Hach ja – das ist doch mal wieder ein schöner Bericht, den ich da soeben online in einer Schweizer Zeitung entdeckte – auch wenn ich zunächst ein paar Rechtschreibfehler korrigieren musste… 😉
An island for flying foxes and lazybones
Frégate Island, where Bill Gates and Claudia Schiffer say good night
This island is preceded by a reputation, and those who inquire about Frégate Island further to the east on Mahé, the main island of the Seychelles, must be prepared for something. "Frégate Island? there, I have heard that the restaurant there is a tie obligation," a hotel manager says disdainfully.
tie obligation in the middle of the indian ocean? "and animals crawl around in the villas. ghastly: you live there in the middle of nature," adds a journalist. and for that the guest pays at least 2700 euros per night? where do we end up?
slowly, slowly. both rumours soon turn out to be completely exaggerated. well, the gentlemen have to wear long trousers at the dinner in the main restaurant, who could object? and every now and then, a salamander or beetle gets lost inside the villas, whose doors are often open at 30 degrees air temperature. but the reservations are not entirely unfounded: Frégate Island is luxurious, but at the same time a natural paradise, inhabited mainly by insects, birds and reptiles.
Villa with own butler
the luxury of the island can be explained by the ratio of guests to employees alone: 16 villas with an average of 2 to 3 persons to 140. the staff includes butlers, one of whom looks after each villa and its inhabitants. during the clean-up time, up to three employees work in the villa. and if you want to enjoy a meal on anse bamboo beach, for example, you will find a waitress waiting patiently for work at any time of the day. if you whizz along the few roads across the island with the solar-powered golf buggy at your disposal, encounters with other guests are a rarity, while employees are always to be seen.
but Frégate is also a small natural paradise. the only mammals here are the humans and the flying foxes that flutter from tree to tree in the evening during the aperitif time. the immigrated rats, dogs and cats were removed from the island because they threatened to decimate the rest of the partly endemic animal world. two such animal species have not even been finally determined so far: a small tarantula and a skunk without forefeet. the two biologists Greg and Julie from South Africa take care of the fauna and flora exclusively and help for example the newly hatched babies of the hawkbill sea turtles on the arduous way from the beach Grand Anse into the sea. but they are also always on hand if you want to go on a two-hour jungle safari. another 30 employees work in the gardens, on the plantations and in the woods. practically all the vegetables and fruits that are used in the kitchens of the restaurants grow on Frégate. whoever feels like it.
But what makes Frégate Island so magical? why is it that you can relax here in five days as well as anywhere else in three weeks? is it the silence, broken only by the sounds of birds and bats, or the rhythmic beat of the sea against the rocky coast, or the countless shades of green of the vegetation, the over-excited sparrows whose red-orange plumage flickers in the sunlight? is it the freedom of being able to eat anywhere and anything at any time, for example high tea on the highest point of the island, Mont Signal, or breakfast on the most beautiful beach in the world, Anse Macquereau? is it the almost motionless giant Aldabra turtles, which wait for things to come all over the island and only with a deep sigh (that's what it sounds like) retract their head when a biped comes along every few days?
for the top-class guests who visit Frégate Island, it will probably be above all the fact that "privacy" is written in capital letters. "our guests are happy that they can spend the whole day in an old t-shirt," says Marc Aeberhardt from Berne, who manages the island, which incidentally belongs to a german engineer. he lives in his private villa in the east of the island, which can also be rented when the owner is not present. guests have already included top shots such as Bill Gates, Pierce Brosnan, Claudia Schiffer and Roman Polanski. such "faces", which would be recognized by any randomly passing indian even in amazonia, must really seem like paradise to be able to enjoy themselves here undisturbed.
and you can bet that some of the guests, some of whom are well-known, never leave their villa. in fact, the villa alone is enough for relaxation. the rest of the island is a nice addition for couch potatoes, a backyard, so to speak. all villas have an interior and exterior area of at least 300 square meters. the sleeping and living areas are colonial-style buildings with large window fronts and a high wooden roof. the two houses are connected by a smaller entrance area. the exterior consists of several levels and includes an eleven-meter pool with Jacuzzi, but also an open bed and a covered dining area. the villas face the sea and are practically not visible from the outside. if you want to treat yourself to a little more space, you can rent the Spa Villa or the Presidential Villa. in the latter, the sleeping area alone is as large as a dignified family apartment, namely 150 square meters. the Presidential Villa has enough space to accommodate up to 150 people.
not to be forgotten: all meals and non-alcoholic drinks are included. in concrete terms, this means that anyone who wants to can eat lobster and fillet of beef all week long - which is not advisable on frégate island, as wonderful fish and seafood from the local waters are also served here. no less recommendable are the vegetable and fruit variations on the menu. if you have a plate of freshly picked island fruits in front of you for breakfast, you will immediately go about your work with different verve. whereby the work can consist of reading by the pool, hanging out on the beach, diving in the reefs, sailing, deep-sea fishing, kayaking, playing bowls or hiking.
But as I said, the Frégate feeling is also accessible to the lazy, who prefers to adapt to the oldest inhabitants of the island: the sluggish and friendly giant turtles.
At a glance
Getting there: Air Seychelles flies daily from Paris to Mahé (from approx. 1800 Fr., www.airseychelles.com). Alternatively, Emirates flies daily from Zurich via Dubai to Mahé (approx. 1300 Fr., www.emirates.com). From Mahé, Frégate Island can be reached in two hours by boat (free for guests) or ten minutes by plane or helicopter (approx. 1200 Fr./way).
Accommodation: A villa with one bedroom costs 2700 to 2950 €. per night for two people (full board incl. non-alcoholic drinks) Children up to 5 years stay free of charge.
Information and booking: www.fregate.com