Honeymoon in the Seychelles

The Seychelles is a gorgeous group of 112 islands located off of East Africa. For many Americans, they are an unknown treasure. However, when searching for a tropical destination for a honeymoon that is Zika free, these islands are one of the very few destinations without an outbreak. A perfect honeymoon spot, the weather is mostly always in the 80s during the day and 70s at night with a warm tropical breeze. While the archipelago is made up of 112 islands, there are a two or three bigger islands and a few small ones most people visit. Just a six hour plane ride from Johannesburg to the main island of Mahe´ aboard Air Seychelles, we chose to split our time between three amazing resorts, the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort and Spa on Mahe´ and the Hilton Labriz Resort and Spa and La Belle Tortue on Silhouette Island. 

If you are looking for a very romantic, adults only and secluded getaway with the option to see attractions on the big island, the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort and Spa is the place to stay. We never left the resort because it had what we needed – the gorgeous Indian Ocean, perfect for snorkeling, and views of the North Island. The villa is also incredibly romantic with an outdoor terrace, perfect for stargazing at night and relaxing and sipping a drink during the day. There are also suites available with your own private pool. The spa consists of three luxurious rooms with sweeping views, perfect for a couple’s treatment or a little downtime to yourself. The resort also offers free shuttles to other beaches around the island. The beauty of this and the other Hilton property on Silhouette Island is that you can choose half or full board, so when you get there most or all of your meals will be included so you can order freely off the menus. The food is top quality with a Creole influence.

Even though the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort and Spa is located on the main island, it does feel secluded. However, if you want the private island experience, take the ferry that Hilton offers to Silhouette Island and stay at the Hilton Labriz Resort and Spa, where you will be staying at the only resort on the island. The only other property on the island is the quaint La Belle Tortue. They are completely different in feel and offerings. The Hilton Labriz Resort and Spa is a family friendly resort but you can definitely find plenty of spots away from the kids to enjoy your own time. There are villas with ocean views as well as ones with your own private lush jungle in the back that includes a pool, outdoor shower, and hammock. There are a variety of restaurants so if you are staying on the island for many days, you’ll always have something new to eat. Gran Kazz is set on the plantation where the former owners of the island, the Dauban family, used to live. They serve traditional Creole dishes that reflect the culture of the island including curries and fish wrapped in banana leafs. The other dining options include a Teppanyaki and Japanese restaurant, Italian and a buffet with a different type of cuisine each night. With a scuba shop and activity center on site, you can take advantage of scuba and snorkeling day trips, private beach excursions and picnics and a Creole cooking class where you will cook your own lunch. Tucked away at the end of the resort is the spa, with an outdoor jacuzzi and plunge pool to use before or after treatments. The treatment rooms for both couples and individuals sit atop the lush surroundings. The beach on Silhouette Island is calm and shallow for many feet out into the ocean, perfect for floating with a drink or collecting shells.  

Just a short walk from the Hilton Labriz Resort and Spa sits the very quaint and friendly La Belle Tortue. Managed by Julie and Morgan, they make you feel welcome the second you step off the ferry or come over from the Hilton. Some people choose to stay at both properties for a few days each to experience the island differently. With just fifteen guests on property, they are a luxury lodge that caters to each guest. The dining experience is intimate with Morgan cooking all the meals and Julie serving. The food is prepared to your dietary needs and preferences and the dishes are amazing. You can tell much thought and preparation is put into each one. Morgan comes from a culinary background. In addition to his title as general manager and chef at Belle Tortue, he is the owner and partner of the restaurant, Les Epicuriens, located in Nice on the French Riviera. On property, you can enjoy dishes such as octopus carpaccio and croquette, accrues shark on a red sauce pepper with sweet potatoes and plantains. You’re in for a culinary treat at this boutique property.

So if you’re looking for a romantic tropical getaway, check out the Seychelles. If you have the time, pair it with a few days in South Africa for the perfect mix of relaxation and a safari adventure!

A South African Honeymoon

Africa is a huge continent – it covers the same surface as thirteen countries including the United States, China and India and the whole of Eastern Europe. With just two weeks for a honeymoon, our itinerary just scratched the surface, but it incorporated the ocean, mountains, luxury safari lodges and gorgeous resorts around the country and in the Seychelles. The itinerary was quite ambitious, as one can easily spend two weeks just in Cape Town or are on a safari, but we wanted a taste of it all, including the total relaxation of a beach destination. With the Seychelles under a five hour flight from Johannesburg, it made for the perfect addition to our South African adventure.

