Summer 2019 and its promise of sun-drenched escapism may seem an age away, but you needn’t wait months to catch those rays, enjoy a little luxury and start an adventure of a lifetime. Heavenly beaches, tropical greenery, guaranteed sunshine on tap and luscious peaked backdrops are the key ingredients that the 115 paradise islands that collectively form The Seychelles have in common.
Scattered like summer blossom across the Indian Ocean, The Seychelles is a destination well-renowned for being the ultimate in luxury, celebrity escapes and the honeymoon location that dreams are made of. The 115 islands are hailed for their exquisite natural beauty, the peaceful harmony enjoyed by the multi-ethnic society and a near perfect climate where the temperature is always somewhere between 24 and 33 degrees Celsius, earning the islands a reputation as ‘land of perpetual summer’.
Out of all of the Seychelles islands, currently only 16 have hotels, several of which offer the most luxurious amenities and all of which possess their own natural charm. They offer everything from the opulence of world-famous 5-star resorts to the picturesque charms of affordable smaller hotels, Creole guest houses and self.
If a healthy blend of adventure and relaxation are your key ingredients to creating your own personal paradise, then Alphonse Island, part of Blue Safari Seychelles is your calling. This pristine, natural paradise in the Seychelles Archipelago, is a private island and part of the Alphonse group of atolls, which includes St Francois and Bijoutier. The island is considered one of the purest natural idylls in the world. Beautiful white beaches line the edges of a lush tropical forest surrounded by miles of unblemished shorelines, lagoons, sea flats and protected coral reefs home to the vast array of wildlife that exist in this ecosystem.
Situated only 7 degrees south of the equator and outside of the cyclone belt, Alphonse Island is blessed with one of the world’s healthiest climates and gorgeous, consistent weather. Alphonse offers guests year-round summer days with temperatures seldom dropping below 22°C [72°F], allowing them torelax and indulge in this luxurious nature lover’s paradise anytime they wish. To celebrate being open all year round, a special stay-seven-pay-five package will be available from the 1st May until the 30th September 2019. The seven-night package costs USD $5025pp fullboard, based on two people sharing a Beach Bungalow and also includes a generous array of activities and inter-island transfers.
Alphonse Island is truly unlike any other island in the Seychelles. Located 400km from the mainland of Mahé and 7°South of the equator, Alphonse Island is accessible only by plane. Accommodation is comprised of 22 Beach Bungalows and five Beach Suites, all with direct beach access and panoramic, uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean. Beach Bungalows maximise thestunning surroundings, set amongst lush tropical plantation just metresfrom the beach. With outdoor showers, patios with gorgeous views, andthebeach just steps away, the rooms are all focused on the surroundingnatural beauty. The five one-bedroom Beach Suites are nestled amongsttropical plants, close to the white sandy beach. Discreet and luxurious,Beach Suites offer two bathrooms and a lounge area to give guests more
space, as well as private plunge pools. Interiors reference Creole style and local materials, reflecting a sophisticated fresh island style of the 21st Century.
Unlike many hotels and resorts, the room is not the main attraction. Alphonse Island encourages its guests to spend as much of their time as possible out of their room and discovering all the island offers. Due to its size and remote location, Alphonse Island is free from the influx of tourism that is often present at resorts. Guests visit to explore and discover an authentic Seychelles experience that cannot be recreated or encountered anywhere else in the Seychelles and marvel at the pristine splendor of Alphonse Island in a tranquil environment, where privacy is paramount.
The attraction of Alphonse Island is the island itself, her sister islands, Bijoutier and St Francois and the crystal clear, sparkling ocean that surrounds this island trio. Guests of Alphonse Island can experience the fascinating marine environment on a first-hand basis as they swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean and encounter shoals of assorted, vibrantly coloured fish of varying species: Green and Hawksbill Turtles, Spinner Dolphins and Humpback Whales, all in their natural environment. Swimming with sailfish and manta rays is an unforgettable experience, like no other. An encounter with these animals in their own habitat is incredible and unforgettable experience, whether seen from a boat, from the shore or in the Indian Ocean itself. Be amazed as they flash through the crystal waters and witness these craniate animals in their own environment. These unique experiences with an extensive array of marine life make Alphonse Island nothing short of spectacular.
The waters surrounding Alphonse Island are outstanding for both diving and snorkeling. The PADI certified dive centre caters for children, who can experience their first foray into the underwater world from 9 years old by completing a Bubble Maker course. It also offers exclusive dives to families where children from the age of 8 can experience the wonders of scuba diving with their parents. Alphonse Island Dive Centre offers a full range of PADI courses from Discover Scuba diving to Divemaster. Advanced divers can develop new skill sets all endorsed by the world leading training agency the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). These include PADI Underwater Naturalist, PADI Deep Diver, PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy, PADI Digital Underwater Imaging, AWARE Shark Conservation, AWARE Coral Reef Conservation, AWARE Dive Against Debris, AWARE Specialist and AWARE Fish Identification.
