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The Top 10 New Resorts for 2003: Banyan Tree, Seychelles

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Here in the remote Seychelles Islands off the African coast, you’ll find crystal waters, coral reefs, verdant gardens, palm tree–fringed coastline, and unspoiled white-sand beaches. This tropical paradise on the southwestern coast of Mahé Island emanates romance and exotic allure.

Each of the 36 spacious, secluded villas offers majestic unimpeded views of the Indian Ocean, along with outdoor salas (traditional Thai raised platforms); private pools; outdoor sunken baths, showers, and steam rooms; open-air Jacuzzis; and barbecues ideal for a romantic dinner under the stars.

Designed to reflect the island’s Creole heritage, the architecture is contemporary, eclectic, and unmistakably Seychellois. Victorian bungalows feature sprawling ve-randas, woven furnishings, and paintings by local artists. The spa, nestled in the hillside, consists of open-air pavilions with sheer curtains that can be left open to take in the spectacular views of the Indian Ocean.

After a day of waterskiing, snorkeling, windsurfing, island hopping, or indulging in spa treatments, you’ll be ready for dinner. Savor award-winning Thai cuisine and Southeast Asian specialties at Saffron. The more informal Au Jardin D’Epices, which overlooks Intendance Bay, serves up international and Creole favorites.

CONCIERGE

Villas from about $950 to $3,500 per room, per night.

Three-Night Packages from $2,760.

Contact +248.383.500 or 800.525.4800 www.banyantree.com

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