If you designed an implausibly perfect tropical island, it might have a lot in common with Fregate- huge granite boulders tumbling down to implausibly white beaches, giant tortoises, and flocks of brightly coloured birds. Oh, and a seriously lovely, seriously luxurious, but laid-back lodge. We’re packing our bags now.
What’s Fregate really like?
Fregate’s a little dose of magic, somehow balancing protecting and enhancing nature with running a top-notch lodge. The island was once a plantation – the owner’s house, chapel and protected harbour are still there. Today the northern tip of the island has been converted into the lodge, centered around Fregate House. Here you’ll find the library, shop, wine cellar and two nearby bars. There’s also a restaurant though if we’re honest, this doesn’t get used as much as in many hotels- you may eat as often on the beach or in your villa as you do in the restaurant.
Stretched out up above the beach are 16 bungalow-style villas – 13 Pool Villas and three Twin Pool Villas which have an extra bedroom and a larger pool. Each comes with a PA to take care of your every need, and a golf buggy- some of the villas are quite high up- it makes for magnificent views, but sometimes your legs might need a break! The villas are large and private, almost like your own house in paradise with a living area as well as a bedroom, a sundeck and a private pool. Water babies will also love the indoor and outdoor showers. In addition to the villas there’s the Banyan Hill Estate- tucked away on a far peninsula- this is effectively 3 separate villas set up for private use for families or groups who want to escape together.
We should warn you- the utter magic of Fregate is in immersing yourself in magnificent nature in all it’s glory, so you should be prepared for swooping birdlife, giant tortoises and amazing giant pill millipedes. We are astonished and fascinated by these every time we see them, as are most guests, but we know they’re not everyone’s bag, so if this is you please let us know so we can make alternative suggestions for you!
What can I do at Fregate?
Fair to say, we think you’d struggle to get bored during a stay at Fregate. There are hobie cats, SUP boards, kayaks, kitesurfing kit, a PADI dive centre, deep sea fishing and 11kms of hiking trails. There’re tennis and basketball courts and volley ball down by the marina. Fregate has a gym, there’s early morning yoga, and keen golfers can charter a heli to fly over to the spectacular golf course at Lemuria. High up on a granite hilltop is the spa-with incredible views and natural treatments, it’d be very hard not to be thoroughly relaxed by the time you left here.
Mother Nature has nothing so pedestrian as a schedule, however we would say in general Fregate lives under two monsoons. The gentle northwestern monsoon from October to May is best for those who like sea swimming, top notch big game fishing and diving or snorkelling. From May to October the stronger, windier south eastern monsoon does make sea swimming more challenging (with Fregate’s two main pools and the one in your villas there’s plenty of alternatives) but is fabulous for windsurfing and sailing.
Giving back at Fregate:
The restoration of Fregate has been a passion project of the owners for many years, and this is what has really made the island the natural paradise it is today. They’ve helped save the Seychelles Magpie Robin from extinction, protected over 4,000 Aldabra Giant Tortoises, and provide vital nesting beaches for hawksbill and green turtles. Nesting season is October-January so if you are lucky enough to visit at this time you may just get to see for yourselves. Astonishingly for such a luxury lodge sustainability is also high- golf buggies are electric, water is solar heated and 80% of the produce used in the lodge is actually grown on the island.
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