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Islands to fall in love with
Mauritius and the Seychelles are not just for honeymooners. Now property-lovers can buy a home there
Evening Standard: Homes & Property: 9th January 2008
The Seychelles, comprising 115 granite and coral islands, are often dismissed as a honeymoon destination with spectacular beaches, excellent diving and not much else. Like Mauritius, this is an upmarket holiday spot where you should be prepared to splash the cash.
Yet if you are after a truly exclusive holiday home and do not mind a 10-hour flight, the Seychelles have some alluring properties. In the south-west of Mahé, the main island, Four Seasons Residences is building 28 four- to six bedroom villas alongside 65 hotel suites on Petite Anse Bay. The villas will have private gardens, large pools and full use of the hotel facilities, but with prices starting at £3,17million, these are aimed at a select few buyers.
A common problem for these wealthy types —apparently — is where to store their super-yachts. Eden Island could be the solution. Prices start from £146,460 for an apartment and £293,000 for a town house.
Only 15 minutes from the Seychelles' international airport, Eden Island is a 104-acre reclaimed island linked to Mahé by a bridge. When completed in 2011 there will be 450 freehold apartments, town houses and villas next to a world-class marina where every owner gets a private berth.
"Seychelles is less commercialised and more up-and-coming than Mauritius," says Farrah Cameron of Pam Golding Estates. Island-hoppers — and Seychelles is the perfect place to island hop — could consider a private island.
There are only 10 villas on the 24-acre Pezula Private Island. If you can cope with part-ownership, you can buy three weeks a year for £145,000. Or developer Dhevatara has two projects soon to be launched, one on Praslin, the second largest island, and one on the private island of Marianne. Prices start from £246,400 for a one-bedroom house.
"The Seychelles has a young government determined to encourage investment," says Stephen Owen of Dhevatara. Environmental policies are in place and planning restrictions are, so far, quite tough.
All property is sold in US dollars.
Buying and selling costs for foreigners have been high in the Seychelles. Many developers have negotiated reduced tax levels. At Eden Island you will pay only a two per cent legal fee, while stamp duty at Four Seasons is five per cent.
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