If you will for me: imagine Jurassic park, untouched, without the dinosaurs or the gloomy nights. Think just about the unscathed natural beauty, larger than life rocks, the privacy of being on an island that is engulfed by mind-blowing surroundings and the consistent welcome sound of azure blue waves crashing against the shores.
Throw in a perfectly warm sun, exquisite ocean top villas that hang over the rustic, white sand beaches and a friendly team whose only goal is to make your stay a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and then, my friends – you have the new Six Senses resort in the Seychelles.
A resort that decided not to create the surroundings onto which to build a hotel, but one that created a magical resort amongst the caves, hills and rocks that naturally occur. In doing so, allowing both Jack and I to conjure up a feeling of being ‘at one’ with the earth and its’ surroundings more so than any other resort I have stayed.
It’s the most luxurious Jurassic park on the planet – and how frequent my mind drifts back there!
There are many reasons why I loved this resort, and why it sets itself apart from the rest. However, knowing I can’t keep you here all day (as much as I’d like to), I’m breaking my stay into 6 parts … it’s quite impossible to whittle it down to any less ;)
I do hope you enjoy the ride!
The first leg of the journey is a breezy 4.5 hour flight from Dubai to Mahe Island, the largest island in the Seychelles. From London, you’ll need to stop over in Abu Dhabi or Dubai and then onto the Seychelles from there.
Six Senses is located on the private island of Félicité, the 5th largest in the whole of the Seychelles. It’s on the island’s North side, facing an array of others which add to the experience, offering wonderful day trip opportunities.
To get from Mahe to the final destination, Félicité island, you have two options;
The first is to get a domestic flight in a small plane from Mahe to Praslin. The flight takes about 20 minutes but it adds on around 1.5 hours to the journey, as you’ll need to allow for wait time before boarding and in case of any flight delays. We flew with Air Seychelles, which cost AED 630 / £120 each. A little tip for breakfast: skip the café inside the airport and walk 50 metres to the right outside. There’s a spot called ‘SkyChef Shop’ and it has eggs, croissants etc, as well as the most amazing banana bread!
When you arrive in Praslin, there will be a scenic 20 minute drive through the jungle before jumping aboard the dedicated Six Senses boat which will take you to the resort. You’ll likely come across the largest seeds in the world – coco de mer – a treasure in the Seychelles and strictly forbidden to pick.
The second option is to get a helicopter directly from Mahe to the Six Senses resort – a rather spectacular 20-minute journey overlooking the islands before landing on their own helipad. We saw 4 or more helicopter flights arrive during our 3-night stay, so I gather it’s a pretty popular option. It comes in at EUR 919 per way.
The Room and Island Grounds
The homemade coconut macaroons, 3-way toasted coconut flakes and Six Senses own coconut water were the cherry on the cake for what can only be described as the most luxurious private island home. Out of the 30 plunge pool villas on the resort, each with their own je ne sais quoi, ours was nestled within two huge rocks offering a private entrance, just in case the undisturbed 360 views from the villa’s terrace weren’t privacy enough!
The rooms are chic, crafted with wood and simplistic, eye popping colours that match the surroundings. You can’t help but feel Six Senses’ sustainability ethos shine through in the design.
Equipped with their own wine cellar, starlit infinity plunge pool, outdoor ice machine, bathroom swing and sliding doors that allow an unbroken view of the Indian Ocean, the villas are a sight for sore eyes and romantic haven.
And if there is anything missing, a change in activities, a lift to the spa, a question about that evenings dining, each villa is assigned a GEM, that takes care of it all.
I thought the deep sunken bath tub with hanging swing would be the diamond in the bathroom, but then I saw the shower, which opens out to feel the breeze or the fresh sea air, and sound of swishing palms.
And if you’re worried about mosquitoes, don’t be. They have that covered with yet another homemade concoction #Sustainability.
Early evenings, I ran the huge tub, filled it with sea salts and watched the world go by.
If you want to venture out from the villas, there is a main pool in the hotel along with two beaches to lay your hat on. Hammocks attached to trees are scattered around the island for that added dose of comfortable island life, and there’s always a hidden sun lounger or two where you’d least expect it.
For the kids too, of course.
The beaches have their very own pool house, full of chilled water and towels so you can spend as much time there as you like – without needing to go back to the rooms.
It wouldn’t be a true LLG travel post if F&B didn’t have it’s own dedicated section. I think the impression of the culinary benchmark on these private Islands, be it Seychelles, Maldives or alike, is typically a substandard one. Whether that’s an idea of logistical difficulty and the thinking that islands may not put as much effort into food because the setting is so beautiful, who knows.
What I do know however, is that Six Senses Seychelles falls firmly out of that category.
We chose to have breakfast in the rooms most mornings because the view on the villa terrace was so beautiful. Having spied up the coconut pancakes with mango jam on the first day, they quickly became a frequent favourite, along with a poached eggs, home made hash browns and always a local fresh fruit platter.
