Felicite Island is a small granitic island that is four kilometres east of La Digue Island in Seychelles. Felicite was a coconut plantation in the early 1900s and had a native population of about 50. In the late 19th century, the British exiled Sultan Abdullah of Perak to the island after an uprising in the Perak region of Malaysia. After five years he moved to Mahe.
Felicite, Ile Cocos (part of a marine park), Les Soeurs, and Marianne Island, which has world-class diving areas are all considered satellite islands of La Digue. Over half of the islands in Seychelles are protected natural reserves, and just a few islands are open for development. Felicite is one such island, that it is said will be developed 'tastefully', with eco-friendly policies and homes for private ownership as well as a luxury resort.
The Island Today
The island is owned by the luxury resort La Digue Island Lodge. Guests who stay at the lodge on La Digue Island are taken to Felicite to spend the day walking the beautiful trails, snorkelling and enjoying the privacy of a deserted island. Other visitors fly from all over the world to the International Airport in Mahe and take a boat ride or a helicopter ride to Felicite.
Felicite is famous for its huge, smooth granite boulders. The black granite boulders are along the shore and in the water and are the home to many species of marine life. They create a fantasy world full of mystery. Some seem to be in the shape of huge animals. Many local fruits and vegetables grow on the island and visitors sometimes feel like they are castaways living off the fruit of the land.
There are wild vanilla orchids, wild mango, coconut palms, bananas and oranges throughout the island.
The island’s mountainous terrain is excellent for hiking and biking. The highest point on the island is 213 metres. Visitors hike to the top and get spectacular views of the Indian Ocean and surrounding islands. The dense natural vegetation grows right down to the shore. There are also several places around the island that are superb snorkelling spots. The best beach on the island is La Penice, which is just a few hundred metres from the small lodge with air conditioned bungalows.
The resort is very small and only accommodates a few guests. Three people live in the resort including the cook, the gardener and the boat captain. It is a favourite place for celebrities and dignitaries from around the world because of the beautiful beach, water activities and complete privacy it offers.
La Penice beach has exceptional underwater sights including boxfish, angelfish, Moorish idols, parrotfish, batfish, surgeon fish and turtles are all living close to shore. The lodge offers equipment for snorkelling, sailing and fishing. There are also tennis courts and many indoor games and all the equipment is supplied.
There are four A-frame, thatched chalets that have an attic and patio. They are suitable for families as well as romantic getaways. The small staff looks after the guests every need and provides excellent meals. They offer Creole style food on the large verandas and all the drinks are included in the price of the buffet.
There is also Colonial House with two bedrooms that was built in the Creole Style.
Since the hotel only accommodates 16 people, it is possible to book the whole island for a family reunion or special event such as a wedding.
An internationally renowned resort and spa company is planning to build 35 villas artistically incorporated into the granite cliffs and tropical foliage with each villa having a spectacular view of the Indian Ocean. The villas are unique with bold, contemporary designs, and each is designed to harmonize with its particular location. The architect took into consideration ecological consequences, and the villas were designed for complete privacy. The architecture is meant to blend sky, land and sea.
The resort will have personal butlers and chefs for each villa. Of the 35 villas, only 16 are available for personal ownership. The other villas will be part of the luxury resort. Villa owners will have the use of the resort facilities including a private helicopter landing pad, on-site property management, secured access to their residence and access to all the resort amenities.
The resort offers a water sports centre, several infinity swimming pools, gourmet restaurants, bars, a spa, tennis courts and the first Rock Wine Cave in the world. It is a wine cellar built into natural rock for wine tasting and private dinners. Owners will also have access to the championship golf course on a nearby island.
Along with the seclusion and natural beauty, Felicite is well outside the cyclone belt in the Indian Ocean and is easily accessible. There are many international flights to Mahe, and then visitors can take a helicopter or boat to the island.
These privately owned villas are considered investment property and can be shared with another owner. This plan allows the use of the villa without the responsibility and costs of ownership. They can also be rented in a programme managed by the resort operator. It offers the owner revenue split as well as no black-out dates.