Banyan Tree Seychelles
Step foot into a tropical beach haven where time seems to stand still. Located on one of the Seychelles’ finest beaches lies the dreamy Banyan Tree Seychelles Resort: imagine powedery white sand, dramatic mountain backdrops and swaying palms with majestic sea views. The views of this marvelous hotel in the Indian Ocean overlooks one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and delivers romance and authentic luxury in a colonial chic atmosphere. Of all the hotels I have seen in the Seychelles, this one has become my favorite. The Banyan Tree Seychelles checks all the boxes: Style, Comfort, Luxury, Service, Quality of Food and Value for money. If you are looking for a dreamy hotel with lots of privacy and excellence in every way – the Banyan Tree Seychelles is right for you.
The resort stretches out over an immense area of nature reserves, jungles and coastlines with approximately 117 hectares. The hotel facilities have been built around nature in a flowing non-disruptive way. Ancient trees, granite boulders and root systems have been carefully protected and were integrated into the entire resort layout and its architecture. Sixty gorgeous pool villas are spread out generously either along the beach or nestled among lush tropical vegetation on the hillside. All are exceptionally private and all come with their own infinity pool and sun deck, boasting unfettered views of the Ocean. As roads to the hill villas can get quite steep, the friendly staff provide buggy service in case you feel too relaxed to walk. The great energy and warmth of the staff and the beautiful nature are so positive and recharging, you cannot help but feel at ease wandering around the resort being greeted by smiling faces while you marvel at lakes, lily ponds, waterfall rocks, jungles trails and the endless white beach of the Banyan Tree Seychelles. Once you check-in, it’s all yours to enjoy.
The Banyan Tree Seychelles is located on Mahé and can easily reached by car or even bus in a 35 minute drive from SEZ International Airport. We took a rental car for the week so we were flexible and it was absolutely worth it. We followed the road signs and drove deeper and deeper into the forest along winding roads. The area is security controlled and adds to the resort’s privacy. After a while we reached the main area and we couldn’t have been more in awe. In front of us was a majestic Banyan tree roundabout, probably centuries old. Behind it lay the beautiful reception buildings completely blending in with nature in an effortless, timeless colonial styled porch and walkways. I fell in love with it straight away. We were escorted through the wonderfully-smelling reception, which was fully decorated with indoor trees, cream and teal pillows and soft carpets. We sat down one of the bars and were served lemongrass tea with fine coconut cakes and cold towels along with a million-dollar view over one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The check-in was swift and uncomplicated and we were taken to our villa by buggy car straight away.
We stepped foot into our Ocean Front Pool Villa and stopped for a second trying to take it all in. The layout is spacious and each villa of this category comes with an extensive outdoor area and features private beach access, a hidden garden with sundeck and loungers, a private pool, a relaxation pavilion, a Jacuzzi and a terrace. The chic yet comfortable architecture complements the surrounding setting—colonial décor coupled with the trademark Banyan Tree style celebrates Seychellois island living. The villa interior matches its outdoors perfectly - high ceilings, airy curtains and louvered doors, ethnic woven patterns paired with Asian and Creole furniture. A unique feeling of understated luxury. All amenities were focused on sustainable but luxurious living and the green efforts of Accor’s Planet 21 initiative was palpable in every aspect. There were Banyan Tree’s soft signature pattern robes with matching slippers which are so comfy they feel like you’re walking on a cloud. ( I proudly admit I took a pair home with me.) The oversize king bed offers an excellent mattress and pillows of various softness to choose from. Every night for turndown, there’s some small treats, aromatherapy and messages from the team wishing you a good night. Staying here definitely feels like a home away from home and the villa offers every comfort you might look for in a relaxing holiday. I can absolutely see a honeymoon couple not wanting to leave their villa for an entire week. We also had a look at the hilltop villas, they’re decorated a bit differently but are just as spacious. Especially the shower in these villas took me by surprise as it is a combination of bathtub and rain shower and it comes with a panorama window. Showering with a view! Another highlight was the open-sided terrace pavilion, they’re designed perfectly to let you gaze over the jungle tree canopy of native Takamaka trees as a backdrop with nothing but the ocean and not a soul to be seen.
Let me be perfectly clear here. The beach at the Banyan Tree is absolutely fantastic and my favorite on entire Mahé island. The bay is huge and dramatic, seamed with the characteristic granite boulders the Seychelles have become so famous for. Depending on tidal movements, the shore keeps on changing throughout the day. The powerful ocean rolls in and creates a spectacle of waves, breeze and various shades of blue. The soft white sand is complimented by many tall palm trees which produce cool shade in the heat of the day. A perfect scene is set for endless dreamy strolls on the beach. Villas located on the beach have a private and direct access to their own beach strips, hillside villas can access the beach through the resort’s rum shack and find sunbeds here as well. Even though the resort was almost fully booked it never seemed crowded. On either side of the bay you can find rocks and resting spots – if you’re looking for a place to relax and unwind, the world’s OFF switch is right here at Anse Intendance Beach—often described as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and I can absolutely see why. If you’re intrigued to go and see the bay for yourself and spend a few hours but you’re not staying at the resort, there’s a public access as well. Simply take the road to the Banyan Tree and watch out for a fork in the road indicating the public beach road. Bring a towel and some snacks, it will be a glorious day. For those who stay at the Banyan Tree, there’s a convenient wooden staircase leading the way down to the beach, you can leave your slippers at the foot of the stairs go for a lovely beach walk. A tip for all of you photo enthusiasts, between 3pm and 4pm, there’s beautiful warm light hitting the beach and rocks in front of the resort, paradise found – right here.
