Six Senses Zil Pasyon
What We Love
- Unplugging on a paradisiacal private island in the Seychelles
- Guest Experience Makers, or butlers, assigned to each villa
- An oceanfront yoga and meditation pavilion at the spa offering private and group sessions
- Exploring the area’s pristine underwater world
What To Know
- The hotel is 30 nautical miles northeast of the nearest airport on the main island of Mahé
- While most guests are flown in from the airport in a helicopter, the property is also accessible by ferry via nearby Praslin Island
- Free WiFi
- The resort is family-friendly, with weekly activities and nanny services
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
Located on Félicité Island, a private paradise of massive boulders, white-sand beaches, and lush tropical foliage, this luxury resort does a fine job at respecting its pristine surroundings and the region’s vernacular architecture without sacrificing refinement. Thatched roofs, a mix of dark and light woods, woven furnishings, and a neutral palette enlivened by candy-colored details help set a relaxed atmosphere. While it’s perfectly possible to while the day away in your villa—what with its private infinity pool, stocked mini-bar, bluetooth Marshall speaker, and nearly every other modern amenity known to man—much of life at the resort unfolds at a series of stylishly appointed common areas. Island Cafe, the main dining venue offering a fusion of European, Asian, and African flavors, is set under a wide pitched roof but otherwise completely open to the outdoors. The best place to sit is at a series of tables flanked by pillowed benches, where guests can sit back and enjoy the sea views. Steps away is the pool deck, covered in rustic blond wood and perched right over the beach, with a row of woven beds that hang hammock-style over the sand. A small pool bar delivers signature cocktails made with house-infused rums. Elsewhere, there’s a seafood restaurant offering local fish and organic vegetables, a chef’s kitchen doling out made-to-order dishes, a wine vault, an honesty bar lined with vintage-style rum barrels, a boutique and a library. All you need is to turn off your phone and put away your wrist watch.
In the Area
There’s plenty to do in and around Félicité Island, including hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding, world-class scuba diving, catamaran sailing and fishing using traditional hand lines. But it’s well worth exploring the archipelago that lies beyond. Nearby is the relatively large Praslin Island, known for the Unesco World Heritage-listed Vallée de Mai, a nature reserve where the rare coco de mer palm grows in its natural state. The island is also a bird-watching hotspot, with frequent sightings of Seychelles bulbuls, blue pigeons, warblers, and the endangered black parrot. On the northwestern tip, there’s Anse Lazio, reputedly the world’s most beautiful beach. Smaller La Digue, only 10 minutes away from Félicité, is home to giant turtles, rare birds like the black paradise flycatcher, and Anse Source d’Argent beach, where crystalline (albeit shallow) waters and powdery sand make for great photo-ops. Stay for lunch or cocktails at the charmingly rustic Chez Jules.
How to Get There
We are just returning from a 7 night vacation in the Six Senses Zil Pasyon. Usually we do not write long reviews, but as it is so hard to find good hotels and these comments are really helpful to us, we write a more extensive one. We had a ocean front villa with pool (no access to the ocean), that was extremely nice and private, even though the neighboring villa was only 20 m away. The pool has a depth of 1.40m and a small build in daybed made from stone, which was really usable. You hear and feel the ocean directly beneath your balcony. There a couple of special features in the villa, the most important being that you can open the balcony doors more or less fully - which means they can be “folded away” out of your sight. Also, you can find a real good bluetooth - speaker. The terrace itself contains a day bed, 2 reclining chairs and a table with 3 chairs, large enough for a midday rest, breakfast or dinner in the room. What I found equally remarkable that you have a modern indoor shower and indoor toilet (heatable). There is a large walk-in-wardrobe and a well stocked bar with wines, coffee, tea and water. Water, tea and coffee will be refilled every day at no cost. The bed is super-king-size, the level of comfort is ok, but not very good. Housekeeping is grand, there is a daily, totally non intrusive close to perfect housekeeping and turn down service. As it is so non intrusive, you virtually never get to see the person responsible for it. We saw the gentleman only once and could thank him.
The key interface between the guest and the resort is the “Guest experience manager (GEM)”. In our case that was a gentleman named Garry who covers 4 villas. He was always there when we needed him, totally professional and knowledgeable. He arranged and knew all about our plans, came up with suggestions and organized everything we wanted perfectly. Also, he was never intrusive and it never showed that he probably had to attend to more than one party at a given time. He was also instrumental in our stay.
We used both the Spa and the Gym (24/7) quite actively which are conveniently located quite close to another. Both are well equipped build in a way that you can see (for Spa also hear) the ocean. The Spa-Staff is excellent and the treatments extremely relaxing.