There are 34 dive sites that surround Alphonse Island, all of which are easily reached in under 30 minutes on comfortable purpose-built dive boats.The highlights of diving in the waters surrounding Alphonse Island include the chance to see Manta ray and squadrons of Eagle ray, the ‘Wolf Pack’ of hundreds of Bluefin trevally and associates patrolling or even attacking prey on the reef. Groups of Bumphead parrotfish, schools of batfish numbering in the hundreds as well as interesting animal behavior such as nesting triggerfish can be viewed.
As part of the Blue Safari Seychelles portfolio, Alphonse Island are committed to the protection of the environment and as of September 2018, they are proud to have become the first commercial Outer Island with a hospitality offering to rely on solar power and go
Designed to allow guests to reconnect with nature while respecting it, the Island Conservation Society (ICS) team offers activities to create an island that is intimately connected to the natural environment, which guests are encouraged to join. By guests assisting the ICS, they gain a wider understanding of the environment that exists on Alphonse, St François and Bijoutier and the importance of their work and how it greatly affects the islands. As part of the guided walks and Native Vegetation Restoration project, guests can choose to plant an endemic tree. Swimming with – and photographing – Manta Rays, is a particularly magical ocean experience, which helps capture important data about individual specimens and their movements. These islands provide important nesting grounds for our endemic Hawksbill and Green turtles; the turtle patrol and tracking project provides important insights into the population numbers and their movement, which helps the team protect them.
Aquatic adventures at Alphonse Island are not limited to below the water. Kayaks are a perfect and non-intrusive way to get up close to turtles and rays around the flats and allow guests to enjoy Alphonse from a new perspective. Choose between a guided tour by nature experts who will point out seabirds and spot fishermen’s delights such as bonefish, permit and triggerfish, or for something more private and personal, kayaks are readily available for guests use. This way guests get to appreciate the untouched exquisiteness of Alphonse Island solely at their own pace and a picnic basket can be organised for you to carry along, ready to choose a spot for a secluded meal.
If it’s a larger vessel that floats your boat, how about setting sail into the Alphonse Lagoon on one of the luxury boats, ready to salute the setting sun with a cocktail or beer from the onboard bar. Share stories from your week and bask in the stillness of the departing day.
It’s not just the resort, the diving opportunities, the thrilling activities and the weather that makes Alphonse Island so spectacular. Add in the terrain, the techniques, the season and the species diversity and you have an incredible mix, custom-made for fly fishing. On the terrain front, fly fishing in the Alphonse Atoll sets itself apart due to the largely land-based approach it offers. While blue-water, boat-based fishing is available to anglers, the main draw these atolls holds is for the angler to be able to target challenging species on foot. Whereas saltwater fly fishing destinations in many parts of the world are boat-based, the Alphonse Atoll stands apart because of the opportunities it gives anglers: to wading in shallow, warm water on hard white sand and turtle grass or on coral flats for to discover a plethora of exciting new species. It’s not all catching but getting the opportunity to cast at behemoth giant trevally or shoals of bonefish in the same knee-deep water you are standing in, is not something many fly anglers who are accustomed to boat-based fishing, will ever forget. It’s not that Seychelles guides’ and anglers are against boats in any way, but there is something more tactile, connected and satisfying about standing in crystal clear water, while site casting at fish.
With days filled with adventures on land, in or above the shimmering waters of the Indian Ocean, relax at the central dining and bar area, as the sun slowly dips into the ocean and melts away, signaling the end of another day in paradise. Socialise alongside the sparkling pool and shoreline, with diverse cuisine inspired by the island atmosphere and complemented by a comprehensive wine list. With the use of indigenous flora and fish, along with garden produce, the menus are built around freshness. Combining the influences of local Seychellois Creole and French cuisine, dishes are inspired from all corners of the Indian Ocean.
In addition to the restaurant, private dining can be arranged to allow guests to enjoy meals on the terrace of their Beach Bungalow or Beach Suite, on a special spot on the beach, or alongside the pool.
The idyllic, pristine and picture-perfect paradise that is Alphonse Island is the definitive wedding destination. Alphonse Island has a full license for weddings and the talented team of staff are able to arrange every detail from providing the registrar, to working with the bride and groom to create delicious menus, signature cocktails and canapés, as well as arranging tropical flowers and fantastic music. Each and every detail is carefully considered to create an unforgettable wedding in paradise. Begin married life on sugar soft, white sand beach with azure waters stretching before you-perfect! For those who seek exclusivity, Alphonse Island can be hired in its entirety-the ultimate wedding venue!
Exceptional experiences last a lifetime. They are stories that people tell people with enthusiasm, passion and love, they are memories that can never be erased. Alphonse Island is a sanctuary for the senses, a discovery for the mind, food for the soul. It is a place where guests are at one with the environment, where peace and tranquillity reign. It is a destination like no other, it is paradise perfected and this enchanting island is just waiting to be explored!