CaranaBeach Hotel sits in a quiet cove flanked by granite boulders and swaying palm trees surrounded by lush vegetation.
Banyan Tree Seychelles
Banyan Tree Seychelles overlooks beautiful Intendance Bay in the southwest of Mahé. The resort is a mix of wooden decking, white clapboard villas and infinity pools, with views out over the beach and the sea. The architecture complements the tropical landscape with the white of the pavilions contrasting with the jungle greens and marine blues.
The views of the beach are the big draw: white sand framed by coconut palms and jungle. The resort is designed to make the most of its beautiful location with villas sitting on the sand, or perched up above with sweeping views. The 60 villas are well-spaced allowing guests privacy.
There are three restaurants, serving international, Thai and Creole cuisine, and two bars, Lavarange Bar and the pool bar. Excellent facilities ensure an action-packed or relaxing break, from tennis to the landmark Banyan Tree
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The 60 villas are finished in a colonial-plantation style, with white clapboard walls, cool marble floors and louvred doors. Each has so much outdoor space that you don't really need to leave your villa, including an alfresco lounge, dining pavilion and private pool.
All villas have king size beds, air-conditioning, satellite television and CD player, minibar, safe, tea/coffee-making facilities and en suite bathroom, with double basins, a sunken bath tub and shower, bathrobes and hair dryers.
The Banyan Tree Seychelles is perched in a prime spot above the long, crescent-shaped beach of Intendance Bay, with views stretching right along the coastline. Whilst on the main island of Mahé, the hotel feels very secluded — once you’re arrived it’s easy to feel like it’s the only hotel on the island.
The beach is ideal for walking, lounging or paddling in the warm Indian Ocean. The sea can sometimes be rough here, so it's not always possible to swim in the ocean. Instead, each room has a private plunge pool, and the hotel has an infinity pool.
The capital of the Seychelles, Victoria, is 45 minutes from the hotel, while Mahé airport is just 30 minutes’ drive away.
Food and drink
There are three restaurants to choose from at Banyan Tree: Au Jardin d'Epices, Saffron and Chez Lamar.
Au Jardin d'Epices is set above the bay, and serves buffet breakfasts, a selection of light lunches and fine international cuisine for dinner. The dinner menu is inspired by local, fresh ingredients, and features a variety of Creole and Mediterranean cuisine. We highly recommend the lobster curry.
Chez Lamar is set in a colonial-style house that exudes old-world charm, overlooking the Seychellois wetlands, and serves a fusion of Creole cuisine and Arabic specialities.
Saffron has tables on the veranda of the colonial mansion. The resort’s signature restaurant, it serves fine Southeast Asian cuisine, with an emphasis on Thai food.
La Varangue is the place to grab a couple of drinks and snacks, a pizza, or some light Thai specialities with views out over the ocean. Alternatively the Rum Shack set on the beach offers cocktails made with local rum and a bento box selection.
When you just can't drag yourself away from the pool, the pool bar serves up freshly squeezed juices and other refreshing drinks, plus snacks.
It's also possible to enjoy beach picnics, or dine in the pavilion in your villa.
Children of all ages are welcome at Banyan Tree. Villas have sofabeds, and cots can be arranged.
The two-bedroom double pool beachfront villas are ideal for family groups, with plenty of space for everyone.
Facilities and activities
There is a tennis court, gym, library and small boutique (we recommend purchasing the Banyan Tree spa products). The hotel can arrange snorkeling, canoe hire, boat charters and fishing. Cooking lessons are also available.
From October to February, turtle nesting season sees hundreds of baby turtles crawling into the sea. As part of the resort’s turtle protection program, you can join staff to monitor the nests.
Banyan Tree Spas are world-renowned and therapists are trained at Banyan Tree Spa Academies in Bintan, Phuket or Lijiang.
The spa has a strong Asian influence, drawing on Banyan Tree's heritage. There are eight pavilions, some open to the elements with views of the surrounding gardens, and a Jacuzzi set in its own jungle clearing. A wide variety of beauty and massage treatments are available using Banyan Tree Spas own, high-quality, signature products.
The resort works with a dive centre 15-minutes from the hotel. They can teach you to dive if you’re a first-timer, or for experienced divers, they can show you the best local spots.
Average dive depths are 15 m (49 ft), with the maximum depth of 22 m (72 ft), so most dives are suitable for Open Water Divers and Advanced Open Water Divers.
Local dive sites of repute include Shark Point, which has swim-through boulders, a huge variety of marine life and, unsurprisingly, several shark species. Also notable is Takamaka Rocks, which is home to most of the Indian Ocean's fish species, including frog fish and ghost fish.
The best time of year for diving is October to April, with visibility more limited in December and January.
Environmental and social responsibility
Banyan Tree is involved in a number of conservation projects and in 2016 obtained EarthCheck Bronze Benchmark certification.
The resort works with the Marine Conservation Society to preserve and rehabilitate the flora and fauna in the resort. They have one of the largest wetlands in Mahé with two endangered species of terrapins. Intendance beach is very popular for Hawksbill turtles in nesting season (end of September/October to February). Guests have the possibility to join in the beach patrols in Intendance, do a wetland tour on Tuesday and Thursday and visit the resort’s Wildlife Conservation and Rehabilitation Centre to find out more about their work.
Banyan Tree is partnered with a local school to grow an orchard on a nearby vacant plot of land. The orchard provides children with a hands-on learning experience of sustainable agriculture, and a source of healthy snacks. It also offers the school additional fundraising through selling fruit in the local market.
In the resort itself, each villa was uniquely designed to ensure the granite rocks and trees were protected in the construction process. Of the employees, 70% are Seychellois, and the resort always looks to promote internally where possible.
Finally, they recycle glass soft drink and beer glasses, and use organic waste for gardening compost.
There are lots of activities, if you can tear yourself away from the resort, all arranged by the hotel with 24 hours' notice. These include everything from tea plantation tours to spice garden visits as well as island-hopping to Praslin or La Dique.
The Banyan Tree Seychelles is a stylish choice in a secluded, postcard-perfect location. It’s a well-thought out hotel with plenty of facilities and we are impressed with its eco-credentials.
Mahé Island tour ideas
Places & hotels on the map
Alternative places to stay nearby
Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.
Experiences while staying here
The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.
Accompanied by a private guide, step foot into the palm-strewn mountainous interiors of Mahé or Praslin. Look out for endemic orchids and the Seychelles blue pigeon as you take in some of the best island views.
A private guide shows you the highlights of Mahé on this full-day tour. Smell vanilla pods in Victoria’s market, sip totes of local rum, peer up at nutmeg and cinnamon trees in a spice garden and walk the sands of Anse Soleil Beach.
Take to the decks of a crewed catamaran for a guided tour of Sainte Anne Marine Park, which lies off the shores of Mahé. Stop off to snorkel amongst feeding turtles and walk among giant tortoises on Moyenne Island.