The world looks to North Island, a tiny Seychelles island, where the newly wed British heir to the throne will probably spend their honeymoon - paradise!
You'll have a luxury problem, Prince William and Kate, freshly-baked princess, when they ask themselves on North Island after getting up: Which beach do we go to today? The Grande Anse Beach? The Anse d'Est? The Bonnet Carré? Or rather the Petit Anse Beach?
North Island, the only two and a half kilometre long and one kilometre wide island in the Indian Ocean, which belongs to the Seychelles and is currently in the headlines, has four beaches since it was leaked that William and Kate want to spend their honeymoon here.
The "Hamburger Abendblatt" quotes the Hamburg island broker Farhad Vladi: "Yes. We have leased the island to the British royal family, but you will understand that we cannot give any further details."
Vladi has been in business for 30 years, bringing beautifully located islets to solvent prospective buyers; North Island is one of his most exclusive properties.
North Island is a luxury island with eleven luxury villas, which has no landing strip of its own and can only be reached by boat or helicopter - this seclusion makes it very popular with celebrities, which is why Paul McCartney, Salma Hayek and Bill Gates have already been here; the Beckhams celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary here.
Adam and Eve would have liked the island - simply because there are no apple trees here, so they would have been spared a lot (which may be a good omen for William and Kate).
North Island was not discovered until 1609, when a ship of the British East India Company landed here to take on board water and provisions. The men of the crew were the first Europeans to set foot on the hitherto uninhabited island.
In retrospect, it can be said that their behaviour was not appropriate to the paradisiacal conditions, for the new masters (first the French colonists, then the independent Seychellois) transformed North Island into a mixture of vegetable garden, coconut plantation and cattle enclosure.
many native species disappeared within a few years, from the giant turtle to the paradise flycatcher, a rare bird. instead, tomato bushes and lettuce heads, pigs and cattle, cats and rats populated the island. it looked - apart from the coconut trees - like holland. what a waste!
This went on until the 1970s, when the island was left to its own devices because it was now cheaper for the Seychelles to fly in fruit and vegetables than to grow them on North Island. The island lay fallow and became overgrown, without, of course, reverting to its original paradisiacal state. Instead, the introduced species spread further: weeds grew and the domestic animals left to their own devices let loose unbridled.
Until the end of the 90's, when "Wilderness Safaris" came on board, a South African tour operator, which has taken up the cause of soft tourism and already operates a number of first-class lodges in southern Africa, developed the plan "Noah's Ark" - after which the entire island was and is returned to its pre-human settlement state in terms of flora and fauna.
Pigs and cattle disappeared in the cooking pot (except for one cow, which escaped capture by fleeing into the dense undergrowth), the island was successfully "debugged", plants unfamiliar to the island were largely deforested and replaced by native greenery.
Turtles and rare bird species are also slowly returning to the island. orientation for the ambitious "Back to Paradise" programme was provided by historical records from the 17th century, which described the original flora and fauna of the island.
But because Winderness Safaris is not Caritas and because it would be a great pity if mankind did not see the revival of paradise, it was decided to open North Island to tourism.
The result is something to be proud of - and booked: On the Anse d'Est, the most beautiful of the four beaches, eleven villas are strung together like pearls on a necklace, so perfectly hidden in the dense green that you cannot see the neighbouring property from your bungalow.
They are generously divided into a bedroom (with a ten-meter glass front), an open-air bathroom (with a two-person bathtub perfect for honeymooners), an outdoor shower (with waterfall), a kitchen (with Bosch appliances), an open lounge (with dining area), a second bedroom (with internet access), a terrace to dream on (with private pool and four-poster bed, what a love nest!).
Between the terrace and the ocean, each villa has its own tennis court sized piece of beach, which can be used without restriction, except when a turtle has buried its eggs in the sand overnight. Then the environmental manager comes along and secures the eggs with a fence.
The villas are furnished with an absolute sense of style; African elements (such as the dining table carved entirely from a piece of tree) complement perfectly with design touches from Europe (Philippe Starck chairs) and Asia (Balinese thatched roof).
For each villa, a private butler actually keeps the rooms tidy and supplies towels, ice cubes and freshly squeezed juice, but William and Kate are allowed to have their own staff in the entourage, also for security reasons.
Stiff manners are as rare on North Island as a dress code, even the manager can be found barefoot. The core of the lodge is the so-called piazza, formed by a library, activity center, pool, open-air bar and restaurant. Guests like to lounge around here, enjoy a cocktail with a view of the waves, whose steady roar is so incredibly relaxing.
If you want, you can of course also get active: Either on your own in the sea or pool, or accompanied by the staff of the activity centre for hiking, fishing, snorkelling or diving.
And if the royal highnesses want to relax physically, they can have a massage in the in-house wellness area, and Dr. Hauschka products are used in the spa.
We strongly recommend the couple to take a trip to the west beach as well, preferably by electric buggy, which is part of the basic equipment of every villa. When you drive through the dense jungle, hear a crack or see a scurry, you feel a little bit like in "Jurassic Park", with the pleasant difference that the largest reptiles on North Island are not dinosaurs as tall as houses, but cute lizards or turtles.
But for lunch or dinner, they should be back again, because first of all, the Creole cuisine (exclusively made of fresh ingredients that the island and the sea provide) is great, secondly, food and drinks are included in the price, as North Island is an all-inclusive paradise, only top wines and champagne have to be paid extra.
Which brings us to the prices: A stay on North Island is not cheap - as everywhere else in the Seychelles. A day in one of the villas 1 to 10 costs 2115 Euro per person, for the most generous domicile, villa 11, where the prince and queen will probably live, 3340 Euro per person are due.
And as the royals have rented the whole island according to the island broker Vladi, one can calculate what the fun costs in total, but nobody needs to have pity, as it is known that the Windsors do not affect the poor.