London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
Best family holiday Seychelles? Having spent 35 days in the last year in these blissful islands around various villas and hotels, look no further, we have done all the ‘hard’ work for you: it is Four Seasons, where a tropical heaven awaits for travellers arriving in Mahe with kids.
67 villas and 27 private residences perched on stilts are spread graciously on the steep and forested hillside. They feel like luxurious treehouses with spectacular views over Petite Anse, passing clouds reflecting in each villa private infinity pool. The fruit bats fly past especially late afternoon but we also observed them daytime sleeping and feasting in the starfruit trees. Miniature colibri birds feed from flowers, dove sing, little lizards lie in the sun and dragon flies buzz around; one feels therapeutically immersed into nature and a lost eden.
Petite Anse bay must be also the best beach in Mahe with kids: its white powder sand, turquoise calm waters and its horseshoe shape makes swimming safe all year around.
A tropical heaven for young guests and adults alike, buggies shuttling accross the mountain, Four Seasons Mahe makes the perfect isolation holiday, super child friendly and helpful set up for parents to work as much as they need /like.
Travelling during the pandemic
Having tested privately at Sofitel Terminal 5 before we left London in Tier 2, we spent our first 6 days mandatory ‘quarantine’ at Four Seasons. Super lucky and grateful for the timing: travel was allowed, 48 hour private PCR test requirement at the time, no quarantining requirement once back in London (FCDO link in here for updates). Blissful breakfasts brought to our villas, walks at leisure on the beach, swimming and non motorised water sports in abundance (kayak, pedalo, snorkeling, SUP, surfing). Dare I say such ‘quarantine’ makes a dream family holiday Seychelles, perfect isolation and nature retreat in the new brave world of 2020, 2021 and in general?
Kids had a dedicated separate club for the families in their 6 days quarantine and had to content themselves with the wonderful turquoise Indian Ocean for those first 6 days, a seriously easy and delightful job. At the end of those 6 days and with a negative test, they will join the regular kids club where all children passed the same period. No spa or diving those 6 days but the freedom around Four Seasons Mahe felt joyous and utterly exhilarating for all parties.
Best dining on Mahe
We raved about Mahe’s best restaurants back in January 2020, we were so thrilled to be back and spoilt at Four Seasons for 1 entire week. We had a couple of bare foot dinners at Kannel Beach Bar, easy to let the kids run around and play on the beach whilst parents indulged in crispy calamari, smoked marlin and shrimp skewers with peanut sauce.
Zez makes the usual very special celebration and its sleek and stylish bar is the perfect place before or after (especially with the kidsclub open until 9pm!). We raved about fantastic Koi back in January 2020 (Michelin star material!) , we were delighted to see the sushi is still impeccable and both Zez and Koi style and service still first class. Tuna tartar, salmon and avocado rolls, noodles, prawn tempuras one is super spoilt and looked after in here.
A barefoot luxury dinner at Kannel made a perfect birthday celebration, same restaurant we fell in love 9 years ago when we first stepped in the most delightful of Four Seasons. On this occasion we were blown away by the tuna steak, asparagus and truffled polenta, whilst the chocolate birthday cake was a delightful surprise.
What the kids loved the most
– The villa pool where they would play for hours, from morning before breakfast to night time before sleep. Four Seasons has also mosquito coils as well as sprays complimentary at the villa and around – so mosquitoes have not been a worry in here time regardless.
– The kidsclub – the cars, Nintendo switch, the games, the ladies, the kids pool.
– The buggy rides up and down the mountain, a rollercoaster to their heart desire through frangipani fragranced greenery.
– The spa. Yes you’ve got that right, the 7 years old is very keen on spa. Once our 6 days mandatory quarantine was over and test at Anse Royale negative once again, we’ve been invited for the most delightful session mother and son and 30 minutes massage. You’ve heard Bliss a lot in this article, so I will just say that Le Syel got the best spa in Seychelles award from both of us.
– The snorkelling is spectacular, on the days with the clear sea likely as good as diving. Left side of Petite Anse bay and not far from the water sports bay, there are tones of huge parrot fish, angel fish, squid, crocodile fish and bat fish, nemos and butterfly fish. Back in January 2020 we’ve also spotted rays, turtles and sharks; I haven’t been so lucky on this occasion, but other guests have spotted once again sharks and rays.
