Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Hotel Updates: Denis Private Island

Denis Private Island - A Quarter Century On

So what’s changed on Denis Island over the past 25 years? Everything. Or nothing at all. It simply depends on your perspective, and one honeymoon couple has the photographic evidence.

Probably the most interesting constant for Martin and Carol Bibby on their return to Denis Island, 25 years after their honeymoon, was Toby the tortoise.


For Martin, who was planning a surprise honeymoon for Carol at the turn of the ‘90s, Seychelles was already a familiar name, due to his father’s travels in connection with the islands’ colonial administration in the late 1950s. “I wanted to go somewhere really remote,” Martin says. He was considering the Maldives in addition to Seychelles, but ultimately decided on Denis Island, and the rustic island experience was everything they imagined.

Following the honeymoon, however, they set about raising a family – with four children no less – so getting back to Denis had not been possible until earlier this year.

Whereas Toby the tortoise hasn’t changed much in 25 years, there are several aspects of Denis, and Seychelles in general, that have changed immensely, as the couple noticed.

Take the rooms on Denis:
“The rooms are enormously different – they were very basic and rustic shacks albeit lovely for what we wanted – remote and adventurous. Now the rooms are much larger and more luxurious. The bathrooms are so lovely now…hot and cold water!”

The food:
“The food was very good back then but there was not a huge amount of choice. Now the food is amazing. And we weren’t treated to a wonderful, romantic meal on the beach as we were this time.”

The staff:
“There appear to be more staff now, and we were very aware of them all – in a good way.  So helpful and friendly and always with a smile and wishing you good/morning/afternoon/evening.”

The facilities:
“The facilities have certainly improved by just the right amount, without spoiling it. As before there is no TV or internet in the room, which is fantastic! The bikes in particular have changed the experience as we could now explore the whole island much more easily.”

Conservation and wildlife:
“There was no visible conservation effort on Denis. There was no working farm. Previously there was no deep forest and so you could see through from one side of the island to the other. The bird life is far more diverse and the effort to reintegrate the terns (sea birds) is obviously very new.”

The other main constant, aside from Toby? Their principle activity, which was to relax. “Reading or walking with nothing to worry about but admiring the beautiful island and empty beaches!” Martin says.

One other thing is certain: it’s not going to take another 25 years for Martin and Carol to return. “Denis is a very special place to us, and holds many happy memories,” Martin says. “Now that our children are all grown up, we hope to return as soon as it is viably possible.”

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