North Island lies just 15 minutes by helicopter from Mahé and is one of the Seychelles' 40 inner granitic islands that are often considered to be the most beautiful on Earth. It is perfect for those seeking an unspoiled, spectacular tropical haven on a large and private island. The entire island is known as a ‘Noah's Ark' – resident ecologists have returned it to its former pristine beauty and conserved critically endangered Seychelles species. With four white sandy beaches located at each end of the compass, North Island is able to offer a year-round tropical beach and island experience.
North Island has created a signature style that combines natural beauty with sheer luxury. This private island sanctuary is the very definition of barefoot luxury.
Photos courtesy of: Four Seasons Seasons Seychelles at Desroches Island, Fregate Island Private, Wilderness Safaris, and Seychelles Tourism Board
There are only 11 handcrafted guest villas on the entire island, each constructed to create a sensorial experience in surroundings of understated elegance. All the structures at North Island Lodge have been individually handcrafted to give it a unique atmosphere and distinct flavor of the Seychelles. Each villa measures 450 square meters (4,890 square feet) giving guests enough room to spread out and enjoy a unique, private, island-style experience to the full. Each villa has two bedrooms – a master and a second bedroom. Whilst the villa is primarily occupied by one or two guests, they have a requirement to use the second bedroom for children or friends and this is available at an additional cost. Alternatively, the second bedroom can be converted into a study for guests staying in the master bedroom. Each villa is completely self-contained and is raised over a meter off the ground to capture the cooling island breezes. The bedrooms are air-conditioned and all rooms have overhead "punkah punkah" fans. The fully retracting sliding doors allow 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. All villas also have two landlines, one in the study and one in the main bedroom. The kitchen leads off the lounge/dining area. A private plunge pool (all villa pools have pool nets) and sala are the finishing touches to this private sanctuary.
Villas 1 - 9 are nestled discreetly in the tree-line, facing onto Anse d'est Beach. Villas 10 and 11 (Villa Royale and Villa North Island respectively) have been designed differently to accommodate the incline along the extreme northern side of the Anse d'est Beach and are secretly tucked away in the Takamaka forest. The beach views from these villas are truly spectacular from every angle and it is this, together with the unique manipulation of the design, that separates these two remarkable villas from the rest.
A lounge, dining room and library, scenically located health spa and gym, world-class dive center, and a 45-meter long rim-flow swimming pool are all built into a granitic outcrop. A sunset bar and restaurant are tucked away on the western beach of the island.
Guest can choose whether to eat on the beach, in their villa, restaurant or the Sunset Bar. The cuisine is based on the very finest natural products, especially the abundance of fresh fish available from the waters of the Indian Ocean. There is a 'no menu' concept, and the chef speaks to each guest upon arrival to develop menus around your personal preferences.
North Island Sunset Bar: A walk along Grande Anse Beach as the sun sets is an experience not to be missed - especially as the Sunset Bar lies at the end of the walk. This simple, rustic bar is located just above the high water mark on the northern end of Grande Anse. Drinks and light snacks can be served for those wanting to enjoy this beach.
The activities on offer at North Island are designed to give guests the opportunity to enjoy the Island and its magic, either under guidance from one of the staff, or alone. This gives guests the freedom to move around the Island at their own pace, either on foot, on North Island mountain bikes or by Island Buggies.
Scuba diving: The Seychelles forms part of the world's longest coral reef system and has some of the world's best scuba diving sites. Numerous dive sites have been identified around North Island and its nearest neighbor, Silhouette Island. North Island offers a "guided" scuba experience and the dive masters are not only experts in scuba practices but also in the underwater world. The North Island dive school and fishermen are experienced professionals who will inspire confidence with both uninitiated and seasoned guests alike.
Snorkeling: There are good snorkeling sites around North Island and Silhouette Island. Masks and fins are available at the dive center if guests wish to explore these sites, either on their own or in the company of a staff member (depending on their snorkeling skills).
Kayaking: Those wishing to explore the Island from the water are able to do so using sea kayaks, with all necessary tuition and guidance provided.
Fitness Center: The gym is air-conditioned and is situated behind the dive center.
Island Bicycles: These mountain bikes are available for all guests and are suitable for getting from one side of the Island to the other with ease.
Island Buggies: Each Villa has its own dedicated island buggy. These specially adapted electric carts look like miniature 4x4s that give guests the freedom to move around the Island.
Fishing: Fly fishing is an option for any guest. North Island has fishing rods, tackle and flies in stock for guest use. However, it is recommended that serious fly-fishermen bring their own rods and tackle.
Boating and Island Hopping: Boating around North Island or other trips could include visits to Mahé and the outer islands, including the spectacular bird islands, Arid and Cousin, and can be arranged at an extra cost.
Turtles: Depending on the time of the year guests may be lucky enough to witness the Hawksbill and Green turtles laying their eggs on the eastern and western beaches of North Island. Researchers will tag the turtles so that their breeding activities can be monitored.
Walking: Guests are able to explore the island by walking around it and along its extensive beaches, or climbing the granite outcrops and crossing the saddle linking the eastern and western plateau.
Birding: The island hosts several bird species including five endemics, namely Seychelles Kestrel, Seychelles Blue Pigeon, Seychelles Swiflet, Seychelles Sunbird and the Seychelles White-Eye.
The North Island Library: The extensive natural history library and research center was lovingly renovated out of the old coral ruins. It houses all the documentation concerning the history of the Island as well as details of its rehabilitation and plans of the building of the lodge. Slideshows &and talks are also offered, enabling interested guests to learn about Seychelles and North Island, as well as a wide range of ecological and conservation topics.
The Spa: Perched high above the beach with stunning views of the turquoise waters and dramatic cliffs, North Island's spa provides a unique treatment menu specially derived from island ingredients. Staying true to North Island's concept of tailor-made service, guests can receive certain treatments in the privacy of their own villa.
For more information on the Seychelles, please contact Mollie Fitzgerald at 1-800-245-1950.