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A Seychelles Rush

It would be a shame to let the hedonist in you fall for a fruit cocktail and a lounger on Constance Ephélia Seychelles when you could have your heart race instead.

The Seychelles is the ‘Big Easy’ of the Indian Ocean. It’s a great pity, though, to let it slide by in a horizontal sliver of sea, sand and sky – your view if you’re lying down and lazing it all away. On a recent trip to Constance Ephélia Seychelles on Mahé, the largest of the granite-based islands that make up this ancient archipelago, the plan was to engage: swimming, diving and, as aperitif, zip-lining that offers any of you with half an adventurous cell in your bodies an experience somewhere between exhilaration and insanity.

Early-morning sunlight pierces through this luscious mangrove forest that separates the north and south of the estate. That’s the setting. But you’d probably not notice because if you had any sense – your eyes would be shut for the experience. A loud whoop signals that the guest ahead of you has made it safely to the other side.

What may be a little more tempting takes more balance and, at the very least, a world that remains fairly stable. Stand-up paddle boarding allows you to navigate the fragile coastline. Trees seem to fall into the ocean as if their roots fail to hold on tightly enough to the land.

Electric-green waters reflect the steep hills secluding North Beach, keeping the wind at bay.

Weather here makes a reef dive an exceptional experience. On such a day, two curious turtles greet divers through the bubbles of their descent into the clear waters surrounding Trois Bank, a famous dive site just off the coast of the resort. Visibility can be excellent and the reward is intensely coloured coral formations, schools of fish and several

types of sharks. Your final adventure leads you on a guided kayak tour through the mangrove forest. You first brave the ocean current to enter the mouth of the river, as fiery red freshwater crabs bustle through the mangrove roots, disturbed by the presence of paddlers.

Naturally, there are some things tropical that would be sinful to skip.

There’s something about a fresh coconut cocktail served on the beach that is partly cliché but mostly a taste ‘right of passage’. You must have at least one. And the food? Like no other. Try a crisp Caesar salad and a selection of fresh fish caught that very day by local fishermen.

Even though the resort is rather large, it’s pretty easy to orient yourself using the villa’s Apple TV, which sports an interactive map and details on the five restaurants and themed evenings on offer. Two bicycles are parked at the front door for exploring the resort, but the villa assistant will come by with a resort buggy if the heat does you in completely.

Dinner at Cyann offers a delicate balance of local and international cuisine, along with an extensive wine cellar and sommelier to guide you through it all. If you’re exhausted by excursions, the sun and the ocean, reverse it all with an afternoon at the lodge spa. Granite tiles retain the warmth of the sun after a dip in one of the icy plunge pools, and guided meditation is hosted on a pavilion here at dusk, with the calling of seabirds signalling the end of the day.

You design your own special kind of revival at Constance Ephélia Seychelles. The resort simply lines up the hospitality menu – while geography and climate deliver the rest.

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Original article by Kimberley Greeff shortened for online publication, from Private Edition, Issue 32


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