North Island epitomises the barefoot luxury phenomenon, a Seychellois paradise that lets a privileged few live an idealised Robinson Crusoe existence. This small island, with its snow-white beaches and warm turquoise waters, is the perfect refuge from modern life. There is a sense of space, purity of air and breathtaking natural beauty that is perspective changing. With a total of just 11 villas, this tiny outpost feels like yours alone; quite possibly the reason why Prince William and Kate Middleton chose to honeymoon here. The open-plan villas are works of art, vast wooden beach houses built from local materials harvested during the island’s rehabilitation process. Scattered along East Beach, each is cocooned by tropical vegetation ensuring total privacy. North Island’s luxury is in its simplicity. Villas exude a back-to-nature vibe with beds made out of driftwood, thatched roofs, doors created from fronds of shells and lots of billowing cotton. Bikes are propped up outside, giant tortoises lumber about and flip-flopped butlers are on hand to arrange whatever, whenever. And that’s North Island’s other real luxury, its innate carefree attitude. There are no schedules or rules, no dress code or mealtimes, because they understand that time is the ultimate luxury. Staff outnumber guests by a mile meaning personal touches are a way of life. Food is discussed on arrival with daily menus designed according to the latest island harvest. Picking a wine is a case of wandering into the cellar and choosing a bottle (there’s a pretty comprehensive all inclusive policy) and as there are so few residents at any one time, favourite dishes regularly appear. Guests can dine anywhere, from in-villa to moonlit beach picnics, from cocktails and tapas at West Beach Bar to exquisite dishes at Piazza, the social hub. There’s a leafy outdoor spa offering sunrise yoga and uber-natural treatments; a brilliant dive centre; sea kayaks and paddle boards; kite-surfing and pantone coloured snorkelling. And all of this is done with a conscience. North Island is constantly re-introducing plants and in doing so is creating a sanctuary for endemic wildlife including turtles, giant tortoises and endangered birds to return to.