TRAVEL IN STYLE: Plan a Fabulous Holiday Getaway Mr & Mrs Smith Luxury Destinations – Featuring Seychelles Availability
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Luxury Seychelles stay Six Senses Zil Pasyon is an all-villa hideaway on a pristine private island. The setting’s not-too-manicured tropical magnificence extends to white-sand beaches, curvaceous rocky outcrops and swaying shaggy palms. This eco-conscious boutique getaway has an ocean-front pool, a handful of seafood-centric eateries, and a stress-melting Six Senses Spa. Snorkel in the clear-blue waters, float a day away in your villa’s private plunge pool, and be thrilled by the chef at the restaurant’s open kitchen. Or, simply order up a few jars of the house-made rum and toast to the livid sunset, the shining sea and the bounty to plunder in your new Seychellois digs.
Beaches, spa, gym, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: TV, iPod dock and Bluetooth-enabled Marshall speaker, gaming console, Lavazza coffee-maker, the Organic Pharmacy bath products, a yoga mat, ice machine, minibar and free bottled water.
For a private plunge pool that appears to float over the serene teal waters lapping at the island, book an Oceanfront Villa. Hideaway Villas are flanked by tropical vegetation, for a little extra provided-by-nature privacy.
Just a stone wall separates the main infinity pool from the sea; it’s so close that ocean spray and gentle waves often break over the edge. The long pool is family-friendly, unheated and surrounded by a pool terrace with sunloungers and cargo-net hammocks. Poolside bar Koko slakes guests’ thirst. Views from the pool and surrounding terrace extend all the way to Coco Island, Sister Islands and Praslin Island. There’s a small pool in the spa, too.
We admit, we’re not au fait with Terres d’Afriques’ lymph wands, but on Six Senses Spa Zil Pasyon’s menu of highly indulgent facial treatments it sounds rather enticing… The spa’s African-inspired treatments (fig- and green coffee-infused body wraps; rose-crystal masks) are carried out in five private, beach-y pavilions, set between the hotel’s rocky outcrops. There’s also a yoga pavilion and a saltwater soaking pool with a sundeck.
All ages are welcome, but this stay’s best for over-sixes. Baby cots, children’s beds, and big-ticket baby swag, including highchairs and buggies, can be provided, as can playthings and art materials.
The hotel is extremely Earth-loving: food is organic and grown on site or sourced locally. Eco-friendly cleaning products, bath products and light bulbs are used throughout the hotel, and grey water is re-used to water the hotel’s plants. The hotel has solar panels and a desalination plant, and also supports a habitat-restoration project on Félicité Island.
Chef Richard Lee helms seafood restaurant Ocean Kitchen, an alfresco eatery on a wooden deck by the shore. Punters can watch the chefs fillet and fry in the open kitchen; fish are served straight off the barbecue grill and a bread oven fills the space with an intoxicating scent as fresh-baked loaves emerge. Hardcore carnivores take note: you’ll find protein only of the pescetarian-approved variety here; you won’t miss getting your chops around a Chateaubriand though – all sea-foraged fare is delicious. Ingredients are organic and grown on the island, or they’re locally sourced from the surrounding waters and islands. Start with the freshly-made focaccia bread, then carry on to the catch of the day. In the mornings, you’ll find a dainty buffet breakfast of fruits and pastries at Island Café, as well as an à la carte selection of made-to-order eggs and more; drinks and snacks are served there throughout the day too, and both the lunch and dinner menus are spice-filled affairs with a mix of European, Asian and African fare.
Poolside Koko bar is right on the water’s edge and open all day; refreshing drinks of both shaken and stirred varieties are crafted using local, organic ingredients. Order an icy Kokolada and make a beeline for one of the seaside hammocks or catamaran nets to lie on. If you work up an appetite in the pool, samosas, spring rolls and other snacks are available throughout the day, too. Rum-soaked Lakanbiz bar opens in the evenings; with its low leather seats, antique furnishing and moody lighting, it channels the types of hangouts where local Kalu – a strong rum drink – was once consumed. Order a jar of house-made rum and sip until you sway to the bossa-nova beats.
Breakfast from 7.30am until you’ve had your fill. Lunch and dinner hours are flexible at the Island Café and Ocean Kitchen; private dining in the Wine Vault can be arranged on request. Koko bar is open all day, and Lakanbiz is open from 5pm to midnight.
Rates usually include a buffet or à la carte breakfast, and some scheduled activities, such as daily morning yoga, kayaking, snorkelling and paddle boarding. A shuttle boat to La Digue Island, cinema screenings and ice-cream treats are also included.
This private island has three pristine natural beaches; you’ll find one in front of the pool and restaurant; two more are a three-minute walk or buggy ride from the hotel’s main drag. Each is a mix of white sands and rock, and all are suitable for swimming.
The transfer time from Seychelles International Airport 90 minutes if you take a plane to Praslin airport then a boat to the hotel – an option that costs €160 one way. Emirates flies direct from Dubai, and Air Seychelles operates non-stop flights from Paris and Johannesburg and direct island-to-island flights; those landing at nearby Praslin Airport can arrange for a car transfer to La Digue, followed by a boat transfer to Félicité Island, which costs €130 all in. Private plane transfers, operated by Zil Air, are available from Mahé Airport to Praslin Airport, guests will then be transferred to a private boat that will whisk them away to Félicité Jetty; all this is €655 each way.
Private helicopter transfers, operated by Zil Air and booked via the hotel, from Mahé airport, the domestic terminal of Seychelles International Airport, are €919 each way for a four-seater or €1,980 each way for a six-seater. The hotel operates speedboat transfers from Praslin Jetty or La Digue Jetty for €130 each way for up to four guests. Private boat transfers, available on request and subject to weather conditions, can be arranged from €3,000 each way.
If soaking up the sun by the crystal-clear waters that surround Six Senses Zil Pasyon isn’t quite enough, on-island activities include snorkelling, hiking, kayaking, cooking classes, outdoor cinema nights, petanque and croquet. You can also hop on a boat to explore one of the neighbouring islands of La Digue, Praslin, Aride, or the Curieuse Sister Islands; each one is no more than 30 minutes away. Aride is best for bird lovers, there’s a coastal cycle tour on La Digue Island, and Praslin Island’s big draw is white-sand Anse Lazio Beach.
Open for lunch only, Bonbon Plume restaurant on Anse Lazio Beach (Praslin Island) is an alfresco eatery serving grilled seafood and Creole specialties. Sit ocean-side under a thatched umbrella and order grilled lobster, scallops and more from the à la carte menu. Under the thatched roof of Chez Jules on La Digue Island, you’ll find classic Creole fare, freshly blended fruit smoothies, coconut water and more. Set right on the edge of Anse Banane beach, this is the perfect spot to stop when you’ve worked up an appetite cycling around the diminutive island. Try the octopus curry, a house favourite, and wash it down with a cold beer while playing spot the giant turtle.
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By: Lourdes Mestre
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