For some, the festive season means thermal layers, twinkling lights along Oxford Street and steaming cups of mulled wine. But for those who can’t abide freezing temperatures and perpetual darkness, tropical climates beckon. If you’re a hot Christmas devotee – piña coladas, Christmas Day barbecues and shorts-clad Santa – then there’s nowhere better to spend the festive season than the Seychelles. Located just a smidge south of the equator, the Seychelles basks in hot, 30-degree temperatures all year round. December may see a little more rainfall, but these tend to be short blasts that break up the humidity. Mahé is the largest of the 115 islands that make up the Seychelles archipelago, and is exactly what you think of when you imagine this tropical paradise: powder-white sand beaches, lush vegetation and crystal-clear waters teeming with colourful fish and languid turtles.
Located on the northern coast of Mahé, within its own rocky outcrop in the upmarket Glacis region is the award-winning Sea Monkey villa. One of the most iconic private houses in the Seychelles, this secluded 400sqm villa was named “Africa’s Best Coastal Villa” at the 2016 World Boutique Hotel awards. Sleeping up to eight people, Sea Monkey’s four double bedrooms each feature an en suite bathroom, balcony and stunning views across the Indian Ocean. In fact, the villa as a whole is geared around its spectacular surroundings and coastal location, with large floor-to-ceiling windows and a show-stopping 60sqm infinity pool perched over the waves. The interiors are elegant and traditional, with wooden floors and natural tones, but with modern touches including air conditioning and Bluetooth sound system. Outside, the vast terrace features a gazebo with alfresco dining area – perfect for sunset barbecues – sun loungers, table tennis, landscaped gardens and lounge areas.
As expected, your every whim will be catered to by a dedicated villa manager and team, including a chef on standby to rustle up freshly cooked fish and local dishes with ingredients sourced from nearby markets. If you’re able to pry yourself away from the pool and deck chairs for an afternoon, why not try your hand at kayaking, snorkelling, paddle boarding, a spot of yoga or deep-sea fishing – with equipment and itineraries provided. Sea Monkey is a five-minute swim to the nearest public beach and just a 15-minute drive from the famous Beau Vallon bay; popular with tourists and locals alike. The capital, Victoria, is located just 20 minutes away on the other side of the island. It may be small but it’s worth a day trip to explore its art galleries and museums, botanical gardens, fresh fruit and fish markets, French colonial-era buildings and eclectic monuments – including a replica of the Little Ben clock tower outside London Victoria train station. Back at Sea Monkey, watching the sun rise over the Indian Ocean as you wake up to another hot, sunny day will feel like all your Christmases have come at once.
THE FINE DETAILS
Sea Monkey is available to book through SJ Villas over Christmas 2023 (not available over New Year’s) from €3,220 per night (7-night minimum stay).