About 30km from the main island of Mahé, Ile du Nord or North Island, enjoy private isolation within the Inner Island group of the Seychelles! Luminous white beaches cosset a tropical interior of coconut palms and takamaka trees cradled between three granite outcrops, 110m to 180m in height, whose polished grey ramparts rise from the white sands and filigree reefs of the azure ocean.
North Island is a sanctuary where natural habitats, long neglected, have been rehabilitated so that endangered Seychelles Fauna and Flora could be reintroduced and given a place to grow and thrive. On this floating paradise, 11 guest villas have been built from local materials reaped from the rehabilitation process, where luxury and simplicity mingle to form a signature architectural style we call ‘barefoot luxury’.
North Island is a place that unashamedly aims at providing the very best in privacy, location, accommodation, services, facilities and experience, yet has restored its environment to a place of verdant plenty – a Noah’s Ark afloat in warm tropical waters in colours of blue and aquamarine. The true essence of North Island is a rare encounter that is in harmony with the environment – one that touches and inspires the lives of all who walk her beaches, dive her waters and contemplate her beauty.
For a wonderful experience in the Seychelles, choose the magnificent North Island Lodge! Only 15 minutes away from the Seychelles International Airport by helicopter, the resort is located on the beautiful North Island. It offers amazing views, with a rocky mountain protecting its rights side and another one, covered with palm trees, being situated to its left.
There are 11 beautifully handcrafted villas at North Island Lodge, set along the main beach and overlooking the splendid ocean. They are set above ground level to take in as much of the surrounding beauty as possible, including the gentle breezes of the Indian Ocean. Miles of impeccable beaches are there for every guest to explore, while every villa has a private garden for a more intimate connection with nature.ROOMS & SUITESTHE VILLAS
Before they began designing the lodge, they undertook extensive research that strongly indicated that in today’s overcrowded world, people were increasingly looking for privacy and their own space. It is precisely this concept that became the cornerstone and major influence of the design of the Villas and a point of focus to ensure that guests really enjoyed spending time in their Villa if they so wished. This is their haven! A warm inviting space in which to enjoy a complete sense of ease and freedom. Should you wish, all 11 villas and the island as a whole can become your own private domain…
With this in mind, they designed Villas that measures 450 square meters which they felt was the optimum size to provide the feeling of exclusivity and space – enough room to spread out and enjoy a unique, private, island-style experience to the full. The idea was to make sure the Villas would bring this sense to life, but at the same time be a simple place in which to free the mind and refresh the soul, with the sound of the waves moving endlessly on the beach just a few steps away.
Each Villa has been individually handcrafted by Seychellois and African craftsmen on the Island. The principal materials used was wood, local stone, glass and thatch. All this combines to create a warm and inviting space that offers guests that rear opportunity to relax completely. Each Villa is completely self-contained and is raised over a metre of the ground to catch the cooling Island breezes. Each Villa has a master bedroom and a second room that functions as a study, lounge and theatre. Whilst the villa is primarily occupied by one or two guests, the second room can be converted into a second bedroom for children 19 years and younger, available at additional cost.
The luxuriously proportioned master bedroom with change room and writing areas leads onto a large en-suite bathroom with marble baths and two showers, one indoor and one outdoor. The bedrooms are air-conditioned and all rooms have overhead “punkah punkah” fans. The fully retracting sliding doors allows for uninterrupted views onto the lawns and the turquoise seas in front of each Villa. There is satellite television, a DVD/ CD system and Internet access. The kitchen leads off the lounge/ dining area. A private plunge pool and sala are the finishing touches in this private sanctuary.
They placed Villas 1-10 discreetly in the tree-line, facing onto the Anse d’est (East Beach) and ready to catch the sunrise.VILLA NORTH ISLAND
Villa North Island is the essence of privacy and exclusion. The sheer volume, scale and luxury of this villa are unimaginably decadent as it spreads out across multi-tiered levels, cascading down granitic boulders onto a private beach entry to the ocean.
Villa 11 (known as Villa North Island) is perched on a rock, uniquely situated to accommodate the incline along the extreme northern side of Anse d’est (East Beach) and just right to watch the sunrise. Secretly tucked away in the takamaka forest, the vistas from this villa are truly spectacular from every angle and it is this, together with the unique manipulation of the design, which separates this remarkable Villa from the rest. The Villa begins with a magnificent surprise entrance, picturesque palms forming a natural frame and overlooking the beach. The bridges, made from the trunks of two long casuarinas, leads into the bedroom suite, with its exceptional views.
