FREGATE ISLAND PRIVATE,
BEST FOR: NATURE LOVERS LOOKING FOR AN ALL-OUT BEACH ESCAPE
NOT FOR: ANYTHING HIGH-OCTANE. THIS IS A PLACE OF PEACE
Fregate is the original eco trailblazer in the Seychelles, a low-key utterly private escape cast out in the Indian Ocean. Tweeters love it for the for the large flocks of Fairy Terns and Noddies that glide across the island at sunset and species such as the Magpie Robin that have been brought back from the brink of extinction – thanks in part to a huge effort in making sure the island is free of pesticides so they can breed safely on the ground. But it’s not just birds that are the eco focus here. There are also more than 2,000 free-roaming Giant Aldabra Tortoises softly plodding through the lush grass (a nursery for young ones monitors their development) and on one of the seven palm-fringed sandy beaches, you can watch as sea turtles come ashore to nest during the daytime and lay their eggs (it’s one of the only places on the planet where this mesmerising experience takes place). Indigenous trees, such as the Takamaka, a national icon, are continually being planted to encourage the restoration of the island’s native flora.
Set among all this natural paradise amidst frangipanis, banyans and wild fig trees, are 16 gigantic villas, each with thatched bedrooms filled with teak furniture, cool marble floors and a private pool big enough for pre-breakfast power lengths. Spend days exploring on nature walks with the resident conservationists who will share their knowledge of the ecosystem that thrives here and the role they play in island life (you can even help them with their work: searching for tiny sea turtle hatchlings emerging from their nests, say, or checking nest boxes for chicks) or go diving with an ecologist to learn more about the flying fish, dolphins and other sea creatures of the deep.
The philosophy continues at the shoes-off, cliff-top Rock Spa too, where there’s a beautiful water garden and the ‘Fresh is Best’ mantra comes through in treatments that use their own range of products – rosewater mists, mashed papaya massages, breadfruit anti-ageing facials and passionfruit foot rubs – made from ingredients grown on the island. When it comes to food, you can eat anything, anywhere, anytime whether you fancy a romantic breakfast in the tree house at the top of one of the island’s oldest banyan trees in the forest or delicious organic salads picked fresh from the vegetable plot (you can forage even for the ingredients yourself), simply prepared and delivered straight to your plate at a table in the Plantation garden. Plus, one of the island’s tractors tending the land runs on a mixture of diesel and used frying oil – how forward thinking and clever is that.
CONTACT: +49 (0)7221 9008 071; www.fregate.com
PRICE: Private Pool Residence from €4,400 per residence per night, including all meals anywhere on the island, soft beverages, house wines, local beers as well as personal laundry, island buggy, non-motorised watersports and guided nature walks.
NEAREST AIRPORT: Seychelles International Airport
TRANSFER TIME: Either a 15-minute flight or 1.5-hour boat ride
First-Hand Visit Write-Up By: Emma Love