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Review of PHENOMENAL North Island Seychelles: pros & cons (+ Youtube clip)

Review of PHENOMENAL North Island Seychelles: pros & cons (+ Youtube clip)

Old Jan 6, 17, 6:16 pm
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Review of PHENOMENAL North Island Seychelles: pros & cons (+ Youtube clip)

I recently enjoyed an exciting holiday in the Seychelles and stayed at North Island, the new Six Senses Zil Payson (which I previously reviewed here on FT), and Maia. IMHO, North Island is the the holy grail of luxury travel. The uber luxurious resort offers an experience that is light years away from that offered by any other beach resort, not only in the Seychelles, but the entire planet.

Since images say so much more than words (and since English is not my native language ), I made a Youtube clip with my impressions of the resort which you can watch here:


I will also upload some photos below

PROS:
- The resort occupies its own private island, the northern most of the archipelago. The rather large island offers complete privacy and splendid isolation.
- The jaw-dropping, exotic beauty of the granite island is among the most exquisite tropical scenery that I have ever seen in the world. It's a pitty that so much beauty can only be witnessed by so few people
- The phenomenal beaches are the most beautiful that I have ever set foot on. The sand is blinding white and soft like powder. There is one very large beach on the east side (where the communal facilities and villas are located) and two on the west side (one of them with a sunset bar).
- The resort features an overall beautiful design of understated luxury that celebrates its spectacular natural surroundings. It is reminiscent of an African safari lodge.
- There's a lovely infinity edge pool, carved into one of the granite outcrops, and surrounded by lush tropical foliage.
- The eleven villas rank among the largest and most stylish accommodations in the world. Each villa (except for villa 11, cf below) features two separate bedroom pavilions: an incredibly spacious master bedroom and a study lounge that can be turned into a second bedroom if you are traveling with children. All villas also have an open-sided lounge (with sofa and dining table), an adjoining kitchenette (including an amazing minibar), an outdoor plunge pool with roofed sala, and expansive outdoor deck which floats above the oversized garden, and an insanely beautiful, semi-outdoor bathroom.
- Every villa comes with its own private electric golf buggy.
- Rates are inclusive of all meals (and food is delicious), and most activities, including scuba diving.
- Service is outstanding.

CONS:
- the resort is extremely expensive. However, it does offer the ultimate luxury travel experience, with phenomenal beaches, immaculate service, delicious food, a tasteful design, and palatial accommodations. IMHO, it is worth the heavy price tag.
- Beaches on North Island are dynamic (the sand migrates around the island depending upon the ocean tides), and some rock and corals are exposed in certain parts of the beaches.
- The villa’s private plunge pools are rather small for a hotel of this caliber, and not suited for taking a lap. But that should not be too much of a problem, since you can always have a swim in the inviting warm waters of the Indian Ocean in front of each villa or burn some calories in the beautiful communal infinity pool.

Highly recommended!
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Old Jan 6, 17, 6:18 pm
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Last edited by theLuxuryTravelExpert; Jan 6, 17 at 6:29 pm
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Old Jan 7, 17, 6:07 am
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Very nice, "only" con is the price in my eyes. Otherwise you only live once
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Old Jan 7, 17, 6:07 am
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Thanks for this - was looking forward to the clip and the photos!
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Old Jan 7, 17, 6:26 am
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Wonderful video! Did you happen to snorkel or hear of anyone snorkeling? How was it?
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Old Jan 7, 17, 9:01 am
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Originally Posted by Ericka View Post
Wonderful video! Did you happen to snorkel or hear of anyone snorkeling? How was it?
Yes, I did some snorkeling. There are several excellent snorkeling spots around North Island and nearby Silhouette Island. It's not the Maldives, but still very good.
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Old Jan 8, 17, 2:48 am
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What did you think of Maia? Relatively speaking of course, different league and different price tag than North Island.

And how would you compare North Island versus Laucala and Fregate?

Kind regards from the heart of Europe
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Old Jan 8, 17, 11:42 am
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Originally Posted by Epicura View Post
compare North Island versus Laucala and Fregate?
that has come up in some other posts. some tradeoffs >

11-21 bedrooms at north, includes all diving/courses, "Silhouette dive sites"
2nd bedroom for children (free), upgrade if available for honeymooners

40 bedrooms at laucala, but more focus on hard product, also horses etc

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Jan 8, 17 at 12:00 pm
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Old Jan 9, 17, 12:37 am
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
that has come up in some other posts. some tradeoffs >

11-21 bedrooms at north, includes all diving/courses, "Silhouette dive sites"
2nd bedroom for children (free), upgrade if available for honeymooners

40 bedrooms at laucala, but more focus on hard product, also horses etc
Not many FT have visited all 3, apart from the great MacMyDay who did some wonderful write ups on the subject.

Thanks for reminding me of the figures but I am mainly looking for personal experiences and impressions, especially when OP claims "thé best in the world". There are other properties with a similar price tag and playing in the very same league (Necker, Brando also come to mind), making me really curious why North Island would be best in class.

