Stellar Villas presents an Indian Ocean paradise - North Island.
WELCOME TO NORTH ISLAND
The owners bought North Island in recognition of its potential as a Noah's Ark; a sanctuary where natural habitats could be rehabilitated and where critically endangered Seychelles fauna and flora could be re-introduced and given a place to regenerate.
North Island is the most interesting conservation project we have ever undertaken. It is very seldom that the opportunity arises to make such a significant andpositive impact on a region, a specific area, its wildlife and surrounding environment.
On this beautiful island we have built an exclusive luxury lodge. We have, where possible, utilised materials reaped fromthe rehabilitation process. In doing so we have paid particular attention to capturing the true essence of North Island, a rare experience in harmony with the environment.
The development on North Island is unashamedly aimed at providing the very best in privacy, location, accommodation, services, facilities and experience. The Island has only 11 guest Villas - exquisitely designed to celebrate nature and offer an authentic home-from-home ambience. The result is a special destination that touches the lives of its guests and inspires them long after they have left.
North Island is an example of a sustainable ecologically sensitive utilisation of a precious natural treasure.
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The Island Piazza
This is the natural focal point of the Island, where elegant buildings cluster about a magnificent Indian Almond tree.
Located on the beachfront, the dive and activity centre, housing both indoor and outdoor tuition areas, changing rooms and interesting displays, is where many of the Island's land and marine activities are co-ordinated.
Adjacent to the deck of the activity centre is the library. Built of coral blocks, it is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular examples of architecture on the Island and was already standing when construction of the lodge began. Now, with its exterior walls renovated and its roof replaced, it houses a collection of books on topics of interest, various relics and artifacts as well as a computer display covering Seychelles' history, past and present. The library also contains material explaining the background to the North Island project and details of environmental programmes currently underway.
Some twenty metres distant from the library are the lounge and dining areas, offering a high degree of comfort and also unforgettable views of the sea and mountains. From here, a walkway over the lily pond leads to the wine cellar, followed immediately by a private dining sala. The bar joins the dining area and the lounge stands not far away in the restful shade of a takamaka tree.
Further up the mountain and hidden from the lounge and dining area is the main pool, a 45 metre long pool that looks over the pool deck to the horizon of the sea, creating views of heart stopping beauty.
An exclusive luxury lodge with eleven Villas has been built, using where possible, materials reaped from the rehabilitation process. In doing this the aim has been to capture the essence of "barefoot luxury".
The development on North Island is unashamedly aimed at providing the very best in privacy, location, accommodation, services, facilities and experience.
Each Villa measures 450 square metres (4,890 square feet) giving guests enough room to spread out and enjoy a unique, private, island-style experience to the full.
Each Villa has two bedrooms, a main bedroom and a second bedroom. Whilst the Villa is primarily occupied by one or two guests, they may have a requirement to use the second bedroom for children or friends and this is available at an additional cost. Alternatively, the second bedroom can be converted into a study for guests staying in the master bedroom.
Each Villa has been individually handcrafted by Seychellois and African craftsmen on the Island from wood, local stone and glass, with thatched roofs that complete the magnificent design.
Each Villa is completely self-contained, and is raised over a metre off the ground to catch the cooling island breezes.
A luxuriously proportioned master bedroom with change-room and writing area leads onto a large en-suite bathroom with marble bath and two showers, one indoor and one outdoor. The bedrooms are air-conditioned and all rooms have overhead "punkah punkah" fans. The fully retracting sliding doors allow for uninterrupted views onto the lawns and the turquoise seas in front of each Villa. There is satellite television, a DVD/CD system and Internet access and all villas have 2 x land lines, one in the study and one in the main bedroom.
The kitchen leads off the lounge/dining area. A private plunge pool (all villa pools have pool nets) and sala are the finishing touches to this private sanctuary.
Villas one to nine are nestled discreetly in the tree-line, facing onto Anse d'est Beach. Villas ten and eleven (Villa Royale and Villa North Island respectively) have been designed differently to accommodate the incline along the extreme northern side of the Anse d'est Beach and are secretly tucked away in the takamaka forest. The beach views from these Villas are truly spectacular from every angle and it is this, together with the unique manipulation of the design, that separates these two remarkable Villas from the rest.
The activities on offer at North Island are designed to give guests the opportunity to enjoy the Island and its magic, either under guidance from one of the staff, or alone. This gives guests the freedom to move around the Island at their own pace, either on foot, on North Island mountain bikes or by Island Buggies. These activities will have a minimal impact on the environment whilst providing the enjoyment of entertainment and exercise.
Scuba diving: Seychelles forms part of the world's longest coral reef system and has some of the world's best scuba diving sites. Numerous dive sites have been identified around North Island and its nearest neighbour Silhouette Island. North Island offers a "guided" scuba experience and the dive masters are not only experts in scuba practices but also in the underwater universe. The North Island dive school and fishermen are experienced professionals who will inspire confidence with both uninitiated and seasoned guests alike.
Snorkelling: there are good snorkelling sites around North Island and Silhouette Island. Masks and fins are available at the dive centre if guests wish to explore these sites, either on their own or in the company of a staff member (depending on their snorkelling skills).
Sea kayaking: those wishing to explore the Island from the water are able to do so using sea kayaks, with all necessary tuition and guidance provided.
The Gym: is air-conditioned and is situated behind the dive centre.
Island bicycles: are available for guest use. These mountain bikes are suitable for getting from one side of the Island to the other with ease.
Island Buggies: each Villa has its own dedicated Island Buggie. These specially adapted electric carts look like miniature 4 X 4's that give guests the freedom to move around the Island.
