Tropical islands and Khaleeji couples may not be the image that would come to mind when you think of a beach destination. Speaking from a personal experience as a veiled woman, it’s very hard to find a resort that accommodates to my or my family’s request 100 per cent. There will always be something off. Perhaps it’s not too private, or the menu isn’t accommodating, or the food isn’t halal. There’s always something.
Luckily, it’s not an impossible mission, with resorts like North Island in the Seychelles prove that even the pickiest and most conservative of Khaleeji couples and small families can have a swell time.
Located only about 4 and a half hours away from the Arabian Gulf Region and tucked in between the granitic island of the Seychelles is North Island, a holiday destination perfect for short holidays such as Eid, long weekends, and national holidays given the distance. From the capital Mahe, you can reach North Island via its helicopter, that will be there waiting for you.
North Island is a luxury 11-presidential villa only resort. The island has been the destination of choice for many royal family members and international celebrities such as American actor George Clooney.
We went there for a three-day holiday trip, and it changed the way I thought about tropical islands forever. The resort’s lovely, attentive staff didn’t make it seem like my requests were too demanding, or that I was asking something out of the ordinary. Their entire model is based on creating custom experiences for their guests.
In fact, I can’t stop recommending it enough for Khaleeji couples who are looking to take their spouses on birthday or celebratory short retreats, and I’ll tell you why here:
1. Your entire experience at North Island is custom-made to your liking, starting with your villa hosts (butlers) and cleaning staff. If you or your spouse are veiled, you can request the hotel to provide you with a female villa host and ensure that the cleaning staff and attendants are females. That way, throughout your stay there, you don’t have to worry about dressing modestly or covering your head everytime someone knocks the door.
2. There are only 11 villas on the entire island, so you can ensure complete privacy. The villas are spaced out enough, and for our entire stay we didn’t bump into our neighbours near our villa, nor did we see them cross our beach or outdoor villa space. Our beach was completely private, that I took a dip almost 3 times a day, enjoyed tanning, and sleeping under the early evening sun. Also, every villa has a private pool, a mini-kitchenette which is stacked with candies, cookies, and fresh fruits, and an office/living room that can be turned into an in-house cinema if you wish. The hotel’s gift store boasts numerous films from classics, action, to Disney productions that you can borrow for your in-villa movie night. During the day, and if you are a workaholic like me, that office is perfect to work in. Its seclusion from the main living area, and master bedroom, ensures peace, and quiet. If you are traveling with a third person or a couple of kids, the sofa in the room turns into a comfy bed that they can utilize, whilst enjoying their privacy too.
3. If your private beach isn’t enough for you, you can book the Honeymoon Beach, a stretch of beach on the other side of the island that you can go to via your villa buggy or by your bike, or even by walking. We booked the beach for a lunch picnic and it was exclusive for a few hours just for us. We enjoyed a meal on the powdery white beach, and then napped under the shade of a coconut tree. It was just like a dream. If you are taking your spouse for a celebration, then this beach’s privacy, and exclusivity, is perfect to set up a lunch or a dinner celebration and the resort’s staff can help you with that (See our vlog below for more details).
4. Besides relaxing, and napping, or enjoying a day at the spa that’s overlooking the beach from a cliff, the resort offers an array of activities such as hiking, biking, diving, and fishing. So for those adventurous souls, you will not run out of things to do. We went on a hike to learn more about the environmental conservation efforts by the resort. We learned that the resort uses their own grown crops and use only material from the island for the construction of their villas. We also went on a fishing trip, where we made sushi out of our catch of the day with the chef. It was the yummiest and freshest sushi we’ve ever had in our lives.
5. If you are following a strict diet or have to avoid certain kinds food, then you can alert the resort before your arrival and they will pre-prepare your meals so that you don’t have to face any inconvenience.
6. The best part? You can book the entire island just for you and your family. This is perfect if you like to travel with your family members or if you want to book it for a retreat with friends. In that case, the entire resort’s staff will be taking care of your stay, and you can have everyone’s experience at the resort tailor made.
Watch our vlog below of our stay at North Island (there are English subtitles):