Sustainable Luxury Shines at Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa

Written by Kevin Pilley
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“Sustainable Luxury Shines at Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa

 

The Introduction

The Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa on Silhouette Island is one of the few luxury hotels in the world where arriving guests are introduced to the food waste grinder.

“We used to burn all food waste in an incinerator. Now we grind all food waste in a semi-solid form, and then compost for use around the resort. We compost an average of 4800 Kg of food waste every month, representing total diesel savings for a year of approximately 48,000 Litres,” said the resort’s Chief Engineer Ravi Thundil.

It’s part of an orientation tour that also takes guests to Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa‘s organic nursery, where10 kilograms of produce is grown aquaponically each month. Energy-saving wind and hydro turbines and solar heaters also make an appearance.

Thundil proudly sings the praises of his kitchen hood and fan speed regulators, guest villa occupancy sensors and A/C monitors as well Philips CorePro LED LL  vanity mirror lighting.

He’s not shy about telling guests that he produces his own water, and runs the resort’s grey water and mountain spring water recycling plant on Mount Dauban, the highest peak of the five on Silhouette Island.

The Island

Located 20 kilometres off the west coast of Mahé, the resort brings guests on a 40-minute boat ride (operated by the resort) to Silhouette, the third largest island of the Seychelles. Although relatively close to the main island, Silhouette is the most undeveloped and remote of the inhabited islands of the Seychelles.

Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa

Ninety-three per cent of Silhouette is a protected National Park and is surrounded by the largest National Marine Park in the country.  The island has no roads or cars, with only a few trails and electric carts belonging to the Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa, the only resort on the island, which is yours to discover.

At Grande Barbe, a four-hour hike across the island, an elderly couple, Abdul Jumaye and Elvira Dubois, look after eight octogenarian and nonagenarian giant tortoises as well as mangrove or “manglier” forests and largest natural marsh left in the Seychelles.

Aldabra giant domed tortoise is the longest-lived animal on Earth. The most famous was Adwaita who was brought back as a gift for Robert Clive of the British India Company. She died in Kolkata/ Calcutta zoo in 2006 at the grand old age of 255. A captive-breeding programme was initiated on Silhouette in 1997.  The hotel now looks after eight adolescents.

Once eighty people lived in twenty-six houses on Silhoutte Island, named after Louis XV’s finance minister. Etienne de Silhouette (1709-1767). The island was first annexed by France in 1771 having been discovered by the English boat, The Ascension”, in 1609. Vasco da Gama called the Seychelles the Admiralty Islands.

There was a church and a school. The old Gran Kaz plantation house by the jetty and harbour at La Passe is now a museum. The first hotel was built in 1983 and there is still a small community called Jamaica, which has a store that one visitor once described as, “Making a Soviet-era supermarket look like Harrod’s food hall”.

Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa pool

Not only is Sihouette Island famous for its reduce and reuse utility initiatives to use energy more efficiently and reduce greenhouse gases, it  also works closely with rangers of the Island Conservation Society to monitor green and nesting Hawksbill turtles and their hatchlings as well as the world’s smallest kestrel.

The island is a rich biodiversity hotspot with many endemic and threatened plant and animal species, including the critically endangered Seychelles Sheathed-tailed bat, which has two roosting caves in a coastal granite boulder field.  One of the rarest plants is the Impatiens gordonii, a white-flowered relative of the Busy Lizzie.

The Stay

Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa has spacious villas with serene garden settings, beachfront locations, or jungle views.

For an unforgettable stay, upgrade to a King Beachfront Villa with private plunge pool, featuring 101-square-metres of living space that afford stunning views of the turquoise Indian Ocean. The sandy beach is at your doorstep, and a large outdoor patio overlooks the sea. This villa also includes a king-sized bed in the bedroom, a comfy sofa in the lounge, and a separate bathtub and a walk-in shower. It sleeps 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children.

The resort’s two-bedroom Garden Oasis Family Pool Villa offers even more space, with spacious bedrooms and a private pool and sun deck that can welcome a family of six.

All the villas have outdoor rain showers for the perfect tropical experience.

Casual and sophisticated dining is available at eight bars and restaurants scattered around the resort. Or, ask the friendly staff to plan a special occasion candlelight meal in the garden or on the beach.

There’s plenty to keep travellers of all ages busy, with a kids’ club, snorkeling and organized excursions to discover the natural beauty of the island and the Seychelles, something Hilton is working hard to protect.

The resort  by night

The Sustainability

Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa and Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa have adopted a no plastic bottle or straw policy, and host regular sustainability days, which include beach and lagoon clean-ups, as well as meat-free menus.

The water is filtered and placed in reusable glass bottles that are used throughout Silhouette and sent on to the two sister properties. The water bottling plant now eliminates up to 3800kg of plastic bottle waste. One man bottle 900  every day for guests who can top up their complimentary stainless steel water canisters from six hydration stations around the property and its 2.5km beach.

Hilton’s Seychelles properties are inspiring people to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle and to spend  spend less time under the shower and in the bathroom. Shower heads and wash basins are set for eight liters per minutes.

On the first Tuesday of every month on Silhouette’s sister island on Mahé, the Hilton Seychelles Northholme Resort & Spa, the oldest luxury hotel on the island and smallest resort in the Hilton Worldwide stable, offers guests the opportunity to help with beach cleans and other eco-friendly activities as part of the brand’s “Travel With Purpose” commitment. The hotel’s healthy dining restaurant, WAVE, has an environmentally-aware menu, with dishes such as ‘the blended burger’ , a patty made with mushrooms and sustainably-sourced beef, which is said to reduce CO2 generated by the dish by 29 percent..

To help increase fish biomass, you can also adopt some stony table and brush coral like sea cabbage or cauliflower, and contribute to reef rehabilitation by supporting the hotel’s on-rope coral cutting nursery and  artificial reef in its fight against marine degradation, coastal development, increasing sea temperature stress, anchor damage, bleaching and the Crown of Thorns starfish.

In 2020, Hilton CleanStay was introduced, bringing an industry-defining standard of cleanliness and disinfection to hotels worldwide.

Comments Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa mad engineer, Thundil, “Golfers can even practice their swing with specially produced eco-friendly golf balls, which dissolve in the water and feed the fish. You can have a golf shot and feed our resident Ray family at the same time!”

The Takeaway

Lying on beach in the Seychelles, I couldn’t help but be hopefully impressed  by Silhouettes nature, by Thundil’s passion for the planet, and by the sustainable luxury offered to guests by the family and earth-friendly Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa  and Hilton itself, a company that continues to redefine the idea of what conscious travelling can be.

***

BeSeeingYou In: The Seychelles

Good to know: There are also helicopter transfers to the resort

WOW! Factor: The Seychelles was once a pirate hideout, in particular Anse Forbans (Pirate’s Cove) on Mahé and Côte d’Or on Praslin

Tip: Book a birdwatching tour—The Seychelles has some of world’s rarest endemic birds

Author bio: By Kevin Pilley

Kevin Pilley
Kevin Pilley is a former professional cricketer and ex-chief staff writer of PUNCH magazine. His work appears worldwide. He has been published in over 800 titles. Allegedly. He lives in Wales and collects roses.

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