Hotel review: Four Seasons Resort Seychelles

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Wednesday newsletters always feature a luxury hotel or flight review.

Today (June 25, 2014): Review of the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, paradise found. 

Located in the southwest corner of Mahe Island and 40 minutes by car from the international airport, Four Seasons Resort Seychelles offers guests an unrivalled luxury hotel experience in a natural jungle setting along a phenomenal beach. Tree-top pool villas, spectacular scenery and world-class service all converge to challenge your notion of paradise. Read here my review of one of my favorite Four Seasons Resorts, managed by one of the world’s most luxurious hotel brands.

The Four Seasons Seychelles features in my top 10 lists of the world’s best resorts with private plunge pools, the world’s best family hotels, the best resorts in the Seychelles, and my favorite luxury hotels in the world.

In this review (more info below the slideshow):

  • Pros & things I like
  • Cons & things to know
  • My verdict
  • Tips for future guests & save money
  • Reviews of other luxury hotels in the Seychelles
  • Best time to visit
  • How to get there
  • Photos

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PROS & THINGS I LIKE
  • The Four Seasons Seychelles is a huge, yet at the same time intimate resort, set on a lush tropical jungle hill in its own private bay. The resort feels deeply luxurious (6 stars) and the resort landscape is gorgeous.
  • Its westside location guarantees some stunning sunsets (best enjoyed from the spa rooftop which enjoys the highest location in the entire resort).
  • The spacious villas offer all modern amenities you may wish. Each villa has a giant outdoor shower and a private infinity pool. In fact, it’s listed as a plunge pool, but at 7 by 3 meters it really does feel like a private pool. The private pools at the Four Seasons Seychelles feature in my top 10 list of the best private plunge pools in the world. The rooms themselves are elegantly appointed, if not entirely over the top, with plush white bedding contrasting the natural wood furniture.
  • The white powder-sand beach is picture-perfect and just a short stroll away from most villas, scented en-route by cinnamon trees and frangipani.
  • There’s a lovely beachside swimming pool where you can relax  and where refreshments are readily available.
  • Some villas are quite high up on the mountain, so you will need to take a buggy down to the beach or to visit the resort’s restaurants for meals. This in itself might sound inconvenient, but you will never have to wait more than 5 minutes.
  • The general manager welcomed me personally and also greeted me at breakfast. I noticed he did the same for other guests. This was a first (although I have stayed at many high-end resorts before), and in fact, this was a very nice gesture as it really makes you feel welcome.
  • The staff was very efficient, discrete and friendly. They will do all they can to make you enjoy your holiday.
  • Food at the resort is expensive (as expected and on pair with other luxury hotels in the Seychelles) but truly outstanding. I enjoyed every single meal. In fact, the food was the best I had in the Seychelles. A 3 course diner costs about 75 euros per person (excluding wine).
  • The spa offers an amazing (and not overly expensive) wellness experience: stunning views, good massages, and extremely skilled therapists.
  • The resort was fully booked during my stay, and yet, it did not feel crowded at all.
  • I had a late pm flight, and since check-out was 12 pm and my room had to be cleaned for another arriving party, the resort could not extend my check out time. However, during breakfast, they moved my stuff to another room where I could spend the last day of my holiday. This was complimentary and highly appreciated.

CONS & THINGS TO KNOW

The Four Seasons Seychelles is truly perfect and ultra-luxurious. I adore it. It has no real cons, just some things to beware of: 

