South African tourism professional Justin Arenhold has been working in the hospitality industry for 28 years, spanning a career in South Africa, the UK, Mallorca in Spain and the Seychelles. Originally working in Relais & Châteaux hotels, then working as deputy General Manager of Cape Grace in Cape Town, General Manager at North Island Resort, Seychelles, and Resident Manager of the Taj Palace Hotel, Cape Town, he joined Eden Island Development Company in Seychelles in 2014 as Business Development Manager of the Eden Island Luxury Accommodation arm of its operations.
Having left South Africa, Justin now bases his time in Seychelles with regular visits to his old home in Mallorca and is able to enjoy the variety of lifestyles the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean are able to offer.
“ I love the culture, the history and the art, the museums and the food of Mallorca and Spain in general. Here in Seychelles the people are wonderful and I love not only the culture but also the outdoor lifestyle orientation and the wonderful simplicity of island life. One of the reasons I love living here is that it is a frontier, so much that is being done in the Seychelles is completely new and fresh. Whatever we do generally, you are setting a precedent for the future, or a strategy, or a process. There are so many green fields and thoughts on how you can effect positive and long lasting change,” he said.
Why did he come back to work in the Seychelles? He lists the reasons as a great opportunity to be part of the incredible Eden Island project and to grow the business, the healthy lifestyle, the ocean and the nature, which he enjoys by living on Eden Island and exploring other islands of the Seychelles archipelago.
“We hike a lot, and when my daughter comes for holidays from Mallorca with her mates, we hike to Copolia in the Morne Seychellois National Park and we also walk to Anse Major beach and have a picnic there with some Seychellois friends of mine. I surf a lot and sail as much as possible, stand-up paddle board, snorkel… so it is very much the ocean-oriented lifestyle we have around us,” he said.
We have a healthy social life too, organising lunch and dinner with friends, some live on Mahe Island, who are Seychellois, French and Mauritian as well as South African friends on Eden Island, and they see each other often.
“When we have lunches at the house, there is always a Creole influence in the cuisine. We go to restaurants on Eden Island as well as in the south of Mahe Island, where we often have seafood or octopus curry, and freshly grilled fish, or sometimes we go to the north in the Beau Vallon area where there are a variety of restaurants with international cuisine. Of course we also do a lot of cooking at home with fresh fish and tropical vegetables. On the weekends I like to visit at one of the local markets at Anse Royale and Anse Poules Bleux and pickup all my fresh fruits and vegetables for the week. I do use the supermarkets as well, but I love the farmers markets and what they have to offer.”
Eden Island Luxury Accommodation
Justin Arenhold is behind the modernisation of of the Eden Island Luxury Accommodation (EILA), which is the property rental company of the Eden Island. It is a very unique model that is not found elsewhere in the region as other rental companies in countries like Mauritius tend to be affiliated to a hotel operation, while EILA is a standalone operation with no affiliation.
The rental company ensures that homeowners on Eden Island who wish to let their properties have the opportunity to potentially make up to 5% per annum return on investment by renting their properties through Eden Island Luxury Accommodation, which is advertised through its website, through Booking.com and Agoda.com. This ensures all the necessary formalities are registered to ensure proper licensing, regulation and taxation, and a management fee is paid by the homeowner to the EILA.
EILA has become a very popular choice for many tourists to the Seychelles Islands that like to have the freedom of self-catered accommodation, with a choice of Apartments, Maisons and Villas on Eden Island, which is a luxury residential marina development.
Seychelles is furthermore well connected with international flights with carriers such as Emirates airline, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, British Airways, Joon, Condor, Kenya Airways, Edelweiss Air and Air Seychelles all providing excellent routes from Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
“The best two hubs are Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the UAE, which makes it a major market for our client base, as flights from the two cities are 4 and half hours long, making it a very attractive holiday option for expats and Emiratis to take a long weekend break and then stay on Eden Island, where they can have easy access to fishing or sailing boats, as well as breath-taking beaches, bars, restaurants and a guaranteed break from the hustle and bustle of Dubai or Abu Dhabi.”
Flights from the UAE arrive in Seychelles in time for breakfast and the EILA has an offer on Deluxe Maisons or Villas, where there is guaranteed early check-in with no charge.
Another exciting new tourist market for holiday rentals is the United Kingdom, as British Airways has started flying twice a week direct from Heathrow Terminal 5 and has become the only airline offering a non-stop service from the UK. The flights are to be operated by the airline’s newest aircraft to the fleet, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with four cabins: World Traveller (economy), World Traveller Plus (premium economy), Club World (business class) and an exclusive eight-suite First cabin.
All the properties that are listed under the EILA are on a fair-share reservation policy where all the properties within different size categories are in a rotation pool within the 365 days they are rented out, if the owners are not using the properties themselves.
Justin Arenhold has noticed that the Apartments, Maisons and Villas are particularly popular with families as Eden Island has 4 private beaches, large grass playing areas, kid-friendly swimming pools which are all ideal for children to swim and play in. The pedestrian walkways are suitable for strollers and prams. Parents have the ease of access to restaurants and ice-cream shops or they can decide to cook in their self-catered accommodation and shop at the various supermarkets on the island and in Victoria.
“The freedom of moving around the island on your own buggy is a bonus. The Eden Marina gives you fast access to a boat or a catamaran for day trips on the ocean, to visit a Marine National Park or go fishing, so it’s all there; it’s so popular become of the ease of access.”
There are three rates periods for EILA short term rentals.