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“Nice but overpriced.”

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Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Glacis
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 November 2009

On arrival at Hilton was welcomed at arrival pavilion where formalities were finalised then taken to our oceanfront villa. It was very spacious with large balcony overlooking ocean towards Beau Vallon. Later we were taken on a tour of the property by our hostess. We ate that first evening in the bar and found it extremely expensive and everything had 20% on top of price! We were the only ones in the bar and thought it must be because of the early time, but as the holiday went on there was never many people there at all even though the hotel had entertainment on (playing to themselves a lot of the time). There was never any atmosphere there so we didn't use it as much as we would have done especially if prices were less expensive or even if they had a happy hour. We did use our balcony a lot in the evenings. There is a small supermarket just outside the property where we bought juices,etc (check on dates as we found quite a few out of date items). The staff were very friendly and pleasant and the breakfast was the usual extensive Hilton fair. We were on bed and breakfast and ate out all evenings except first one.
Internet has to be paid for (only Hilton we have stayed in where you have to pay to access emails) but be warned it is extremely slow, it took a minimum of 5 minutes to load onto emails.
Besides the prices the other gripe we had was the child policy. Apparantly children under 13 not allowed (as stated on their website), but whilst we were there there was always children from 8 months upwards. If I had booked because of their child policy I would have been extremely annoyed. The property is not suitable for young people or people with difficulty walking as it is very steep in places and there are a lot of steps, particularly if staying in a hillside villa.
We did however find the hotel very relaxing, it had a lovely infinity pool which we used a lot. The beach area was rather small but this didn't bother us. After hiring a car and touring the island for a day we felt that the Hilton was probably best placed of all of the top hotels because of its closeness to Beau Vallon. Some of the other hotels on the island had better beaches (although you couldn't go in the water on some because of the current) but there wasn't anything near to them so you were stuck unless you had a car or paid for a taxi. We walked to Beau Vallon (approx 20 mins) which had a few places to eat and a lovely beach then got a taxi back. We used the buses (stop right outside property) which were very cheap and you can get to most of the island on them.
All in all we had a wonderful holiday but found the Island expensive (particularly as a lot of things are in Euros), food and drinks at the Hilton very overpriced and they don't stick to their policies.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Jayne-Steve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 27 August 2009

This Hilton is a stunning, well run hotel. It's smaller size almost makes it boutique. The rooms must rate amongst the best in the world for size and amenities. Staff are friendly and efficient and add personal touches to their service that makes staying a pleasure. I have seen criticism of prices, but that's the Seychelles and not the hotel, which is much on a par with it's peers.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank mikejnb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2009

All in all, I would say we had a lovely stay at the Hilton Northolome Resort & Spa and, generally, in the Seychelles.

We stayed 10 nights (8 nights on an award HHonors stay and 2 paid nights) at this property. It is located north of Beau Vallon, towards Galcis, on the North Coast of the main island, Mahé. The location is ideal as it is away from the Beau Vallon beach itself and very close to everything you might want to see on the island (such as Victoria, the capital) or the Morne Seychellois Natural Park.

We flew with Qatar Airways via Doha (we really like their economy service). We arrived really early in Mahé (about 6.45am). We rented a car from Hertz (it is operated by a local company there). The price for 10 days of car rental with 2 drivers was about 360 EUROS (exclusive of ANY insurance which was included in our Gold American Express). I would say it is a reasonable price for the Seychelles. Having a car was truly nice, as we were able to drive wherever we wanted to go and whenever we wanted. If we wanted to go and buy water at the local shop, we did not have to buy the very expensive water from the hotel.

Yes, everything in the Seychelles is expensive (and, naturally, water is very expensive too). We did however get nice freebies: two (small) bottles of water per day, nice fruits every morning, free afternoon tea (at the Ocean bar - very nice treats, such as banana flambée), free champagne when we checked-in. You do have to plan a nice budget for all your expenses, such as activities on the island and food.

As Gold HHonors members, we were upgraded to a delightful Ocean View villa, close to a very nice beach. The villas are truly nice, with rich wood and wonderful amenities. The terrace is big. What matters the most to us is the PRIVACY. And you definitely get a very very nice sense of privacy in these villas. The Hilton is doing just great on this aspect. Unfortunately, after 8 nights, we were "downgraded" to a hillside villa, which was very nice too, but we definitely wanted to stay in one villa for the entire duration of the stay and not have to pack up our suitcases in the middle of our nice vacation. Hilton apologized for it, but it was definitely the first time I was ever "downgraded" at a Hilton property. It is fair to say that this is a small property with 44 villas only, which is really the main highlight of this property: charming, discreet, private, intimate, lovely... these are all the adjectives I can think about when I think of the resort.

