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The key to relaxation in the Seychelles


Meeting the locals: Rozina and Raffles staff member Ollie get up close with one of the giant tortoises at Curieuse Island

Before I went to the Seychelles, I was a stranger to golf. I’m sure TV sports bulletins and the back pages of newspapers all over the world are always full of reports about irons, bunkers and competitions in far-flung places, but I’m afraid to say they have failed to leave an impression on me.

But after a trip to the Raffles Resort on Praslin, I’ve been converted. Praslin is the second-largest island of the Seychelles, lying about 25 miles north-east of the capital Mahé. Praslin has some stunning resorts and at Raffles, golf is a major attraction.

It seemed that no sooner had I arrived at the resort with my good friend Robin Chaplin than we were heading off to the first tee with staff members Ollie and Titiana. The course, overlooking the sea, was absolutely stunning, and while we were thrashing a succession of balls into the rough, light aircraft buzzed overhead.

But of course there is much else to do in the Seychelles besides golf. On the nearby islands of La Digue and Curieuse,you can enjoy close encounters with giant tortoises. Until I saw them here, I imagined that these animals were unique to Ecuador, and I assumed it was impossible to get near them. I was wrong: up close they’re so gentle and so very beautiful, and the people who come to see them are equally gentle and beautiful.

Coming to the Seychelles was an unusual holiday experience for me. I find it difficult to relax, so when I go away I tend to go trekking in South America or the jungles of Malaysia – where I get covered in leeches – or I go climbing in the Blue Mountains in Australia. It’s fair to say that I am an intrepid sort. Friends call me Dora the Explorer! And although I have been known to succumb to the odd massage, I always make sure that it doesn’t last more than 60 minutes, otherwise I’m afraid I start getting a little restless.

I’ve been to five-star places in the past, but my trip to the Raffles Resort was my first real shot at super-luxury, and amazingly, I found I could relax for once. The complete feeling of wellbeing was generated by the absolute beauty of the Seychelles and the sheer luxury of the resort. And then there was the sublime service.

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