Banyan Tree Villas, Mahe, Seychelles

Why we love it:
Banyan Tree feels so much smaller and more intimate than the other resorts. It is one of the few resorts that has villas that are directly on the beach. We loved that you can walk out of your villa on to the soft white sand. The beach is gorgeous, and feels entirely private. We loved the forest and wetland areas in the resort and the Saffron Thai-style restaurant is incredible. Best meal we had in Seychelles. They offer destination dining for romantic couples looking to eat alone.

What to expect:
This is a resort where you walk – no golf carts are really needed as its mostly on one level. The villas are perfect, with their own pools, sala, and little beach in front. The main pool area is suspended up overlooking the bay, and is a dramatic rim-flow lap pool. The style of the buildings are bright and light and quite different to any others we saw. The spa is excellent, and perches up on the hillside, and the individual open-air treatment rooms nestle in the flowers. The beach is one of the few that has waves, and isn't ideal for snorkeling off the beach. However the gentle sound of the waves is wonderful.

What to do:
If you don’t want to idle away the day on the perfect beach, and sip the local drink at the beach 'Rum-Shack', they can arrange snorkeling, as well as diving, and a host of nearby activities that include glass bottom boat tours, island tours and hikes. Visit the terrapin and turtle rehabilitation centre, or just go and relax in the amazing spa. The organic vegetable garden tour and cooking courses are also great if you time it right! Turtles nest on the beach there from November to February.

When to visit:
Seychelles is hot and pretty humid all year round. The rain is more prevelant from November to April, however not much more than short hard showers. The humidity is highest during the rainy season. The wind and choppy seas start in May and go on till November, with the rainy season being calmest for boating.

This was one resort that didn’t feel super kid-friendly. The villas would work fine for kids as they are very private, but the living areas are not easy to manage young kids and the clientele seemed refined and quiet rather than kid-tolerant.

How to get there
It is a 45 minute transfer from Mahe Airport.

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