Hotels & Resorts

This Hotel on a Private Seychelles Island Has Its Own Runway for Stargazing

Giant tortoises, a pretty lighthouse, and awesome wellness programs round out the luxury at Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island.

Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island

Photo by Etched Space/Courtesy of Four Seasons

By Katie Lockhart

May 13, 2022

PRIVATE JETS ARE ONE THING. How about a private airstrip on a castaway island where you can land, of course, but also go stargazing at those magical Seychelles skies? On one of the country’s 115 private islands sprinkled around the Indian Ocean is the luxurious Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island. A 35-minute flight via propeller or private plane lands on the island’s airstrip. But the runway is not just reserved for landing planes.

Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island
Courtesy of Four Seasons

One of the many unique offerings at Four Seasons Seychelles is stargazing on the very same tarmac you touch down on. When the skies are clear, guests can organize a multicourse meal for two on the runway as the celestial lights begin to emerge. Then, after a fresh seafood dinner, you’ll move to a pair of bean bag chairs for a nightcap at your personal pop-up bar, and peek through the resort’s telescope (coming soon) for a better look at far-off planets and satellites.

But it’s not all about staring at the stars. When the sun begins to set, you can lay down your mat and practice some runway yoga; don’t worry, the flight schedule is checked beforehand. As part of the resort’s new Four Elements Wellness Program, guests can join an instructor for a session inspired by the water element, stretching and practicing mindful meditation as the waves lap on the shore nearby.

Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island
Photo by Etched Space/Courtesy of Four Seasons

The island spans almost 15 kilometers of jungle, pristine beaches, and 71 stunning and spacious villas, residences, and suites for honeymooners and large families. For those looking to get off the beaten path, try the Desroches Challenge.

It will take between four to six hours to walk to the end of the island and back. If you’re game, the Four Seasons Seychelles team will give you a backpack full of water and island-made trail mix for the trek. Upon returning, a fruit platter and tropical cocktail await at The Bar.

There are two bars to get your piña coladas from and three restaurants at the resort — Claudine, The Deli, and The Lighthouse. The latter is the tallest point on the island and was inspired by the former functioning lighthouse on the north side of the jungle. You definitely want to book a table.

Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island
Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island
Courtesy of Four Seasons (2)

Guests can start or end the evening at the Lighthouse Lounge. Halfway up the spiral structure, stop for their signature cocktail, “The Lighthouse” Cosmo. And at the very top of the lighthouse, take in the Indian Ocean views or arrange for a private dinner. At the bottom lies the restaurant, known for its seafood raw bar, dry-aged steaks, and local catch such as snapper and octopus. The catch of the day sashimi, sake-flamed black cod, and homemade ice cream are also standouts. After dinner, end the night with some local rum around the fire pit.

When in a tropical paradise, it’s normal to come across critters like geckos and spiders. But on Desroches, you’re likely to cross paths with a giant tortoise. Desroches is home to the Island Conservation Society’s Tortoise Sanctuary, operating separately from the resort since 2009. There are around 150 Aldabra giant tortoises on the island.

On Mondays and Wednesdays, guests can join a turtle feeding session with one of the Island Conservation Society’s conservation officers. You’ll learn about the origins of these gentle giants and feed them leaves.

Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island
Photo by Ken Seet/Courtesy of Four Seasons

The Sanctuary also cares for dozens of hatchlings and baby tortoises to make sure they’re kept safe from predators, allowing the population of these rare animals to flourish on Desroches. Guests can visit and even adopt one of these babies for around US$55 per year.

Dreamy emerald lagoons with white sand and granite boulders, stunning private islands, and clear skies perfect for stargazing have cemented the Seychelles among the top tropical oases for travelers. Plus, its proximity to popular safari destinations like Tanzania and Kenya makes it an even better post-safari pit stop. Whether you’re honeymooning post-safari or looking for a far-flung family beach destination, the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles offers a unique and creative five-star spin on island life.

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