The service at the Hilton is ok. By ok, I mean acceptable by "international" standards but certainly not in line with the "luxury" mark of this Hotel. Everyone is charming. You might have to ask twice or three times for something before you get what you want. However, generally, I thought there was a element of "excellence" lacking as far as service is concerned. Tiny details, of course (they always are tiny). For example, there is no proper beach service unless you go to the main beach. If you go to one of their smaller beaches, you may have to call someone to have a sunbed set up for you, a towel etc. No drink, no fruit, as on the main beach. You are on your own and no one will come to see if you are ok or if you need anything. These are the sort of details that do make a difference in a luxury resort. Likewise, at breakfast, the service is decent but not really appropriate for a luxury property: the minute you finish your plate, someone rushes to take it off your table. You do have a sense that you cannot really take your time, enjoy the slow place of the island. You sit down, you eat and you promptly go. That's the impression I got at breakfast (and, remember, it's only my experience). There was also this manager who bossed around the very nice waitresses and waiters without any sense of professionalism: he would make noises with his mouth to attract their attention. Where in the world did he think he was? By my standards, I am not sure this is acceptable.

Food was generally very good at this resort. Breakfast food was the usual Hilton buffet (with a slightly less generous selection of items - probably because this is a smaller property). Lunch or light dinner at the Ocean View Bar was reliable: nice salads, nice asian woks, nice sushis - reasonable prices (within Seychelles standards, of course).

We had dinner at Les Cocotiers, the fine-dining restaurant. Yes, the food was very nice (especially the meat, which was tender) but both my friend and I had "gastric" issues shortly after this dinner, which spoilt the nice first impression we had. The red South African wine we had was simply delicious, and the service attentive and courteous.

The Spa is pretty good. The treatments are "cosmetic" (massages are fine but not really professional massages by my standards). The ladies at the Spa are extremely friendly and very efficient. After your treatment, you take your shower outside, which is an incredible experience: right there, in front of the Indian Ocean, in the privacy of your treatment bungalow. Wow! We loved it.

We enjoy scuba-diving very much so the hotel directed us to "Blue Sea Divers" the contractor for the Hotel. In short, your experience will depend (as often) on your expectations. We are 2 Adv Open Water divers (with approximately 20 dives each). We are not pros. We still like to have an instructor keep an eye on us, and we want to feel "safe" when we go down; have someone take the time to explain everything in detail, make sure we go down properly (and make a stop while we go down to equalize the ears), make sure that you are ok under the water, and keep an eye on your air... If you expect all of the above, DON'T GO diving with Blue Sea Divers. Their concept is: we take your cash (diving is expensive in Seychelles: 460 EUROS - yes they charge in EUROS - for 8 dives), and you are on your own. The instructor is there to guide you through the waters and that's it. Don't expect him to look after you.
If we had to go diving again in the Seychelles, we would try to find a place that would cater for our expectations rather than dive with Blue Sea Divers.
Otherwise, diving is spectacular in the Seychelles. A wonderful memory for us.

As we had a car, we were able to go around the island as we wanted. We liked the South of the island very much (especially the nice Anse soleil area and its cute little restaurant Anse Soleil Café). The Morne Seychellois Park is great too.

The highlight of our sightseeing trips was the walking tour through the Park with Basile Beaudouin, a local guide who will take you through the forest on a half day (or full day) walking tour, and explain the different kinds of plants, trees, birds and insects. The price is reasonable (about 60 euros per person for a half day - with pick up at your hotel, sandwhiches and fruits for lunch and plenty of nice water), and the experience is truly fantastic. He can be contacted at the following telephone number: (local) [--]. Don't miss this amazing experience.

Victoria is a nice little town. The pirates' arm is a reliable choice for lunch. Rendez-vous is NOT (expensive and not particularly tasty). If you need books to read on the beach, don't miss the small bookshop called "Antigone" in an arcade on the main street.

There are DVDs to watch at the Hilton if you so wish (many James Bond movies). They will charge a 20 EUROS deposit on your hotel bill. Make sure it is taken out of your bill when you check out (it was not the case for us).