There are two main restaurants on the island, one is “Ocean Kitchen”, which is a no-meat restaurant, close enough to the ocean to feel the salty sea sprays from the rocks. It rings true to Six Senses’ focus on wellness, with fresh fish dishes and divine, creative salads on a daily basis. The decor is enviable and reflective of the surroundings, built within the natural boulders of the island. An eclectic mix of stone and wooden ornaments create a relaxed experience that allows you to take in every view the island has to offer.
For lunchtime; a basket of freshly baked bread with a unique dip (beetroot and ricotta was a highlight), and an array of raw or cooked fish. Everything from local beer battered fresh fish fingers, bbq octopus skewers and a special shout out to the seared tuna with guacamole, so good that at least Jack or I ordered it every day for lunch.
The other restaurant is “Island Cafe”, the all day dining spot that transforms each evening into a themed night of well thought-out cuisines. It’s a lovely touch, similar to what I experienced at Four Seasons in Serengeti – it ensures that guests are entertained with unique dishes and flavours, whilst allowing the chefs to explore their creative prowess with fresh catches of the day and a multitude of cuisines.
We experienced both an Indian and Asian night, complete with their infamous soft shell crab curry (dreamy and highly recommended!) and perfectly prepared sushi and tempura stations. The wine selection is also worth a mention, but if you’re looking to dive deeper – there’s always the Six Senses Wine Vault downstairs to whet your wine connoisseur appetite.
And if you don’t fancy an evening drink in the dedicated rum bar or KOKO pool bar, there are some incredible options for destination dining.
We headed up to the middle of the island, atop the rugged cliff edges, to find a wood-lit campfire and picnic basket, complete with bites and chilled champagne waiting for us. If that’s not a romantic spot, I’m not really sure what is! Despite it being overcast, the sunset still graced us with colours of the rainbow.
With the trees swaying below and the sound of the fire crackling away, it’s hard pushed to think of a more serene setting.
The Spa and Activities
What good is a private island without a world-class spa to match, right?! It was one of the first things we spotted whilst having our tour on the first day. Just past the glass frontier gym that overlooks the ocean, lies what can only be described as the plunge pool of the heavens. Perched way out on the spa jetty, dangling above the boulders and blanket of green trees lining the outskirts of Félicité island, is an open air saltwater infinity pool from a different world.
In fact, the entire spa is a journey into the one-and-only … but it is a Six Senses resort after all ;).
How craftily Six Senses built within the natural surroundings is no more clear than within the spa. Expect to duck under caves and straddle Jumanji-style rope bridges to get to one of the 5 individual suites, each named after the surroundings.
I had a deep-tissue massage in the ‘Cave Room’, equipped with suspended hammock and outdoor shower.
I’d be lying if I said my eyes didn’t dose off for a quick post-massage snooze.
When I say Six Senses kept the natural surroundings in tact when building the resort – I really do mean at all costs …
Shower a la bouldèr.
Yoga and anti-gravity yoga both take place of the deck, another hidden walkway through the spa.
We booked onto just a few of the many activities available on the island. From the 3 hour guided morning hike up the island, to sunset kayaking in the ocean and starlit open air cinema night. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t permit any of them during our few nights stay, whether it was the rain or choppy waves, but naturally would recommend trying each and all of them if possible!
I was super excited to get stuck in and certainly nice to know that if you’re staying on the island longer than a few nights, there are endless activities to keep you occupied should you be someone who doesn’t like to sit still. The neighbouring islands, La Digue, Aride island, Coco national park et al, also offer cool day trips which we would’ve gone to should we have stayed a few more days. Think giant turtles and no-car islands, free to run and explore.
Six Senses Sustainability
Just as LLG is synonymous with wellness and food, it wouldn’t be a Six Senses post if sustainability wasn’t at the forefront.
Six Senses as an entire group, have made it their goal and part of their ethos to become more sustainable by putting it into practice at each and every resort in their own way. For Zil Pasyon, it’s everything from the simple things such as refillable shampoo and conditioners in the villas, all the way to growing their very own Organic garden on the island and having a crystal water refinery to prevent the need for plastic bottles.
To put in plainly, it’s not just a stamp they tag onto the brand, but rather something that is integral to the makings of their resorts and held closely in the hearts of the people who work there. Six Senses Seychelles take it one step further by having created a tree garden that allows the trees and plants indigenous to the Seychelles to prosper, before being replanted around the island. At the same time, they have a dedicated team working tirelessly to remove the plants that aren’t native to the Seychelles to bring it back to it’s truest form. It’s a warming thought and adds to the Six Senses experience as whole.
As you might be able to tell, this trip was a once in a lifetime experience.
To visit a resort, or private island as you may, that has been dubbed “Best New Hotel in The World” in THE ULTRAS’17 is quite something. There are so many elements that Six Senses Zil Pasyon are doing incredibly well, I feel it would be an understatement to say Jack and I will struggle to find a resort more romantic or more in touch with it’s humbling surroundings than this one.
I’ve never been so enchanted by a place, able to sit still, taking in the smell, sounds and feeling of complete relaxation. I’m thankful to Six Senses for not destroying the natural beauty if the Island, but rather building within and amongst it.
Needless to say, I hope one day soon I’ll return!
Visit the Six Senses Zil Pasyon website here for more details on room rates, offers and packages.
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