For everybody who prefers a pool swim, there is the hotel’s iconic infinity pool, dramatically overlooking the bay—the perfect place to relax, swim and enjoy a cool drink. Not only does the bar staff mix tasty cocktails but they also bring baskets with poolside amenities such as water and sun cream along with little snack every now and then. All sunbeds and towels are oversize and comfortable, even the tallest of guests will enjoy them and appreciate this extra thoughtful luxury. The pool itself offers two separate swimming areas with underwater sitting edges to rest on and enjoy the view over the ocean. As all villas have their own private pools, this area is usually quiet and you can dream away all day to the sound of gushing waves. The famous infinity edge was built around a granite rock wall and offers unimpaired ocean views. The pool is best photographed from the Main Building’s first floor.
Dining at the Banyan Tree Seychelles is a big part of your resort experience and gourmets are catered to exceptionally in all of the six restaurant dining options. Some are a bit more casual such as the “Rum Shack” where you can enjoy a light bite with sand between your toes- or the relaxed Pool Bar. At “Au Jardin d’Epices” guests enjoy the daily sumptuous breakfast buffet with stunning views over the turquoise shimmering lagoon. For lunch and dinner this restaurant becomes a lovely spot to dine al fresco and enjoy international cuisine while listening to the sound of the ocean. A must-try is the Creole Curry, a buttery creamy curry with fresh reef fish and octopus. We also absolutely loved the creamy scallops and rich dessert selection. There’s also “Chez Lamar” – the resort’s upscale restaurant serving modern Creole and Arabic cuisine on a charming wooden veranda. Our favorite food of all was served at the resorts signature Thai restaurant “Saffron”, renowned for its creative Thai and South East Asian cuisine. The restaurant is located at the resort’s calm pond and welcomes its guests for daily dinners beautifully lit with torches and fires. The restaurant’s architecture and interior design immediately transforms you into Thailand’s colonial days. We tried some of the most fragrant and delicious Thai food we’ve ever tasted and traveled to Thailand extensively. We learned that every Banyan Tree Resort features a Saffron Restaurant with its signature menu created by Saffron’s global Executive Chef Renu Homsombat. Have a look at the selection of gourmet signature dishes here. Our favorite: The Massaman Curry with roasted Pumpkin and the ultimate dessert classic - Mango Sticky Rice with Coconut Ice Cream.
Traveling environmentally friendly are two things that don’t really go together well. As a frequent traveler I try to choose green options wherever I can so when we stayed at the Banyan Tree Seychelles I was positively surprised. Plastic-free amenities, environmentally friendly packaging material, bamboo straws and the hotel even has its own eco-center with organic vegetable garden and an animal welfare shelter for amphibians and tortoises. We were given a tour through lemongrass bushes, winding passionfruit branches and even cucumbers, squash, watermelon and corn patches. The gardening team would play laid-back music and speak to their crops while looking after them. The biologist on site do research on indigenous species and care for a group of giant tortoises. I have seen quite some cages for this beloved Seychellois animal, but none were so animal friendly and naturally spacious as the resort’s enclosure. Visitors can pet them and feed them when visiting the eco-center. We were told that local Seychellois even bring some hurt birds or pets to the center, as one of the very few x-ray machines for animals is available here. I love animals of all kind and was so impressed by the work the Banyan Tree team does here.
The Spa & Wellness
Wellness lovers like myself with find another highlight of the resort in the award-winning Banyan Tree Spa. Hidden away on the resort’s hillside, built into the jungle and around massive boulders, lie the eight open-air treatment pavilions with private sea-views and the soothing sound of the jungle during a massage. The friendly Thai and Balinese therapists are well-trained and welcome you to their serene spa gardens. After arriving at the Spa we enjoyed some fresh tea and were escorted to our spa suite. The therapists guided us along natural jungle paths with smooth stepping stones through giants rocks – into the treatment sanctuary, the “Royal Spa Suite”.
The suite was our own private jungle area with Jacuzzi, outdoor shower, treatment pavilion and washrooms. I’ve honestly never been in such a spacious and special treatment facility in any spa. The energy of nature, the wind and the sound of the ocean made the heavenly massage we had just perfect. We drifted off in pure bliss and enjoyed a soothing bubble bath in the private Jacuzzi after. “Is this even real?”, I kept on thinking to myself. At Banyan Tree Spa it's all about ancient Asian traditions and healing techniques drawing from Thai, Balinese and Ayurvedic herbs and massages. The all natural ingredients like ginger, coconut or lemongrass are worked into fantastic treatments that will have you walk on clouds afterwards. The extensive Spa Menu offers a variety of treatments, some longer than other such as the Royal Banyan, a 3-hour treatment package. Banyan Tree is well-known for creating graceful wellness journeys, all therapist are well-trained and you can let yourself sink into capable healing hands.
Our stay at the Banyan Tree Seychelles was delightful and I’d return in a heartbeat. Thank you to the entire team for making our stay so memorable.
The Banyan Tree Seychelles is part of the international Hotel Chain AccorHotels and currently counts 49 hotels and resorts worldwide. The Banyan Tree Seychelles can be reached in approximately 30 minutes by car from Mahé International Airport.