The bathroom is the “piece-de-resistance” with a panoramic view across Anse d’est to Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. Here the principles of the architectural style have truly come to life. The Leadwood trees that form the posts are hoisted high in the sky and frame the turquoise-blue seas. The bath is 1.2 by 2 metres and has sloped ends (great for couples) to enable sitting and lying at leisure, with a ledge for a champagne bucket. To the side of the bathroom and down a hand-crafted staircase is a sunken deck, with a hanging outdoor shower set into a large granitic boulder, the turquoise seas peeping through the palm leaves. A hollowed out casuarina log delivers the water from a spout above the granitic boulder.
A few steps beyond the outdoor shower and round the granitic boulder is the surprise “spa al fresco”. This is an outdoor deck made of chunky timber with massage beds and no roof, overlooking the expanse of the Indian Ocean. The area is very private and, together with the hanging shower and bathroom, forms a personal spa experience at your own Villa.DINING & COCKTAILS
A melange of cultural influences is combined with the abundance on offer from the Indian Ocean and the island’s organic richness to create North Island’s taste. Balanced, delectable and attractive, each meal is a feast to stimulate the senses. The now-famous ‘no menu’ concept presides over your culinary encounter, where our chef develops your own daily carte du jour based on your preferences and desires.
Your mouth-watering experience is perfectly rounded off by some of the world’s great wines and champagnes from our cellar. A choice of exotic, beautiful dining settings complement your meals, from the large dining area set against a backdrop of natural granite with superb views over the sea, to secluded beaches, the pool deck or the privacy of your villa. Aside from its exceptional beauty, North Island has long been renowned for its fertility and also for the richness of the fishing grounds wherein it nestled. It is not surprising therefor, that North Island should draw upon these exceptional natural resources. Their cuisine is based on the very finest natural products lovingly prepared in a sumptuous array of exotic dishes.
The cuisine of North Island is based on the diversity and cultural influences which, in part, make up the Seychellois Creole flavour. Culinary aspects for Seychelles, France and southern Indian spices are combined with the organic resources of North Island and the abundance on offer from the Indian Ocean. Balanced together with simplicity, expect a feast that will awaken all of your senses. There is a “no menu” concept of dining on North Island. Their chef speaks to each guest, explains the North Island cuisine concept, finds out personal food preferences and then develops the daily menus around this information.
The memorable culinary experience is complimented by an impressive wine cellar filled with some of the world’s greatest wines and champagnes. One is enticed across the pond under the upside-down takamaka to the cava-like cellar, made of rock-walling with bottle racks executed in chunky oversized raw timber.
The friendly double-sided bar is surrounded by takamaka trees and tree roots on the ceilings and bar stools made out of takamaka stumps on site. No matter the time of day or night, the bartender will serve a stupendous variety of drinks.
West Beach Bar
The perfect place to end the day! West Beach Bar faces the sun as it disappears into the ink-blue ocean. The building is made of coconut uprights (felled onto the Island), a palm leaf roof and beach sand for the floor. The barman will pour you exotic drinks to sip while lying comfortably on bright red cushions looking up at the darkening sky. A wood-burning oven in the small kitchen means that simple outdoor dinners can be enjoyed here as the stars and moon turn through the sky.SERVICESBEACH AND POOL
A short walk to the side of the public area and along the granitic outcrop is the main swimming pool, a 45-metre-long vanishing edge pool of blue in the forest. The pool looks back along the kilometre of beach and out to the ocean’s horizon – views of heart-stopping splendour from its pockets of private decks. The pool is a private meandering experience with white-marble stone plaster that is the same colour as the beach while the colour of the water matches the sea. Rock walls blend gently into the hillside and large boulders extend through pool and deck.
Between Honeymoon Beach and West Beach Bar is the Spot, a sala complete with beach beds, an umbrella and beach blankets – all perfect for picnics on the beach.
Honeymoon Beach, an extension of West Beach, is so named thanks to its private curve into the rock.ISLAND PIAZZA
The natural focal point of the Island, the Island Piazza, is the centre where elegant buildings cluster around a magnificent Indian almond tree. This large tree is the central pivot around which the other public areas are placed. Here, the sunken lounges, open on all sides, offer sumptuous comfort with a 360-degree view of the small bay and lush vegetation-covered mountain.
