|Beach House Maldives’ Ocean Villas include such touches as over-water hammocks.|
These three exclusive ocean escapes are the perfect places to unwind and unplug by the water.
Nestled in Intendance Bay on Mahé Island, with in-your-face views of the Indian Ocean, Banyan Tree Seychelles delivers on its promise of exotic luxury. Here, the 19 Beachfront Spa Pool Villas (Nos. 101-119) are most in demand. Why? They are all planted steps from the beach and directly face the Indian Ocean. The amenities are expansive: private swimming pool, massage pavilion, outdoor jet pool and steam room, and garden offering direct access to the beach.
For the utmost in luxury, the Presidential Villa (No. 206) is the clear choice. It occupies its own private cove by the water’s edge. We love the private free-form infinity swimming pool that is ensconced by granite boulders and looks out onto the ocean. Note: The Presidential Villa can be combined with the adjoining Hillside Pool Villa (No. 205) to create a two-bedroom complex.
Because of their loft canopy position, the Intendance Pool Villas (Nos. 303, 304 and 407) have the best ocean views (think bird’s-eye). Nice Touch: A set of walkways and stairs connects the villa, living pavilion and pool with a separate sundeck and jet pool. Note: While butler service is upon request, it comes standard with the two-bedroom Double Pool Villas (Nos. 120-125), which are perfect for families and also situated on the beach. Each of these villas features two private pools and two open-air dining areas. Luxury travel advisors can contact Reservations Manager Rina Tarigan ([email protected]) with questions.
With an emphasis on relaxation and tranquility, the resort’s spa offers treatments (we hear the Asian Blend massage and Deep Sea Detox are highly coveted) in one of eight ocean-view hillside pavilions within the jungle vegetation. Contact Assistant Spa Manager Yuwadee Sirichompoo ([email protected]) with questions. Treatments should be booked at least a week before a stay.
|A Bedarra split-level Villa has views over Hernandia Bay.|
Food is also an integral part of Banyan Tree Seychelles. Chez Lamar is the resort’s newest Creole dining venue set in a colonial-style house. Au Jardin d’Epices looks out onto Indian Ocean and has a decidedly African feel to it. The dinner menu focuses on Mauritian and South African cuisine.
What we are most transfixed by are the special dining arrangements that can be made. Contact Rooms Division Manager Henar Rios ([email protected]), who also acts as the resort’s head concierge, to arrange “Grill on the Sands,” which is dinner served directly on the beach. A personal dining host can prepare the daily catch on the grill, or African barbeque and Seychellois-style tropical treats, if so inclined. Top Touch: A trail of rose petals flanked by flickering candles lead to a table by the water’s edge.
Getting There: Fly clients into Mahé International Airport, which is 30 minutes by car from the resort.
Another Indian Ocean gem is Beach House Maldives, a Waldorf Astoria Resort. The resort’s design is assuredly local (think Maldivian architecture, marked by thatched roofs, clean lines and indigenous wood).
The Grand Water Pavilion and Grand Beach Pavilion are the top accommodations here and are positioned in the resort’s most secluded areas. While every suite leads to the beach, some of the best views can be had from the over-water Grand Water Pavilion, which is perched on the water’s edge. Top Touches: Guests can peer right into the ocean through a glass-paneled floor and take a dip in the private infinity pool. Note: Each of the resort’s suites is assigned a personal butler. Luxury travel advisors with questions can contact Sales Coordinator Myriam Petit ([email protected]).
The Modun Spa provides an array of therapeutic treatments, the most unique being the healing tradition of Ayurveda. Spa queries should be directed to Guest Services Manager Tang Lin Tay ([email protected]).
Dining is also experiential. The resort offers exclusive dining on the beach, on either of the resort’s two deserted islands. Guests can enhance their experience with personalized menus, wines, lighting and music playlists.
|Spa Pool Villas at Banyan Tree Seychelles have their own massage pavilions.|
Getting There: Guests should fly into Male International Airport, which is a bit over an hour from the resort via seaplane. Note: In December, Beach House Maldives launched a private, direct seaplane service from the airport to the resort.
In Australia, at the Great Barrier Reef, in Queensland, Bedarra Island is just the type of exclusive resort people have in mind when they truly want to unplug and get away. How do we know? The resort has a maximum of just 32 guests. (We hear Toni Collette and Justin Timberlake have been two.)
Five categories of accommodations exist. We hear Points No. 1 and 14 and The Pavilions No. 15 and 16 are the top choices at the resort. Each Point is in an elevated beachside position offering panoramic ocean views over Hernandia Bay. We love that the layout has been designed explicitly to maximize these views (think water views from any area of the accommodation). The Points also include outdoor decks with private heated plunge pools.
The two Pavilions are the best accommodations for those who want complete privacy. They are removed from the main resort area, set in exclusive private locations with views over Wedgerock Bay. Note: Children under 16 are prohibited in the resort. Luxury travel advisors should contact Director of Sales Claudia McFadden ([email protected]), who says that, because of the limited number of villas, it’s advisable to book four months in advance.
Renovation Note: In November, the resort commenced a $3.5 million makeover, which will result in many facility upgrades along with thoughtful touches, such as the repositioning of beds in the Hillside Villas to better capture sea views.
Due to its Great Barrier Reef location, water activities are an integral part of the Bedarra experience (think deep-sea fishing charters and reef diving). So is dining. The open-terrace restaurant overlooks the pool and serves such dishes as Smokey Bay oysters with miso and wakame and pan-seared reef fish. Note: Ask McFadden about private dining options, which include a meal at a secluded bay with a gourmet hamper and your own dinghy.
Getting There: Fly clients into Cairns Airport, where they will take a 20-minute flight to Dunk Island before a boat transfer to Bedarra Island. Note: We hear the renovation may include the addition of a helipad.