Wild Seychelles sanctuaryA hidden world of natural beauty
Destination: Seychelles, Indian Ocean
Vacation: Tropical adventure
Seeking: Wild beauty
Highlight: Unique nature
As you spot Fregate Island on the horizon as your helicopter makes its approach you’d be forgiven for wondering whether InGen really did manage to bring back dinosaurs and Isla Nublar was a ruse all along – really they set up camp on the lush forested tropical island breaching the turquoise Seychelles waters in front of you. You’d also be forgiven for playing the Jurassic Park theme song in your head to a giant crescendo as you arrive at one of the best luxury resorts in the Seychelles. It would almost be rude not to.
Four degrees south of the equator lies Fregate Island, a natural outstanding beauty with peaceful settings of verdant, tropical interiors and abundant nature fringed by seven fairy-tale beaches. The white powdery sand sweeps around the edge of sentinelled giant, iconic granite boulders. Fregate Island is approximately 2.19 square kilometers in size and its apex is Mont Signal, rising at 125m above sea level.
Fregate Island is a one of a kind destination where guests can experience the ultimate offer to Seychelles luxury with an exclusive 5 star experience and a team genuinely committed to conservation. The restoration and perception of its unique flora and fauna has always been, and will continue to be a fundamental raison d’être for years ahead. This precious Seychelles Island is covered in lush forest, fringed by coral reefs and a sanctuary to some of the world’s rarest plants, reptiles, insects and birds.
At least, that’s what they’ll tell you. We’re still convinced they’re making dinosaurs.
Fregate Island, being the most eastern inner granite island of the Seychelles, is in the Indian Ocean located about 55 km east of the main island, Mahe. The closest international airport to Fregate Isand is Seychelles International Airport on the island Mahé, from there Fregate Island is reached by luxury helicopter transfers within merely 15 minutes one way or a sea voyage by boat averaging 1.5 hours.
Fregate Island’s location enjoys a temperate climate all year, however, there are two distinctive weather seasons.
The period between October and May is called the Northwest Monsoon, and characterized by the lack of wind. Ideally consisting of calm sea conditions and moderate northwest winds, favoring big game fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling.
The period between May and October is called the Southeast Monsoon, commonly characterized by steady, high winds from the southeast, causing rough sea conditions. Watersports and those whom favor these winds like windsurfing and sailing, are extremely popular activities during this season.
- Wild 100% 100%
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- Seclusion 100% 100%
- Romance 100% 100%
“We flew in by helicopter, looking over the clearest blue Indian Ocean, spotting two turtles probably on their way to Fregate Island Private, because later we saw the hatchlings coming out of their nests and dashing down to the sea. Just part of everyday life on this extraordinary island, a living conservation project funded by 16 reassuringly expensive pool villas.
“I say that because nature is at your fingertips, rare birds, geckos, lizards and giant tortoises everywhere, but so was our Private Assistant, Bonnie, who appeared at the best possible times with iced towels. He arranged lunches with white linen on wildly beautiful beaches, we stepped out of the sea to chilled drinks and hot fries with lunch, don’t know how he managed that in the sunshine, half a mile from the kitchens!
“Another night we spotted our dining site on a remote beach by the line of flaming torches, we stepped onto the sand and there was the chef with her whole cooking station laden with lobster and wagyu beef, our table laid with linen and glass and Bonnie greeting us with a broad smile. There was not another soul in sight, so much lavish attention just for just us. The food was delicious, especially the plantation salad plucked from the really large garden, there’s only 400 hectares of agricultural land in the whole Seychelles, and they seem to have a greater part on this island.
“Another time my wife and daughter collected fruits and herbs from the garden and took them up to the spa where they transformed them into hair treatments, face packs and body wraps, which were then applied with all the ritual you expect from the finest spas.
“We swam, surfed and snorkelled with 7 different beaches there was always a lea shore. We dived and saw an eagle ray up close, did some deep sea fishing and returned home with our catch which was promptly turned into sashimi lunch. Bonnie was so keen to set up improbably fabulous meals up the mountain, in tree tops, on remote beaches, we hardly tried the restaurant, but it was majestic, with wonderful views over the ocean. We had our own buggy, which our daughter monopolised, a good quiet place for driving lessons, and made great use of it to explore the island.
“Afraid we ran out of time to do everything, let alone read a book by our impressive infinity pool, and we were there 6 days. We will have to go back! My family send sincere thanks to all the team who live on the island and gave us a glimpse of heaven” Tripadvisor Review
Best food & drink
1. Banyan tree breakfast
On Fregate Island, you’re invited to dine wherever you want, it is part of enjoying complete freedom and immersing yourself in the natural surroundings.
Try breakfast in the branches of a banyan tree watching snowy fairy terns feeding their young.
2. Torch lit beach BBQ
Catch your own bonito and have a sashimi lunch on the sea then, later on, step onto a soft sandy beach for a torch lit barbecue staged solely for you, amused by the hermit crabs’ shell swapping party.
3. Glacis Cerf high tea
Hike to the top of Glacis Cerf and your Personal Assistant will be ahead of you with high tea.
Either as a couple for a romantic escape or a family getaway, the choice of 13 Private Pool Villas, 3 Private Pool Twin Villas and the private Banyan Hill Estate, designed with 3 detached Villas will suite perfectly for all your travel arrangements.