The dining area is roofed by upside-down casuarina trees, and set against the gigantic rock into the vegetation with the backdrop of a “dining pond” and stepping stones to the wine cellar; this creates the feeling of dining in nature with the sea in front and the forest and water behind. The dining experience extends out to the beach, where tables are placed under the restful shade of an enormous takamaka tree – and there’s a private dining sala that lies across a walkway over the lily pond in front of the wine cellar.SERVICES
Exotic and rare, the Spa on North Island is a holistic journey of visual and textural contrasts, arousing the senses, rejuvenating the mind, body and soul. For the more energetic, the gym provides state-of-the-art equipment. Our Spa is a place of exquisite natural beauty and timeless relaxation.
North Island Spa and Gym
The Spa and Gym is situated further up in the mountain, above the main swimming pool, thus providing outstanding views over the Indian Ocean while enjoying your fitness routine or being pampered. The gym is air-conditioned and has state-of-the-art equipment. North Island Spa is a place of extreme natural beauty and timelessness. It is an experience of luxury, and is unencumbered, uninhibited, in touch, in tune, at ease and at peace.
Over and above their standard North Island treatments, they specialise in designing personalised holistic treatments to rejuvenate the body, mind and soul. On arrival at North Island, once you have settled into your villa, their spa therapists will be available for an individual consultation aimed at personalising treatments to suit your needs. They design treatments that relieve stress, that are suited to after-exercise, that detoxify, cleanse and purify, that refresh and rejuvenate and those that provide finishing touches before leaving North Island.
Play at North
On land or in water, the choices on North Island are many and varied. Cool forest trails and mountain biking create an air of tropical exploration, snorkelling or diving in the warm seas reveal a world of marine wonder, sea kayaking or fishing expeditions thrill the active, while boating to other islands satisfies the adventurous. An evening cruise complete with an Indian Ocean sunset is the perfect way to finish the day!
Their Beaches – Four idyllic beaches offer sanctuary all year round. East Beach extends off the piazza and in front of the villas. As the sun sets, West Beach is washed in pastel colours and the Sunset Bar is the perfect place for a relaxing evening cocktail. Honeymoon Cove is an idyllic hideaway and Petit Anse offers shelter and seclusion.
Adjacent to the Library and located on the beachfront, the Dive and Activity centre houses both indoor and outdoor tuition areas, changing rooms and interesting displays; it is where many of the Island’s land and marine activities are coordinated.
The Helipad, in the middle of the plateau, is there welcome mat, where guests are greeted by smiling staff and where they bid farewell to the island and its inhabitants at the end of their stay. It is a large open space surrounded by rows of old coconut palms, remnants of the island’s history as a coconut plantation in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Next to the lounges and placed well forward on the beach is the library. Built of coral blocks, it is undoubtedly one of the most exquisite examples of historic architectures on the Island and was standing when construction of the lodge began. Now, with its exterior walls renovated and its roof replaced, it is the custodian of the history of the Island, housing a collection of books on topics of interest, various relics and artefacts.
An ideal place for a quiet and relaxing read, the library also contains material explaining the background to the North Island’s Noah’s Ark Project and details of environmental programmes currently underway.
The boutique, situated behind the Dive and Activity Centre, is perfect for browsing through its selection of clothing, gifts, jewellery and its wide variety of designer swimsuits for your days on the beach.
North Island is a fertile paradise – the perfect setting for our Noah’s Ark conservation programme. Thanks to thousands of indigenous plant species grown in our nursery and then transplanted throughout the island, its habitat has been restored to become a place where fauna and flora endemic to the Seychelles can flourish. Alien rodents have been successfully eradicated and excitingly, species such as Seychelles blue pigeons and breeding populations of wedge-tailed shearwaters and white-tailed tropicbirds have returned of their own accord. Hawksbill and green turtles nest on our beaches once more.
The next phase has involved introducing more indigenous life. A founder population of 25 Seychelles white-eyes, of which a mere 400 remain on Earth, was introduced in 2007 and gratifyingly settled down to nest and produce the next generation in a place of safety and plenty. The population on the Island currently exceeds 60 birds, with North now responsible for a significant proportion of the world population of the species: a responsibility we have taken on with enthusiasm and pride.
The introduction of the Seychelles black mud terrapin has been similarly successful. Spending time with our Environmental Team will allow you to marvel at the full scope of what has been done in order to create a true Noah’s Ark in the Indian Ocean.MAP
Photo’s copyright © North Island, Photographer – Mike Myers