Another first for the holidaysplease blog and to celebrate our 11th birthday, travel expert Suzanne Evans kindly gives us an insight into her amazing trip to the Seychelles – From almost missing the flight, to panoramic views of the Indian Ocean this birthday special is not to be missed.
Before my holiday the drama had already begun. I parked my car, grabbed my bags and like Usain Bolt ran for the bus – I made it. Phew… However elation soon turned to devastation as I realised that in my haste, I’d jumped on the bus for terminal 3 and I actually wanted 4.
So I’m late, in the wrong terminal and check in closes in approximately 15 minutes. Ever the optimist I jump in a taxi and realise my second fail of the holiday is finding out that the shuttle would have took me there for free. Running as fast I can (again) dragging my wheeled case behind me, panicking that the first impressions my new travel companions will have of me is a flustered, rather worried, sweaty travel expert. Etihad were fantastic and completely understood my predicament. I breathe a huge sigh of relief (Ahhh) and I’m able to check in – Suzanne’s Tip Number 1: CHECK YOUR TERMINAL!
I got there so late it was time for boarding. We flew to Abu Dhabi with Etihad who offered an excellent service in Economy. Suzanne’s Tip Number 2: Etihad economy is excellent so don’t be put off by the word ‘economy’
The 7 hour lay-over in Abu Dhabi is an excellent opportunity for a shopping spree, however much to my delight Etihad pulled out another surprise. We were whisked off to the first class airport lounge for some treatments at the Six Sense Spa. We made great use of the refreshing facilities, White Company products and the wonderful selection of food that made the 7 hours feel like 3.
We flew the last leg by Air Seychelles in Business Class and this was arriving in style. We touch down and set off to The Banyan Tree on Intendance Bay and this was the hotel I was most excited seeing. Suzanne’s Tip Number 3: Get excited about everything you’re on holiday!
Located 30 minutes from the airport, it offers a natural paradise the true to its surroundings. Organic gardens, wetlands and nature walks show the diversity of island. Whilst on the subject of nature, Intendance Bay is said to be one of the best in the world for seeing turtles. We spent the evening having dinner and cocktails with the General Manager Frank Wesselhoefft in the signature Thai restaurant (Saffron). Frank was a great host and showed us how the property had changed due to the extensive refurbishment.
In Mahe we visited a variety of intriguing places and one was Victoria, ‘the world’s smallest capital city’ but although small in size the place has a huge heart. With shopping experiences to satisfy the keenest of retail worshippers, you’ll find souvenir shops, local markets and clothes. From quaint little Victoria we drove into the mountains and headed to Mission lodge. The views from the lodge were unbelievable and we could see the entire village below. Lots of history here and plenty of culture for those who love to delve a little deeper into the St Lucian way of life. It was here i managed to see a pineapple and cinnamon tree growing for the first time.
Our next adventure was island hopping – We started at Praslin which has a much slower pace to life. Valle de Mai is islands most popular tourist attraction and is home to a primeval palm forest, which is almost in its natural state. We stayed at the new Raffles Praslin, and we are not disappointed upon arrival. Suzanne’s Tip Number 4 –Hire a tour guide to find out those hidden gems
Walking through two huge wooden doors I was met by the glittering of the Indian Ocean, and panoramic views of a nearby island. Was I standing on heaven’s doorstep? The 30 acre resort has many room options, but the higher you are the better. We had a two bedroom villa and it was out of this world. The villa had a large main living area, two big bedrooms, spacious bathrooms and a large infinity pool. The kitchen was excellently equipped and had the luxury of separate access for your butler – Yes your very own butler!
With superb little touches like a Nespresso coffee maker, the bath being situated in front of spectacular views of azure waters and softly lit lanterns, adding to the ambiance of the room. This really is a fantastic hotel and one I’d highly recommend.
The final stop on my epic adventure was La Digue and a short ferry crossing from Praslin. La Digue is stunning and exactly what you’d expect from the Seychelles. The feeling you get in La Digue is that you’ve stepped back in time. The transport is either a bicycle, the open side of a truck or the infamous horse and cart. Now don’t get me wrong this isn’t a bad thing and only adds to the authenticity of the island. We finished the trip off with lunch at L’Orangerie, a 55 villa heavily design focused hotel.
The Seychelles is a beautiful place and what I learnt from travelling the island, is that every place offered something unique. No trip to the Seychelles is complete, without doing some island hopping to maximise the stay. If you want ‘heaven on earth’ then the Seychelles paints a perfect picture. Suzanne’s Final Tip – Island hop to really discover what the island has to offer.
A huge thank you to Suzanne for sharing her wonderful experience with us. If you’d like any information on her trip or planning a holiday to the Seychelles then you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 01497 822412/07837 737938