Best Boutique Hotels in the Seychelles

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The Seychelles isn't the place for chain-hotel devotees to rack up loyalty points. Sure, diehards could opt for the DoubleTree by Hilton (we don't mean to pick on that hotel; there is actually nothing chain-like about the tropical outpost). Our point is that the Seychelles is the perfect place to experience boutique hotels in all of their intimate, design-centric, service-oriented glory. Here are the best boutique hotels in the Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean.

  1. MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa is set on a private 30-acre peninsula with a gentle hillside that fronts Anse Louis beach -- a secluded stretch of white-sand bordered by calm turquoise waters. The resort's 30 impressive stand-alone villas are in two distinct locations -- either on the hilltop overlooking the ocean or lower on the hillside with direct beach access. The crowning feature of the villas are their large outdoor terraces with private pools, sunken tubs, lounge chairs, a table and chairs, and a bar area. The property's all-inclusive service goes above and beyond by allowing guests to curate their meals and to dine anywhere, anytime. An infinity-edge pool overlooking the beach, a small spa, and daily yoga are all available, as well as free water sports and scuba diving. 

  2. The 60-unit Banyan Tree Seychelles is a luxury property made up of individual villas lining a Mahe hillside above Intendance Bay. The Banyan Tree focuses on preserving the cultural and historic flavor of the property, its Creole architecture, and plantation-style decor. Villas are walled off from passersby, and each has a private pool, a pavilion, a hot tub, and an outdoor shower. However, the experience doesn't come cheap -- the food in particular is pricey -- and the property is removed from the city, making it a good choice for those looking for quiet, but less than ideal for those who prefer being in the heart of things. 

  3. Set on a hillside on the eastern shores of Praslin Island, the second largest island in the Seychelles, the luxurious Raffles Seychelles offers colorful sunrises over the ocean and sunsets over the mountains. The 86 villas are contemporary in style and generous in size, offering outdoor pavilions with areas to dine and lounge as well as private plunge pools. The resort has its own small stretch of white-sand beach, but Praslin is known for its beautiful beaches, and one of the world’s top-rated is just a 10-minute drive from the property. The resort’s remote location means that guests will need a car if they want to explore the sleepy island, but the amenities -- three restaurants, a spa, and the largest infinity pool in the Indian Ocean -- make it easy to stay on site. 

  4. The charming, 36-room Le Duc de Praslin sits on gorgeous grounds with a beautiful garden filled with tropical plants, palm trees, fish ponds, waterfalls, more than 100 varieties of orchids -- even giant tortoises call the garden home. The upscale resort is not directly on the beach, but it;s just a short walk away and there are two lovely, chlorine-free outdoor pools on-site as well. Other amenities include a restaurant and a trendy lounge, a small spa, and a shop selling clothes and souvenirs. Rooms are spacious and feature pleasant, contemporary decor as well as large terraces, while three- and four-bedroom villas have living rooms and kitchens. Many bathrooms have both walk-in showers and soaking tubs, plus some of the suites add outdoor showers in private gardens as well. 

  5. Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie is one of the most luxurious properties on La Digue Island. The romantic beach resort is tucked into lush tropical gardens, with the 63 villas arranged up a steep hill and restaurants and bars located by the ocean. The vibe is private, serene, and restorative, with local Seychellois architecture and plenty of organic elements brought into the decor. All villas are spacious, with huge, furnished private balconies. Some villas are treehouse-style, sitting on stilts and surrounded by trees and gardens. Built with wood and river stones, the bathrooms are stunning and romantic; many have outdoor showers. The private white-sand beach is small and sheltered, and while it's nice for relaxing, there are a number of world-class beaches within a short bike ride away. Guests can also take a dip in the enormous lagoon-style pool, which has lovely landscaping and a poolside bar that extends into the water. 

  6. Set on a 543-acre private island that's part of a national marine park, the upscale Beachcomber Sainte Anne Resort and Spa features 87 spacious villas, some with private pools, that are well-suited to families and honeymooners. Highlights here include three beaches, free water sports equipment, excellent snorkeling, a huge lagoon-style pool, and a Clarins Spa. The secluded island location and optional all-inclusive rates keep guests on property, but the resort is just a 10-minute boat ride to Mahe, the largest island in the Seychelles. While the private island setting delivers an idyllic getaway vibe, the hotel misses the advertised five-star resort mark when it comes to decor, service, and maintenance.

