Hotel Check: Banyan Tree Seychelles

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Background

Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts is a luxury hotel group with properties in Thailand, Maldives, Indonesia, China, Mexico, Korea, Vietnam, and the UAE. The Seychelles property opened in October 2002 with 15 beachfront villas and more recent upgrades have seen the number grow to 60.

Where Is It?

The hotel is on the south-west coastline of Mahe, approximately 40 minutes’ drive from Mahe International Airport. The drive from the airport takes you along the east coast, and there are opportunities to stop for lunch or dinner on the way.

Rooms

The 60 villas all enjoy exquisite views of the Indian Ocean, with the majority perched on hilly terrain amid the natural flora and fauna. The architecture is contemporary and colonial, with ‘plantation’ décor consisting of high sloping ceilings, airy verandas, louvered doors and ethnic woven textiles. There are six types of villas: Hillside Pool; Beachfront Pool; Intendance Pool; Two-Bedroom Double; Presidential; and Pool Villa By-The-Rocks. The Two-Bedroom villas are large properties with a big pool between the rooms, jacuzzi, pavilion in which to relax, an outside shower and direct beach access a couple of metres away. We were accommodated high up in a Hillside Pool villa, which was accessible via golf buggy. Upon entry, we were greeted by a two-tiered wooden deck with infinity pool and relaxing area. That led into the bedroom which featured a king-size bed, large couch, stunning view of the sea, flat-screen TV with selected movie, news and SuperSport channels, Wi-Fi, stereo, coffee machine, stocked mini-bar, and work desk. The en-suite bathroom consisted of two basins, a toilet, safe with plug point, hanging space, draws, and a sunken level shower that doubled as a bath and enjoyed a full-length view of the sea. All the finishings were of the highest quality and the accommodation was nothing short of luxurious.

Restaurants & Bars

There are a host of dining options, from the eclectic Au Jardin d’Epices to the Thai cuisine of Saffron, the veranda fare of La Varangue, the Pool Bar, in-villa and destination dining, and Chez Lamar. We had breakfast and lunch at Au Jardin d’Epices. It’s tough to beat the setting there, with waves crashing below and a view of ocean. The breakfast spread was extensive, and I opted for delicious papaya and dragon fruit, followed by marlin and salmon on a cheese croissant, and topped off by Eggs Benedict with spinach and cured ham. The fresh fruit and coffee was also top notch, whilst lunch was equally impressive. A Creole-style octopus salad was backed up by pan-fried chicken breasts with mash and a mushroom sauce. I didn’t fancy the lemon Swiss roll too much, but the ice cream made up for it. I didn’t think those two meals could be topped, but Chez Lamar proved the dining highlight. The location is a sugar plantation-type pavilion and deck overlooking a small dam with attractive lighting of the trees. The starter consisted of a calamari salad, salmon and seared tuna, followed by a main course of lobster and jobfish – cooked on the deck by the chef – and washed down with a glass or two of the 2012 Porcupine Ridge Sauvignon Blanc. Exquisite.

Meeting & Conference Facilities

Not a big part of the resort’s offering, but there is a boardroom that can accommodate 14 delegates and is located next to the spa. Wi-Fi access can be arranged.

Leisure

The spa is probably the standout facility, with rooms wedged into the mountainside in between big rock outcrops and with amazing views of the sea. There’s also a gym, hair and beauty salon, and tennis courts, whilst the pool area is a popular spot for guests, particularly when the beach is too windy.

Verdict

Nothing short of a luxury island experience, with accommodation you’ll never want to leave, a setting that makes the most of its ocean views, and a first rate gourmet dining offering.

Dylan Rogers


Contact
Address:
Anse Intendance
Tel:
+248 438 3500
Email:
seychelles@banyantree.com
Web:
www.banyantree.com