North is of special interest since I am considering it for next Summer.
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Old Jan 10, 17, 10:57 am
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Originally Posted by Epicura View Post
What did you think of Maia? Relatively speaking of course, different league and different price tag than North Island.

And how would you compare North Island versus Laucala and Fregate?

Kind regards from the heart of Europe
I published a review of Maia on my travel blog (with Youtube clip as well). Hee you go:


Maia is the best resort on Mahe (better than the FS and the Banyan Tree). But it is also insanely expensive (2000 euros per night) and I feel it is not worth that very heavy price tag. The accommodations are awesome (with great infinity pools), but the beach is not the best in the Seychelles and food gets a bit boring after a couple of days. Maia offers a great experience, but not a truly memorable one, while I am still blown away by my stay at North Island (even more than 3 months after my stay).

I visited Fregate Island a couple of years ago. The island is also incredible beautiful, but the accommodations were not really impressive at the time. I believe they have upgraded the rooms/villas since then.
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Old Jan 10, 17, 9:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Epicura View Post
Thanks for reminding me of the figures but I am mainly looking for personal experiences and impressions, especially when OP claims "thé best in the world". There are other properties with a similar price tag and playing in the very same league (Necker, Brando also come to mind), making me really curious why North Island would be best in class.
Surely Necker is in a different league to North/Brando in terms of pricing?

And I suspect it may have a lot to do with the beach...
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Old Jan 11, 17, 2:25 am
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Originally Posted by theLuxuryTravelExpert View Post
Maia is the best resort on Mahe (better than the FS and the Banyan Tree). But it is also insanely expensive (2000 euros per night) and I feel it is not worth that very heavy price tag. The accommodations are awesome (with great infinity pools), but the beach is not the best in the Seychelles and food gets a bit boring after a couple of days. Maia offers a great experience, but not a truly memorable one, while I am still blown away by my stay at North Island (even more than 3 months after my stay).
Excuse the OT but which is the better out of Maia and SS Zil Pasyon ?

Cheers
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Old Jan 11, 17, 7:37 am
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Originally Posted by chinmoylad View Post
Surely Necker is in a different league to North/Brando in terms of pricing?

And I suspect it may have a lot to do with the beach...
http://www.virginlimitededition.com/...dividual-rooms


For August, September and October, rates for arrivals for a 7 night stay in 2017:

Great House Rooms: From $30,730 per couple for a 7 night stay
Bali Houses: From $33,310 per couple for a 7 night stay
Great House Master Suite: From $49,530 per couple for a 7 night stay
Temple House Master Suite: From $49,530 per couple for a 7 night stay
Love Temple: From $30,730 per couple for a 7 night stay


When you book a room on Necker Island the following is included:
Your accommodation
All meals and drinks (including all alcoholic beverages) – served in a variety of locations
Return launch transfer from Virgin Gorda or Beef Island airports
A dedicated team of over 100 staff
Two freshwater infinity pools and a huge hot tub on the beach – plus there is a small hot tub at the top of the Great House
Two floodlit tennis courts
Water sports equipment so you can go windsurfing, kite-surfing, water-skiing, sailing, snorkelling and even SCUBA diving plus much more
Disco DJ included on one night
Wireless internet throughout the island
7% local tax
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Old Jan 11, 17, 10:23 am
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Originally Posted by Epicura View Post
http://www.virginlimitededition.com/...dividual-rooms


For August, September and October, rates for arrivals for a 7 night stay in 2017:

Great House Rooms: From $30,730 per couple for a 7 night stay
Bali Houses: From $33,310 per couple for a 7 night stay
Great House Master Suite: From $49,530 per couple for a 7 night stay
Temple House Master Suite: From $49,530 per couple for a 7 night stay
Love Temple: From $30,730 per couple for a 7 night stay


When you book a room on Necker Island the following is included:
Your accommodation
All meals and drinks (including all alcoholic beverages) – served in a variety of locations
Return launch transfer from Virgin Gorda or Beef Island airports
A dedicated team of over 100 staff
Two freshwater infinity pools and a huge hot tub on the beach – plus there is a small hot tub at the top of the Great House
Two floodlit tennis courts
Water sports equipment so you can go windsurfing, kite-surfing, water-skiing, sailing, snorkelling and even SCUBA diving plus much more
Disco DJ included on one night
Wireless internet throughout the island
7% local tax
Nice prices
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Old Jan 11, 17, 11:03 am
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DSI
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Haven't been

Nice to see reviews moving more and more out of the "I got a free breakfast buffet"!

There are loads of staffed villas that tic many similar super-luxury boxes with far superior accommodations than even North. They aren't Virtuoso btw...

In my opinion, Ani Villas and Iniala have higher quality accommodations, food and service than Fregate, which admittedly, is a step below North. Of course, Ani and Iniala aren't Virtuoso so most people on this forum are less interested.... especially the travel agents
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