The Enchanted Island Resort was created by the Shah family on Round Island which is located in the Sainte Anne Marine National Park.
The exclusive resort is just a ten minute boat ride from the main island of Mahé and Seychelles International Airport, making it a very accessible retreat.
Arriving in style on a speed boat I am greeted with a warm welcome by a member of staff. Immediately I have a feeling of stepping back in time as I’m taken through to the Castaway Bar for a cold drink before checking in to my luxe villa. The bar is relaxed with the cheeriest barman Suresh, making Bloody Marys, and seemingly very happy to be part of the vibe that Round Island emanates.
With only ten villas on this island, each one with access to its own private beach, you can tell this resort was designed and built with pride and passion.
“I want people to feel at home when they holiday here,” says the Enchanted Island Resort owner Sunil. “We’ve created an island where this is the ‘old’ Seychelles. We want guests to relax and enjoy and above all we want to make our guests feel enchanted.”
The original concept included sympathetic construction around all the existing mature trees, allowing them in places to continue growing through the rooftops. This important natural setting means that the island has retained its charm and Creole character.
This dream resort was the brainchild of Sunil and his late father Anant Jivan-Shah who fortunately lived to see the island’s retreat finished and for them to enjoy their creation. It opened for business in December 2013 however it feels like the resort has always been part of the natural landscape.
Thousands of special plants and trees overseen by Sunil’s wife Babita, were cultivated in a nursery on Mahé and then shipped over to Round Island where there is now an abundance of colourful and sweet-smelling flowers set in manicured gardens.
The artwork seen throughout the hotel and within the villas was privately commissioned by Sunil to a local artist. The furniture around the hotel and in the villas is antique; the unique metal posters in the bar are the personal collection of Sunil.
He shopped far and wide looking for exceptional pieces of furniture and art to ensure that Enchanted captured the ‘old’ Seychellois feel.
The resort has two unique villas and eight signature villas. My Private Pool Villa ‘Villa Kopayi’ is a delight. It has all the home-from-home features including a king-sized bed, full on air conditioning that isn’t noisy, a LED screen TV with satellite programming, complimentary WIFI and a DVD player. More exciting is the antique writing desk and handmade copper lanterns hanging from the ceiling.
There is an original outdoor bath tub spacious enough for two people luxuriously lined with mother of pearl. Also there is an outdoor power shower and toilet! Here you can be guaranteed of privacy and seclusion, so there’s no need to be shy!
Outside there is a private veranda and your own swimming pool with sun loungers. It is a short walk down the garden path where you reach a private beach and more comfortable sun loungers to sunbathe overlooking the sapphire coloured ocean.
Round Island has hosted many celebrities since its opening. Ronny Woods from the Rolling Stones and his wife Sally stayed there for three weeks in the Owner’s Signature Villa. This villa also showcases the same Creole-inspired design and has direct access to three beaches and an infinity pool. It also features a gazebo, private garden and ensuite bathrooms for each of the four bedrooms. The master bedroom includes an outdoor shower and French bathtub and toilet with an incredible view!
Breakfast is excellent. You can have this served in your villa or at the Bounty Restaurant overlooking the Indian Ocean. It’s not buffet style instead and much more to my taste, each dish is cooked to your preference from the breakfast menu.
Every evening we were surprised by tasty canapes delivered to our villa. These whetted our appetite for our evening meal at the Bounty Restaurant which offers exceptional Creole influenced fine food.
For a starter, I tried the crispy squid tempura served with Creole coconut mash, sliced radish, and pineapple coriander. It was divine! Then I sampled the Seafood Bouillabaisse, fresh fish and shellfish in a saffron broth with cherry tomatoes and baby potatoes. The menu was varied and included grilled meats and curries. There is something for everyone, even the most fussy of eaters.
The Serena Spa is on the island together with a yoga pavilion, a library and a well-equipped gym. Here there is everything you need for a wonderful holiday of relaxation and rejuvenation.
If you wish to explore, you can the use one of their kayaks and paddle across to a small national park called Moyenne Island, just ten minutes away. Here you can feed the tortoises, enjoy a scenic nature walk with amazing viewpoints and try snorkelling. Enchanted Resorts will help you to arrange day trips, including a tour of the main island Mahé, and a day visit to Praslin the home to the legendary Cocoa de Mer and Black Parrot and to the French island La Digue.
I loved Round Island very much. It was a heart-warming experience to holiday there that included genuine heart-felt hospitality. I felt more like that I was visiting old friends in their home and I’m very much looking forward to returning.
Let’s just say I was enchanted!
KT was a guest of Enchanted Island Resorts and Visit Seychelles – Thank you