Raffles

Praslin, Seychelles


Even the bathroom at Raffles spa resort has a panoramic sea view

Even the bathroom at Raffles spa resort has a panoramic sea view

A new sister cocktail to the Singapore and Paris Sling has been created – it's the Praslin Sling, a heady mix of coconut milk, gin with a hint of vanilla and it is the baby of the team at the newly launched all-villa Raffles resort in Praslin, one of the granite islands of the Seychelles.

Supping the sling at the bar with views over the Indian Ocean was enough to set in motion waves of relaxation in synch to the sound of the waves.

My accommodation was in one of the 86 all mod-cons, butler-serviced, 125 sq ft villas. It came with a sea view (some have hill views) and when I kept my curtains open I awoke to the sight lush green vegetation followed by a strip of swaying turquoise waters, with the odd boat adrift and beyond that the hilly Curieuse Island. One morning I was greeted by a tiny sparrow-like red bird called the Madagascar Fody, who had no doubt popped by to check-out who was stirring in the huge king size bed and whether a nibble may be nabbed.

The gentle tones of the colour-scheme with the odd dark wood contrasts well with the dramatic colours outside. But this is a new resort and the lush vegetation has still to mature, when no doubt it will offer a little more discretion. For instance, I bathed in a huge bath but first had to draw down the blinds (it's easy, just press a button) and open them again once immersed to enjoy the vistas.

Incidentally, there is a shower wet room indoors and another- a rain shower - outdoors, which is great fun. The walk-in wardrobe comes with dressing gowns, slippers, salon hair-dryer and there is a mini bar, nespresso machine and herbal teas.

Some afternoons I took a dip in the villa's infinity plunge pool before taking tea on the long spacious terrace. It's also a lovely way to take breakfast. One morning I ordered a cooked breakfast and my omelette was cooked on my terrace. While I waited for the butler to serve me, I whipped out the laptop to check my emails (well you never know). Wi fi here is free.

The property is a sprawl and though the distances to the various restaurants, bars and spas are walkable (sometimes up to 15 minutes), the land is undulating and on a hot, humid day - it is pretty tropical here - I found it was more pleasant to call a buggy cab, it's a free service, to pick me up rather than negotiate steep roads. They generally turned up within a few minutes.

Lunching and then lounging around the huge infinity pool was a lovely way to sunbathe and finish off the last few chapters of my novel, but the main event at Raffles is their spa.

Open-air or indoors, they have both. Open-air is not totally alfresco. It is a fully-formed room but the sides are of glass that stop half-way towards the roof offering both privacy and every now and then a blissful blast of sea air. It is an ideal scenario for the massage or treatment. I chose the Pure Pearl treatment as it comprised feet and body exfoliation using therapeutic-grade pearl powder, a massage and a facial lasting 90 minutes. It was sensational (£170) and I remember wondering how else I could feel this good in just 90 minutes.

The place is ideal for romance and there are couple treatments too with rooms that have saunas and whirlpools for use solely by the couple before having a side-by-side treatments.

Getting there is a 15-minute flight in a 20-seater Twin Otter plane from Mahé, or one hour by sea on the Cat Cocos ferry. But either way, the eye candy is sensational.

RATES: £594 per night in a Hill Side villa with breakfast for two

TEL: +1 506 870 6794

    Last updated: 11:46am, December 8 2011