North Island Resort
North Island, Inner Islands, Seychelles
Brought to the world's attention as the honeymoon destination of the likes of Prince William and Kate, this private island takes the wow effect to new levels. The only property on Seychelles' third largest granitic island, the resort's breathtaking villas are the size of most people's houses, and unlike most abodes, include a private plunge pool, deck, sun pavilion, butler, and sea views from every angle. With its "any menu any venue any time" attitude toward food, guests are welcome to put chefs to the test if not enticed by the daily gourmet menus, though bear in mind that your vision of the perfect lobster thermidor may differ from that of the chef. Use of your own golf cart and bicycles allow freedom to roam the island. There is something amazingly decadent about being able to cycle to the "wilds" of West Beach (one of the island's two main beaches), order a fancy fruit shake or cocktail from the bar, grab a fluffy towel, and nest on a comfy daybed. If you hang out long enough, treats from the informal restaurant there—seared tuna, homemade pizzas, grilled veggies, and pork-belly morsels—will doubtless tempt. The fine-dining restaurant on the other beach is gourmet all the way, and set in a magical environment of driftwood, shells, and water features. Great hiking trails that wind through granite hills and rehabilitated palm forests are thick with fruit bats and other wonders like giant tortoises. Total ecological rehabilitation of the island–rats and cats were removed several years back and various endangered Seychelles endemic species introduced–is the goal at this high-class "Noah's ark." With its own dive and activities centers boasting great boat dives, fishing, kayaking, and even surfing, a gorgeous hilltop spa with insane views and yoga classes, beautiful library filled with books about the Seychelles, and incredible wine cellar, you could easily spend a month here if your bank account could handle it.
- villas that take space, privacy, and comfort to a new level of barefoot luxury (your villa may well have once hosted Hollywood celebrities and heads of state)
- all activities are inclusive except full-day deep-sea-fishing charters and spa treatments
- you may have to mortgage your house to holiday here
- the dining experience is not up to snuff given the cost
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