Maia Luxury Resort & Spa is an exclusive all-villa retreat on Mahe Island.
Maia Luxury Resort & Spa: Our full report
Maia Luxury Resort & Spa is an exclusive all-villa retreat stretching on a near vertical plane from the pristine beach of Anse Louis to dizzying clifftop heights. Opened in September 2006, its striking combination of Aztec and Balinese design influences, stupendous ocean outlooks, magical jungle spa and the high quality of its service standards have received consistently good press coverage ever since. Following our recent stay, it is very easy to understand why.
Maia's 30 Villas are identical in style, space (250m²) and service; it is only their distinctive locations which alter their feel. Travel around the resort's steep, hair-pin drives is by chauffeured golf buggy, which can be summoned at a moment's notice at any time of day or night, so even scaling the hillside need not put you off the top spot.
Divided into four categories, there is something for both beach lovers and those who relish the scenic panoramas of the cliff top:
Located close to the central area, with its main pool and all-day restaurant, the Ocean View Villas, offer unobstructed sea-views from their hillside hideaways.
Near the top of the snaking hillside driveway, the Ocean Panoramic Villas deliver superb 180° vistas across the craggy rocks, dense vegetation and fabulously blue ocean.
The only option at Maia if you're travelling with children, the Ocean Front Villas are situated right above the Anse Louis beach, between the spa and the main swimming pool.
Maia's crème de la crème are the superbly sited Signature Villas. At the very height of the coastal cliff, they offer simply breathtaking views from the terrace, sunken bath and sparkling sapphire pool.
The Villas themselves are quite magnificent, comprising a spacious master-suite with a linear dressing and vanity area, opening onto an amazing sunken outdoor bath; a separate toilet and rainfall shower; a decked ocean-view terrace with a high-pitched thatch over the dining area, a super-sized daybed and a well-stocked bar.
The interiors are stylishly contemporary with warm timber, full-height glass wall panels and subtle lighting. Beautifully integrated furniture, attractive artwork and lovely linens make it a great place to lie back and enjoy your surroundings.
As standard, every Villa includes a plasma TV, DVD player, i-pod, air-conditioning, ceiling fan, fridge, mini-bar, ice machine and fridge full of tempting drinks and snacks. There is also a private butler, briefed and trained to take care of your every need and make any arrangements throughout your stay.
Maia is all about personal relaxation, and with villas so well kitted out and stunningly appointed, it's easy to see why most guests simply hole up and enjoy their own space for the whole of their stay. If the waters below tempt you away form the cobalt infinity pool though, non-motorised watersports can be arranged on-site, with canoeing, kayaking and snorkeling all possible. For ventures further afield, the villa butlers are able to turn their hand to arranging any number of customised excursions from private helicopter tours to scuba diving and deep-sea fishing. Little here is impossible…but it may well cost a lot.
It is worth noting though that if you do only one thing during a stay at Maia, a foray to the Maia Spa is absolutely not to be missed. Nestled between massive granite glacis and towering trees, this outdoor facility is a magical place of birdsong, sweet tropical aromas and divine decadence. Luxurious La Prairie products and state-of-the-art treatment techniques are used by the gracious Far Eastern therapists. From natural sea salts and fresh vanilla exfoliation to caviar body treatments; nourishing crème baths to honey milk moisturisers, the treatments are pure indulgence. Hair and beauty options are also available, as is a children's spa introduction.
With only 30 butler-run villas and 210 staff, Maia is absolutely dedicated to guest comfort and service. The villas themselves are enough reason to visit for some, the food is delicious, and the spa the most spectacular we visited in the Seychelles. This luxury resort's only potential negative, is that it's not on a private island– but then for some, that's also its strength.
Directions: Driving to Maia from the airport is straightforward and island maps are easily available, free of charge, from car hire companies. There are several trans-island roads which cross from the east to west coast and offer a pleasant glimpse of the lush, hilly interior. Once on the west coast, head towards Anse Louis beach on the south-west of the island - Maia's contemporary roadside sign cannot be missed.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: B&B
Food quality: Food at Maia is a treat! The kitchen was until very recently under the command of Andre Chiang, a Taiwanese born, French-trained chef, who introduced fabulous Franco-Asian cuisine to the menus.
With food held in such high regard by the General Manager and his team, it is highly likely that the new chef will continue the resort's reputation for beautifully presented, tasty food using the freshest of ingredients. Although the menu here is extensive and varied, special requests can usually be accommodated with a little notice.
The main poolside restaurant is called Tec-Tec. Set for low-key breakfasts and lunches by day, it transforms into a candle-lit fine-dining affair by night. Beautiful, open-sided and with immaculate service, this is unquestionably one of Mahé's culinary hot spots.
There is also a Sunset Pool Bar for snacks and delicious freshly-shaken cocktails…and of course, all meals can be served in your villa, including a tasty terrace barbeque.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Family holidays: Maia has an impressive array of activities for children as part of its VIK (Very Important Kids) Program – including games, art projects, sports and aquatic excursions. Mum and dad are welcome to join in, or to enjoy some time alone. Special meals and even spa treatments are also possible for junior guests.See more ideas for Family holidays in Seychelles
Beach holidays: In south-west Mahé, Maia occupies a stunning location on the hillside rising up from Anse Louis beach: a 500 metre stretch of powder sand bordered with granite boulders. There is not a great deal of shade on the beach itself, but with a perfectly pitched palm parasol and a tropical cocktail awaiting you within the hotel grounds, the few minute walk seems perfectly manageable!See more ideas for Beach holidays in Seychelles
Wellbeing: The Maia Spa is a very special place indeed. Set quite literally within true tropical forest, and surrounded by gargantuan granite boulders, the outdoor treatments here are absolutely heavenly. From transcendental meditation to accompanied yoga; body exfoliation, polishing and wraps to massage, all is on offer. There is even a dedicated children's spa menu!See more ideas for Wellbeing in Seychelles
Attitude towards children: Maia is very child-friendly in its activity scheduling and flexibility, offering a VIK (Very Important Kids) Program to junior guests.
Equipment: Cots and highchairs are both available for young guests.
Generally recommended for children: Yes – Maia is recommended for children…and parents who prefer to spend a little time alone whilst on holiday.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: WiFi internet and IDD telephones are standard in all rooms; mobile phone reception is also good here.
TV & radio: There is a plasma screen, satellite television and DVD player in every villa.
Health & safety
Malarial area: No
Medical care: There is a medical kit on site and some staff are first-aid trained. Mahé's main hospital is in Victoria for emergencies, about a 45 minute drive, and ambulances are available on the island.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: There is a manned security barrier at the entrance with 24-hour controlled access.
Fire safety: There is a fire extinguisher in every villa and several more in the central area.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge
Money: There are safe deposit boxes in the rooms.