seychelles-JA resorts

A tiny paradise

Heading for a brief escape from the quotidien of daily life, most among us would be content with a palm-fringed beach. But JA Enchanted Island Resort, a JA Resorts & Hotels offering, allows travellers a chance to step into another world.

The best way to get to the resort is a fifteen-minute boat trip from Mahé, the largest island of the Seychelles. Round Island, on which JA Enchanted Island Resort sits, is its miniscule baby sister – a three-hectare speck of green in the Indian Ocean.

Jumping off the speedboat, guests will feel as if they have entered a Gauguin painting. The island is situated within the Sainte Anne Marine National Park, which was created in 1973 for conservation purposes. Water skiing and fishing are forbidden, resulting in reams of untouched coral gardens, tropical fish and seagrass meadows.

As the island is so small, it is home to only ten villas hidden among the dense foliage, allowing guests the chance for complete seclusion. Each villa is equipped with its own private infinity pool, as well as an outdoor shower, a gazebo for al fresco dining and a secret strip of beach.

The layout has been specifically mapped out to make the most of sweeping sea views, with king-sized beds carefully positioned opposite the windows. Along with high beam ceilings and spacious walk-in wardrobes, the air-conditioned villas have not forgotten modern touches, and come equipped with Bose sound systems and Wi-Fi.

Their aesthetic evokes the island’s Creole heritage, and is continued within the wider resort, which contains over 100 pieces of antique furniture typically seen in island homes of the early 20th century.

For leisure, the resort offers a fitness centre as well as more laidback activities, from a hilltop spa to a yoga pavilion.

Relaxed glamour is the ultimate feeling here. After bathing in a mother-of-pearl outdoor bathtub, taking the winding steps down to your own secluded patch of beach, the hardest thing may be returning to earth.

jaresortshotels.com/from $614 per night

From the concierge:

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Moyenne is less than a five- minute boat ride from the island or, for the more adventurous, a ten-minute kayak or paddle board at low tide.

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Take a boat trip around the National Marine Park to take in the shape and beauty of the surrounding islands – as well as the colourful marine life.

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Enjoy your meals in the privacy of your villa or wander over to Bounty restaurant, where chef Suman Napit and his team create a range of international and Creole-inspired dishes.

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TREASURE ISLAND

Just a kayak away, Moyenne Island has an unusual history. Bought by a Yorkshireman for just $10,000 in the ‘70s, the owner set about making it inhabitable. Part of the process included careful nurture of the resident giant tortoise population, who can live up to 180 years. Come for the reptiles, stay to find the ruby-encrusted Portuguese Fiery Cross of Goa, rumoured to be buried somewhere on the island…

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