The experience of being at the resort is very nice: time goes by gently and softly, in a discreet, intimate and beautiful setting.

As a HHonors member, you get a carpet saying "HHonors" in front of your villa (no kidding...), a personalized check-in experience, fruits everyday, a cocktail at the bar and an upgrade if available (beware of the "downgrade" too :-) as it happens over there).

Check-out was unreliable (deposit for DVD not taken out of the bill, weird email when I got back home saying I had paid not one night... of course, that night showed up on the bill and was marked as paid, had to make repeated requests for an ealy breakfast...)

Hilton Seychelles is an extremely nice property in the Seychelles. We enjoyed our trip very much. If we had to return, we would probably choose another property, such as the Four Seasons or the Banyan Tree for a more reliable service, but all in all, we have very warm memories of our stay and wished it could have lasted longer.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with friends
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8  Thank Trueparisian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2009

The Hilton Seychelles Northolme is a wonderful place to stay, and more specifically provides an excellent location for those interested in snorkeling straight from the hotel's small beachfront. Everything in the Seychelles--including water activities--is quite expensive, so it was nice to be able to snorkel whenever you wanted without having to pay anything. There were a ton of beautiful fish along the several rock formations dotting the resort's coastline. We saw several fairly large schools of fish. The puffer fish was our favorite to chase after while snorkeling. Yes, the hotel has a very small beach, but its still relaxing and well worth it. They offer free kayaking, and other paddle boats. We were upgraded to a deluxe ocean villa with amazing views of the Indian ocean. Each villa has a great sound system and good size living spaces, along with a well designed bathroom. The food was pricey but excellent. Each day, they offer a free desert, which was sublime to scarf down after spending hours snorkeling.

The only downsides are expensive internet (10 euros for one hour!), tiny ants in the room (the price to pay for being in a tropical paradise), and finally they do not do room service for guests departing early in the morning. You have to come to the lobby for your free breakfast because they claim that it was too taxing to serve all the departing guests. Hopefully, the hotel will heed our recommendations to alter this policy.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank Parabola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2009

Hilton Northolme is gorgeous. Lovely views, nice food, beautiful beaches. We were there for the second part of our honeymoon, stayed one night in an oceanfront room and then 5 nights in the Ian Fleming suite. Do not bother spending the extra money. The room is EXACTLY the same except you get a round bed, a posh looking coffee table and the Bond dvd back catalogue. It is not worth the extra £100 a night. I actually asked at reception what the difference was and after stumbling on his words the chap said you were paying for the 'concept!' In fact I have to say the views are probably best from the hilltop rooms which are the cheapest!

The ladies in the spa are the best. We had 2 divine massages which were out of this world.

All in all we had a lovely time. Special thanks go to Victor who when we mentioned feeling slightly cheated by the extra cost he did halve it for us!

Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
2  Thank leonieparis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2009

This place is truely amazing. Probably the best hotel I will ever stay in. The villas are very luxurious, complete with all the amenities you can imagine. The spa is wonderful. The food is delish! The pool and beach were perfect. My only complaint is the the drinks at the bar are stupidly expensive. However, there is a store just outside the resort where you can stock your villa with booze and snacks.

We ate off the resort 3 nights and the food was much more affordable and very good.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank might2469
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2009

This is one incredible hotel. Absolutely beautiful, spacious villas with all the amenities. The staff are incredible and do everything to ensure that each guest feels special. The beaches are small, but when there are only 40 some villas, there was never a crowd. The snorkeling was incredible, the food superb. The infinity edge pool quite refreshing and the spa treatments the best.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank traveloversw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa

Address: Victoria, Glacis, Mahe Island, Seychelles
Phone Number:
Region: Seychelles > Mahe Island > Glacis
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Glacis
Price Range: £291 - £747 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Untouched paradise along the Indian Ocean Your Creole getaway awaits at this hidden treasure - also an inspiration to James Bond creator Ian Fleming. Surrounded by white-sand beaches, tropical gardens and crystal waters, the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa is a true escape. Our villas are perched on stilts, providing gorgeous views and plenty of privacy. An infinity pool, oceanfront dining, a luxurious spa, glass-bottom boat tours - it's just the beginning of your retreat in Beau Vallon Bay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort And Spa
Hilton Seychelles Northolme Hotel Glacis
Hilton Glacis
Glacis Hilton
Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa Mahe Island

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