Seychelles gears up for Christmas festivities
The Seychelles capital, Victoria, has been decorated with decorative lights, gifts and majestic Christmas trees. Homes, businesses and even hotels also put up their own decorations for the end of year festivities. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - December is one of the busiest months in Seychelles for families and businesses as the island nation prepares for Christmas.
In Victoria, the capital, on the main island Mahe shops are already decorated with Christmas cheer in every corner.
With many visitors spending Christmas in the island nation, hotels are also getting ready.
SNA spoke to several hotels in the 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean. Unlike in homes, where decorations are put up as early as November, the tourism establishments unveil their Christmas decorations during the third week of December.
Planning goes a long way
Before advertising Christmas activities, the ‘decoration crew’ of each establishment begins by planning out the details – type and number of trees needed, decorations to be used and the colour theme.
Some hotels change their themes every year using inspiration from Mother Nature.
Carana Beach Hotel, located in the northeastern district of Glacis on Mahe, has chosen a blue and white theme. The 40-chalet hotel is owned by the Mason’s Group, which also manages Mason’s Travel, one of the country’s main destination management companies.
“Inspiration [comes] from the hotel decor and sea,” said Nicole St. Ange, Public Relations Manager of Mason’s Group.
On the second-most populated island, Praslin, Constance Lemuria is basing its festive décor around silver, elegance and chic.
|Carana Beach Hotel, located in the northeastern district of Glacis on Mahe, has chosen a blue and white theme for its Christmas decorations. (Carana Beach Hotel) Photo License: All Rights Reserved
The Christmas tree
Hotels like to decorate many Christmas trees around their properties. Five clusters of three trees stand in various areas at Carana Beach Hotel, and according to St. Ange, Denis Private Island will have two Christmas trees at the establishment.Denis Private Island is a luxury hotel also belonging to the Mason's Group and located on Denis Island some 96 kilometres away from the main island of Mahé. A 4.2-metre tall tree will stand outside the entrance whereas a smaller one will be placed on the coral wall in the lounge and bar.
In the west of Mahe at Constance Ephelia, guests will enjoy a much more tropical holiday décor. “Christmas trees” will be in the form of decked-out coconut trees. With five to six trees scattered around the establishment, the hotel management aims at having their clients drive around the property and discover these trees.
Just like other Four Seasons hotels, the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, located at Baie Lazare, a southern district on Mahe, will hold a tree lighting ceremony on December 23.
Guests in some small hotels will enjoy small decorations in their rooms. In bigger hotels, in-room decorations are only available in villas.
“All our senior suites and villas will have some decorations. We can place some in junior suites if requested by the guest, and if the decorating items are available,” said Isabelle Le Gac, the Press and Social Media Coordinator at Constance Lemuria Seychelles.
Special events and ceremonies
During the festive season, local hotels introduce different programs including Christmas carols while others keep their programs a secret as a surprise for their guests.
As they do every year, Four Seasons Resort Seychelles will have a chocolate room in the Zez Restaurant.
“Dessert is a feast for the senses in the Chocolate Room at Four Seasons Resort where chocolate fish 'swim' around a chocolate coral reef,” the resort’s website describes.
|A chocolate room in the Zez Restaurant is an annual feature during Christmas time at the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles. (Four Seasons Resort Seychelles) Photo License: All Rights Reserved
On Denis Private Island and Constance Ephelia, a series of activities is being organised for the little ones.
On December 23, Carana Beach will be holding a Ladies High Tea as well as “hosting Britain’s favourite psychic who will be a guest speaker at the event,” said St. Ange.
Enjoying the bright lights in Victoria
As most restaurants and hotels limit their programs to their clients at this time, locals and visitors can always enjoy the thousands of lights and other decorations in the capital of Seychelles.
After sundown, Victoria turns into a tropical wonderland. An arch of draping lights covers the whole of the Independence Avenue and driving past the Central Bank of Seychelles one can’t miss the two towering angels standing guard.
|The Seychelles capital, Victoria is already bright and colourful with the many Christmas lights and decorations. Driving past the Central Bank of Seychelles building one can’t miss the two towering angels standing guard. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
Bright icicles hang from the trees on 5th June Avenue, brightening the street for souvenir photos.
Other streets are decorated with more colourful lights which adorn huge decorative gifts and majestic Christmas trees.
Seychelles is ready for Christmas.
|December is one of the busiest months in Seychelles for families and businesses as the island nation prepares for Christmas. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY