Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Live the Seychelles Experience . . . with Mason's Travel

Gran Kaz - A Historical Museum on Silhouette Island

The first recorded landing on the island of Silhouette, Seychelles was in 1609, by the East India Company, who took respite from the seas through the wood, food and water they found. This was not the first time men had set foot on the island; mysterious ancient graves believed to contain the remains of Arab sailors can still be found on the island. 

From the 1600s onwards pirates, freed slaves and settlers alike came to the island in search of a haven. Today Silhouette is home to one the largest National Parks in Seychelles and still houses tales of buried treasure. Immersed in history this beautiful island holds one of the most beautiful and best-kept secrets in the Seychelles, Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort and Spa.

A true private paradise, Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort and Spa, on Silhouette Island, is a mountainous beach hideaway nestled between a lush tropical forest and a  dazzling 2.5 km long white sand beach fringed with palms leaning over crystal-clear azure seas, strewn with granite boulders.

In the early 1800s the island was divided into sections and distributed to proprietors, including the notorious pirate Jean-Francois Hodoul. His involvement with Silhouette gave rise to the legend that the island harbors buried treasure. However, the most notable of inhabitants at the time on Silhouette was Auguste Dauban. In 1867 the Dauban family had purchased the entire island, and by the time the family sold the island to the French Government, over 100 years later, they had truly left their mark on Silhouette, with many plantation crops from coconuts to vanilla, which can still be seen growing today throughout the island.


The family's legacy is marked by the name of the imposing peak Mount Dauban, which soars above a virgin jungle filled with rare hardwoods, exotic orchids and carnivorous pitcher plants. A further reminder of this great family is the hauntingly beautiful gothic-style Dauban mausoleum where a number of the family members are buried including Auguste Dauban.

The 19th Century plantation house, Grann Kaz, initially built by the Dauban family, has been faithfully resorted to its former glory and today serves as an authentic Creole restaurant, where Island Kitchen concept is showcase through the cuisine. 

The upper floors of Grann Kaz, now houses an exhibition with the Dauban history and gives an insight into an island, which has traditionally only been known for its pristine nature and distinctive silhouette.  Guests at Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort and Spa can find material that includes biographies of the main family members - from Napoleon's colonel Joseph Francois Dauban, his son Auguste who became known as the "Rothschild of the Indian Ocean" to Henri Dauban, the man who went from throwing harpoons on the reefs of Silhouette to throwing the javelin for the United Kingdom in the 1924 Paris Olympic Games. 

There are letters, photographs and some articles about the family, including one by Ian Fleming, the Bond author, who reluctantly dined on jugged bat with Henri. 

To experience the indigenous spirit of the Seychelles, Silhouette Island is the perfect piece of paradise. For guests seeking an extraordinary event experience Grann Kaz would be the ideal location for a wedding reception, group incentive dinner or simply a memorable family gathering.


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