The 16 vast bungalows of Fregate Island Villas are set on the northern curve of the island...
Fregate Island Villas: Our full report
35 miles east of Mahé, Fregate Island Private (formerly known as Frégate Island Hotel) is the most secluded granitic Inner Islands, one of the Seychelles' largest private resorts islands, and home of a very luxurious retreat, set amidst dazzling natural settings.
On the northern curve of the island, between Anse Bambous and Anse Macquereau, Fregate Island has 16 vast villas, three of which are offered as two-bedroom villas from March 2009. Although sometimes called Fregate Island Hotel once upon a time – to describe this as a hotel really is to miss the point. It's a very exclusive private island, and these very private villas are individual and quite spectacular.
They can accommodate a maximum of 40 guests at a time, promising ultimate privacy and relaxation. (No day visitors are permitted on “Fregate Island Private", as the island likes to be known!) Although everything has been constructed within strict environmental controls, luxury levels have not been compromised.
Each villa on Fregate Island is a large colonial-style bungalow, with a spectacular ocean view from the terrace, a private butler and a personal solar buggy for exploring the island. The interiors, incorporating a spacious bedroom and living area, are in natural tones, with carved timber furniture, built-in facilities and a selection of useful mod-cons. The en-suite has both an indoor and small outdoor shower, and a window-view bath. A shaded day bed, sun loungers and pool-side Jacuzzi overlook the sea, though the pièce de résistance of these hideaways is undoubtedly the private, sapphire-blue infinity pool – it's vastly larger than most hotel swimming pools!
Away from your pool, Fregate offers a host of activities. Water lovers are spoilt for choice with two further, huge freshwater swimming pools, a yacht club and a PADI dive centre at the island's marina. From motorboats to kayaks, and sailing to snorkelling, it's all available. Un-motorised watersports, including snorkelling from the shore, sea kayaking, windsurfing and optimist sailing (optimist sailing is also available for kids) are free of charge; an additional charge applies for motorised watersports, including scuba diving, deep sea fishing and boat charters for excursions.
Back ashore, hiking, guided nature walks with Fregate's ecologists, beachcombing, reading, trips to the gym or to the 18-hole golf course at the Lémuria Hotel on Praslin (including a private helicopter transfer) can all be arranged. If that all sounds too energetic, the Zen-like Rock Spa is a perfect retreat. Clear ponds, raked rock gardens, timber pagoda-style treatment rooms and gentle Balinese staff combine to create a true haven. By contrast, younger guests on Fregate Island will be warmly welcomed at the active 'Castaway Club' for supervised games, excursions, craft and even cookery classes.
Dining is a highlight on Fregate Island, which boasts two restaurants, two bars and a wine cellar with dining facilities. Whether it's served in your villa, at the marina, in the main restaurant or in any number of natural settings around the forest and coast, you'll find Creole and international flavours blended to produce a seasonal menu of complex French-inspired creations.
A rich assortment of natural and cultivated mangos, papayas, guava, coconuts, melons and bananas are harvested daily on Fregate. A wander around the working gardens to see the coffee bushes, aromatic herb borders and vanilla vines is fascinating. For gardeners, scientists and cooks, the first-class hydroponics project, which produces wonderful salad crops and juicy tomatoes, is well worth a tour.
The Zen-like Rock Spa is set high on a cliff-top, in total unison with its surroundings, overlooking the sparkling blue Indian Ocean. It offers a variety of pampering massages and treatments; the therapists use mainly ancient techniques from India, Australian and Polynesia, and products made from local ingredients.
The marina is located on the lower plateau of the island, complete with a PADI Dive Centre and Fregate's Yacht Club. Here, all kinds of watersports activities can be arranged, including trips to island's numerous dive sites. Non-motorised watersports (e.g. snorkelling, sailing, windsurfing, sea kayaking) are free of charge; an additional charge applies for motorised watersports, including scuba diving and deep sea fishing.
Fregate Island also has a well-equipped fitness centre (including a variety of challenging outdoor running paths), a tennis court, and two freshwater swimming pools (a small relaxation pool and an active lap pool with Jacuzzi). There's also a library, complete with DVDs CDs, board games and books.
Other facilities include a giant tortoise nursery; a small boutique offering beachwear, gifts, books and jewellery; a chapel open for private prayers; a plantation and hydroponics, where organically grown fruits, vegetables and herbs are produced; a gallery, and an island museum, which shows the history of the Seychelles and Fregate Island.
For children, Fregate Island Villas has a clubhouse (Castaway Kids Club) and playgrounds.
Our viewWhilst Frégate Island's rates are exceedingly costly, it does offer a luxurious private-island experience, with a wide range of activities, first-rate facilities and excellent service, which it delivers with aplomb. This is a top-class private island, which can compete with the best in the world.
Directions: Fregate Island hotel is a mere 20-minute flight (by helicopter or twin-engine) from Seychelles International Airport on Mahé.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: There are two restaurants at Fregate Island: the Plantation House serves island specialities and traditional Creole dishes, whilst the Fregate House provides a daily menu of gourmet food made from local produce.
Beside this, there are two bars at Fregate Island: the Pirate's Bar and the Anse Bambous Beach Bar. The latter also has dining facilities, as does the lodge's wine cellar. For those seeking privacy, dinner can be served in your own villa or in a number of natural settings around the coast.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Non-alcoholic drinks are included, alcoholic drinks are available at an extra charge.
Attitude towards children: Fregate Island welcomes children.
Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions.
Special activities & services: The Castaway Kids Club is a fun place for 5 to 12 year old children; under the age of 5, children should be supervised by their parents or a babysitter. Its primary focus is to educate and teach children (as well as their parents) about the island's environment and conservation projects in a playful way, with many games, videos and books available. During certain occasions, including Christmas and Easter, a Castaway Activity Co-ordinator supervises special activities; at other times, the kids club is unsupervised, but babysitting can be arranged. Beside this, there are playgrounds. Babysitting can be arranged at an extra charge of €20 per hour. A three-week notice period, before you arrive, is required, if you are likely to need a babysitter on a regular basis for more than two hours a day.
Generally recommended for children: Yes
Notes: Children up to the age of 5 are free of charge, when sharing a villa with at least to adults; up to the age of 17 they are only charged with a reduced priced.
Communications: A wireless high speed internet connection is available in every villa, included in Fregate Island's rates. The lodge also has a telephone and fax service, which is available at an extra cost.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Medical care: In cases of emergency, a registered nurse is available 24 hours a day on Fregate Island. General first aid equipment is also available, and the nearest hospitals are located on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue Island.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: Each villa at Fregate Island has a personal electronic safe in the bedroom wardrobe.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge
Money: Fregate Island hotel does not accept payments in Seychelles Rupees – but it is possible to pay in major foreign currencies.
Accepted payment on location: Fregate Island accepts all major credit cards.