Sometimes in life you’ll step off a plane and never return home the same person as you left, so bewitched by the destination, so captivated by the culture and so magnetized at the beauty that you fear no place will ever come close. My first visit to the Seychelles had exactly this effect.
Not one to shy away from a holiday, I’ve been lucky to visit and live in some of the world’s most beautiful locations, but the Seychelles was always one of those places I was ‘saving’ for a special occasion. I’ve learnt that special occasion is right now.
For those that haven’t ventured into this part of the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles consists of two tropical islands, Mahé and Praslin. Mahé is the main, larger island which houses the international airport and Praslin is easily reached by ferry or sea plane transfer. Of course, this beautiful part of the world is home to more than a handful of internationally renowned luxury hotel brands. Constance Lémuria is the very epitome of a luxury holiday, for this secluded spot offers not only tranquil surroundings but also lies just a short stroll away from the island’s most beautiful beach, and voted one of the most beautiful worldwide, Anse Georgette.
Now, always the sceptic when faced with such a statement I am almost immediately expecting to be disappointed, however, if there is one place you must visit in the entirety of the Indian Ocean, it is this beach. Powdery white sands, swaying palms and swirling white surf that gives way to an intense turquoise sea, appearing to be straight out of a Bounty ad. Constance Lémuria will even pack you your very own gourmet picnic to take to the beach with you for a true desert island experience, just with much better food.
This deluxe hotel is located on Praslin’s northwest coast and actually only a ten-minute drive from the small, island airport. It’s set amidst 101 hectares of lush forest and edged by three simply stunning beaches, including the famed Anse Georgette itself. The whole area is a burst of colour; this is one place you won’t need an Instagram filter. Every part of the island is so alive, the flowers dance in the breeze, the leaves are the most intense shade of green imaginable and the sky is so perfectly blue it’s all a bit surreal. In short, it’s natural beauty will leave you breathless.
Because of this, this is not a hotel that requires unnecessary frills. There is no gold, no glitz; don’t expect unnecessary gadgets and ornate detailing, everything at Constance Lémuria is paired back, it’s simple sophistication that only the top hotels of the world can pull off so effortlessly. The hotel itself is spread-out over the vast landscape, a well-spaced collection of low-rise thatched buildings, spread over several levels to accommodate existing rocks, trees and terrain and of course, the impressive 18-hole golf course that takes centre stage here. If you’re into golf, this is the place you dream of playing a round on.
There are 105 suites and villas that incorporate Junior Suites, Senior Suites, 2-bedroom villas with private pools and one outstanding Presidential Villa. Staying in a Junior Suite, you won’t be disenchanted by your temporary home. Wooden furnishings and simple white textiles make up the majority of the room, dotted with the occasional splash of deep, terracotta orange. The overall style is colonial with rattan chairs and charming wooden crafts. A large king size bed takes pride of place in the 52 square meter room facing the obligatory flat-screen tv, not that you’ll want to waste time watching the box here, the real entertainment lies outside of your room. The bathroom is a large and inviting space with a focal, sunken bath and walk-in rainforest shower. If your room is on the first level, you’ll be treated to a small balcony with fantastic views out towards the deserted coastline and if on the ground floor your private terrace makes an ideal resting place to sit back and relax with a good book and marvel at the surrounding gardens full with wildlife. If you’re really lucky you might even spot a sea turtle trundling across the sand to lay its eggs.
Although golf buggies are available to transport you around the expansive resort, there’s nothing quite like a serene morning stroll to breakfast through the grounds of the hotel, for each day the scenery seems to have shifted and changed somewhat resulting in it seeming even more beautiful. I’m rarely amazed, and I can’t ever think of any other time I’ve been amazing every single day for 5 whole days.
With seven bars and restaurants I was especially pleased to note that the cuisine here was exceptional, which is where other secluded hotels sometimes fall short. Many of the restaurants at Lémuria make great use of the existing trademark boulders and hillocks that encompass the rugged landscape, most notably Legend and Seahorse Restaurants and the prominent Beach Bar and Grill. Legend Restaurant is where you’ll spend most of your dining hours and with good reason for this simple yet lavish buffet restaurant serves a great selection for breakfast and dinner and offers a huge selection of worldwide cuisine for every palette as you look out on the resort below, a perfect spot in the early morning sunlight before the heat and humidity sets in.
For a spot of fine-dining the Seahorse Restaurant, perched high up in the treetops inside the golf clubhouse is an excellent choice. It resembles an adult’s secret hideaway, a treehouse if you will, with excellent contemporary European cuisine and sommelier chosen beverages to accompany. Pick a table outside for a really fantastical dining experience.
However, my favourite spot for a light bite has to be the Beach Bar and Grill and please be under no assumption that this is you average beach shack, for this exquisite seafood restaurant offers prime views out across Petite Anse Kerlan and is extraordinary whatever time of day you wish to dine. Fish here is cooked in traditional Creole style and is superb and there is fabulous selection of fresh juices and cocktails to quench your thirst. For an extra special occasion or simply for a romantic dinner with your loved one, you can dine up on the rocks on your own private catered table, under the glow of both flickering candlelight and the moon itself leaving only intimate conversation against the gentle crash of the waves.
Fresh from indulging in fine fare, Constance Lémuria is the ultimate place to relax. With a multi-level pool area decked in dark wood and carved out of the natural rock, you’ll never be searching for a sunbed, or shade for that matter, as you relax amongst the trees. The top pool even has a charming pool bar and infinity style ledge that overlooks the ocean many tiers below. If you want to spoil yourself further then treat your body to a spot of pampering at the renowned U Spa which offers classic massages, facials and treatments in the most luxurious of spa settings.
Whilst the females pamper, the males can take to the green and work on their swing on the golf course which is blessed with spectacular views and makes the most of the hilly terrain, featuring split-level holes and challenging fairways. Green fees are also inclusive for guests.
It’s impossible to find fault with Constance Lémuria for it is the very epitome of a premium, luxury hotel with impeccable service and some of the most spectacular scenery you will ever come across, it’s impossibly romantic and it’s not hard to see why this is a regular spot for well-healed honeymooners. This Summer marks a renovation for the property which will see it given an injection of even more luxury, I’m perplexed as to how this resort could get any better but I can’t wait to return to see for myself.