News Article

In Conversation with Natasha St Agne from Le Nautique

13 March 2024

Embracing Seychellois Charm at Le Nautique

It was in 1742 that the French navigator Lazare Picault, one of the very first recorded travellers to explore the Seychelles in detail, first spotted a granite island rising from the Indian Ocean in the country’s Inner Islands archipelago. It wasn’t until 1768, though, that the island Picault had spotted over a quarter of a century before was finally given a name: La Digue.

Named after a ship in the fleet of another French explorer, Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne, whose home on nearby Mauritius afforded him ample opportunity to sail the Indian Ocean, La Digue is the Seychelles’ third principal island, linked to its slightly larger neighbours – Mahé and Praslin – by ferry.

Today, this island idyll is home to nearly 3,000 people, the Diguois. It’s also home to Le Nautique, a luxury waterfront hotel on La Digue’s west coast, run by Natasha St Ange, who we’ve been chatting to. For the Director, it’s important that the hotel reflects the very best of Seychellois culture, which explains the Creole architecture on show throughout Le Nautique, as well as the other coastal design elements. Because make no mistake, the ocean is never far from the equation here. Le Nautique perches on the waterfront, its infinity pool, deck, bar, and restaurant all facing out to an ocean of such gorgeous blueness that it feels as though the saturation levels have been dialled up.

The beaches, too, are a sight to behold, framed by imposing slabs of granite, the waves breaking over the finest sand and the lucky swimmers who happen to be taking a dip. Looking out across all that from the hotel, it isn’t hard to see why people choose Le Nautique, but Natasha tells us that it’s more than just La Digue’s immense natural beauty that entices their guests. Le Nautique operates a personalised experience at every level, treating guests to something both familiar and excitingly different at the same time. It seems to be working, too, as Natasha tells us that the majority of guests tell her that they wished they’d spent longer at the hotel.

Tempting as it may be to while away the hours with book (or cocktail) in hand on Le Nautique’s poolside deck, Natasha says that the excursions available on La Digue are not to be missed. The island is home to the Anse Source d’Argent beach, a stretch of sand that, if you’ve ever googled the Seychelles, you’ve probably seen. It’s a slice of palm-framed, sun-kissed sand so lovely that it’s been awarded the accolade of the world’s second-best beach; and it’s a little over a mile from Le Nautique. In fact, much of what makes La Digue so appealing is just how easy it is to take in. Natasha tells us about the hiking, snorkelling and bike trips guests can take, all from the hotel and taking in pretty much all of the island’s natural wonders. If it’s a slightly more traditional form of transport that people are after, though, there’s a whole island ox cart tour also available.

Guests aren’t limited to taking in only the island’s natural beauty; there are bars and restaurants across La Digue that Natasha says are well worth a visit. Perhaps unsurprisingly, she nominates Le Nautique’s in-house restaurant as her favourite, and it’s not hard to see why. Diners sit under a thatched roof and tuck into either their breakfast, lunch, or dinner against a backdrop of rolling waves and the rising peaks of neighbouring islands silhouetted against the horizon. The food is unmistakably Seychellois, drawing on the fusion of French, Indian and Oriental flavours to produce a set of dishes that Natasha describes as ‘deeply memorable’. If guests fancy a change of scene, though, there’s the Italian at Le Repaire, or the sunset spectacle of Belle Vue Snack. Fish Trap, too, gets a mention, as does Combava and the Bikini Bottom Beach Bar, where, we’re told, the good times roll.

“Le Nautique perches on the waterfront, its infinity pool, deck, bar, and restaurant all facing out to an ocean of such gorgeous blueness that it feels as though the saturation levels have been dialled up.”

For an island just 10 square kilometres in size, there’s an enormous amount to see, do, eat and drink – on occasion at the same time. From what we’ve seen of Natasha’s gorgeous hotel, there may not be a better place to do it all from than Le Nautique.

Read more about the hotel here

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