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See The Seychelles

28.01.20

Award-winning Locus Architects has unveiled one of its latest projects – a collection of spectacular bespoke residences on Mahé, Seychelles - the archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean.

Royal Palm Residences occupy a prime position on Mahé’s eastern coastline and are a magnificent showcase for the creative expertise of Alex Ellenberger, the Seychellois architect who trained in London and returned to Seychelles to launch his practice Locus Architects. Alex won international renown as executive architect for the Four Seasons Hotel on Mahé and for the spa, pools and villas on Fregate Private Island. His practice is multi-cultural and global in outlook, with private commissions and residential projects in the Indian Ocean, the UK and in Japan.

The Villas

There are two residences available for sale in the collection, each designed as a stand-alone signature property, redefining luxury in contrasting architectural styles.

Villa Salazi is sculpted into the hillside, its layout influenced by the landscape, blurring the boundary between the buildings and nature, with large, granite boulders and vegetation featuring in the overall structure. The materials used reflect the tropical setting, with hardwoods, shingled roof, aged copper roofing and local stone.

The residence offers amazing views from every angle over Mahé’s eastern coastline and beyond, to distant islands in the turquoise waters. There is a main villa, with a series of detached, private bedroom pavilions, and a 50 metre infinity pool appearing to connect with the sea. A wide verandah wraps around the villa, creating shaded outdoor areas from each room.

Interiors are by Chelsea-based designer Leila Corbett, using a blend of traditional, rich finishes, fine craftsmanship and simple contemporary elements. The detached bedrooms are sumptuous, with upholstered furniture for an authentic classic look. Villa II is 29,400 sq ft in total and stands in grounds of 73,879 sq.ft. The house has a resort feel and its pavilion arrangement makes it a perfect holiday home for several families. The house has six guest bedrooms, three of which are free-standing with their own pools. The elevated front lawn has a commanding view of the Indian Ocean and inner islands, whilst featuring what is reputedly the longest swimming pool in the country.

Villa Palladio is a grand residence, based on a neo-classical Palladian style, standing in a prominent and commanding position with dazzling views of the mountains and sea, distinct from the surrounding wild and natural landscape. The materials are Italianate in inspiration – marble, white walls with touches of tropical hardwoods. This striking building has an opulent, graceful feel, offering exceptional light, space and comfort, framed by a glorious, shimmering blue setting, enhanced by a stunning infinity pool. It features six bedrooms and also includes an entertainment area with a home cinema, spa and bar/games room. Villa III is 37,000 sq ft in total and stands in grounds 49,000 sq.ft.

Villa Salazi is priced at $11,000,000 (£8m).  Villa Palladio is priced at $12,000,000 (£9m). Buyers are eligible for residence permits for up to 6 family members. Buyers automatically become members of the Property Owner’s Association, to which they contribute to pay for the upkeep of the common areas and infrastructure.

The Developer

Royal Palm Residences were developed by the Royal Palm Development Company Ltd, a 100% Seychellois company with partners specialising in construction, finance and architecture. The company specialises in creating high-end residences of impeccable quality.

Location

Mahé is the largest island in Seychelles, lying in the north-east of the archipelago. Seychelles is highly attractive to international buyers as there is no visa requirement to enter the islands. They are well-connected through Seychelles International Airport at Pointe Larue on Mahé. Flights to Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia are via Air Seychelles, Air France, Emirates, and Etihad, among others. Modern infrastructure, advanced telecommunications and excellent air connections make the islands a highly coveted destination to live and for a holiday home. Seychelles enjoy stable weather throughout the year, with temperatures ranging from 24C to 32C, and are free from typhoons, earthquakes and active volcanoes.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose Seychelles for their honeymoon. George and Amal Clooney also headed to Seychelles for a honeymoon hideaway. Other A lister visitors include the Beckhams, Liz Hurley, Bill Gates, and Brad Pitt. Towering over the island of Mahé is a royal palace, built in 66 acres in the mountains for Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the emir of Abu Dhabi and ¢ruler of the United Arab Emirates.

Economy

Seychelles’ economic performance is strong, benefitting from a stable government and the continued growth of the fishing and tourism sectors. GDP growth in 2018 was 3.6%. Visitor numbers in 2018 were 361,844 (more than 3.5 times the resident population), a 3% increase over 2017. The property market continues to thrive, with most buyers coming from Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, China and Russia, attracted by its exclusivity, privacy and security, as well as its natural beauty.

Environment

Home to hundreds of rare native flora and fauna species, Seychelles protects its environment with several national parks and nature reserves throughout the islands, including two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Aldabra Atoll, the world’s largest raised coral atoll, and the Vallee de Mai, known as the Garden of Eden, famous for its Coco de Mer and Vanilla Orchids. Seychelles was the first country to raise funds in the bond markets to protect dolphins and other marine life, in a deal which also involves the World Bank and The Prince of Wales environmental foundation. It has raised £15m in a 10-year ‘blue bond’ to protect dolphins and marine life.

Overlooking Victoria and the inner islands, Royal Palm Residences sits on a hillside plateau flanked by gentle slopes in Belle Vue, La Misère. The properties are adjacent to the Salazi National Park and boast impressive panoramic sceneries of the Indian Ocean with several distant islands.

Born in the Seychelles, Alex, returned to the country in the mid-90’s to set up his Architectural Practice, Locus, after growing up mostly abroad and studying architecture in the UK. While the country was going through some seismic changes both from a political and economic point of view, Alex’s ambition has always been to support and help the development of his home country.

www.royalpalmseychelles.com

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