Paradise, At a Fraction of the Price
Getting to Fregate Island is an adventure in itself – cut through the azure blue waters on a powerboat or chop your way across the air in a helicopter. Both require a bit of derring-do and a fearlessness usually blunted by city living. From far, you might start wondering why you’ve spent all this time and money to get to a tiny lump of granite in the middle of nowhere. You will relinquish that thought as well as all your urban sensibilities once your toes push off the metal of your chosen transportation and caress the Seychelles sand that make up the foundation of Fregate Island Private.
But first, the details, the bits and pieces that everyone skips because private pools can be quite the seductive temptresses.
Fregate Island Private is part of the Oetker Collection, a group of masterpiece hotels around the world owned and managed by the eponymous luxury hotelier. There are 16 gorgeous villas dotting the private island and your neighbours include not only other people but 2,200 Aldabra tortoises that roam freely on the island. Fregate Island was first discovered by intrepid French explorer Lazara Picault in 1744. Adventurers are more known for their audaciousness instead of their creativity, which explains Picault’s chosen name – there was a large number of frigatebirds, a type of seabird best known for its scarlet throat pouch, flying around the island when Picault was there.
It’s almost impossible to capture the beauty of Fregate Island Private in words, and photographs do not do the place justice, but I will try. The staff who live and work on the island and who tend to the needs of the well-heeled travellers are big on conservation, which explains the lush unspoiled foliage, a welcome break from dreary concrete, and the huge population of beautiful wildlife. Nothing on the island goes above more than a couple of storeys and fresh coconuts and crystal clear seas await you at every turn. The air is refreshingly different, untouched by the burning of coal and the output of exhaust pipes. Fregate Island Private only has a maximum of 40 guests at any one time, so you don’t have to jostle for elbow space at the seven beaches located around the island. Dolphins and manta rays are two of the many marine companions that accompany you during your ocean dives but if you’re more of a landlubber, you can tour the island and treat your senses to a slice of green heaven.
There are spas and restaurants on the island, in case you’re worried about civilisation, or the lack thereof. But, to come to Fregate Island Private is to escape from reality and the best spa and restaurant cannot compete with the view from your villa window, a soothing balm for any soul. Just remember to disconnect your smartphone from the network; you don’t need a shrill tone to jolt you back into the humdrum of everyday life. Book it now.