Before establishing an international reputation as a leading tourist destination, the Seychelles was a popular pirate route for thieves to hide their ill-gotten gains. Before the age of glamorous resorts in the Seychelles, it was said that the infamous seventeenth century pirate Oliver Levasseur, nicknamed La Buse (The Buzzard), is believed to have hidden his treasure here and to this day the stash, with a contemporary value of US$11 million, remains undiscovered.
Today, the best-known treasure in the Seychelles is no longer in the form of gold bullion, but luxury hotels. JA Enchanted Island Resort is one of the best resorts in the Seychelles to join the island nation’s collection of five-star establishments. Formerly known as Round Island, the Enchanted Island Resort is situated on a small atoll, no larger than eight acres, and surrounded by the azure waters of Sainte Anne National Marine Park. Sunil Shah, a Seychellois native with Indian roots who transformed it into a luxury resort. Shah ordered the planting of around 20,000 species of trees and plants, whilst preserving the precious coral reef during the construction work. In another reflection of Shah’s eco-friendly approach, the resort’s water is heated by solar power and the island has a small organic plantation where bananas and other tropical fruits are harvested.
Shah’s love of historical and cultural artefacts is embodied in the interior design of the JA Enchanted Island Resort, where over 140 antique pieces have been carefully selected and restored throughout the property. Examples include many intricately carved wooden boxes and frames from India, as well as original advertisements from the 1940s.