The epitome of paradise, North Island is a 500-acre private island in the Seychelles. With just 11 villas, you can be guaranteed total privacy. You might not even encounter another guest during your stay, unless you’re lucky enough to see hawksbill turtles hatching on the beach, in which case guests hotfoot it or jump in a golf buggy to the beach to see the once-in-a-lifetime natural wonder. While you might not bump into many other guests, you’re sure to make new friends in the form of the free-roaming Aldabra giant tortoises. Some of these gentle giants are over 100 years old and can weigh up to 550 lbs. There are 100 of them on the island and they are friendly creatures, especially if you feed them an apple or two. Every detail at North Island is truly spectacular, from the natural materials used in the decor to the supremely attentive staff who greet you like an old friend. There is also a lovely spa and gym, as well as a library, swimming pool, boutique, environment center (where you can contribute to the resort’s conservation efforts) and three private beaches.
Jonathan Lithgow, general manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, +27 610 890 462
Villa North Island
Size: 8,000 sq ft
Nightly rate from $15,000
All the villas are beautifully appointed, utilizing the serene bathroom looks out onto the private lawn natural materials of the island — think distressed wood, seashells and bamboo. The 4,845-sq-ft villas have one master bedroom with an outstanding bathroom (the shutter doors open out onto the expansive lawn; you can have a relaxing bath and listen to the sound of rolling waves) and a second bedroom with a bathroom that can be transformed into a movie theater; a plunge pool; an expansive lawn; and direct access to the beach. Villa North Island, also known as Villa 11, is the largest on the island and sits at the far end of East Beach, perched on granite boulders. Its 8,000 sq ft are spread across multiple levels. Each villa has an attendant and a guest experience host who will see to your every request. The island is available for exclusive use, too.
There are two restaurants, The Island Piazza and West Beach Bar, which both offer toes-in-the-sand dining right on the beach. Daily menus are created so you can dine on whatever your heart desires or, if you can’t choose, the chef can create a divine tasting menu. Head to The Cross at the base of Spa Hill for champagne and canapes as the setting sun colors the sky. For a romantic afternoon, head to Honeymoon Beach (its name alone is an indicator of how romantic it is) for a bespoke picnic, as you have the run of the beach to yourselves. There’s also a library where a special Creole dinner can be arranged and a wine cellar offering private wine tastings, or enjoy a candlelit dinner under the stars on the helipad.
The beauty of North Island is that you can do as much or as little as you please. Spend days unwinding on one of the two beaches or have a sleep-inducing massage at the spa. Water enthusiasts can explore the depths with expert dive masters who have incomparable knowledge of the best dive spots, or explore from above the waterline on a kayak, longboard or paddleboard. Fishers will love the half-day fishing trips — the captains know the best places to throw in a line so you’re practically guaranteed a catch, which can be prepared for your dinner.