Banyan Tree Seychelles adds even more – for those with deep pockets – on the sleepy, tropical paradise that is Mahé, Seychelles. Six new, two-bedroom beachfront villas are joined by a new clubhouse; each villa has no less than two swimming pools. Architecture displays typical Creole influences.
And that is not all. In addition to the dual bathing facility, there are a pair of private open-air dining areas, two spacious master bedrooms – but only one jet pool. One could visit one’s partner in their quarters on alternative evenings or take along a couple of good friends to share the facility.
Spanning over 800 square metres, each villa is set amidst carefully manicured gardens and is located literally a stones-throw from the beach. Naturally, there is a discreet 24-hour private butler service.
In total, Banyan Tree Seychelles now has 60 luxuriously appointed villas and, like their forerunners, these new additions reveal a pleasing synergy of traditional Creole architecture
and contemporary design.
This manifests as French colonial influence, as an appealing and aesthetic shell for natural finishes, which in turn are a foil for high-technology creature comforts. The results provide guests with an authentic sense of place in what Banyan Tree calls: ‘a peaceful haven for relaxation and rejuvenation’.
Appetites of the culinary variety are catered for in the clubhouse with a new fine dining restaurant called Chez Lamar. Here, ultra-relaxed sybarites can sample Creole dishes drawn from local inspirations, derived from the Seychellois’ vibrant culture / cuisine.
Located nearby is Banyan Tree’s signature restaurant – Saffron – renowned by gastronomes for its creative interpretation of Thai cooking, but there is yet an- other venue: Au Jardin d’Epices (the garden of spices) offering an eclectic Asian-inspired selection of flavourful dishes.
After sampling all of these – at lunch and dinner – one might need more than a jog on the beach; the adjoining spa and gym?
Banyan Tree Seychelles set the stage several years ago as the only ‘all villa private pool resort’ on Mahé; as such, it has garnered global acclaim. Conveniently located on the granite ‘big island’, it’s an easy drive from the international airport. Yet, this is a genuinely timeless venue, located in an indigenous habitat of swaying palms and Takamaka trees. It is sympathetically designed to envelope its fortunate guests in authentic Creole intimacy and hospitality; as such it succeeds effortlessly.
Notes on the architectural theme and finishes:
Marble and hard woods were used in the two-bedroom, double-pool villas for floor finishes. For ease of maintenance and termite proofing, doors and windows were specified in UPVC and in order for the buildings to blend in with the natural location wooden roofing shingles were chosen.
As with the original Banyan Tree Seychelles buildings, the new villas show influences of contemporary Creole architecture similar to that of colonial plantation houses.
The clapboard-clad house – with a spacious verandah and open-sided pavilion – reflects the tropical architecture that is typical in this part of the world. Local artists were commissioned to produce paintings for the bedrooms, based on the island’s lifestyle.
One swimming pool is located at the rear near the living-dining pavilion and the other is in front, off the master bedroom terrace. There is also an outdoor jet pool, fully equipped kitchen, spacious garden area in front of and between the two bedrooms and a private sun deck.
Banyan Tree Seychelles is located on the south-eastern coast line of Mahé, the main island of the Republic of Seychelles. It’s a 30-minute drive from Seychelles International Airport and 45-minute drive from the capital, Victoria.
report: Colin Sharp
location: Anse Intendance, Mahe, Seychelles
architecture and interior design: Architrave Design & Planning Co. Ltd.
article from habitat magazine archive issue #200 July/August 2007