A typical day at North Island might involve tracking a rare Seychelles white-eye bird through the jungle, following a sea turtle into deep ocean chasms, or simply lying on one of four sandy beaches watching the tide ripple in and out. Twenty minutes by helicopter from the main island of Mahé, the 500-acre island housed a spice farm and coconut distillery before South Africa–based Wilderness (formerly Wilderness Safaris) began restoring the natural habitat and building an exclusive 11-villa resort, which opened to the public in 2003.
North Island’s two-bedroom villas offer direct beach access and massive sundecks, and all are within walking distance of a main swimming pool, a restaurant that serves made-to-order meals, a bar, and a spa. A second bar at West Beach, on the other side of the island, is the preferred setting for sundowners.
The resort’s butlers will arrange everything from afternoon cocktail sessions to sailing trips to nearby Silhouette Island, where guests can enjoy a picnic on the beach and join researchers while they study the endangered Seychelles giant turtle.
North Island, +248.4.293.100, www.north-island.com; prices from $73,504 per night for as many as 22 people, all-inclusive; individual villa rates from $1,173 per person