Residence on the Rocks, Seychelles
Residence on the Rocks is perched in a luxuriant forest overlooking the palm-fringed coral beach and turquoise lagoon of Intendance Bay, South of Mahé. It is an exclusive retreat of architectural design and interior decoration, evoking the experience of a sumptuous plantation house from Seychelles’ French and British colonial eras. For the purpose of privacy and security, this superb residence sits behind a high perimeter wall camouflaged by lush vegetation. The objective was to create the colonial splendor of the 20s and 30s . This has been achieved through the choice of materials, décor and finishings. As such a stay in Residence on the Rocks also represents a nostalgic experience.
Design and Layout:
The two storey main building has a central courtyard separating the upstairs bedroom/downstairs lounge part from the upstairs bedroom/downstairs dining/kitchen section. There is one guest suite some 25 metres to the side of the central pool and another just below the Jacuzzi with views over Intendance Bay. The design is Creole in nature with some 450 square meters of covered area. The main building and guest house are surrounded in front and on the side with the typical Creole style flat roofed verandah in a colonnade design. Opposite the guest house, on the other side of the pool, on a granite rock, there is a gazebo/sala, which can be used for outdoor dining but also for massages.The four bedrooms are all large. Three have a king master bed and the third one is a twin with one king and one queen size bed.
The master bedroom has a large dressing room adjacent to the bathroom and an elevated work/study area. There is a fully equipped kitchen/dining room downstairs. The main lounge (below the master bedroom) has an elevated library entertainment section. One of the granite walls protrudes into this room. Below the guest house there is an utility/room service area. The above provides for an expansive outdoor living are surrounded by large granite rock formations and a high perimeter wall providing absolute privacy and exclusivity.
Besides the large pool deck there is also a large Jacuzzi between the Residence and the guest house. This provides for an expansive outdoor living area, allowing to retreat to the verandah spaces in case of a spell of rain, and the whole area is surrounded by impressive granite rock formations as well as a high perimeter wall providing for absolute privacy and exclusivity.
Style and Finishing:
Creole Style is considered a blend of many cultures: French, Chinese, African, Indian and English. This theme taken into consideration in importing a range of materials for the interior finishing.
The main features are 16 large/old Haveli/Palace doors which were brought in from India and since they were of slightly different size the walls had to be built around them. These French Doors combined with heavy insulation of the roof areas allow for a constant breeze to flow through all parts and allow for comfortable living conditions even without the AC units being activated.
The floors are all of recycled old Burma teak. The colonial metal windows were imported from Kenya and the cast iron rail was acquired in Burma.
Many of the furniture pieces are antique British colonial items imported from India and Burma
All carpets were woven in and bought from traditional tribal village cooperatives in Northern India. Most of the decor items were collected by the owners over a period of 30 years in Central Africa and South East Asia and include valuable tribal/ethnic art pieces.
Seychelles as a destination has a reputation for its unspoilt nature. The residence was built trying to live up to the islands image and minimally impact the immediate environment. The large rocks were incorporated into the building and no large trees were cut. In some cases they were also incorporated as part of the building structure.
Energy consumption is kept low by supplying hot water through a solar panel system built into the roofs (the arrival of hot water at the tap being a little slower than with conventional designs). Heat exchangers use the AC units to at night heat the water in the boilers.
A 50 000 gallon water tank is fed by rainwater collected from all the roof areas which goes through three special filter systems including an infrared one. (only if rain water runs out will the system switch to the hotels desalinated water supplies.)
All timber used is recycled architectural antiques from India when old buildings which were demolished.
All roof areas are double insulated and there is minimal heat radiation via the roofs keeping the required AC load to a minimum. LED lights and other power saving light fixtures are deployed throughout. The AC units in the bedrooms are linked to motion sensors and will switch off if there is no movement (no occupancy of the room) for more than 20 minutes.
The overall design incorporates maximum energy efficiency measures without affecting the expected comfort level.
Facilities at Banyan Tree - watersports, gym, spa, restaurants and sea excursions