What the adults loved the most
– The sunsets are blissful from the top of the spa or right side of the beach. A glass of champagne on the top of Le Syel spa at sunset wraps up fantastically a day in this tropical heaven.
– The cocktails at Zez bar are the best we had in Seychelles and the barman ubbercool (and with kids at the Club until 9pm one can really enjoy them) . Check our stories for the smoked negroni – the best we ever had and the most spectacular, apple wooden smoking flavours.
– Four Seasons villa canopied sealy bed and sunchairs, perfect for stargazing. There was one glorious week in December 2020, the best of the year with showers of meteors, comets and asteroids. December 13th I have been blessed to see 14 shooting stars in 15 minutes (a record even compared to Maldives), December 14th and 15th they continued but perhaps at a subsidued pace (15 shooting stars in an hour).
– The huge and beautiful bathroom, with a sunken tub set at the foot of floor-to-ceiling windows. One could see champagne clouds in here at sunset or simply observe the kids having a blast in the pool whilst having a peaceful hot bath. Dare I say bliss again?!?
– The marine education and corral restoration projects.
– The breakfast in the privacy of our villas : from benedict eggs to French bread, Detox bowl and Avocado toast, smoothies and freshly squeezed juices. Last couple of days we opted for breakfast at Zez, in early morning sunshine boys loved to observe the Koi fish whilst the grown-ups it made the red Madagascar fodies trying to steal our crumbs.
All Four Seasons facilities are top notched, including the beachside infinity pool and its bar. A wonderful team of 470 Seychellois and international staff deliver an impeccable and warm service.
Lower-level garden view villas are closer to the main pool, the beach and the informal Kannel restaurant; while the hilltop, ocean view villas (which are pricier) are prime honeymoon hideaways with outdoor showers, treetop sun-lounging decks and glassy infinity pools. We had villa 402 and loved every minute spent in it, the views were spectacular and a 5 minutes descent to the beach by foot.
Improvements? The only ones we can suggest it’s adults working less on such a holiday! Like the whole year, December 2020 has been once again unprecedented and super busy, so we both ended up working remotely half days around urgent transactions. Whilst we are pleased to confirm Four Seasons made that super easy, with kidsclub closing 9pm and looking impeccably after our kids, next time we’d love to chill more and immerse into all the lush experiences of Four Seasons Mahe. For super busy working professionals who can’t cope anymore with various Tiers and homeschooling, Four Seasons also runs exclusive business benefits for stays longer than 30 days – working remotely, having kids looked after, wellness plans and sunshine go impecably together in here. Better work life balance anyone for 2021?
Very few places in the world can aspire to the magical setting of Four Seasons Seychelles. Check our Insta highlights and stories for the sweet arrival into their reception, where one is instantly mesmerised by the incredible expanse of turquoise sea, cobalt blue sky and the white sandy beach; our gorgeous villa with pool; spa highlights and the fuming smoked Negroni.
In the past we also stayed next door at Kempinski and raved about Seychelles with toddler – the beach is wide and stunning; the hotel setting is flat and families looking at more value for money beautiful rooms rather than villas will be in great hands in there. In January 2020 we also stayed at Banyan Tree which is now closed for a change in ownership, rebranding and refurbishment by 2022 – one will truly find at Four Seasons all magical ingredients from former Banyan Tree Mahe and perhaps even more, with fab bay swimming, snorkelling and diving right on Petite Anse.
The Seychelles form an archipelago of 115 islands scattered across the equatorial Indian Ocean. First colonized by the French in 1770, the islands still feel undiscovered and only about 20 are inhabited. After our first week with Four Seasons, we island hopped around including Silhouette Island, Praslin and Courieuse, read about it all in here. And in case one has questions about Maldives versus Seychelles, head here, Seychelles is truly our favourite place worldwide.
Disclosure: Thanks a million to Four Seasons for the wonderful hospitality, warm welome, media rate and wonderful treats, including spa and Kannel birthday dinner. All pics, overexcited kids and ecstatic impressions of the best family holiday Seychelles – ours.