One early evening in 1985, A Seychellois Immigrant lay down on the lawn of his friends back yard (now the Hilltop House Gardens) and listened to the music of the night that only those who live in Africa will understand and found his version of paradise thousands of miles from his home. He said to his wife Cathy that day “One day, we will live here and raise our family here.” It was at least 2 years before he was able to even begin to make that dream a reality when he was able to rent a property just down the road until they were finally able to buy their first family home (The Estate House) where they would continue to live and raise their two children Rohland, and Lauren.
Bernard had a love for gardening and planting and soon went about planting his ‘edible’ garden. No corner was safe from being turned into a pumpkin patch or veggie garden. He used every opportunity to create. It was this desire to continue his vegetable and fruit plantations that prompted the purchase of the adjacent vacant land to grow his veggies and raise his chickens and rabbits .
Bernard and Cathy always had a house full of people, each coming from large families themselves, so they still felt they needed more space!
At the time there were plans already in motion for the development of an International Airport at La Mercy since the 70’s but nothing had been finalised. With the hope that this would one day become a reality they took advantage of the sale of their neighbours house to grow their home and begin investing in their dream of a little Bed and Breakfast in 1999. Over the years this three bedroom house would grow from three bedrooms to six guest rooms and Bernard’s love for gardening would seamlessly join the two houses into one. It wasn’t until King Shaka International Airport was built and opened in May 2010 that they made the final expansion to include the Hilltop House. Things had come full circle, and 25 years after wishing it, his prophecy had become a reality far more than he had wished or bargained for!
So 3 became 6, then 6 became 7. After 2010, 7 became 11 and now De Charmoy Estate has grown to house 16 beautifully appointed 4-Star accommodation rooms each with their own entrances and bathrooms. What were four different properties have now seamlessly joined into one Estate with three venues, a conference area and as of October 2017 home to a Spa (Sugar & Spice) and their first Restaurant (The Chocolate Garden) all in the heart of the sugar cane a stone's throw from Dube Trade Port and just 5 minutes from King Shaka International Airport. De Charmoy Estate is now owned and managed by Cathy and Bernard’s youngest child, Lauren who took over in 2013.
The History of the Venues
The Boma started out as an outside kitchen as Bernard (de Charmoy Estate co-founder) had been banished from cooking his salted fish in the house! So what started as a place of isolation became the heart of the estate. Bernard had his first birthday party ever at the age of 34 and in what was then termed an entertainment area. It then went on to host our first wedding ever in 1993. The Boma, although no longer a simple entertainment area, still remains the heart of the estate, always eliciting a heartfelt “wow” from all who enter.
As the years went by, the estate would go on to host smaller weddings & functions on request but it was not a formal offering. In August 2013, de Charmoy Estate was upgraded and re-launched with the opening of the Bedouin venue. The Bedouin is a permanently fixed Bedouin/Stretch Tent with an astroturf floor, neighbouring the lapa catering area and the catering kitchen and the bathrooms.
The Hilltop Gardens, which overlook a beautiful valley and dam became the perfect spot for a garden wedding ceremony, under a canopy of trees. When in full bloom our Bauhinia (Orchid Tree) completes the breathtaking vista that this garden provides. The Hilltop House, a plantation style house, is often used for small conferences and can cater for up to 20 people. With its classic checkerboard black and white verandahs, this venue is also a favourite amongst our bridal couples as they photograph so beautifully! The Hilltop House can also be used a a venue for the bride and her bridesmaid to get ready for the big day!