoga or swimming with glimmering sholes of fish in the bay.
For couples looking for an unforgettable holiday, Labriz is the perfect destination for loved ones to enjoy romantic dinners for two. Experience intimate private dining offerings including scenic beachfront meals served under a blanket of stars by the hotel's personable and incredibly friendly staff or enjoy an evening of wine pairing while watching the sunset across the panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. Fussy eaters never fear as there are numerous restaurants to try, from Italian to Japanese and so much more.
Inhale the refined tastes of Creole cuisine, from fresh octopus to tuna, marlin to mango, and sugar-soaked banana to pineapple. Treat your palette to a cheeky tipple or two, be it a strawberry mojito, apple spritzer, beer or iced coffee.
If you're searching for some out-of-office peace, head to the beach on your doorstep and melt into the soft sands of the shoreline. When the tide is out, slip on your beach shoes and discover which creatures inhabit the coral. Keep an eye out for baby starfish, octopus, small sting rays and white crabs – which love to scuttle across the beach into the waves.
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If the weather turns (it is a tropical island after all) then kick back and relax in the luxurious rooms Hotel Labriz houses. Sink into an enormous bath, experiment with the locally sourced coconut-oil soaps and suds, or catch up on sleep in the huge beds that will leave no room for battling over space between couples.
What to bring
Two words. Mosquito repellent. Bring a bucketload and thank us later. On that note, anti-itch cream, suncream, after-sun, moisturiser – all essentials.
We'd also recommend bringing extra cash as the resort is on the pricier end of the scale, especially if you have children. Besides that, add bikinis, beach babe outfits and books and you're all set.
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Keen to explore more gems by Hilton? Visit Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa, which is surrounded by white sands and tropical gardens and is located in Mahe. The resort is perfect for travellers wanting to explore the island and see the Seychelles beyond the beach, with a host of activities available including diving, hiking, visiting the local rum distilleries and tea plantations, exploring the nearby Morne National Park and finding lesser-known spots by mini-moke.
DoubleTree by Hilton Seychelles – Allamanda Resort and Spa is another option located on Mahe. The 30-room hotel features exhilarating beach activities, an ocean-view swimming pool, an ELEMIS spa and Creole delights from Les Palms Restaurant and Oceanview Bar.
To book your dream stay at Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort and Spa, visit hilton.com
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