This Hotel on a Private Seychelles Island Has Its Own Runway for Stargazing

The Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island is a remote escape with giant tortoises, a pretty lighthouse, and its own runway for stargazing.

Aerial of Four Season Seychelles at Desroches Island
Photo: Etched Space/Courtesy of Four Seasons

Dreamy emerald lagoons with white sand and granite boulders have cemented the Seychelles among the top tropical oases for travelers. Plus, its proximity to popular safari destinations like Tanzania and Kenya makes it an even better post-safari pit stop.

On one of the country's 115 castaway islands sprinkled around the Indian Ocean is the luxurious Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island, operating here since 2018. A 35-minute flight via propeller or private plane lands on the island's airstrip. But the runway is not just reserved for landing planes.

Doing yoga on a runway at Four Season Seychelles at Desroches Island
Courtesy of Four Seasons

One of the resort's many unique offerings includes stargazing on the very same tarmac you touch down on. When the skies are clear, guests can organize a multicourse meal for two on the runway as the celestial lights begin to emerge. Then, after a fresh seafood dinner, you'll move to a pair of bean bag chairs for a nightcap at your personal pop-up bar, and peek through the resort's telescope (coming soon) for a better look at far-off planets and satellites.

But it's not all about staring at the stars. When the sun begins to set, you can lay down your mat and practice some runway yoga; don't worry, the flight schedule is checked beforehand. As part of the resort's new Four Elements Wellness Program, guests can join an instructor for a session inspired by the water element, stretching and practicing mindful meditation as the waves lap on the shore nearby.

Aerial of the lighthouse at Four Season Seychelles at Desroches Island
Etched Space/Courtesy of Four Seasons

The island spans almost nine miles of jungle, pristine beaches, and 71 stunning and spacious villas, residences, and suites for honeymooners and large families. For those looking to get off the beaten path, try the Desroches Challenge.

It will take between four to six hours to walk to the end of the island and back. If you're game, you'll be given a backpack full of water and island-made trail mix for the trek. Upon returning, a fruit platter and tropical cocktail await at The Bar.

There are two bars to get your piña coladas from and three restaurants at the resort — Claudine, The Deli, and The Lighthouse. The latter is the tallest point on the island and was inspired by the former functioning lighthouse on the north side of the jungle. Today, it's the property's most popular restaurant.

Exterior of a suite at Four Season Seychelles at Desroches Island
Courtesy of Four Seasons
Interior of a suite at Four Season Seychelles at Desroches Island
Courtesy of Four Seasons

Guests can start or end the evening at the Lighthouse Lounge. Halfway up the spiral structure, stop for their signature cocktail, "The Lighthouse" Cosmo. And at the very top of the lighthouse, take in the Indian Ocean views or arrange for a private dinner. At the bottom lies the restaurant, known for its seafood raw bar, dry-aged steaks, and local catch such as snapper and octopus. The catch of the day sashimi, sake-flamed black cod, and homemade ice cream are also standouts. After dinner, end the night with some local rum around the fire pit.

Feeding a Giant Tortoises at Four Season Seychelles at Desroches Island
Ken Seet/Courtesy of Four Seasons

When in a tropical paradise, it's normal to come across critters like geckos and spiders. But on Desroches, you're likely to cross paths with a giant tortoise. Desroches is home to the Island Conservation Society's Tortoise Sanctuary, operating separately from the resort since 2009. There are around 150 Aldabra giant tortoises on the island.

On Mondays and Wednesdays, guests can join a turtle feeding session with one of the Island Conservation Society's conservation officers. You'll learn about the origins of these gentle giants and feed them leaves.

The Sanctuary also cares for dozens of hatchlings and baby tortoises to make sure they're kept safe from predators, allowing the population of these rare animals to flourish on Desroches. Guests can visit and even adopt one of these babies for around $55 per year.

Whether you're honeymooning post-safari or looking for a far-flung family beach destination, the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island offers a unique and creative five-star spin on island life.

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