Cape Town, South Africa is a spectacularly scenic destination of mountains and ocean filled with fresh cuisine and the extensive picturesque wine regions of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek about an hour from the city center. There is so much to see and do that one can spend a few days or up to a couple of weeks exploring the regions surrounding the city. With so many options and the fact that the driving is done on the opposite side of the road, we decided to hire Kabura Travel, a tour company specializing in tours in and around the city. Kabura was started by a couple, Remondy and Allain Kabura. They offer both group and personalized tours and guests will travel in luxury Mercedes-Benz vehicles. They offer tours of the Cape Peninsula, the Winelands, Table Mountain, as well as historical city tours, safaris, shark cage diving, whale watching in Hermanus, the Cape Agulhas (the southernmost point of Africa), the Garden Route.  They also offer tailor-made tours. 

With three days to tour, we covered a lot of ground with their experienced and knowledgeable guides. Day one consisted of a visit to seal island, a fun ferry ride to see the seals in their natural habitat, a stroll through the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, a stop at Signal Hill to watch the beautiful sunset, plus a bonus double rainbow, and lunch at a terrific local African spot in town called Marco’s. We tried an oxtail curry, a meat plate consisting of ostrich, kudu and springbok. On day two, we took a cable car to the top of Table Mountain for fabulous views of Cape Town and took the peninsula tour around the Cape of Good Hope and to the Cape Point lighthouse with breathtaking views of the ocean and mountains. For the third day, we bargained for some souvenirs to take home at Greenmarket Square in the city and then drove out to the gorgeous wine regions of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.   One can spend an entire day or a few sampling the various South African wines of the region.

Camps Bay is a great area to stay in while exploring Cape Town. It’s a gorgeous region overlooking the beach and just fifteen minutes from city central and easily accessible to all attractions. We split our time between the Twelve Apostles and the boutique hotel, Atlanticview Cape Town. Twelve Apostles offers an extensive hot and cold breakfast buffet including raw oysters one can enjoy overlooking the ocean. Also on property is a cinema, two restaurants, a bar and wonderful spa consisting of a full line of treatments as well as a dead sea pool, which allows you to float to relaxation, a hot tub and plunge pool, all included with a treatment. It is the perfect spot for a singles rejuvenation or a romantic couples experience. Twelve Apostles is part of the Red Carnation group of hotels which pride themselves on luxury and giving back. They are part of The Travel Cooperation and the Tread Right Foundation, a not-for-profit, working to ensure the environment and communities we visit remain vibrant for generations to come. If you have additional time to spend in the area, Bushmanns Kloof is a five star wildness and wellness retreat and just a couple of hours from Cape Town, and the Oyster Box is a gorgeous property in Durban.

For a more personalized experience, the Atlanticview Cape Town Boutique Hotel is second to none. With their sunset view duplex suites including a pool outside the room overlooking the water and their attention to detail in both the decor and their service, they will make your trip a memorable one. Owned by Greg Boki and Ranier Pires, they have thought of everything to make their guests feel at home.  Many of the staff’s management are also registered tour guides with a fleet of range rovers and Mercedes – Benz and can put together itineraries based on your interests. Greg has also compiled a list of his favorite restaurants and wineries in the region. We took his recommendation and headed to Codfather in Camps Bay for dinner for fresh seafood and sushi. Their waitstaff take you to the counter to explain the various fishes. You pick a combination of whatever you’d like. There is also a rotating sushi counter and one can pick any number of sushi rolls and salads. My husband and I ordered a combination of two king clip pieces of fish (the local fish in Cape Town), a piece of tuna, and two langoustines, three pieces of sushi, edamame and a tuna salad all for just $60 US dollars. Now is a great time to travel to South Africa because the exchange rate is in our favor (14 RND = 1 US dollar). The staff at Atlanticview Cape Town Boutique Hotel will prepare your cold and hot breakfast for you to enjoy in your room, giving you the opportunity to sit and relax in your own kitchen equipped with a refrigerator, microwave, and toaster, or on your deck besides your pool overlooking the ocean. Each evening, Atlanticview Cape Town Boutique Hotel offers complimentary snacks and appetizers and drinks in their quaint bar filled with couches and tables. The owners and staff care very much about your experience both at the hotel and in Cape Town, and will work hard to make sure it is the best one possible.  

After three and a half wonderful days in Cape Town, we headed for the Seychelles on South African Airways from Cape Town to Johannesburg and Air Seychelles from Johannesburg to Mahe Island. You can read about the Seychelles part of our trip in the next post.