A large number of reefs within the inner granitic islands of the archipelago of Seychelles could be entirely lost, unless concerted action is taken soon to control crown of thorns, warns Dr. Udo Englhardt, the expert on on the management of crown of thorns in a...
Frégate Island is in the easternmost of the granitic Inner Islands of the Seychelles, east of Mahé. It has an area of 2.07 square kilometres. It was named by explorer Lazare Picault after the abundance of frigate birds on the island. The island is an hour by ferry or 20 minutes by helicopter from Mahé.
A German industrialist leased Frégate, and started comprehensive restoration measures. In 1998, the island’s only resort opened, which now belongs to the Oetker Collection, undoubtedly one of the finest hotel chains in the world.
A modernisation programme in 2014 improved its sustainability infrastructure with a water bottling plant and state of the art energy generators, and also the renovation of 16 villas. The 200 years of intensive agricultural practices during the plantation era almost completely cleared the native woodland. So, the conservation team are restoring the natural habitat and have replanted over 10,000 indigenous trees including the very rare Wrights Gardenia, as well as the Indian Mulberry.
Seychelles magpie robin which was on the way to extinction was resurrected by the conservation team. Its population increased from 14 in 1980 to 120 in 2016.
The beaches are also the nesting habitat for two species of sea turtle: the critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle and the endangered Green Turtle. Over 2,200 Aldabra giant tortoises are the island.
Fregate Island upgrade
Fregate Island was closed from the beginning of 2022 for 2 years in order to carry out some critical conservation and upgrading work. The 18 villas in the island are being redesigned to be slightly larger and to be made out of glass, stone and light wood. Partial use of solar energy will minimize fossil fuel energy consumption. A new road system and upgraded building infrastructure will ensure the island operates even more sustainably.
The Conservation & Sustainability department will continue to oversee all aspects of the island’s environment from habitat management, landscaping, bio security, pesticide use and scientific research as well as studies and projects in cooperation with different NGO’s.
Fregate Island highest point
The highest point on the island is called Mount Signal which reaches a peak of 125 metres. The Riviére Bambous flows from approximately 300 metres north-east of the mountain where it flows down past the Gros Bois Noire and Plaine Magnan areas of the northern inner island and then acutely northeast until it reaches the Indian Ocean
Fregate Island Beaches
Seven beautiful beaches provide plenty of opportunities for sun worshiping. Enjoy a stretch of sand all to yourself by simply flipping the “beach occupied” sign at the entrance to the clifftop path.
Anse Victorin beach in the island was voted “The World’s Best Beach” by The Times. Beaches on the north coast include the award-winning Anse Victorin beach, Anse Maquereau and then Anse Bambous. On the western point there are La Cour, the Grand Anse, Petit Grande Anse and the small beach Anse Felix. On the southeastern coast there are the small beaches of Anse Coup de Poing and Anse Parc.
Fregate Island Poolside
There are two large communal palm-fringed infinity pools. Each villa has its own private infinity pool and Jacuzzi, reached via a wooden staircase.
Fregate Island Accommodation and facilities
The island can be privatised for up to 79 guests. There are 2 restaurants, a spa, a yacht club, a library, a Catholic chapel and museum. Transport is by golf buggy, bicycle or foot. Facilities are extensive, including a dive centre, deep sea fishing boat, surfing, kayaking, and a host of other water sports options.
Creole and African cuisine is served up in the main Fregate House restaurant, while barbecues with live entertainment are held regularly in the colonial-style Plantation House. Pirates bar beneath the thatched roof provides a variety of drinks and cocktails.
Special facilities include Marina with yachting club, PADI diving center, scuba diving and certification, fishing equipment, water ski, boat charters as well as massages and treatments at the Rock Spa are available for a fee. The spa treatments might include a lemon and cinnamon immune-boosting scrub, a hydrating coconut and avocado body mask or a soothing scalp massage with hibiscus and holy basil.
Each villa comes with its own golf cart to help you navigate the island. Each night, your vehicle is charged, packed with fresh towels and water bottles, and parked facing the ocean, so all you have to do is hop in. Butler service comes standard here. Your helping hand will be as attentive or elusive as you wish.
About 80 percent of the produce used at the Seychelles hotel is organically grown on the island.