  7. The 32-room Hotel L’Archipel is an upscale property set in the hills on Praslin Island. Many of the spacious, contemporary rooms have large, furnished terraces -- and all have at least some view of the sea. Wi-Fi, however, incurs a daily fee, but is free in some common areas, such as the hotel’s two restaurants and bar. There’s also a lovely outdoor pool with a sundeck and padded loungers, plus the resort has a water sports center with free canoes, paddleboards, and snorkeling gear to use on its uncrowded beach. The property’s hillside location means that there are lots of steps and inclines to navigate around, which might be an issue for some, and there is no spa or fitness center. 

  8. Situated on beautiful garden grounds on Praslin Island, the luxury boutique Dhevatara Beach Hotel has a scenic beachfront location and just 10 spacious and elegant rooms. Each features outdoor areas, high-end details like Nespresso machines, and luxe bathrooms with separate tubs and rainfall showers. The stunning stretch of white-sand beach is a highlight, though seaweed can be an issue, plus there's a lovely outdoor pool and a full spa offering an extensive treatment menu. Guests rave about the food, which is served at an a la carte restaurant and casual beachside dining spot. Other perks include free bikes, canoes, and snorkeling equipment. 

  9. The petite nine-room Le Repaire Boutique Hotel is an upscale property located near the center of La Digue’s main village and right on a private beach. Rooms are clean, spacious, and sunlit, with modern decor and connecting rooms available for families. The restaurant serves excellent Italian food with a Seychellois twist, and it's popular with locals and tourists alike. The one downside could be the size of the pool, though it still makes for a refreshing dip. 

  10. The 42-room New Emerald Cove is an upper-middle-range resort set on beautiful, beachfront grounds. The resort is only accessible by boat, making for a secluded tropical getaway, but this can be a hindrance for travelers seeking to explore Praslin Island. Rooms are pleasant and many have terraces, but they lack TVs and Wi-Fi, and some upkeep is needed. There's a lovely outdoor pool, plus a decent restaurant and bar on site. Activities include fishing, snorkeling tours, and kite surfing, and the free boat shuttle to Praslin Marina operates throughout the day. 

  11. Creole elegance and Hollywood glam combine at this intimate, luxurious retreat. The four-room boutique hotel is set on a hillside with panoramic Indian Ocean views, and feels like a luxurious private home, with terraces everywhere, and plenty of personal attention. Rooms are huge and beautifully designed, with clever decorative touches, private balconies, and deluxe modern bathrooms. But this property isn't for everyone: Children aged 12 and under are not permitted, and the steep hills and lack of an elevator could be an issue for some. It's also a drive away from the area's beaches. 

  12. La Digue Island Lodge is a comfortable and unpretentious Creole-style enclave set among lush tropical gardens on the lovely white-sand Anse Reunion Beach. Lodging options vary from genteel, plantation-style hotel rooms to thatched-roof chalets set among the gardens. One of the island’s first hotels, the Lodge maintains a strong sense of island history and local Creole culture, while offering modern conveniences, top-notch spa services, a PADI dive center, and a swim-up pool bar, among other luxuries. Wi-Fi, while free, is only available at the reception area. Overall, the feel is warm and welcoming, especially in the main restaurant, which has a sandy floor that invites bare feet. 

  13. Villas de Jardin is an upscale family-friendly complex of seven one- and two-bedroom self-catering villas, located on a steep hillside above the Indian Ocean. The clean, spacious units are a great spot for families and extended-stay visitors, and all have large decks with great views, romantic outdoor showers, well-stocked kitchens, and chic modern bathrooms. There's no restaurant or bar on-site, but there is an outdoor infinity pool with a deck where guests can relax and socialize, and the hotel is near a grocery store and restaurants.

  14. The family-run Valmer Resort is a cozy three-pearl property on a steep hill above Mahe’s Baie Lazare coast. The spectacular mountain and ocean views from the rooms' balconies and the stunning lagoon-style pool could be the Valmer's best feature. Its 21 rooms, both villas and studios, are clean and updated, with luxurious bathrooms, but their thin walls can erode privacy. And according to guests, the restaurant and bar are not exactly a foodie’s dream, but villas do have full kitchens. Note: A car (or public bus) is necessary for grocery runs or exploring. 

  15. The 28-room, upper-middle-range Sunset Beach Hotel is an intimate boutique property nestled into the rocks overlooking the Indian Ocean, with a secluded private beach. Its restaurant, bar, pool, and sun terrace all have spectacular ocean views, making them prime real estate at sunset. The hotel is quiet, perhaps too quiet for kids, and children under 7 are not permitted. Rooms are spacious and have a lot of island character, but travelers should be aware that there's no Wi-Fi in the rooms. And guests have complained about poor service from staff and minor maintenance issues in bathrooms, and many say that the property could use a refresh. 

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