Located on Silhouette Island, the Seychelles’ third-largest and best-known granitic archipelago, Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa is the only resort on the entire island. Arrive by helicopter from Mahé to take in the Jurassic Park-esque views from above, or arrive by ferry from the Bel Ombre jetty (it’s a gentle 45-minute journey, and you’ll still experience fantastic views, especially when the island’s striking peaks loom into view). The spacious resort occupies the shore of a white-sand beach and has spectacular views of neighboring North Island and across the glittering Indian Ocean. It is backed by lush, thick jungle for as far as the eye can see.
The beachfront suites are, as the name suggests, on the beachfront and each has direct private access to the sandy shores. You might spot another guest who is also enjoying the scenery, but for the most part, the beach is private, secluded and utterly tranquil. For extra privacy, the Two-bedroom Silhouette Estate is the one to book. It’s set away from the rest of the resort and lies beyond a steep winding road, enveloped by verdant tropical jungle. The 13,000-sq-ft villa has two spacious bedrooms, large living area, private pool and sun deck, and comes with butler service.
The undulating landscape is just calling to be explored — the island is home to the 2,464-ft Mount Dauban as well as a number of other peaks reaching over 1,600 ft. Head off on a guided nature walk to learn about the island’s history and the many endemic plants and animal species. Your guide will take you to a few magical spots on the island: volcanic rocks overlooking the cerulean ocean and small beaches where the jungle makes way for white sand. The surrounding waters were declared a Marine National Park so keen scuba divers will delight in the coral reefs, and the resort has the only five-star PADI-certified diving center in the area. If you want to explore above water, go kayaking, snorkeling or fishing, or sail on a catamaran at sunset.
The Seychelles takes conservation incredibly seriously, and the Hilton Seychelles Labriz’s efforts are not only impressive but encourage guests to participate. Upon arrival, you’ll be presented with a stainless steel water bottle. Throughout the resort, you’ll spot water fountains with a bat symbol on them (a nod to the Seychelles sheath-tailed bat) where you can refill your bottle — the resort has a filter system that uses water from Mount Dauban’s waterfall. Guests have bikes to whiz around the island, you won’t find any plastic straws, and 95 percent of the resort’s seafood is from local fishermen. Most of the island is a National Park: The landscape and its many inhabitants (including a number of critically endangered species) are protected so it is no surprise that the resort champions conservation so earnestly.
The island’s history dates back to the 15th century, but the most famous past occupants are the Dauban family who developed many plantations on Silhouette — Auguste Dauban, who owned the island in the 17th century, was known as “the Rothschild of the Indian Ocean.” He, along with other Dauban family members, are entombed in the family mausoleum, which was built in the style of Paris’ La Madeleine.
While Hilton Seychelles Labriz resort is certainly family friendly, the Eforea spa is a dreamy respite for mums and dads who need a break. It is built right into the granite boulders and the six treatment rooms are separated by stone walkways. There are facials, body treatments, massages and manicures available, but the therapists add their own little touches (my masseuse braided my hair with flowers) which makes the experience more memorable. Post-treatment, relax in the steam room or sauna (both built into and around the granite) or in the outdoor whirlpool and plunge pool.
Two-bedroom Silhouette Estate from $1,750 per night. Contact +248 429 3949, hilton.com/seychelles