A pioneer of the “barefoot luxury” concept, North Island has become a byword for exclusivity and privacy. With just 11 villas, it is the ultimate tropical island hideaway – spending time there feels like having your own private island.
When you close your eyes and daydream about getting away from it all, North Island is exactly what you picture: powdery white sand beaches, waving palm trees and clear, azure waters. If that doesn’t convince you that this is a destination that needs to be on your bucket (and spade) list, we’ve unpacked a few more reasons to visit this paradise island.
1. Luxury Villas And Excellent Service
Each stunning villa has almost 5,000 sq ft of space with a rough and smooth style that combines organic elements and designer pieces. Indulge in the sumptuous bathroom, relax in your private plunge pool, or siesta in the outdoor sala. How you spend your day is entirely up to you – your villa attendant and experience host are always on call to meet your every wish. They’re brilliant at anticipating your needs – sometimes even before you’ve expressed them. Villa North Island, with its wooden decks cascading down to a private curve of East Beach and some 8,000 sq ft of space, could just be the last word in honeymoon retreats.
2. A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Style Vacation
Your day on North Island is all about you – what you want to do, and when. Activities range from the purely indulgent to the adrenaline-charged. Take time to relax, or take to the waves on a fishing trip or stand-up paddleboard. Drop in on the local coral reefs – you can even complete your PADI diving qualification with the island’s expert divemaster. Back on land, salute the sun with a dawn yoga session or climb Spa Hill for breathtaking views of the island and out over the Indian Ocean.
3. Activities To Keep The Kids Entertained
Your kids will love North Island! Each of the Presidential Villas has a second bedroom for up to two children (and can also be converted into a private cinema for movie nights.) The island’s Beach Buddy activities for younger guests include digging for rumored pirate treasure and the chance to do their first dive on a Bubblemaker course. Aspiring junior Masterchefs can bake their own pizzas under the watchful eyes of the chefs. A full babysitting service gives parents a well-deserved break, or you can join the kids in a game of beach volleyball or on a bike or buggy trip to meet a tortoise.
4. Scrumptious Food
North Island’s cuisine channels Seychellois Creole traditions for dishes like Millionaire’s Salad and uses the freshest seafood and foraged island fruits. Each of the many places to eat on the Island has its own unique vibe and flavors, from the sophisticated Island Piazza to the fresh-baked pizza and tapas at West Beach Bar. You can also dine in your villa, where the emphasis is on classic comfort food, reinterpreted with a North Island twist. Each villa also has a fully-stocked pantry, perfect for when you just want to grab a snack and hit the beach.
As well as being a haven for humans, North Island is also an amazing conservation success story. Its past life as a plantation meant that there was work to be done to restore the island to its full natural glory. The Noah’s Ark program has seen non-indigenous vegetation cleared and replaced by seedlings grown in the island’s own nursery. Wildlife has returned to the island, with more turtles nesting on the beaches each year. Other species have been successfully reintroduced, including the Seychelles White-Eye (once one of the rarest birds in the world) and giant tortoises.
6. A Divine Spa Experience
On arrival, you’ll experience North Island’s barefoot ritual – a symbolic welcome that helps you ease into the slower rhythms of island life, and soothes away any fatigue from your journey. The ocean view from the spa is almost as relaxing as the treatments, which use marine products to give you all the benefits of time spent by the sea. As you glide back down Spa Hill, you’ll pass the island’s main pool, a sinuous curve of turquoise water beneath the palm trees – be prepared to be tempted!
If you listen carefully, you’ll hear the softest sigh as the sun sinks into the ocean on the horizon – most likely your own sigh of complete contentment! West Beach Bar provides the best seats in the house to see the glorious colors of a Seychelles sunset and is the place to be for signature cocktails and mouthwatering sushi. There’s no need to leave as the day ends – instead, choose to enjoy a beach barbecue and eat out under the stars before driving home in your buggy. Keep an eye out for the tortoises – the oldest of them, Brutus, often sleeps in the road so he’s been fitted with reflective stripes to keep him safe.