With personalised service, pearls, caviar and heavenly treatments, Raffles Praslin has achieved the impossible — it has upgraded paradise.
Sitting on some 450,000 square miles of the Indian Ocean just south of the equator is an archipelago of 115 islands composed mostly of granite and coral — the Seychelles. Each has its own topographical identity while being made from those requisites that define a paradise island — white silky sand,warm turquoise sea, exotic foliage and a five-star luxury hotel.
All are breathtakingly beautiful, but one is singled out and thought to be the site of the original Garden of Eden — Praslin. On the northern tip, amid lavish and lush vegetation, are 86 villas facing the ocean. Filled with light and luxury, they offer everything from their own plunge pool, free wifi and a star-gazing bath to personalized service round-the-clock (including butler service in Raffles and Royal Villa Suites). Not even Eden had that.
While the resort has a wide selection of dining options, a collection of bars and a fun Sugar Palm Kids and Teens Club, it also has the multi-awardwinning Raffles Spa — the first branded Raffles Spa and the largest in the Seychelles. It encompasses thirteen treatment rooms, a fully equipped gym which is open all day and night, a movement pavilion for Pilates, yoga and fitness, two infinity pools, sauna, steam room and its own spa garden. It also has open-air pavilions overlooking to the ocean, and a luxurious couples suite.
Perfect for those who have something to celebrate in style, the resort offers its own Romance Specialist for weddings, honeymoons and major celebrations, but is also ideal for sybarites wishing to relax, hedonists looking for refreshment and rejuvenation and families needing a holiday together.
The wonderful thing about the Seychelles is that they have a near perfect temperature throughout the year — high twenties and low thirties, with March and April the hottest months.
Raffles Spa offerings are based on the transforming elements of the lotus flower, which represents long life, health, good luck and honour. The treatments are thus divided into the transforming stages of the flower from Bud (body) to Blossom (beauty) and Bloom (full experiences), which include massages, facials, wraps and exfoliation alongside a host of programmes and rituals.
There is a wide choice of massages, including one using heated sea shells, plus a plethora of beauty treatments, including the ultra-pampering Eternal Beauty of Lotus. This two-hour extravaganza uses lotus regenerating pearls on face and body and concludes with the signature Mystic Lotus Massage. There are also treatments for men and a menu of bridal therapies, which include everything from pedicures to hair styling.
Explore Praslin. The resort offers kayaks, mountain bikes and snorkels so you can choose land or sea adventures. Also head for the nearby Anse Lazio, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and the Unesco Heritage site the Vallée de Mai, which is the only place you can find the extraordinarily shaped Coco de Mer (Kim Kardashian has a rival). As the area is a designated marine national park, the wonders of the ocean from turtles to jewel-coloured fish and life on the reef are easily accessed.
Take a cruise to some of the nearer islands, or a sunset cruise to enjoy a sundowner… or opt for a romantic couple’s massage under the stars — you can choose to have this in the spa, at your villa, on a luxury yacht or on the beach.
Black pearls are a speciality of Praslin, so why not spoil yourself with the Pure Pearl Signature treatment, which uses a pearl powder to exfoliate? For sheer opulence there is the Champagne and Caviar version, which includes a massage and a caviar facial and concludes with a soak in the Japanese-style tub accompanied by a flute of champagne.