  • Pre-arrival communication with the resort was good but not as excellent as compared to some of its competitors on the island, such as the Banyan Tree and Raffles Praslin hotels (the latter hotels always answered my emails within 24 hours, which was not the case with the Four Seasons).
  • As mentioned above, the beach is a stunning crescent of powder soft, white sand, lapped by the turquoise sea and backed by  a lush vegetation. A lot of wildlife is present in the sea. Just by strolling with my feet in the ocean, I encountered a giant manta as well as a barracuda. But … the resort’s villas are clearly visible everywhere on the hills, so you will not have the feeling of being on a deserted, wild location. In my opinion, the Banyan Tree hotel, which is located 30 minutes to the south, has – from an aesthetical point of view – the most stunning beach of the Seychelles and one of the world’s best hotel beaches. In addition, the Banyan Tree villas are hidden in the jungle and as a consequence less visible. The good news though is that the ocean at the Four Seasons Seychelles is calm and perfect for swimming, while the ocean at Banyan Tree is very rough and not swimmable most days.
  • Not all villas will give you the same experience. For example, the garden-view villas ar tucked away in the jungle and do not enjoy a lot of sunlight during the day. The higher located villas are more expensive, but offers stunning views and enjoy lots of sunshine; some even have a full view of the sunset. I would recommend to spend some extra money on a better located room (book at least an ocean view villa).
  • On its website, the Four Seasons Seychelles offers airport transfers in a luxury car for the price of 200 euro one way and 300 euros return (excluding tax). However, after having emailed them, I found out they could also arrange a taxi for 40 euros one way. I understand some may prefer a 200 euro transfer in a BMW, but I would have preferred if the resort also mentioned the option of the 40 euro taxi transfer in the welcome letter/email (otherwise, you may not beware of this option, unless you explicitly ask for it).
  • There is a fee for wireless internet (10 euros a day). Unfortunately, the quality of the internet in my room was very slow (and not high-speed at all).
  • There were lots of children, much more than I would normally expect in a resort of this nature. It was not really troublesome, but I think honeymooners should be forewarned that the resort may not be as peaceful as one might expect (the Banyan Tree is a more convenient choice for honeymooners on Mahe island). On the other hand, families will love the Four Seasons Seychelles with all the facilities made available to them and their children.

MY VERDICT
  • Location: 10/10
  • Design: 9/10
  • Rooms: 9/10
  • Food: 8/10
  • Service: 9/10
  • Overall experience: exceptional: 9,2/10

TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS
  • Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury resort like the Four Seasons Seychelles (and receive many free perks).
  • Save money: I recommend to book a stay at the Four Seasons Seychelles through a Virtuoso travel agent, which has the benefit of complimentary VIP perks (e.g. free room upgrade, breakfast, $100 USD food & beverage credit, early check in and late check out).
  • Book an ocean view villa and request a high location upon the hill with sunset view (garden view rooms lack sunshine during the day with no view to speak of).
  • Book a massage or other spa treatment at the excellent spa. You will not regret is.
  • Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.

REVIEWS OF OTHER LUXURY HOTELS IN THE SEYCHELLES

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Seychelles is often sold as a year round destination and it is. However there is more chance of bad weather, that is to say rain, from November to March. The transitional months of October and April are excellent for a visit as the oceans are very calm and the weather balmy. During the dry seasons (May to September), it can be windy (causing seaweed on the south or south-easterly side of the islands) with rough seas.


HOW TO GET THERE

The resort  is located a 40-minute drive from Seychelles International Airport (SEZ), which is served by many airlines (click here for a direct link to their websites):

  • From/via Asia : Air Seychelles (via Hong Kong), Mihin Lanka (via Colombo)
  • From/via Middle East: Emirates (via Dubai), Etihad Airways (via Abu Dhabi), Air Seychelles (via Abu Dhabi).
  • From/via Europe: Condor (via Frankfurt), Air Seychelles (via Paris), Transaero Airlines (via Moscow).
  • From/via Africa: Kenya Airways (via Nairobi), Ethiopian Airlines (via Addis Ababa), Air Austral (via La Reunion), Air Seychelles (via Johannesburg and Mauritius).

BEACH BEACH
RESORT BEACH
VILLA ROOFTOP VIEW
VILLA ROOFTOP VIEW
SPA LOBBY
SPA LOBBY
SPA TREATMENT ROOM
SPA TREATMENT ROOM
SPA EXTERIOR
SPA EXTERIOR
RESORT LANDSCAPE
RESORT LANDSCAPE
BEACH
BEACH
POOL VILLA
POOL VILLA
VILLA PATIO
VILLA PATIO
BEDROOM
BEDROOM
VILLA LIVING ROOM
VILLA LIVING ROOM
VILLA TERRACE
VILLA TERRACE
VILLA BATHTUB
VILLA BATHTUB
VILLA BEDROOM
VILLA BEDROOM
BATH TUB WITH OUTDOOR POOL
BATH TUB WITH OUTDOOR POOL
PENTHOUSE DECK
PENTHOUSE DECK
RESIDENCE
RESIDENCE
RESIDENCE
RESIDENCE
BEACH RESTAURANT
BEACH RESTAURANT
BEACH RESTAURANT
BEACH RESTAURANT
MAIN RESTAURANT
MAIN RESTAURANT

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