French explorers first discovered Mahé, the capital island of Seychelles, in 1742. Explorers and merchant ships documented various reports of sightings of the islands, but the islands remained a mystery for centuries. Mahé is steeped in legends and myths about piracy in the area, with some of history’s most notorious pirates said to have hidden in Mahé’s coves and bays. To this day, many people believe that there is still pirate treasure of considerable worth hidden on the island.
French explorer Captain Lazare Picault was the first to conduct a formal exploration of Mahé and initially landed in the same bay where our hotel stands today. A French settlement soon followed as Seychelles became an important refreshment station on the trade routes between Africa and the East. In 1756, Seychelles was claimed by the French, a contentious claim between French and British superpowers for over half a century. In 1811 the British were victorious in their disputes over the Indian Ocean territory, and Seychelles became an official colony of the empire.
In 1976 Seychelles gained independence from the Crown and became a member of the British Commonwealth.
To learn more about Seychelles’ rich history, visit the Seychelles Natural History Museum in the heart of Victoria.