Cheval Blanc Seychelles
Cheval Blanc Seychelles
Image: Supplied

Promise me: whatever you do, don’t call it a hotel.

Instead, the opening of Cheval Blanc Seychelles in late-2024 will see this storied French brand bring its concept of ”home” to the southern reaches of the islands, with an inimitable take on considered luxury.

Cheval Blanc Seychelles will be its sixth “Maison” worldwide, continuing the careful growth of what has become one of the world’s most sought-after luxury hotel marques.

Cheval Blanc opened its first Maison in the chi-chi French ski resort of Courchevel in 2006, bringing new levels of opulence to the heart of the French Alps. They followed that in 2013 with Cheval Blanc Randheli, transporting French savoir faire to the tropical islets of the Maldives. Cheval Blanc St-Barth followed the very next year, with Cheval Blanc St-Tropez in 2019. In 2021 the brand returned “home”, to France with the 72-room Cheval Blanc Paris to create — zut alors! — the first LVMH hotel to date in the French capital.

And now Cheval Blanc is making its first foray into Africa, with Cheval Blanc Seychelles due to open later in 2024 on the shores of Anse Intendance, an idyllic beach on the southwestern coast of Mahé, the largest island in the archipelago.

The new Maison will offer 52 villas, each boasting a private swimming pool overlooking sweeping beachfront, hillside and tropical jungle views. And you won’t be short on space: villas range in size up to an enormous 1,950m2.

The new Cheval Blanc Seychelles is the work of visionary architectural designer Jean-Michel Gathy, a man who has become synonymous with the design and experience of the world’s leading luxury hotels. A glance over his recent portfolio reads like a roll-call of the world’s top luxury brands: Armani. Banyan Tree. Shangri-La. Amanresorts. He’s played a part in the evolution of each, and also brought a Cheval Blanc signature to Randheli, in the Maldives.

Gathy is famous for his holistic approach to hotel architecture – “a top-class hotel should be seamless – seamless between the architecture, the interior design and the landscape,” he said – and at Cheval Blanc Seychelles he draws heavily on Creole traditions and creativity.

Art will take a central role in the new hotel, drawn from both the Seychelles and further afield. On arrival a magnificent sculpture – “Centauresse” by Prune Nourry – rises from a pond among the banyan trees, while works by Madagascan artist Joël Andrianomearisoa grace the walls of each villa; a paean to the surrounding natural beauty.

Madagascan artist, Joel Andrianomearisoa
Madagascan artist, Joel Andrianomearisoa
Image: Supplied

True to form for a famous French brand, the culinary experience is set to redefine gastronomy in the Seychelles.

Here expect a discovery in five parts, with dining experiences ranging from an Asian-inspired Mizumi restaurant overlooking a lake to the vibrant seaside Mediterranean beach club of Sula. There’s fine dining with a contemporary bent at Le White, and more traditional continental cuisine is on offer at Le 1947, a signature of the Cheval Blanc experience worldwide. In Courchevel, Le 1947 holds three Michelin stars, so pack something smart for dinner. There is — perhaps unsurprisingly for a brand sharing a name with Château Cheval Blanc, one of the most famous wine producers in France — a remarkable wine cellar on offer too.

But the new Maison is not all about indulgence. The Spa Cheval Blanc will feature a range of wellness journeys by 200-year-old beauty brand Guerlain, while a pool, fitness room, surf simulator and both tennis and padel courts will help you to work up an appetite. Families are welcome too, with a dedicated kids club, and curated experiences on offer.

And that’s about all that Cheval Blanc will let slip for the moment. While work continues to create this first African Maison, opening in late-2024, start saving for an unforgettable trip to the Seychelles.

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