Six Senses Zil Payson is the perfect choice for families desiring both space and privacy as the resort offers an array of villas with multiple bedrooms. The Payson Pool Villa sleeps four, the Two-Bedroom Pool Villa sleeps six, the Three-Bedroom Residence sleeps six and the Four-Bedroom Residence sleeps eight. All villas and residences have private pools. Kids will love the activities, games, educational and entertainment offered at Trouloulou’s Club. Families may enjoy a variety of cuisine at the onsite restaurants.
Our Editor Loves
- Villas feature private infinity pools
- Kids under 12 stay free
- Trouloulou's Club for kids
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
My husband and I recently visited this resort as one of our honeymoon destinations, and stayed for 7 nights. We have always stayed in relatively luxurious resorts, but never quite at £2k per night. We had booked this resort hoping that the price point would mean an absolutely exceptional experience. However, this was not quite the case - To start with the things that went wrong:
1. Despite the price point and the fact that we selected the full board option, various items were not included such as the minibar, coconut water (during certain times) and all alcohol and beverages. The items that were not included were overpriced. A number of items that would be, particularly in resorts of this calibre, free of charge, were charged, such as laundry, mini bar items, etc. No notices or information is given on this in the room either, so you literally have to guess on whether things are going to be charged.
2. When we landed in Praslin at around
6pm, the other people on our flight were picked up immediately, but we waited over 30 minutes for a hotel representative to pick us up. No apologies were given for this delay. We would’ve expected a hotel to send someone earlier and be there waiting for us when we arrive.
3. On the first day we decided to go to the main pool to relax, and when we got there, there were no towels by the pool, no staff around to order drinks, and you had to go and find someone if you wanted one. It then started to rain so we decided to sit in the restaurant. My husband and I threw on some clothes quickly, but since I was soaking wet I only put on my trousers and wore just my bikini top. We sat in the restaurant for at least 30 minutes until someone served us. They then took our orders and then after about another 20 minutes or so the waitress came back and said that “normally they don’t allow people to not wear tops in the restaurant, but she’ll make an exception” - we felt that this was really invasive and awkward as firstly, it’s a restaurant literally at the pool, with no other options for casual poolside dining, secondly, there was no one else in the restaurant so she really didn’t need to mention that she was making an exception, and lastly, there were absolutely no signs up anywhere mentioning this. I then told her to cancel our order and we went up to the room to dine. News spread quickly of this incident and the restaurant manager came to our room to “confront” us about it - I explained what happened but he silenced me when I told him what the waitress had told me. No apology was given by him or our guest experience manager (or GEM, as they are referred to).
4. On the third day we went to a Creole night at the restaurant, and my husband had the lobster and prawns. Everything was fine until later in the night he woke up violently ill. The next morning the nurse had to be called to give him medicine and electrolytes. Again, after this incident, news spread fast but, as before, our GEM, the restaurant manager, chef and the hotel manager all acknowledged the incident, but no apology given.
5. The final straw came on the last day when we were checking out. I had packed the beach bag we had been using for the entire trip and which had been given to us - it was presented as though it was a gift, and certainly we had been given these before as gifts at other resorts, but when it came to checkout our GEM wanted us to pay ~£30 for it!! A hessian bag that I wouldn’t even have paid £10 for if it was new!!! The GEM was very surprised when I then went to my suitcase to dig out the bag and hand it to him. This left a very bitter taste in our mouths indeed.
Despite all this, the hotel was still lovely: a great room, lovely staff (however clueless, and with very poor management), absolutely breathtaking location. With all these wonderful natural assets and location you would expect more to be done to make this absolutely memorable. Our take away of this resort was that the little things do count, and that despite location etc. if it doesn’t have the crucial little things such as making sure you have drinks and towels by pool, fresh soap in room when old one runs out, prompt service at restaurant, management presence, apologies for things done below standard, etc. then it detracts from the overall experience of what can be absolutely spectacular. This all boils down to very poor management, lack of manager presence and poor communication. We saw this shine through most noticeably when we had at least 5 waiters serving us on every given meal, or none at all! The chaos is very obvious.
Ultimately our advice is that you can enjoy this hotel if customer service isn’t such a priority.
We just left today after a 5 night stay for part of our honeymoon. It was beyond our wildest expectations.
This was the second Six Senses resort we’ve visited. We absolutely loved the first one in Portugal but Félicité even blew that away.
Arrival- we came from a few nights on Mahé. You can either take a helicopter or the ferry. Most resorts on Mahé are over
:30 minutes from the airport and an additional 7km to the ferry dock. We went with the ferry (catamaran) and private transfer boat because we were taking an extended vacation and the helicopter was a little pricey at $2000 round trip per person. Although that would have lended a Fantasy Island-type element to the trip, (and only been about 25 minutes from the airport) the cost of the ferry was less than 1/4 of the helicopter and took about 2 hours with waiting time. I thought it was fun and the guys who pick you up on the SS boat are super friendly.
