What It’s Like to Stay at Mango House, a Serene Hotel in Seychelles

Welcome to Checking In, a new review series in which our editors and contributors rate the best new (and revamped) luxury hotels based on a rigorous—and occasionally tongue-in-cheek—10-point system: Each question answered “yes” gets one point. Will room service bring you caviar? Does your suite have its own butler? Does the bathroom have a bidet? Find out below.

Mango House

Mango House is nestled in the lush landscape and small rocky cliffs.
Mango House is nestled in the lush landscape and small rocky cliffs.

In three words: Serene, tropical oasis.

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What’s the deal?
Nestled into a silent cove on Seychelles’s largest island, Mahé, Mango House is the place to be if you’re on the hunt for some much-needed TLC. Famed Italian photographer Gian Paolo Barbieri built the property’s airy main house (named, apparently, for a mango Barbieri was given when visiting the site, as well as the surrounding fruit trees) as a personal getaway; eventually, the locale landed in the hands of LXR Hotels & Resorts, a luxe travel brand under the Hilton umbrella. The low-key Mango House now offers up 41 rooms and suites, replete with light wood and breezy linens to frame magnificent views of the surrounding turquoise waters.

Here, it’s all too easy to unwind and take in the island—and use it as a luxe launch point to get to any other isles (114 others, to be exact) and activities in the archipelago. It’s about an hour drive to the nation’s capital of Victoria and to any of the lovely beaches on the northern part of the isle, but the Mango House team can easily arrange any transport you’d like. The area around the hotel isn’t buzzing with activity, but that’s really the point: to provide a secluded, tranquil experience for any guest.

And it’s a rather romantic experience at that, with glorious sunsets, lush greenery, and privacy abound; a plethora of couples staying at the resort certainly cemented the image of a honeymooners’ paradise (though there were some children around, too). The hotel also celebrates the area’s cultural roots, with its cocktail bar and four restaurants paying homage to local delicacies and offering fresh takes on well-known dishes. You’ll also find creations from local artist Alyssa Adams dotting the property, from vibrant paintings in the lobby to the colorful design found on the room’s bathrobes, which are available for purchase. Elsewhere, you’ll find a spa and three pools to relax beside during your stay.

The best room:
Mango House’s best room is actually not a room at all. The Bay House is a three-bedroom villa that you’ll have all yourself, whether you chose to bring the family along (it can sleep up to eight) or just want the upmost privacy during your stay. The four-poster beds with breezy linens are a welcome sight at the end of every day, and the rooms are filled with woven tapestries, blue accents popping in the rugs and pillows, and a soft muted neutral palette that oozes relaxation. The main perk of the villa is the sizable outdoor space, complete with a private plunge pool. Or you can retire to the upstairs balcony in the evenings and enjoy some vibrant sunsets. The bathroom, meanwhile, is done up in a cool stone; it’s home to a separate soaking tub and shower, as well as a dual sink. Also, honorable mention here for the two-bed Cliff House, which comes with panoramic vistas of the bay below and the greenery beyond.

Mango House’s rooms are full of ocean-blue hues and airy linens.
Mango House’s rooms are full of ocean-blue hues and airy linens.

The Rundown 

Did they greet you by name at check-in? 
Yes, they did—and did so every time I return to the hotel on one of my many excursions about the island.

Welcome drink ready and waiting when you arrived? (Bonus point if it wasn’t just fruit juice) 
A mango passionfruit drink immediately found its way into my hand as I took in the property, as well as a cool towel that was very much needed after a long travel day. The team also offered up tea or coffee, too, if you need a caffeine boost to fend off that pesky jet lag.

Private butler for every room? 

Not every room has its own Jeeves, but the hotel’s service is superb enough you won’t be missing him in the slightest. The staff does an impeccable job of always being there when you need them without feeling intrusive. It’s just the right amount of attention; call it the Goldilocks method. If you are looking for a private butler, though, the luxe three-bed Bay House is where you should rest your head.

With views like these from nearly every restaurant, you’ll barely be able to focus on your food.
With views like these from nearly every restaurant, you’ll barely be able to focus on your food.

