Denis Private Island
Denis Private Island offers a stunningly beautiful location and an idyllic escape, just 30 minutes from Mahé by light aircraft.
The feel here is barefoot luxury and island chic with a laid-back atmosphere rather than the more extravagant design and polished feel of some other luxury resorts. Sandy paths link the different areas of the resort and with just 25 spacious cottages nestled in the lush vegetation, this is an exclusive hideaway.
As you'd expect from an extremely beautiful private island with only a handful of other guests, the service is relaxed and friendly, and tailored to the individual. The buildings are designed to blend into the lovely, natural setting and as there is no mobile signal, no televisions in the rooms and Wi-Fi only in reception, guests engage more with the natural surroundings and forget about the stress of everyday life. Although the dress code is a little more formal in the evenings than the day with men required to wear long trousers in the bar and restaurant, you will still find many guests leaving their shoes behind.
There are excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities around the island and an abundance of wildlife on the island, from bird species endemic to the region to turtles and giant tortoises.
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The 25 cottages and villas nestle in the north east corner of the island connected to each other and the main buildings of the resort by sandy paths leading between bougainvillea, frangipani, palm and casuarina trees.
They are furnished in a comfortable, contemporary style, with wooden furniture that is made on the island. Each has an outdoor courtyard and a veranda facing out to sea between casuarinas and coconut trees to ensure your total privacy. Some overlook the sea directly, whilst others are set back a short distance from the beach but all have a stretch of private beachfront with sun loungers.
All cottages and villas have air conditioning, ceiling fan, tea and coffee making facilities, mini fridge, iron and hairdryer.
Denis Private Island is a coral cay on the edge of the Seychelles bank, 95 km (59 miles) from the main island of the Seychelles Archipelago, Mahé and just 30 minutes’ flight by light aircraft.
A glorious white sand beach fringes most of the island and it's easy to find a spot to yourself where you can be completely undisturbed. The island is also surrounded by tropical reef which can be explored directly from the beach, while in the jungle-clad interior you will come across a variety of flora and fauna. As this is a private island there aren't any other facilities, so make sure you bring anything essential, but the resort is on hand to look after all your needs.
Food and drink
Denis Private Island is renowned for its gourmet cuisine. A fabulous array of freshly caught seafood, marinated meats, exotic salads and fresh vegetables are to be found on the menu, enhanced by local herbs and spices from the island's gardens.
The island has its own farm and rears poultry for eggs and meat and cows for milk. There are also fruit, vegetable and herb gardens to provide fresh ingredients for the chefs. Everything grown is organic and seagrass is used as compost for the plants.
There is one dining room, situated just back from the beach with open sides to allow a breeze to circulate. Breakfast and lunch are buffets while the five course dinners are table d'hote. Twice a week there are special evenings with either sushi or a Creole spread.
The bar is the spot for a refreshing sundowner drink and private candle-lit dinners on the beach, in the wine cellar or on your private veranda can be arranged on request for a charge.
There aren't specific activities for children on Denis Island, however children are welcome here. They will enjoy seeing the ancient giant tortoises which are in a reserve close to the rooms and the fish on the reef offshore.
As well as exploring the natural wonders of the sea and land, tennis, billiards and board games are available. Babysitting services are available for a charge.
Facilities and activities
Denis Private Island offers a range of activities both in the ocean and on land. The island is large enough to offer plenty to explore but small enough to be easily traversed on foot or on the complimentary bicycles.
On walks around the island look out for turtle nesting sites that have been marked out by the resort, the 100-year old lighthouse and the many different bird species that call the area home. You can also visit the farm or just pick out a spot for yourself on the coast under the shade of a tree. The resident naturalist on the island guides nature walks to discover the island's rich flora and fauna.
The house reef is just a short distance from the beach and complimentary snorkeling equipment is available to borrow, as are kayaks for exploring the lagoon.
Denis Private Island is also a fisherman's dream. Choose between going out in the resort's boats or have a go at saltwater fly fishing in the flat waters around the island. There is also tennis and billiards available and the library has a selection of magazines and books, the only TV on the island and board games. There is also internet access available at the library, free of charge on the hotel's computers or via Wi-Fi.
There isn't a separate spa at the resort, instead the therapists will come to you so you can enjoy a treatment in the comfort and privacy of your cottage or villa, or in the dedicated massage pavilion of the Beachfront Spa Cottages. The island produces its own coconut oil for massages.
There is a small PADI affiliated dive centre that offers courses for novice and advanced divers alike and where snorkelling equipment is available.
The protected reef surrounding Denis Private Island ranks as one of the finest areas for diving in Seychelles and there are a number of dive sites allowing sightings of turtles, sharks, stingrays, sailfish, tuna and dolphins. Whale sharks and manta rays are often sighted from September to November.
The island has access to nine dive sites which have a gradual drop-off, allowing for dives between 5 and 35 m (16 and 114 ft).
Environmental and social responsibility
Denis Private Island is a haven for bird life, providing a sanctuary for such species as noddies, terns, plovers, whimbrels, tropic birds and frigates.
Having already conducted one effective campaign to eradicate rats and another to replant trees, the island is proud to have played host to the translocation of the rare Seychelles fodies, magpie robins, Seychelles warblers and Seychelles paradise fly-catchers, assisting in the removal of these species from the IUCN Globally Threatened Birds list.
Denis Private Island is also home to numerous sea turtles who return time and again to lay their eggs on the shoreline. They are monitored and tagged, providing valuable information to conservationists in their efforts to assist in the protection of the species.
Denis Private Island is a perfect Robinson Crusoe island with white sand, turquoise seas, coral reefs and palm trees. It is ideal for those looking for an idyllic hideaway with only 25 villas in a remote location and none of the intrusion of modern life brought by televisions, emails and the noise of bars or traffic.