Upon arrival at the dock, there are several staff, including your GEM (your personal host) and the GM to greet you and give you cold towels and drinks. The whole experience is ultra polished and accomplished the desired effect of making us feel transported and special.
Villa- we had an ocean view villa (28) which had perfect views of the sunset. I think we must have taken 100s of pictures and have to sort for the best ones. There are ocean view villas with sunrise views on the other side of the island and the ones in the middle have the widest beach view but also have the charter boats who anchor near the island nearest by so depending on your level of need for complete privacy you may want to take that into consideration. (See the complaints about that in some reviews)
Hearing the ocean from our deck was so relaxing. We made a ton of use of our little pool which directly overlooked the water. We also spent considerable time on the outdoor daybed in the shade, just looking at the beautiful view. The villas are spacious and although designed with a barefoot luxury aesthetic, are incredibly thoughtful. There is a separate his and her closet area with tons of room to hang everything. The bathroom is enormous and has a sink on either side and a separate door for the Japanese-style toilet which has some amusing options. The bathroom also has a 2 person swing overlooking a bathtub sitting at a huge picture window that overlooks the ocean. The shower has a rainfall head and a regular shower nozzle so you can pick. The towels and robes are thin but quality cotton appropriate for the hot and humid climate. The one thing lacking in the bathroom was adequate lighting for makeup but it was fine. There are no outlets but the closet area has a vanity with a plug to dry your hair.
The main area has a sofa and large flatscreen tv that you can tilt to your location. They provide you with coconut macaroons and nuts plus a pay per mini bar. The bed is a comfortable king with nice linens, feather duvet, and a mosquito net which either a fun decoration or practical if you choose to open up the full wall facing the ocean. We never did as it was just too humid and it was much more comfortable to leave the AC on inside. A quality Bluetooth indoor/outdoor speaker is provided so you can play your own music and the internet works well enough to stream it. There are tiny green geckos all over. They don’t bother you and are cute. There are also fruit bats flying overhead which are very cool to see.
Dining- the first few days we barely left the villa. Being that it was our honeymoon we weren’t as social as we normally are. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner can all be delivered and they are well-equipped to set up up beautifully. Most meals we are outside at the table beside the pool. We did the full-board package which includes a starter, main, and dessert for every meal. Everything is on the expensive side so just go for it and don’t even think about it. I think there might also be an all-inclusive option which includes drinks too but this didn’t seem to be offered when we booked. Pro-tip- at duty free, you can bring in 2 bottles of wine and one bottle of liquor per person from duty free. There is a duty free after you land in Mahé and a giant one in Dubai if you stop there first. The food is shockingly good. Seafood is a must. Chef Yusuf had a cooking class and my husband and I were the only ones there. A shame because his octopus curry was delicious and probably not something I would have went for otherwise. We also went to his lobster night which was supplemental to the meal plan and probably our favorite thing. Best lobster meat ever- different than what we get in the northeast. We also just really loved Yusuf in general. A gentle and kind soul.
The ocean view restaurant is right on the water and I preferred that to the main one when we chose to actually leave our room.
Honeymoon- We got the honeymoon amenities which included a bottle of champagne, a couples massage, and sunset drinks. The first night there, they lead us to a little private deck area on the water and we had a bottle of Champagne while we watched the sunset. It was stunning.
Spa- the most beautiful spa setting I’ve ever seen. Overlooking the water, trees, rocks, and little Wooden footbridges that lead you to a pool right above the ocean. Massages were great. Super relaxing, choice of oils, etc. There is a relaxation room to hang out in after which is made for Instagram.
Staff- our GEM, Vera, was excellent. She was there when you needed her, disappeared when you wanted to be alone, and basically could read our minds. Ultra efficient and remembered everything we liked or asked for. Very cute personality and we were happy to be around her. Everyone who works there is so pleasant and makes you feel so welcome. I think this is one of the most memorable parts of this resort.
Activities- As I said, we came here mostly to chill out but we did want to have a few experiences. We loved all the activities they had. We went snorkeling and saw everything from small (harmless) sharks to needle fish and small tropical fish. Tons of coral but unfortunately it’s bleached from warm water. Once a week they have a guided snorkel where they point out different sea life. We took the boat to La Digue and rented bikes to ride around the scenic island and to see the giant tortoises. Definitely worth the trip. We also did an early morning guided hike to the top of the hill where we saw cinnamon trees, vanilla plants, coco de mer trees, and many other flowers and fruit trees. I thought it was a nature walk but it turned out to be more of a hike with some level of difficulty. We needed to burn off some calories!
The beach- the water is gorgeous but the beaches are very small and the water is rocky and has lots of coral. Bring water shoes if you want to go in. There are plenty of spots that are secluded.
The crowd- subdued, well-mannered. This isn’t a party resort. Aside from all of the above you are paying for the exclusivity and it’s worth every penny.