Considered by many to be the most desirable vacation destination in all the world (at least from Europe, from where there are direct flights), Mahe is the largest island of The Seychelles, which comprises approximately 120 islands in the Indian Ocean. More than 90 percent of The Seychelles population lives in Mahe, which also hosts the country's capital of Victoria (population 25,000). Known for its constant, warm temperature and rare, indigenous flora and fauna, Mahe and The Seychelles are unique and special. Mahe event venues are geared for upscale tourism.
The international airport serving Mahe is the main one for all The Seychelles, the Seychelles International Airport (SEZ), which is known to locals as the Aeroport de La Pointe la Rue. Six miles southeast of Victoria, it has service from South Africa, Nairobi and, mostly, from the Middle East.
Chief of the stand-alone meeting venues in Mahe is the Maison du Peuple International Conference Center, but many groups stay in their resort-hotels, which have plenty of space for all types of meetings.
Hotel venues in Victoria's environs begin with the capital's Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa, which has 40 villa-style accommodations, a meeting room for 35 persons, and no lack of welcoming spots with sea views. The only major hotel in Victoria, it is complemented by the nearby The Wharf Hotel & Marina, which is two miles southeast of the capital, on Eden Island, and has 15 guest rooms, a four-bedroom Penthouse, and a 60-berth marina. On the nearby islands of Sainte Anne and Ile aux Cerfs (Deer Island), respectively, are the Sainte Anne Resort & Spa, which has 87 villas, a Spa by Clarins, and 550 acres of private island; and the Cerf Island Resort, which has only 24 villas. Another choice—more informal—is the Coco d'Or, four miles across the island on the western shore at Baie Beau Vallon, which has 27 guest rooms, a conference room, and banquet facilities.
Unique function spaces in or close to the capital include the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens, in Mont Fleuri, which has a small population of introduced Aldabra Giant tortoises; Kenwyn House, a beautiful French Colonial house built in 1855 that has art and jewelry galleries and a tropical garden; the Creole-style Marie-Antoinette Restaurant, also a grand house but one that is more formal, although equally inviting, on the road to Baie Beau Vallon; and Tea Factory & Tavern, which points at the islands' Indian heritage and features row upon row of tea plants and a rustic tavern as well as a lawn for events close to a tropical forest. La Digue and its spectacular seaside rock formations can be reached in a couple of hours on catamarans, some of which have accommodation for longer voyages.
Restaurants in or near to Victoria include Le Rendez Vous, right in the center of town; Anse Soleil Cafe; Maria's Rock Cafe, which does seem to be hewn out of solid rock (dishes are cooked on lava stone); and Anchor Cafe. All are informal—no one is dressed in black tie, that's for sure—and serve up spicy Creole cooking and fresh fish. Another choice a few miles to the south of the capital is La Plaine St. Andre, in a 220-year-old planter's homestead that also contains a rum distillery.