Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort and Spa

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  1. Tenmoc
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    Tenmoc Gold Member

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    The Hilton Seychelles was an amazing property with mostly good service.

    Pre-arrival: Received emails from the GM and also head of reservations to offer addons and ask if we had any questions. We did use this opportunity to arrange a hotel transfer from the airport to the hotel. Yes this is expensive at 50 euros but I found the ease and assuredness worthwhile and would probably do it again.

    Upon arrival at the airport we were met by the driver outside customs with our name and another’s name on boards with the Hilton logo. He took us to the curb and went back to find the other client. I am unsure how the other client got to the hotel but the driver took my wife and I alone. I figured the driver would have put all of us in the truck (small SUV) as the other traveler seemed to be alone. But this was not the case. Our driver was quite nice and told us quite a bit about the islands on the way to the hotel. The ride was about 30 to 45 minutes.

    When we arrived at the hotel at approximately 830 am we were checked in at the remote hut up by the front gate. Check in was quite easy and we were told our bags would be held there until the room was ready. At this time we were given a mimosa and a cold towel. We were then walked down the hill and up to Hilltop Restaurant for breakfast. Being diamonds we had breakfast at Hilltop included in the rate as an award stay. Breakfast was your typical hotel included buffet. Nothing special to mention except the mangos on the day’s they actually had them.

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    After breakfast we had to wait about an hour to get into our room. We wandered the grounds taking in the wonderful sights. I must say right here and now. The Seychelles are beyond beautiful and this hotel is the same. The views, the lush vegetation, the signed plants and trees. It all adds up to the single most beautiful place I’ve ever been and this is why you should come here.

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    When the room was finally ready we were walked back up the hill and then to our room. We were lucky in that we had Hillside 226. This is the top villa (hillsides are top and bottom in a building while oceanview are solo) in the furthest north building. This allowed an immaculate amount of privacy and although the hike up the hill is enough to kill any buzz from the bar, I would recommend this room if you don’t have an ocean view. The views here are out over the water and you have great views of Silhouette and North islands. I can understand wanting the views from the south side of the property to see the bay and land on the other side, but this worked very well for us. YMMV of course.

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    The room itself was amazing and about the size of my entire flat. It opens in front of you from the door with the bedroom/lounge on the right and the bathroom on the left. Two large open rooms in total. It also has a very large deck with enough room for two loungers, a table and two chairs and a chase lounger as well. It is not possible, at least in this room, for anyone to see into your balcony. The same can not be said for the downstairs villas as we had views into at least half of their deck.
    The large king canopy bed was up on a slightly raised platform. Fear not, there is a blue light in the riser that will lightly enlighten the step in the night. Of course this did not stop all trips in the night. The TV is about a 32 inch flat panel tv that is set to spin slightly from bed view to couch view. We did watch a bit of tv during our down/relaxing hours but I find this not very surprising as we do not have pay tv at home and this is part of our benefit of travel. I know some will not agree with this. Again, YMMV.

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    The bathroom was the star of the show here though, inside anyway. There are two doors from the main room into the bathroom; one behind the TV near the computer desk, and another near the bathtub. As you enter the main door you will have your double sink vanity with a large mirror behind and a closeup mirror on the side. The toilet is behind a separate door to the left. Further to the right is your shower area that is just a wide open area of the room with a shower head up the wall. The floor is set to drain in this area and there is a half-height wall opposite to separate the shower from the tub. The tub is a large two person Jacuzzi tub that is set on center to the main doors going to the balcony on the bathroom side. You can open the two middle doors and fold them back to give you unobstructed views out over the water. Of course at any time that the balcony doors are open, the A/C will be disabled.

    The hotel has a weekly schedule of events both posted in the main lobby and also available in your room. I highly recommend you check out of the excursions given by the hotel if you are here for a holiday instead of work. They are all quite affordable and not the outrageously priced excursions you may expect from other places. We used these to go check out the night market in Beau Vallon, the Tea Plantation, and the Botanical Gardens in Victoria.