North Island Sunset Bar: a walk along Grande Anse Beach as the sun sets is an experience not to be missed - especially as the Sunset Bar lies at the end of the walk. This simple, rustic bar is located just above the high water mark on the northern end of Grande Anse. Drinks and light snacks can be served for those wanting to enjoy this beach.
Fly-fishing: is an option for any guest. North Island has fishing rods, tackle and flies in stock for guest use. However, it is recommended that serious fly-fishermen bring their own rods and tackle.
Boating and island hopping: boating around North Island or other trips could include visits to Mahé and the outer islands, including the spectacular bird islands, Arid and Cousin, and can be arranged at an extra cost.
The North Island library: an extensive natural history library and research centre, lovingly renovated out of the old coral ruins, houses all the documentation concerning the history of the Island as well as details of its rehabilitation and plans of the building of the lodge.
Slide shows and talks: are offered, enabling interested guests to learn about Seychelles and North Island, as well as a wide range of ecological and conservation topics.
Turtles: depending on the time of the year guests may be lucky enough to witness the Hawksbill and Green turtles laying their eggs on the eastern and western beaches of North Island. Researchers will tag the turtles so that their breeding activities can be monitored.
Walking: guests will be able to explore the Island by walking around it and along its extensive beaches, or climbing the granite outcrops and crossing the saddle linking the eastern and western plateaux.
The North Island spa is open from 10h00 and the last treatment ends at 19h00. It is located in inspiring surroundings, overlooking turquoise waters and dramatic cliffs. North Island's spa provides a unique treatment menu specially derived from island ingredients.
In keeping with North Island's concept of tailor-made service, guests can receive certain treatments in the privacy of their own Villa.
Currently, guests can enjoy the In-Villa treatments carried out by a professional team.
Kitchen staff tend the vegetable and herb gardens prior to harvesting so that only the freshest food combinations reach the table in the dining environment of the guests' choice - whether on the beach, in the Villa, restaurant or Sunset Bar.
Besides its exceptional beauty, North Island has long been renowned for its fertility and also for the richness of the fishing grounds wherein it nestles. It is not surprising, therefore, that North Island's lodge should draw upon these exceptional natural resources. North Island cuisine is based on the very finest natural products lovingly prepared in a sumptuous array of exotic dishes.
The cuisine of North Island is based on the diversity and cultural influences which, in part, make up the Seychellois Creole flavour. Culinary aspects of Africa, France, southern India and south east Asia are combined with the tropical, organic resources of North Island and the abundance on offer from the Indian Ocean. Balanced together with simplicity, guests can expect a feast that will awaken all of their senses.
There is a "no menu" concept of dining in the restaurant i.e. the chef, Geoffrey Murray, speaks to the guest upon arrival, explains the North Island cuisine concept, finds out their food preferences and then develops the menus daily around this information.
North Island promises a memorable culinary experience, complemented by an impressive cellar with some of the world's great wines and champagnes. The wine cellar allows guests, under the guidance of experts if so required, to select a vintage to suit their palate.
One of the reasons North Island was bought was because of its potential to become a Noah's Ark sanctuary where natural habitats could be rehabilitated and where critically endangered Seychelles fauna and flora could be re-introduced and given a place to regenerate.
The essence of North Island is a sustainable, ecologically sensitive utilisation of a precious natural treasure.
When North Island was abandoned in the 1970's following the collapse of the coconut industry, many unwanted and intrusive species of flora and fauna remained behind such as coconuts, casuarina, cows, rats, pigs, Indian mynah birds, cats, barn owls and an especially invasive weed called lantana.
Together, these unwanted elements held North in a stranglehold that threatened to stifle its very life force, smothering the indigenous plants, decimating the bird life and drying up the marshland that is the lifeblood of the Island.
After the alarm bell had been sounded by prominent ecologists, The North Island Company Ltd. undertook the challenge, not only to reverse the Island's sorry decline, but to take the long road towards the restoration of the Island to its former glory. A cornerstone of this bold initiative has been the "Noah's Ark" concept, where tortoises and certain species of bird are gradually being re-introduced to the Island along with indigenous trees such as the takamaka, badamier and the legendary coco-de-mer palm.
The concept of an eco-sensitive lodge on North Island has been preceded by years of painstaking research and co-ordination with government conservation bodies committed to ensuring the protection of the natural environment and biodiversity. Such considerations have not only placed numerous checks and controls on the nature of the project itself, but have also ensured that maximum efforts are made in the direction of the recycling of materials and the rehabilitation of existing structures. They have steered North Island's architects down the road of limited development, limited noise, the preservation of historical sites, the eradication of alien fauna and flora, and the replanting of lost species of fauna, as well as the conservation of water and the installation of ecologically sensitive sewerage.
The conscientious pursuit of such policies is now reaping its just rewards and has contributed much to the extraordinary way in which the lodge's eleven secluded Villas blend seamlessly into their surroundings and also to the eco-sensitive aura that now pervades the Island.
Felled alien trees such as the casuarinas, as well as dead takamaka trees, have been used in the building, their serpentine roots now snaking their way through roofs, their bleached limbs adorning balustrades and stairways. In one inspiring marriage of past and present, two of the original copra shacks have been turned into a library and dive centre while the quest for excellence has brought together artisans from as far a field as Malawi, South Africa and of course, Seychelles.
The on-going process of conservation is at the very heart of North Island's philosophy and, as part of the Island's continuing endeavours to safeguard its environment, a programme of rat eradication has been successfully completed. This will pave the way for the return of at least three indigenous species of bird, all of them on the danger list: the Black Paradise Flycatcher, the Seychelles Warbler and, most important of all, the Seychelles Magpie Robin - one of the world's rarest birds.
North Island will continue to honour the policies that are enabling it to realise its goal of offering the highest standards of hospitality against a backdrop of sustainable, eco-friendly practice.
Contact us about North Island