The resort is a good balance between privacy and still close enough to walk (at least with the ocean front villas). One can either call a buggy (which worked really well) or walk (in our case 15 Minutes, the villas further out would be ca. 20 min I guess ) to the “main area”, that consists of 2 restaurants, both being open for lunch and dinner (the one at the Oceanside “Ocean Cafe” was open 3times a week for dinner). There are some “special dining nights”, some of them were really special (barbecue), others had basically a few extra dishes (Thai). There is not the slightest problem with this as the food quality is generally outstanding. Virtually every dish we had was very good. There is a great selection of wines, carefully catered for by the sommelier Lucas who also hosts “wine-cellar-dinner” in which one can taste wine in the “cellar” and eat a fabulous four-course-menu (we highly recommend this). Lucas was also visible everywhere, helpful and knowledgeable. This brings us to the service. That to us is the greatest plus of the resort. We have never experienced a resort where everybody was so consistently friendly, professional and service oriented. One cannot overstate what kind of difference this makes. Thanks to the entire service team. You have made our stay truly special. A special thanks go to Mr. Dineshen who (among others) always went the “extra mile” and was very gracious.
This account would not be complete, if we did not write about the “room for improvement”. First of all, the resort is two years old. However, it already shows “wear and tear”, as it is exposed to the elements of nature. It does not (yet) really matter, we are talking about chairs and furniture, especially outdoors, that are not perfect anymore. Also, the outside lamp in the balcony area seems to be very rusty. The most important thing that we experienced is technical difficulties in the electronics. We lost power three times, once it came back on by itself (but then the TV was in and endless and unstoppable background music cycle, until somebody (in our case, the reliable GEM Garry) came). The other two times the IT-representative had to come and to reset the system. Also, at 4.00am on our second night, the smoke detector went off and emitted a high pitching sound and a light signal. On the positive side, even at that hour, in 15 Minutes we had two people plus a ladder in our villa to remove the faulty smoke detector. We then saw that the second smoke detector was already removed, which might lead to the conclusion that this was not a one-time event. In all fairness it needs to be stated that after these incidents (that took place in the first 48 hours) everything worked perfectly.
The point that really was a negative is the non-visibility of senior management. You get a welcome card (that does not even have an email-address) in your room and someone greets you upon arrival but after that you do not see anybody until you depart where just 30 seconds before take-off there is another senior representative in time for winking us goodbye. The “front-desk” is manned by someone who can only call the GEM for addressing questions and there is not one manager who knows what we do, come for a chat in order to ensure the feeling to be well looked after. While we appreciate the concept of a GEM as the main interface to the guests, we have never seen it executed like here as the ONLY interface to the guests. However, there was a general “meet-the-guests-reception” which we did not attend, but that is not the point here.
Lastly, I would strongly suggest to review the tipping/service charge policy. There are tips for all meals plus 10% service charge, but there are no guidelines for tipping the GEM or virtually any possibility to leave a tip for housekeeping or other staff. In another resort, there was policy which I find very appropriate and that I would like to leave for your consideration: there is a suggested per diem tip for the GEM (or butler in other resorts) and (!) one for the rest of the staff. Both of which you can settle upon departure. With this you could also get rid of the extra tips in addition to the service charge during meals or drinks.
In closing: We had a great week and we will probably come back in the next 24 months. In our judgement, it is already one of the best resorts in the Seychelles, but it has not yet reached its full potential.
First the positives:
1. Consistently excellent staff. Clearly very well trained but also genuinely nice people. Importantly for us they seemed to treat all guests with the same respect, warmth and charm - irrespective of nationality, gender, sexuality, whatever.
2. Spectacular natural environment
3. Huge, beautiful villa - but see also some negatives below
4. Outstanding villa cleaning service, Vincent was great
1. Four beaches but no easy swimming. In our opinion the recommended swimming beach (Anse Peniche) is only safe at high tide, due to many sharp rocks and strong current. Despite following staff directions, green flag AND wearing rock shoes, one of us received a nasty cut.
2. Villa pool was unusable for 4 days due to pump/filter failure before our arrival and prolonged cleaning regime. We were offered a move only on day 4, presumably because the resort was full.
3. Our “oceanfront” villa near the spa was more like ocean view, as the shoreline seemed distant and was completely inaccessible. The main resort pool was a long buggy ride.
4. Helicopter on arrival was fantastic. Boat transfer was planned for departure but when we experienced on a day trip how small and open the boat is, we switched to the helicopter again for departure. This ended up being complimentary as compensation for villa pool problems. (For clarity the boat was perfectly safe but in our view not substantial enough for a comfortable 30-minute journey across rough seas with luggage etc. Other places we’ve stayed had MUCH better transfer boats e.g. Shangri La Maldives.)