Is the sheet thread count higher than 300?
The thread count is right at 300—and made of 100 percent Egyptian cotton to boot.

Is there a heated floor in the bathroom? What about a bidet? 
No heated floor here (though would you want one in a country where the temperature stays between 75 and 86 degrees all year long?). You will, however, find a bidet waiting for you in your en suite. Lucky you.

Are the toiletries full-sized?
Yes, and they give off a deliciously fruit scent. Better still, they’re sourced from a local, eco-friendly beauty brand called Belliche and housed in reusable stone canisters. Mango House is big on sustainability, as you might expect from an island property: You’ll only find cloth hand towels, not paper, in the bathrooms, for instance, and the hotel has a zero-waste initiative with its cocktails and cuisine.

One of the property’s pools, which may be its most private.
One of the property’s pools, which may be its most private.

Is there a private pool for the room’s exclusive use?
The property’s one-bedroom Bay House, one-bedroom Ocean House, and the aforementioned three-bed Bay House all have their own pool, meaning you can lounge in complete privacy for hours on end. You won’t find one with every room, though, but the hotel’s three pools should more than satisfy your craving for a mid-day dip. Plus, there’s two (small) spots to hop in the Anse Aux Poules Bleues—the bright-blue bay responsible for the hotel’s spectacular water views—if you so desire.

Is there caviar on the room-service menu? 
What’s lovely about a hotel like Mango House is that you can have whatever dish you’d like sent up to your room—and that includes some delicacies from Rova Caviar, which comes from a lake perched at an altitude of almost 4,600 feet near Madagascar’s capital city of Antananarivo.

Are the restaurants worth their salt? 
There are four different restaurants to check out during your stay at Mango House: Italian spot Muse (where you’ll also grab breakfast each morning); Japanese-focused Azido; Creole locale Moutya; and the poolside Soley. All are lovely, but Moutya is the star. Not only are you sat right beside the ocean on plush chairs, but the eatery allows you to fully experience Seychelles’s local cuisine, one that’s packed with plenty of spice and seafood. I was a fan of the Seafood Platter myself, full of sensationally seasoned lobster, crab legs, and shrimp.

Do you want to spend Friday night in the lobby bar?
Oh, definitely. The second floor of the Main House is home to Kokoye, the property’s cocktail lounge. Here, tropical green motifs, wooden accents, and stunning views of the sunset are your company as you indulge in an array of delicious aperitifs. The space is moody, with dim lighting and small lamps adorning each table. Much like the rest of the hotel, it’s not a place to get particularly rowdy; it’s somewhere to sit back and sip without a care in the world. You can also learn a few tricks of the trade from the bar staff thanks to an intimate cocktail-making class. Speaking of spirits, Seychelles is known for its beloved Takamaka Rum, so that’s a must-try. The Blanc is particularly outstanding, as were any cocktails the bartenders created with it. But if gin is more your speed, check out the Flutter-By, a butterfly pea–infused cocktail that’s as sweet as can be.

A glimpse into Kokoye, the hotel’s cocktail bar.
A glimpse into Kokoye, the hotel’s cocktail bar.

Would you buy the hotel if you could? 
Let’s see: Would I want to purchase a property where relaxation reigns supreme, each dish is more scrumptious than the next, and the white-glove service is second to none? All while getting to gaze out over vibrant blue waters all day long? I’ll let you sort out the answer to that one.

The Verdict

Forget the journey (which is a bit of a schlep from the good old US of A). For me, it’s always about the destination, and Mango House is certainly worth any pains it takes to get there. The attentive white-glove service, the food, and the views are all spectacular, of course, but what really makes the property special is the aura of relaxation, the ability to truly unwind, that it imbues upon its guests. That is something that can’t be easily replicated, no matter how much a place may try. As one local puts it: “This is paradise on Earth. Why would you ever want to leave?” And, as we all know, paradise is not so easily found.

Rates: From $650 (600 euros).

Score: 8

What Our Score Means: 
1-3: Fire your travel agent if they suggest you stay here. 
4-6: Solid if you’re in a pinch—but only if you’re in a pinch. 
7-8: Very good. We’d stay here again and recommend it without qualms. 
9-10: Forget booking a week. When can we move in permanently?

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