Colibri Guesthouse, Praslin
For a room with a five-star view, Colibri is hard to beat. Nine rustic rooms – all wood and stone – ensconced amid tropical foliage that tumbles down a hillside to the turquoise waters of Baie Sainte Anne. There’s no beach but you can use the small infinity pool overlooking the bay at neighbouring B&B Chalets Cote Mer, also owned by Sylvie and Stephan, and costing about €10 more a night. You also share the waterfront creole restaurant. The owners can help with car hire but it’s a five-minute walk to a bus stop – which will take you to Praslin’s most famous beach Anse Lazio and the Unesco-protected Vallée de Mai nature reserve – and the jetty for ferries to Mahé and La Digue.
• Doubles from £112 B&B, +248 429 4200, colibrisweethome.com
Georgina’s Cottage Beach Guesthouse, Mahé
Who needs a pool when the glorious golden sweep of Beau Vallon beach is on the doorstep? Set on the north-west coast of the archipelego’s largest island, this guesthouse has nine air-conditioned rooms; first-floor rooms come with a balcony and sea views, ground-floor rooms are darker but have a terrace for sunset watching. Breakfast is served under a gazebo in the garden, there’s a shared kitchen and it’s close to several restaurants, including the atmospheric Boathouse with its all-you-can-eat creole buffet, and the weekly market, where locals set up stalls under the takamaka trees. Eddy, the hands-on owner, will give you tips on where to go and what to see, including the best snorkelling spots.
• Doubles from £70 B&B, +248 424 7016, georginas-cottage.com
Carana Hilltop Villa, Mahé
Eileen and Mike’s hilltop retreat looks out over the ocean all the way to Silhouette Island, and most of the 10 air-conditioned, en suite rooms have a private balcony. Take the trail up into the jungle-cloaked mountains or a 10-minute walk downhill to the stunning and usually deserted Carana beach. There’s a swimming pool to cool off in and a lovely garden where you can pick bananas, mangos and guavas off the trees – they also appear in the homemade jams at breakfast. It holds a weekly barbecue and there’s a shared kitchen; there’s even somewhere to clean your catch if you go fishing.
• Doubles from £73 room only, £81 B&B, +248 424 1990, caranahilltopvilla.com
Le Port Guest House, Praslin
The ebullient Marie-Annette will greet you with cupcakes and mango juice at this friendly home from home. The two spacious rooms – one accommodates four adults – are set above her Baie Sainte Anne gift shop with balconies that look out over the bijou Anse d’Amour, so you’ll wake to the lap of waves. It’s close to a well-stocked grocery shop so you can make use of the kitchen; there’s free drinking water and, unusually for guesthouses, free Wi-Fi. Marie-Annette’s husband runs boat trips and her daughter is a masseuse for the island’s top resorts. And don’t refuse an invitation to dinner for delicious creole cuisine and an insight into island life.
• Doubles from £55 room only, +248 4232 262, no website
Rosemary’s Guesthouse, Praslin
Rosemary and her son Herbert have turned an old property on the north-east coast of the island into a laid-back B&B. The nine rooms are spread over three buildings: the garden rooms are fan-only but the newer sea-view rooms have air conditioning. Breakfast is served alfresco and there are plenty of restaurants nearby, but if you’re on a tight budget, pick up a just-caught fish for the barbecue. Step through the back gate and you are right on Cote D’Or beach, where you can negotiate boat trips to Curieuse Island, home to a Marine national park, with nature trails and a colony of giant tortoises.
• Doubles from £62 B&B, +248 423 2176, rosemarys.sc (website launches mid-February)
Le Passe Guest House, La Digue
Diminutive La Digue is the smallest of the three main inhabited islands and is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, where the laid-back inhabitants get around the sandy streets by bicycle. This good-value guesthouse has four no-frills but comfortable rooms: two come with air conditioning and a fan, two are fan-only. One room has a kitchen but it’s still worth splashing out £12 for a delicious creole dinner from the friendly owner, Mary-Anne. It’s a short bike ride to the coast or just submit to a tropical torpor and flop into a hammock in the garden.
• Doubles from €65 B&B, +248 423 4391, la-passe-guesthouse.com
Buisson Guest House, La Digue
This charming house has a beautiful plant-filled garden and is tucked down a quiet sandy street that leads from a jetty. There are two simple rooms, a shared kitchen and a living room with a TV and DVD player. As well as dishing up a hearty breakfast – including vanilla pancakes and coconut cakes – the amiable Doris and Charles are on hand to help you rent bikes and organise snorkelling trips and guided island hikes. They’ll make dinner on request; perhaps a whole grilled fish with herbs plucked from the garden or a fish curry – and you can dine alfresco under a starry sky.
• Doubles from £70 B&B, +248 259 2959, buissonguesthouse.com
Pension Hibiscus, La Digue
Pension Hibiscus is a family affair. La Digue native Jennita, has transformed her mother’s old home into a spotless guesthouse with buildings named Eliza after her late mother and Alice after her daughter; you can buy Alice’s colourful handicrafts in the small gift shop. Four of the six en suite rooms have kitchens and all have balconies overlooking the garden, where a thatched-roof gazebo is the perfect place for a local beer. Easy to reach, it sits between L’Union reserve and Anse Source d’Argent – one of the world’s most photographed beaches – and the jetty. For cheap eats the nearby Gala Takeaway is the best on the island.
• Doubles from £70 B&B, +248 423 4029, hibiscusladigue.com
Zanboza Guesthouse, La Digue
Up a steep hill, a 10-minute bike ride from the jetty, this cosy creole-style house is in a tranquil spot, surrounded by towering palms and vivid hibiscus, with a backdrop of green-clad granite peaks. On the first floor of the main building there’s a lounge and terrace, perfect for stargazing, and three, air-conditioned rooms – each with their own private entrance and large enough for families. There’s also a two-bedroom, two-bathroom annexe in the garden. The friendly owners, Monica and Wilfrid, will organise snorkelling trips to the nearby islands of Felicité and Coco, and ask Wilfrid if he’ll take you to Anse Marron, a spectacular, hard-to-reach beach on the south of the island.
• Doubles from £70 B&B, no phone, zanbozaguesthouse-seychelles.com
Cabanes des Ange Guest House, La Digue
This stylish newcomer has six apartments and three rooms amid a lovely landscaped garden full of tropical blooms. The air-conditioned rooms are cool and contemporary, with handmade wooden furniture, splashes of local art, king-size beds, a living space and a large terrace where breakfast is served. The apartments come with kitchens and an alfresco dining area is in the works. There’s a swimming pool with plenty of lounging space and it’s just a short walk – or you can rent a bike from the guesthouse – from the stunning beaches of Anse La Reunion and the centre of La Digue.
• Doubles from £100 B&B, +248 423 4112, cabanesdesanges.sc