5. Checkout was very strange for such an expensive resort. We had prepaid the room so the bill wasn’t huge, but appeared to include tax and service charges of 47% (!) as that was the difference between “net amount” and total, whether printed in Rupees or Euros. The receptionist just kept repeating that tax was 15% and service 10% and could not explain the apparent discrepancy at the bottom of the bill. So either the hotel’s system is wrong (unlikely) or just doesn’t show charges clearly. The amount was small so we just paid and asked them to reconcile later, but we left feeling very awkward. Oh and before all that we were presented with a separate €50 bill for a charity toy turtle which was a complete mystery to us. Again not a big deal, but why do things in this way? If you’re going to ask for donations, ask for donations.
6. Breakfast was never relaxing, despite the valiant waitstaff. Villa deck was full of assertive hungry lizards (!) and restaurant infested by birds. Yes it’s the tropics, and sharing a breakfast table with these visitors might not bother many people. We just feel the restaurant set up could be better designed, as we’ve experienced in many better places.
As already mentioned the resort did attempt to compensate us for not being able to use our villa pool - we were grateful for the free one-way helicopter transfer. We wish the resort well, especially all the wonderful staff. But sadly it’s not the place for us.
We stayed in Six Senses Zil Pasyon for our honeymoon and everything was perfect!
The resort offers an amazing relaxing getaway feeling, allowing you to fully relax and enjoy nature and a little corner of paradise.
During your stay you are assigned a GEM - Guest Experience Maker - ours was Maximilian (aka MAX) and we must say that he was just amazing, he would treat us always like VIPs and made sure that our stay exceeded our expectations. He really went to great lengths to make our stay was perfect, full of surprises and memories that we will remember forever.
The food is really good and it is tailored to your personal preference with the chef always available to accommodate you.
Our villa was perfect and very private, allowing us to enjoy our time together during our stay.
We fully recommend Six Senses Zil Pasyon and might very well come back (soon)!!
Thank you for the memories!
I feel like poor might be a harsh review, but it’s not, for the simple reason that a hotel that costs or should I say charges $2000 per night; actually more when you factor in all the extra charges, has simply no excuse for not getting it absolutely right.
My biggest gripe with this place is that they’ve gone out of they way to try and make you relaxed and feel at peace; and spectacularly failed in every way.
Let me explain:
It starts with everything you consume, someone immediately chases you around with a bill to sign. You feel exploited. Then it gets worse, you look st the bill; and the filtered water, in a reused glass bottle they actually charge you for it ! Despite it costing them nothing at all, how is that relaxing for me ???
Also I couldnt get over the fact, that it costs 180
Euros for a speedboat transfer, that takes all of 15 mins from the nearby island where you arrive too; again you feel totally exploited.
The island itself was nicely laid out with plenty of opportunities to relax BUT the sea itself was insanely difficult to swim in, the island is surrounded by coral that stops you entering the sea and if you use the steps to enter the current is biblically strong making any swim a life threatening experience.
The food is overall good, but are you really going to enjoy a $50 tikka masala ? The wine has been marked up around 8-10 times as well making an entry level ‘good’ wine cost hundreds of dollars.
Basically I’d recommend you goto Thailand; Seychelles is incredibly expensive for average quality.
Wow, wow and wow. Having lost the love for Maldives slightly, we opted for Zil Pasyon, Seychelles for a week’s escape. The whole week, I slept like a baby and ate like a queen. Why didn’t we come here before?! The place is beyond beautiful and offers so much variety in terms of landscape, the rocks, the islands, the wildlife. Every day there is something new and exciting to see. The helicopter transfers are a must, what a magical way to start and end your trip, excellent organisation from start the finish. And let’s be honest, 20 monitors versus a 2 hour boat...no brainer.
The resort itself is spread out so most of the time, it feels like you are the only ones on the island. I think we tired of the close proximity of villas in Maldives, even in the top end resorts, hence our desire to try something new. We stayed in villa 7 overlooking the ocean, we loved it and would ask for the same villa next time. Beautifully decorated and equipped, it’ll be hard to justify leaving! We were on the full board package which worked wonderfully and I was very happy that opting to dine in your villa is absolutely encouraged. The spa is particularly beautiful, having a treatment while listening to the ocean is really quite special. Every member of staff is friendly, helpful and genuinely eager to make sure you have the best time possible. But our special thanks much go to Nhi, our GEM, who went above and beyond to ensure we had the best time, even stocking up our villa fridge with my favourite wine, a really lovely personal touch. Excellent food, excellent drinks, other worldly location...book a trip, you won’t be disappointed.