Accommodation should always be booked in advance, particularly during peak periods (Christmas to New Year and Easter) and high season (December to March, and July and August).
- Self-catering accommodation Self-catering villas or apartments can be excellent alternatives to hotels. Many are by the sea and range from basic to luxurious.
- Hotels and resorts The choice here is vast. Top-end resorts often blend opulent bungalows into the natural setting. You can expect restaurants, bars, swimming pool and sometimes a spa.
- Private island resorts These ultra-exclusive options fulfil desert-island fantasies, and the pampering on offer is legendary. All have an eco bent.
Guesthouses & Self-Catering Accommodation
No, you don't need to remortgage the house to visit the Seychelles if you stay in one of the numerous cheaper guesthouses or self-catering establishments on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. Self-catering options are private homes, villas, residences, studios or apartments that are fully equipped and can be rented by the night, although some have a minimum stay of two or three nights. The distinction between self-catering options and guesthouses is slim. Typically, rooms in guesthouses don't come equipped with a kitchen, and breakfast is usually offered. That said, at most self-catering ventures, breakfast and dinner can be arranged on request. Standards are generally high: even in the cheapest guesthouse you can expect to get a room with a private bathroom and air con, as well as a daily cleaning service. Both options are generally excellent value, especially for families or groups of friends. Most cost between €80 and €200. Many offer discounts for extended stays.
They also offer good opportunities for cultural immersion. They're mostly family-run operations and provide a much more personal, idiosyncratic experience than hotels.
Resorts & Hotels
There's no shortage of uberluxurious options that seem to have sprung straight from the pages of a glossy designer magazine, with luxurious villas oozing style and class, and fabulously lavish spas in gorgeous settings.
For those whose budget won't stretch quite this far, there are also a few good-value, midrange affairs around Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, with prices around €250 for a double.
Note that hotels commonly offer internet specials well below the advertised rack rates. It is also well worth checking with travel agents about hotel-and-flight holiday packages, which usually come cheaper.
Expect to pay €180 per person per night (including half board) at the very minimum. Prices quickly climb all the way up to €1000 per person per night.
Virtually all the hotels charge higher rates during peak periods.
All-inclusive, full-blown resorts featuring a wide range of recreational facilities and entertainment programs are quite rare in the Seychelles.
Private Island Resorts
If you want to combine escapism with luxury, the Seychelles offers a clutch of ultraexclusive hideaways that almost defy description. They include Alphonse, Bird, Desroches, Félicité, Silhouette, North, Frégate and Denis Islands. This is where you are really buying into the dream. They offer every modern convenience but still preserve that perfect tropical-island ambience – the Robinson Crusoe factor – and feature an atmosphere of romance, rejuvenation and exotic sensuality. Each private-island resort has its own personality and devotees. There's minimal contact with the local people, though.
Expect to pay between a cool €450 to a whopping €7500 a night, full board.