Another gem of a place, Denis Island Lodge is located on Denis Island, a small coral island 30 minutes flight north of Mahe.
Once a pirate getaway, a coconut plantation and a copra factory, it has been a holiday destination since 1975, and one that has been owned and run by the Mason family for years. Very much a hands-on, family orientated set up, the Denis Island Resort consists of a main lodge and 25 villas. Housed largely in an enormous open sided stone and thatch build, the shared areas include a lounge, bar, dining room and games and internet area. Outside, there is a dive centre, plenty of outdoor seating area. The lounge itself is characterised by huge, curved seating, cream cushions, unfinished walls and a cavernous ceiling.
Food is served anywhere and everywhere, with wide ranging buffets dominating the breakfast and lunch fares, and a table d’hote menu taking care of dinner. Not to be missed, a Creole buffet is served twice weekly. With much of the produce grown – including beef, dairy and pork – on the island’s small farm, and fish fresh from the sea, the quality of food couldn’t be better.
The villas are made from a range of materials – corrugated iron, wood, stone – and are divided into the following classes: deluxe (16), Belle Etoile (7), Bois d’Argent and Prince Noire – the last of these are family units, the latter being the largest. This sounds like a lot, and it is, but the villas are beautifully spaced, and the trees and the lay of the land, together with the distraction of the beach, combine to create a really private stay – so private, in fact, that having recently (2010) stayed a night, and slept extremely well, we were shocked upon our return to discover that Denis Island was capable of accommodating over 50 guests.
Each of the standard villas includes a double bed, private courtyard or beach front, en-suite bathroom, a seating area and various amenities, including a chiller, telephone, fridge, air-con and fan. Bathrooms include a double sink, bidet, flush toilet, bath and outdoor showering facilities.
Activities include beach sports, snorkelling, boat trips, nature walks, workshops and fishing.
Denis Private Island is committed in ensuring that her numerous treasures remain for our future generations to enjoy.
On land, large tracts of forest and habitat rehabilitated with native broad-leaved trees, rodents eradicated. Endemic bird species introduced as part of ongoing national efforts to increase breeding populations will lead to their improved status on the IUCN Globally Threatened Birds list.
Working to ensure the reef flats – essential nursery and feeding grounds for fish and green turtles – and its inhabitants, from damsels to seagrass beds, remain to play a crucial role in the ecosystem dynamics. Hawksbill and green turtles laying their eggs on Denis’ protected shoreline are monitored and tagged, providing valuable information assisting the protection of the species.
Green Islands Foundation (GIF) is an environmental NGO, registered and based in the Seychelles, dedicated to the mainstreaming of sustainable development in tropical islands and archipelagos. GIF is our major partner in implementing an integrated coastal zone management programme, the re-establishment of a sooty tern colony, the provision of supplementary feeds for the maintenance of the Seychelles magpie robin population and monitoring of their behaviour and habits.
The island privately owned by the Mason family has embarked on a journey to epitomize a remarkable sustainable tourism investment allowing the safeguarding of the retreat’s stunning natural surroundings, while still offering the finest island style hospitality with a unique Seychellois flair.
The island’s estate uses organic methods to meet the needs of the island’s guests and inhabitants- rearing poultry for meat and eggs, cattle for milk, vegetables, fruits and herbs grown in soil fertilized by sea grass; and fish caught in our fertile waters.
The natural oils extracted from the island’s coconut trees are used in our massage and wellness treatments. Furniture is fashioned at the island’s workshop from the timber of fallen trees in the island’s forest; water drawn and desalinated from underground wells and supplemented by rain catchment reservoirs.
It is our pride to treat Denis with a gentle touch and ensure that its treasures remain an object of rare and untouched beauty.