Seychelles: My Piece of Paradise

Matthew's travel diary from his trip to the Seychelles...
Matthew Williamson  
6th January 2014

It’s a long haul to get there, but when you finally do all thoughts of grey, rainy London and jet lag exhaustion slowly but surely melt away. I landed on the island of Mahé in the Seychelles early on a Saturday morning after a rather luxurious Emirates flight, where the lively cabin crew tended to my every whim with smiles all round. The purpose of my trip was to relax and unwind after a manic few months of hard work. I never usually take a trip after a show as there’s always so much to do, but this year I bucked the trend in sight of a much needed break and time to reflect. With an eight night stay at the luxurious Four Seasons resort booked – how could I resist?

“Journeying from airport to hotel, I notice my shoulders drop and my muscles relax – why wouldn’t they? – The air is fresh, sky is cloudless and blue and the plants and trees lining the roadsides are lush and greener than most I’ve ever seen.”

I stayed in a luxury cabin atop a secluded mountain side in the recently opened Four Seasons resort. Cabin perhaps doesn’t go far enough to describe the huge raised living space equipped with modern, simple furnishings and all mod cons. Floor to ceiling windows look out onto a picture postcard view of the palm trees and the aqua ocean beyond. There is a private infinity pool and outdoor dining area down below and s separate, adjoining bedroom cabin with en suite. The cabin could easily have slept four.

The view from my bedroom was something else – the entire resort is built up around the mature mountainous vegetation of papaya, coconut and mango trees lining a private residents-only bay. Swooping fruitbats in the sky above are clearly in their element here. Each of the 60 villas are similar to mine are discreetly nestled into the trees which not only means there’s no high rise building, obscuring the landscape but even with the hotel at full occupancy you feel like you’re the only guest there as passers-by are few and far between. Stranded, maybe not, but it feels as close as you can get to your own private hideaway.

Matthew Instagram
Beach Instagram
Matthew Instagram
Instagram flower

A glass box structure built into a niche in the mountainside nearby offers spa treatments you only dream of, and if taken in England feel somewhat out of context. Here they somehow feel genuine and more appropriate. A sixty minute massage from an extensive menu set in one of the outdoor rooms became a daily delight and a pre-dinner ritual I could definitely get used to.

“In the Seychelles the simplest of things become more pleasurable as you slowly start to unwind and forget the manic pace of life you’ve left behind.”

Food becomes a central and laboured pleasure; mangoes and papaya for breakfast, and fresh garden salads for lunch are the perfect, healthy option in such sweltering heat. For evening, the options broaden; the laid back sushi bar became a regular choice, with fresh cuts straight out of the sea, whilst more formal a la carte dining in the beachside restaurant Zez is also a luxurious treat.

On a full moon evening, the hotel provides entertainment in the form of full-skirted local dancers twirling and swirling on the oceans edge and a four-piece band playing tunes around an open fire on the private, secluded beach. Cocktails are served as just a handful of guests look on and light coloured-paper lanterns, raising them into the starry night sky like glowing neon balloons.

Infinity pool
Light lanterns
Wild flower
Matthew on the beach

The resort’s private beach is a short secluded alcove with sand whiter and finer than I’ve ever known. The general manager advises it is due to the local rainbow fish gnawing away at the coral reef. True or not, the sand is silky soft and the perfect backdrop for an idyllic, lazy afternoon.

As island life slowly but surely starts to take hold and have the long-lusted after effects on my mind and body, its almost time to head back to the manic world I left behind only 10 short days ago. Could I stay here another 10 days? No question. Will I be back again one day? No question. For a perfect piece of paradise you could go a lot further, but why would you? I’ve found my paradise right here.”The End

Originally published in In Style magazine. With thanks to the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles.

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