    Food here at the hotel is insanely priced. Dinner at Hilltop is nearly 1400 Rupees for two and that is before the 22% tax and tip added to everything. With only a bottle of water and dinner it was usually 1850 or so rupees. This is about $150 US dollars. We did eat the buffet the first three nights. The first one was Indian themed and absolutely excellent. I did not mind the price this night. Sadly, it was by far the best. The next night was Kreol and was nice, but I was starting to wonder if I should continue eating here. The next night was Mediterranean and Middle Eastern and well to be honest all they did was pay minimal lip service to the theme. I was so disappointed in this buffet we did not return to another one.

    The fourth night we tried to get food at the Ocean View Bar because we had grabbed a bar pizza while out and about earlier that evening. This was amazingly bad. Terrible. Gross. Inedible. We had ordered the fish and chips and the pad thai (listed as a chef’s special) for dinner. The secret ingredient in the pad thai seems to have been bad catsup. I was able to dig out the chicken to the point I was able to eat something, but I just couldn’t get more of it down. The fish and chips was also not very good. Far too greasy and to be honest my wife said the first bite was the best and it smelled too fishy after that. She picked at it for a while but did not enjoy. Of course including the tax and tip required, this was about $50.

    We did eat one other meal at the hotel. A quick snack at the OVB. We ordered the fried calamari to share. It was about $17 US (193 Rupees) plus t&t. It was actually quite good and included a small mango salad. This was just enough to take the edge off before going out to dinner.

    The Ocean View Bar provided a great place to have a Seybrew or a cocktail on most days. They do run a 2 for 1 special on select cocktails on most evenings and on Thursday there is a manager’s party. We missed this due to personal reasons but that was no big deal. Prices in the bar are average to high, but not enough to prevent us from stopping here most days. The Seybrew was 64 rupees plus 22% so only slightly high in my mind for a beer. The cocktails were 193 rupees which is about $17 dollars plus 22%. This is high, but I have seen prices like that in other resorts and therefore didn’t think much of it. Their Fragolini was a favorite of my wife’s as well as their daiquiri. Both she rates among the best she has had worldwide putting it on par with the daiquiri from the Grace Bay Club.

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    This stay was for my birthday which occurred midway through our stay. Absolutely everyone seemed to know it was my birthday from the front gate guards to all the service personnel. Everywhere I went that day I was wished a happy birthday. I rave about how I am treated in the Conrad Hong Kong on my birthday but this hotel rates just as highly. I truly appreciate the effort, the towel dogs, the cake, the kind words. It all made my trip one of my very best ever.

    Throughout our stay we had various requests. Taxi arrangements, ice delivery, restaurant recs and reservations, etc. Most of the time our requests were handled with no issue and quite efficiently and pleasantly. On the other hand it was more often than rarely that we felt our request was not understood or they were afraid to say no so they just gave us a yes to make us go away. This was the biggest detriment to our stay even more so than the food as this is something you cannot easily remedy on our own. It was not everyone we encountered nor was it always that way from the same person. It was just our take on things while we were there and with those we encountered.

    Check out was quick and easy. We had to leave the hotel at 6am and brought our own bags down to the remote hut for check out. I have no issue with this as more often than not I’m more comfortable taking care of my own bags than having others do it. No real reason, just not used to letting others handle it. We were able to pay the rest of our rupees down on the bill in cash, which was listed as a credit card payment on our statement but seemed to be no issue.

    I still do not know if I will receive Hilton Honor points for the food/etc for this stay, but I absolutely loved it and am already planning our next visit.
     
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  2. nime01
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    nime01 Gold Member

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    Great report!

    I have a slightly different experience from the Hilton Northolme, but I agree that the hard product is amazing. The hotel itself is absolutely beautiful, but it is a little disappointing that they are not as committed to an equally good level of service (again, my experience).
     
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  3. Did anyone combine Northolme and the new Hilton Labriz already? Planning to go to Seychelles in Q1 and are considering to stay at both hotels.
     
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  4. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Amazing property and would love to stay there too, but we also looking into the Labriz Hilton property!:)
     
  5. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Thanks for the awesome review and insights into this hotel!:)
     
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