It’s not hard to find romance in exotic resorts hiding in the jungle cliffs, dazzling stone outcroppings and smooth white sand beaches that characterize the Seychelle Islands. The 115-island archipelago in the clear warm waters of the Indian Ocean are more Jurassic than modern and offer all the steamy scented breezes and other-worldy ambiance one could wish for in an exotic vacation in Paradise. And while romance is what visitors will find in a retreat to Six Senses Zil Pasyon on precious Félicité Island, whether on retreat, honeymoon, or fantasy vacation guests will get something else: the unexpected.
Some 300 miles off the coast of Kenya, the French first settled these islands in 1768, followed by the British, who coveted these islands as a modern-day Garden of Eden.
Today, most visitors will head to La Digue, Coco Island, Praslin and the islands’ cultural and economic capital of Mahé. However, one island, Félicité, is an island that guests can have nearly all to themselves with a stay at Six Senses Zil Pasyon.
Barely more than a square mile in area, Félicité is an easy helicopter journey from the international airport in Mahé and has been the target destination of royalty and celebrity, including model and actress Elizabeth Hurley, who targets the Six Senses resort as a destination for privacy, unspeakable beauty, discovery, and sensual quiet.
They find the 30 of this top Seychelles resort’s one- and two-bedroom villas and several of the capacious residences to be the perfect place to find peace, find themselves, find each other. Six Senses Zil Pasyon villas start at 1,880 square feet for a one-bedroom configuration, each with an inviting terrace overlooking the ocean with a private dipping pool and daybeds. A deep soaking tub as the centerpiece of the bathroom’s floor-to -ceiling window frame on the ocean’s horizon, and the bathroom’s whimsical swing seat on that view, add to the romance of these resort accommodations.
Couples find the king four-poster bed wrapped in gentle gossamer netting to be particularly evocative. The bed overlooks the blue waters beneath a wooden vaulted ceiling and is surrounded by handsomely-designed, locally-sourced wood furnishings. The island offers three white sand beaches, plenty of private coves, a main pool by the beach, a saltwater pool in the spa and the private pools attached to each villa for sybaritic refreshment.
Upon arrival, a villa butler, actually a Guest Experience Maker or GEM, goes over activities that are possible to make the visit a lifetime memory. Snorkeling? Some of the best in the world can be enjoyed a quick boat ride away at Île Cocos, where guests can swim with whale sharks, turtles, barracudas, and parrotfish. Hiking? Bien sûr! Guests may explore the heart of the island with a guided hike by the island’s ecologist or the resort’s sustainability manager, or a private day trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Vallee de Mai on the island of Praslin can be drawn. Guests can go bird watching in lands that time forgot. They can bike ride around the island of La Digue, learn about the ecology of the islands and see efforts to regain original fauna and flora lost through centuries of human habitation — even learn to speak Creole.
Top Spa in the Seychelles
Some of the best of the Seychelles, however, can be found at the resort, especially after a day of discovery in this remote archipelago. The Spa, is one of the best on these islands, if not all Africa. Measuring just under 20,000 square feet, it sprawls amid private treatment suites, giant boulders and hammans with five rooms that open to the ocean, perfect for couples. The quarters are connected by a rope bridge suspended along a boulder pathway toward the ocean waters below, harnessing the sounds from the breaking waves. Treatments are “journeys” that fuse the island themes of granite, earth, sea and nature and work on the body’s seven chakras and can be followed by a soak in the saltwater infinity pool over the ocean. Beauty treatments and yoga are also on the menu.
Dining Delights in the Seychelles
Any romantic resort in the Seychelles would also have to have a special touch with food and Six Senses Zil Pasyon handles that focus with a fresh-from-the-sea approach and several venues where meals can be enjoyed: sland Café, Ocean Kitchen (loved by pescatarians!), The Wine Vault, Lakanbiz Rum Bar, and the poolside Koko Bar. And those who want to linger in the private spaces of their own pool and terrace can enjoy room service and sipping from their own in-villa wine cellar stocked with international and local options. The resort maintains a policy of not charging an additional fee for in-villa dining orders.
Those seeking nightlife will find it in the capital city of Victoria, on the island of Mahé. But those seeking the night sky will be happy to enjoy the resort, where the equatorial sky has a show every night while it is possible to sip fine wine or brandy and simply listen to the breeze. The resort offers complimentary cinema under the stars as well, two nights a week, or private screenings on-demand for a fee.
A Guide to the Seychelles
Six Senses Zil Pasyon is located 30 nautical miles northeast of Mahé (location of Seychelles International Airport – SEZ) and is accessed by a scenic, 20-minute helicopter flight.
Alternatively, domestic flights from Mahé Airport to Praslin airport can be booked through Air Seychelles. From there, or La Digue, Félicité Island is only a short private boat trip away.
Flights to SEZ are abundant enough, especially with connecting flights from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Addis Ababa, Johannesburg, Nairobi and South Asia on major commercial airliners. Air France, Austrian, British Airways and Turkish Airlines also fly there. Location is east of Kenya and north of Madagascar. U.S. passport holders need only proof of lodging, sufficient funds and return ticket to be given entry. Travel between islands is best facilitated by helicopters, although there is scheduled ferry service between the main islands of Mahé, La Digue, and Praslin (operated by Seychellesbookings.com).
A visit to Victoria on Mahé tells it all: the town presents beautifully preserved French and British colonial architecture along its thoroughfares, and restaurants reflect the islands’ more than 500 years of foreign imprints (Seychelles gained its independence in 1976) in restaurants that run French to British to Portuguese to Chinese to Indian to island. Victoria is the place for cultural take-ins, museums, shopping and nightlife. Otherwise, visitors come for the beaches. As the islands are so far asunder, many remain uninhabited and nearly untouched by humans.
But there is more than beach to the Seychelles and on Praslin, the Vallée de Mai Nature Preserve offers amazing jungle walks and the chance to experience nature that has remained isolated since the beginning of time. That includes sightings of the Seychelles black parrot, which can only be found here.
Visitors will need to pack sturdy shoes along with their hats and bathing gear. Six Senses Resort Zil Pasyon may be a top resort for romance in the Seychelles, but it is also the top resort for guests who want to fall in love with the Seychelle Islands.
Six Senses Resort Zil Pasyon
P.O. Box 696, Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles
Telephone: (855) 695-6693 (toll-free)
Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates– Curator of undiscovered luxury travel locales with insider info and news from our worldwide portfolio of hotels, wellness retreats, and eco-resorts. View our portfolio on our Online Directory.
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