The magic of the Seychelles
For an escapist fantasy that literally is out of this world, you can’t beat the Maia Luxury spa resort set on the beautiful Anse Louis beach on the capital of the island of Mahé. Natural beauty, serenity and graceful elegance are at the heart of this holistic sanctuary, whose sole aim is to bring every newlywed peace and harmony, while promising a luxurious experience that’s second to none.
This is upscale Seychelles at its finest, with delightfully located opulent villas feathered around this pristine resort in ample distance from each other, guaranteeing lovers the feeling of utmost seclusion and privacy. In fact, the resort’s dedication to offer guests tranquility even extends to the beach where guests won’t be disturbed and couples will feel like they have the resort all to themselves, surrounded by the soft sands of the untouched shores tickled by the waves of a transparent turquoise sea, painting breathtaking views that you only pictured on postcards and dared to dream of in your wildest fantasies. If heaven is half as beautiful as Mahé, we’ll all happily die with a smile on our faces…
There are only 30 exquisite thatched spacious villas in Maia, all discretely hidden and overlooking spectacular panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. Exclusively designed by the renowned architect Bill Bensley, each villa is carefully nestled within the lush gardens of the resort. The private villas are divided into three top-hat thatched gazebos fronted by a private infinity pool which encircles an outdoor submerged sunken bath tub, gently pouring out onto the uninterrupted views. Once you step into the luxurious Balinese inspirited villas with their teak furniture and Thai silks, the mood for relaxation is instantly set with an emperor-sized day bed awaiting you – a perfect location to retreat from the midday sun whilst sipping on your favourite cocktails. And that’s even before you step into the bedrooms… All of which are air-conditioned with personally stocked bar,
flat-screen TV, DVD, speaker surround sound system with an iPod station enabling you to listen to the music of your choice to set the right mood for what comes naturally…
Service lies at the core of Maia’s philosophy, with each villa tended to by a dedicated personal butler catering to your every whim. A far cry from the traditional housekeeping, concierge and room services that you expect to receive in all other hotels, the private butler service allows you to build a personal rapport with the staff – there just at the moment you need them, invisible when you don’t. Your butler will happily arrange everything from excursions, dinner reservations, in-room dining, refreshments and spa treatments (which you can have in the privacy of your villa). All requests are seamlessly and discretely taken care of and equally, butlers will happily tap into their creative side, arranging a whole host of personal touches, from drawing up a jasmine scented bath to packing your luggage.
For some serious ‘we time’, newlyweds need simply hang their coconut shell outside their garden gates and complete privacy will be granted, safe in the knowledge that your every need will be anticipated by every single member of the Maia staff – all of whom the product of extensive training courses to master the art of caring for the modern luxury traveler – dedicated to ensure your stay is relaxed, luxurious and above all memorable.
Maia Spa by La Prairie
The stress of the planning and hectic nature of the Big Day become instant memories the moment you indulge in any one of their standard-setting spa treatments. Unwind with your partner in the style of the truly pampered at the Maia Spa by cherry picking from their wide menu of specialised massages, accompanied yoga sessions, self-shiatsu, exclusive facial treatments, body exfoliations and natural aromatherapy herbal baths complete with luxurious La Prairie treatments designed to clear the mind with transcendental meditation and Qi Gong. Three large spa pavilions are set discretely in the resort’s private rock gardens, each with an outdoor stand alone bath tub and each featuring two massage couches, where the soporific sounds of birds and music lull you into a state of bliss.
All the therapists here have been selected by leading holistic Susan Stain for their ‘philosophy of touch’, all of whom completed years of training with a final three solid months in Bali under her guidance. You’ll love the bespoke massages based on rhythm and touch, such as the Gentle Soul Massage, where the massage is synchronised with the breath, moving deeply and gently into tired muscles using full palm pressure. My personal favourite was the full 90-minute Maia Signature Massage, a unique fusion of long strokes using consistent pressure and gentle stretching blended with a soothing, rhythmical flow of delivery that eases muscle tension like putty under a warm fire. All to the sound of nothing but island birdsong and the lapping waves of the ocean.
Head down to Maia’s beachfront sumptuous Tec-Tec restaurant where you will be led to a private table for two on the white sandy beach to thoroughly enjoy an imaginative cuisine by award-winning executive chef Oscar Torres, whose menu blends contemporary Mediterranean cuisine with Asian and Creole influences with delectable results.
A Haute Light menu offers guests delicious, nutritious and wholesome dishes with very little fat. Every bite you take is uniquely Maia; a taste of intriguing colours and scents created using the finest ingredients. You simply must dine and drink at the glamorous Sunset Pool Bar, although we won’t blame you if you order your refreshments to be served in the privacy of your villa every time!
Couples can also be treated to a private BBQ in their villa or on the moonlight beach front, with the food personally prepared by one of the chefs, and waited upon by your butler.
Soak in the spectacular sunset or have a candlelit dinner underneath the romantic stars, with your surrounding intricately decorated to set that perfect romantic scene only imagined in the movies.
Maia is surrounded by clear waters where guests can enjoy complementary water sports such as kayaking, canoeing, snorkeling and, for the more adventurous, scuba diving and deep sea fishing.
If you can bear to tear yourself away, you can treat yourself to customised excursions to the outer islands such as breathtaking islands of La Digue, Praslin and Coco Island by private boat or helicopter. We were lucky enough to experience sailing on our very own love boat where on route we were given the opportunity to snorkel in the warm aquamarine waters of Coco Island, swimming with shoals of silver fishes among the breathtaking corals reefs of the Indian ocean.
After an afternoon’s magical excursion that can involve dining on lobsters at Praslin island, newlyweds are invited to return to a warm coconut bath for two in your outdoor submerged double bath, hosted with fine scented candles and oils, accompanied with a bottle of Champagne on ice and some romantic tunes playing away on the iPod – perfect as the sun sets into the Indian Ocean. And to top it all off, you can enjoy your very own fruit flavoured shisha pipe as you replenish your soul in supreme relaxation.
The Seychelles boasts an abundance of beautiful experiences. Try to find time to visit the mainland capital of Victoria to see the local food markets, soak up the history at the National Museum, feast at the local Creole restaurants, hold hands in the botanical gardens and picnic at the historical landmarks.
If you want a wedding to beat all weddings, there are three idyllic packages to choose from, each designed to awaken all five senses and to leave the couple and their family completely relaxed, radiant and feeling fabulous. Need a lifetime to plan? Not here. Weddings can be booked with a minimum three-day notice.
But rest assured, whether you marry or honeymoon here, you are guaranteed one thing at the Maia Spa Resort… true love.
For further information log onto www.carrier.co.uk or www.maia.com.sc