Discovered in 1773 by Denis de Trobiand, this coralline island served as a farm from 1845 to 1982, only becoming a resort in 1978. Entirely rebuilt in 2006, the resort is now a spectacularly elegant yet unpretentious setting for 30 deluxe cottages on the beach (staggered for privacy, some sit partially behind the true beachfront units) that boast features like private sea-facing salas with daybeds, gorgeous outdoor bathrooms, iPod docks, king-size beds, and private beachfront. The tasteful decor takes an elegant view on the au naturel theme, and the lack of TVs and Internet is intentional: you are here to (comfortably) commune with nature (a TV, computers, and free wifi are available in the library). A lovely reef just off the restaurant beach, great spa treatments, an excellent dive center, and, of course, postcard-perfect, powder-white-sand beaches are part of the package. The owners also turned the island into a conservation site in 1998, eradicating human-introduced predators and
introducing rare endemic birds from nearby islands (including the Seychelles fody, Seychelles warbler, magpie robin, and paradise flycatcher), thus encouraging seabirds to use the newly safe (no rats, cats, or dogs) terrain to breed and nest. As a result, the birdlife is wonderful (though don't expect the insane numbers of seabirds that you'll encounter on islands like Aride or Cousin). The main areas of the lodge itself are beautifully designed, the food is generally excellent, and the service genuinely friendly.
Denis Island, La Digue, Seychelles