All Fregate Island villas offer dedicated and luxurious bedrooms and living areas, both with air-conditioning and ceiling fans. The bedroom provides a king-sized bed, a large, open bathroom with ‘his and hers’ face basins, indoor and outdoor showers with rain shower heads and a bathtub. A large closet with windows and the personal safe is to be found inside.
Your spacious living area includes a TV, DVD, CD-player, complimentary wireless internet access (in the whole villa), a small bathroom and outdoor rain shower. Further you find in two corners the coffee and tea making facilities and the minibar, equipped with your favorite drinks, a wine chiller filled with Fregate Island’s house wines, and a cocktail mixing kit.
The living room can be transformed into a second bedroom for up to three children. While the Private Pool Villas consist of one bedroom and measure between 400 and 450 sqm. Private Pool Twin Villas are slightly bigger at 650-700 sqm and offer a more spacious private sundeck and larger pool.
The private residence `Banyan Hill Estate`, measuring 1100 sqm, is located on its very own private peninsula. It consists of a large open core and living area with adjacent infinity swimming pool, study, TV lounge, sitting area and a fully equipped kitchen where your private chef prepares every meal personally for you.
Three immaculately furnished detached bedrooms with antiques from all over the Indian Ocean, each benefiting from its own terrace, bathroom with a panoramic-view bathtub and a corner with coffee and tea making facilities.
A personal assistant will be assigned to each villa including a 24/7 private butler service, to assure customized and high-class service throughout your stay. With your personal Fregate Island buggys parked outside your villa, you have the possibility to discover the Island and experience your very own adventure. They claim not to have Gyrospheres but we’re sure if you ask nicely they’d get you one.
Lie back and let nature entertain you as giant tortoises continue on their progress, scarlet fodies dance over breakfast linen and fruit bats glide through the blue skies. Or fill every moment with island activities; round the island races on hobie cats, diving, fishing and exploring 11 km of forest trails teaming with indigenous wildlife, or fine dining anywhere on Fregate Island. Whatever you do it will be designed to offer you an entirely private view of the lush private island’s pristine nature.
There are 11 km of trails criss-crossing Fregate Island, which you can walk, mountain bike or explore by golf buggy. A nature walk with the resort’s resident conservationist is an inspiring and encouraging journey into the island’s ecosystem, giving you a deeper understanding of the role conservation plays in island life.
Find the rare Tenebaum beetle, unique to Fregate Island, or Fregate Island’s precious Wrights Gardenia, the first to flower in the Seychelles. On a night-time safari you will see the rare fluorescent scorpion and discover that the island’s variety with small tails and big claws can only sting. Nature is gentle on Fregate Island.
Guests are more than welcome to assist the resort’s team in their field work (we’re thinking helping Ellie Sattler with some Triceratops), searching for emerging sea turtle hatchlings or checking nest boxes for eggs and chicks, or participate in their Tortoise Adoption programme (or dinosaurs, presumably).
Stargazing is truly special as there is no light pollution, from a hilltop vantage point, a boat on the sea or a sandy shore, you’ll be guided around the constellations of the Southern Hemisphere.
Whales and dolphins can be spotted in the Indian Ocean from your villa terrace and the Castaway Kids’ Club will create an especially magical experience for children, showing them natural phenomenon like the smoking fungi and how to move a giant tortoise by scratching its back.
With four sports boats at Fregate Island’s Yacht Club it’s also easy to set off for an island hopping excursion across the sea.
La Digue offers a glimpse of a laid back life where transport is by colourful ox cart and Praslin, the second largest island in the Seychelles is a perfect destination to pick up some local arts and crafts.
With seven entirely private beaches around the island and just 16 Villas, yours can often be the sole footprints in the sand, flip the ‘Beach Occupied’ sign to ensure absolute privacy. Whenever you arrive there is always a cooler box with iced drinks, towels spread on loungers, a fresh water shower and you can call your PA for anything more you wish. This is genuinely wild beauty with delicious light luxury.
Each beach has its own special character, from Victorin there is excellent snorkelling just 15 metres off-shore, Marina Beach is protected by a coral reef and always calm. To reach Anse Park you walk through a jungle trail past giant tortoises heading to their mud bath. Bamboo is just below Fregate House and has boogie boards and a beach bar for light lunch and crushed iced drinks. Grand Anse is the wildest and you can hear the roar of the waves before you emerge from the jungle trail, order a cocktail and watch the magnificent sunsets. Anse Victorin has been voted the most beautiful beach in the world, but is impossible to capture in words.
And if all that still sounds a little too strenuous for your liking you can visit The Rock Spa, a shaded sanctuary and peaceful teak house on a granite hilltop, with views across the rain forest canopy to the Indian Ocean.
Every guest receives a complimentary Yoga session and Welcome Ritual, helping all attune to the island’s rhythm. Treatments are created bespoke for The Rock Spa and use many of the botanicals and fruits on the island, the resort’s Garden of Eden healing book found in every villa, details many of the recipes. Guests can collect their own fruit and ingredients in the gardens, to create a delicious treatment for natural beauty.
An infinity pool hangs over lush greenery; float and look up at birds soaring through the trees, all is a soothing precursor to one of the natural treatments delivered with gentle professionalism. There is an air-conditioned gym by the Rock Spa and a personal trainer if required. Although let’s be honest, the only thing that will be required after a visit to Rock Spa is probably another cocktail.
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