Holiday like royalty on our regal run-down of Seychelles’ private islands, where you just might glimpse Will and Kate
Far be it for us to spill the beans on the planet’s most hotly anticipated honeymoon, but it’s now been reported >everywhere< that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have taken a honeymoon flight to the Seychelles. And while Wills might have kept the secret from Kate – and the rest of the world – until the last possible moment, the story is now well and truly out.
But reporting that the HRHs flew to Mahé, the main gateway island in the Seychelles, is like reporting on the existence of a needle in a haystack. Dotted in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles is made up of 115 islands spread over 455 square kilometres, far off the east coast of Africa, and Mahé is where nearly everyone arrives, before flying or boating to their final destination.
Where the royal duo are hiding is a secret we aren’t willing to divulge, but a few likely contenders crop up. And while we’re not suggesting you flock there to disturb the regal rendezvous, these are the destinations for an imperial escape of your own.
+248 4 293 100, www.north-island.com
You can just about glimpse this tiny 2sq km island from Beau Vallon beach on Mahé, but even the most telescopic camera lens would have difficulty seeing anything through the lush vegetation. One of the Seychelles’ greenest islands – in every sense of the word – the environmental credentials here are as high as the luxury ones.
North Island’s eco-ethos is certainly in line with Prince William’s personal passion for conservation, and it’s world-renowned among the jet-set as the place to get back to nature (Brangelina and Royal Wedding guests’ the Beckhams are among its A-list fans) – you can do it here without sacrificing creature comforts.
With only 11 villas on the island, it’s not unusual for billionaires to hire it out as a whole, ensuring total privacy – perfect for a princely retreat. Better still, Will and Kate can keep even their security team at arms length by choosing to stay in the island’s newest abode. While the first 10 villas are in the tree-line facing a beach, Villa North Island is tucked far from prying eyes in the verdant forest, while retaining near 360-degree beach views. And at 750 square metres, it’s large enough to serve as a royal wing at the couple’s eventual home of Kensington Palace. And with its own circular rim-flow swimming pool, cinema lounge, sunken sala, reverie lounge and private ocean-view dining area, there’s no need for them to leave this laid-back barefoot beauty at all.
+49 69 86 00 42 980, www.fregate.com
Another contender for an imperial eco-luxe escape, Frégate claims almost as many green credentials as North, and its beaches are consistently voted as among the most beautiful in the world. With 16 villas spread over its three square kilometres, Frégate is slightly larger than North, but no less exclusive. Jennifer Aniston and Liz Hurley have both fallen for its charms, which include a resident giant tortoise population of 600, a jungle interior and a spa that creates a daily changing menu of personalised therapies using seasonal herbs and produce from the island’s own gardens.
Meals here are gourmet in Frégate House, Creole and local in Plantation House, private picnics on the beach, barbecues at the Yacht Club or sky-high tête-à-têtes in a tucked-away two-person tree house. The one island amenity the newlyweds will have no use of is the Castaway Kids Clubhouse – but in such a romantic setting, it can only be a matter of time.
+248 437 6750, www.desroches-island.com
Back in 2007, after a brief break-up, Will and Kate rekindled their romance at Desroches, one of the Seychelles most remote islands. At four square kilometres, it’s double the size of North Island, and is one of the Seychelles’ few inhabited coral islands (most are granite). When there in 2007, they swanned about the 14km of beaches, splashed in the turquoise waters and spent time thinking of England in one of the 20 Beach Suites. Should they be here for the royal honeymoon, however, it’s likely they’ll have plumped for one of the two brand-new Beach Villas, hidden from prying eyes amidst tropical foliage, yet just a few steps from a private sandy beach.
+248 321107, www.cousineisland.com
At just .25 square metres, this tiny island is billed as the low-key version of nearby North. Like its neighbour, it has only a handful of villas and is the tiniest of the HRH Honeymoon contenders. Visitors to Cousine come here to well and truly get away from it all. The island holds a max of eight guests and offers little in the way of activities, apart from flopping on the white-sand beach, snorkelling in the azure waters or spotting Lesser Noddies and Magpie Robins in the nature reserve. But given that the ill-fated marriage of McCartney and Mills began here in 2002, the royal couple will probably not want to do any kissing in Cousine.
+248 28 8963, www.denisisland.com
The most northerly island of the Seychelles, tiny Denis scatters 25 villas among its 1.5 square kilometres. The largest and most luxurious is Villa Bois d’Argent. With its own private beachfront, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge could literally roll out of bed (or the outdoor bathroom) onto the sand here. And tempting as it might be to go for a cheeky swim au natural in such secluded surroundings, it seems unlikely they’d take the risk. Instead, Prince William has previously shown a penchant for StarBlu swimshorts, which cost around £50, while Kate will be sporting a range of swimwear and cover-ups by her favourite British designers, including four reasonably priced dresses from high-street favourite, Warehouse (http://www.ok.co.uk/celebrity-news/view/34660/Kate-Middleton-we-didn-t-expect-you-to-get-one-s-Royal-Honeymoon-clothes-from-Warehouse/). If you can’t afford your own royal honeymoon, at least you can dress like you’re on one.