At just 2 km long and located some 29 km away from the mainland, North Island, Seychelles, could be easy to overlook. And for a while, it was — that is, until The Luxury Collection saw a true ecological diamond in the rough. By Stacey Leasca
In 2019, The Luxury Collection, part of Marriott International, Inc., announced the addition of North Island to its portfolio. And more recently, ASmallWorld Hospitality took over management.
All you need to know about the island with the clearest blue waters and luxury resorts
North Island, also known as Ile du Nord, was the first Seychelles island to have a recorded landing by seafarers in 1609. At the time, the expedition team reported the destination was home to a rather large population of giant land tortoises, and that was it. Then, between 1826 and the 1970s, it was owned by the Beaufond family from Réunion and used as a farm to grow fruit and spices, as well as produce guano, fish oil, and copra. The farm was sold in the 1970s and fell into disuse until it was purchased in 1997 to be once again turned into both a private island hideaway and sanctuary for native Seychellois wildlife. All that hard work has paid off to make the island one of the most pristine places on the planet.
“North Island is a fertile paradise — the perfect setting for our Noah’s Ark conservation and island rehabilitation program,” the website explained. “The natural beauty of North Island will touch and inspire you at the deepest level.”
To bring out the island’s emerald green flora and fauna, azure ocean water, and sparkling white sand, the team had to first undo all the damage done by man and the farm over the decades. That included eradicating non-native rodents and removing all feral animals, including goats, cats, and cattle. Invasive plant species are still being cleared and replaced with thousands of native plant and tree seedlings to ultimately restore what once was. And it appears to be working.
According to the island, Seychelles blue pigeons, as well as breeding populations of wedge-tailed shearwaters and white-tailed tropicbirds, have returned, and both hawksbill and green turtles have started to nest on the beaches again. It’s a bounty that guests can now experience by spending some time with the island’s private environmental team or simply heading out to explore.
So, how exactly can you visit this paradise? All you have to do is book one of its 11 private guest or family villas.
The accommodations are an ode to the island as well, constructed using sustainable and local materials, and outfitted to mimic the world outside, with neutral-toned furnishings and glossy woods.
On the island, guests can also enjoy menus designed in collaboration with chef Akira Back, whose restaurant, Dosa, in Seoul, South Korea, has been awarded a Michelin star. The food, which always revolves around what’s in season, is tailored to guests’ needs.
Of course, island activities mainly focus on experiencing the natural beauty. From scuba diving and snorkelling to kayaking, fishing, cycling, and guided walks, it’s all about maximising time in the great outdoors and learning about how to better care for precious places like this.
See more about the destination and book a stay, which begins at EUR 5,500 (INR 4,45,466) per night, on the North Island website.
This story first appeared on www.travelandleisure.com
Main and Feature Image Credit: Courtesy of North Island, A Luxury Collection Resort, Seychelles
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