When I was young I really wanted to go to Seychelles, mostly because there was a Greek song about going to Seychelles for vacation and ever since then it stuck with me.
I had tried to visit several times in the past few years as most flights from Europe these days are very affordable at around £350-£450 mark, but it always seemed so far away. Since moving to Doha, with Qatar Airways offering direct flights to Seychelles, I was just waiting for the perfect opportunity to explore this little paradise island.
Seychelles has also been high on the list with Muslim honeymoon couples asking for the best hotels and places to stay on the island. I decided to check the Muslim-friendly options in Seychelles. The perfect opportunity came along during our Eid holiday this year.
Our first stop was the Four Seasons Seychelles, which is a stunning property on one of the best beaches on Mahe Island. It is a 40-minute drive from Victoria airport. You arrive at a private paradise tucked away in the mountains with gorgeous hilltop views and the beautiful blue colours of the Indian ocean.
We have stayed at the Four Seasons in Doha and I regularly visit the spa here, but this would have been the first time we experienced a Four Season resort.
We had rented a car so we can explore the island as I read the taxis were expensive. Although the rental was also expensive, we did enjoy having the freedom to drive around Mahe. Upon arriving at the resort, we parked in the parking area and took the buggy to the hotel reception.
They already knew we were arriving and the staff were courteous and polite while working on the formalities. The reception is an outdoor building with a lovely view of the ocean. However, it doesn’t prepare you for what you are about to experience once you check in.
Every room in the resort has a private villa with a private pool and the only difference is the location of the villas. All of the villas have the same layout and furnishing. We were allocated in villa 104, which was a Hilltop Ocean View villa.
As we had arrived earlier than the check-in time, our villa was not ready so they let us use one of the Spa rooms so we could freshen up and start our holiday. I have to say this made such a big difference after a night flight. It felt good taking a shower and relaxing for a few hours. We basically showered and went straight to the beach to start our holiday. 🙂
What I really like was the outdoor space. Every villa comes with a deck with sun loungers and of course a private pool. In terms of Muslim-friendly functionality, I liked the fact the pool offered great views of the ocean and you can relax there. If you wanted to sunbathe, the lounge chairs were on a lower level which offered more privacy and because of the flora and how it was manicured, you could relax more in privacy and even remove your burkini. Also, because all villas are spread out and away from each other you can’t even see the residents on the opposite end.
Upon arrival, they had decorated our room with a honeymoon theme which was a really cute touch. If you are going on a honeymoon, I highly recommend you email in advance and request it. The chocolate cake alone is worth it!
As the resort is on the hill, you can request a buggy so you don’t have to exercise while on holiday. Many guests did walk from their villa to the beach or restaurant but if you are on top of the hill in one of the Serenity villas or the Residence villas, then all I can say is good luck! I opted for a relaxing holiday with plenty of buggy pickups.
I had read that the Four Seasons resort has one of the best beaches on Mahe Island. After exploring two different sides of the island, I can confirm this to be true. The beach is small, private, beautiful, and with the tiniest white sand, I have ever seen.
The resort has 3 restaurants: a shop where you can buy souvenirs, the beach bar, a kids club, a turtle sanctuary and also many free beach activities for guests.
You can snorkel, paddle board, take a water bike and enjoy the cove on your own or you can try one of the charities who do reef exploration with a small additional cost. There is so much you can do that it will hardly be boring. They also offer daily yoga classes in the Spa with the best 180 degrees view of the resort.
We really wanted to do the reef exploration which was offered as part of a charity working to preserve the reefs around the resort. Sadly, the weather spoiled it and we had to cancel. It cost only 20 euro but it seemed like a great educational activity with. If you are going to the resort, I highly recommend you book a tour for yourself.
The beach is small but beautiful. There are plenty of sunbeds to enjoy there and we did spend most of our time enjoying fresh coconuts and the sea.
Here, I have to mention that the best customer experience we received was from Abu Bakr who also happened to be a Muslim. He was fantastic – not only with ourselves but also with other guests. He was always running and helping with a smile. He even offered tips while exploring Victoria and the best way to find the mosque in the city. I simply love it when I find Muslims while traveling.
Breakfast was served in the main restaurant which is just below reception. Don’t expect a big buffet with everything available like in the Middle East. There are plenty of options when it comes to food but I can’t say it was overloaded. There were the usual choices of fruits, pastries, salads, eggs, smoothies, and some hot food options, like beans, eggs, and mushrooms. We also had a card on the table for the egg choices and also some sweet options. The french toast was one of the best french toast I have had and I would happily go back to taste it again.
Since we are in the middle of the jungle we also had some of the most persistent bird visitors ever. We had a similar experience in Thailand but Seychelles birds are 100x more persistent in trying to steal your food – quite literally!
Overall breakfast options are good and I prefer to have less choice than wasting too much food, I feel the balance was right.
All of the food in the Four Seasons Seychelles is halal and the majority of the food is imported via Dubai. Also, I didn’t know but I will make sure I check out next time is that the food generally in the Four Seasons resorts and hotels worldwide is halal, even the one in the UK. It is not something they advertise but it’s a fact and if asked they are happy to confirm. Since the Saudi Prince Bin Talal partially owns the hotel, I guess it makes sense. It also explains why there is a Saudi flag in many of their hotels too.
On both days we had breakfast in the restaurant and lunch on the beach. The food on the beach was very good value for money and it was delicious. We also ordered the chicken club sandwich and pizza and the second day I did order the burger again since it was that good! The cost was about £18 for a burger which is what we usually pay in Doha, and considering the location I think it is value for money. I also find this with many of the services in the resort like laundry, for example, that was so much cheaper than expected.
Overall I loved my stay at the Four Seasons Seychelles and as a Muslim honeymoon destination. I truly believe it is one of a kind. There are so many things you can’t express that you have to feel that are part of the experience and it’s not often I leave a hotel feeling this way. I can’t wait to explore some more Four Season resorts, God willing.
(I was a guest at the Four Seasons Seychelles as part of discovering Muslim-friendly hotels in Seychelles but all incidentals and this review are mine. I received no direction or even a question about my content from the Four Seasons team).