Thursday, October 16, 2014

Trip Report: Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort and Spa

***This is part 13 of my "Camels, Bats, and Bloggers" trip report detailing a recent trip to Dubai and Seychelles, with a final stop in Las Vegas to attend the 2014 BAcon conference hosted by BoardingArea***

1. Introduction - Camels, Bats, and Bloggers
2. Emirates Lounge at SFO
3. Emirates First Class San Francisco to Dubai
4. Conrad Dubai
5. Old Dubai, Ski Dubai, and At the Top
6. Emirates Terminal B First Class Lounge at DXB
7. Emirates First Class Dubai to Mahe, Seychelles
8. Four Seasons Seychelles
9. Air Seychelles Economy Class Mahe to Praslin
10. Raffles Praslin Seychelles
11. Island Hopping - La Digue
12. Island Hopping - Praslin, Cousine, Curieuse, St. Pierre
13. Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort and Spa
14. Emirates Business Class Mahe, Seychelles to Dubai
15. 7-Star Luxury at the Burj Al Arab
16. British Airways Lounge at DXB
17. Cathay Pacific Business Class Dubai to Los Angeles via Hong Kong
18. 2014 BAcon Conference in Las Vegas + Mandalay Bay Hotel
19. American Express Centurion Lounge at LAS

Getting there/Check-in

Of the major chains, Hilton is king of the Seychelles with 3 properties, including the Hilton Northolme and Doubletree Allamanda on Mahe Island and Hilton Labriz located off the coast of Mahe on a separate island accessible by either boat or helicopter. We had hoped to carve out a few days to spend at the Hilton Labriz but the timing just didn't work out, and it wouldn't have made sense to stay there for our short 1-night stay.

All three hotels were available on the date that I needed, and 95,000 Hilton points later I had a room booked at the Hilton Northolme.

After exploring Vallee De Mai, we took an early afternoon flight back to Mahe and arrived at the Hilton Northolme around 3pm. We were dropped off at the lobby but found it unattended. About 15 minutes later someone showed up to check us in.

There are about 40 rooms at the Hilton Northolme, all of which have ocean-views and some with direct ocean access. In addition, construction is currently underway where approximately 15 new villas are being built next door which will each feature their own private pool. From what they told me, construction is slated to finish early next year, and it will be interesting to see if these new villas will be available for cash upgrades from the standard redemption, or only as premium room redemptions.

Hilton Northolme lobby

Empty front desk

Views of the villas from lobby

Our Villa

After check-in, we were led up a flight of stairs to the top of the hill, and further up more stairs until we reached our villa. Each villa was a duplex, and we were assigned to the room on the bottom. It's unclear if someone was occupying the top floor, because we didn't hear any noise from above during our stay.

On the way to the room, we passed by a cannonball tree, which gets its name from the extremely heavy nuts that are grown. This is one of two cannonball trees on the island of Mahe.

Cannonball tree

The villas have a very wood-sy, rustic cabin feel to them. The lighting in the room was not very good, which usually means that the hotel is trying to hide something in those dark areas. But in general, the room was very clean and well-kept, and would be more than comfortable for our quick 1-night stay.

The woman that checked us took us outside to the patio, and after asking if we needed anything else, left us there to enjoy the views. A while later, we were ready to head back inside, and thought the door was stuck since it wouldn't open. After throwing my shoulder into it a few times, we finally realized that it wasn't stuck, and in fact she had actually locked us out as she left! And this wasn't one of those doors that automatically locked, she had actually turned the lock.

Nothing worse than two screaming people repeatedly yelling "HELP" to disrupt a peaceful afternoon nap. Sorry, neighbors. Eventually, one of them came outside to their patio, and helped us call down to the lobby. I guess that's one way to get to know your neighbors.

Villa exterior

Outdoor patio furniture

Views from our balcony

After our little ordeal, we finally got back inside and had a chance to check out the rest of the room. There was a nice welcome sign on the bed, along with two sun hats. Also waiting for us was a plate of scones, honey and jams which was perfect since we hadn't eaten lunch yet.

The bathroom features double vanities, a large soaking tub, and a spacious but open shower. I'm a messy eater, and must be a messy shower-er as well since the bathroom was soaked by the time I was done.


Welcome gift


Resort Facilities

Overall, the resort is on the smaller side and as such, they offer a wide range of both complimentary and paid off-resort activities for guests. With just a 1-night stay we weren't able to participate in any activities, but did look them up online as part of our research. Other than the rooms and the beach, the remaining resort facilities include a swimming pool, fitness center, and spa.

After settling in, we walked around and enjoyed the fantastic views from all different parts of the resort. It just so happened that Paul Allen's megayacht was anchored off the coast, and I fired up the long-distance zoom on my camera to try and spy on the yacht-goers.

Enjoying the views all around the resort

Spying on Paul Allen's megayacht
The swimming pool was sparsely used, and unfortunately we didn't have time to take a dip. It provided fantastic ocean views, with Silhouette Island visible in the distance around the trees.

Swimming pool

We also walked down to the beach which was slightly busier, but still wasn't very crowded. There was a nice selection of beach equipment for use. Overall, the beach is quite small but was very swimmable as it is situated in a cove with several nearby rock formations breaking up the waves.

Hilton Northolme beach
Food and Beverage

We only had time for one meal, which meant that it was a big decision choosing between the hotel's 3 restaurants which include the Ocean View bar, Les Cocotiers restaurant which is an a la carte semi-formal dining option, and the Hilltop restaurant serving an Asian buffet on that night.

We wanted a lighter, less formal option, and decided to try the Ocean View bar. We were sold as soon as we walked out and saw the amazing views, and knew that it would also be a perfect place to catch sunset.

Ocean View bar

We started with a milkshake, which was brought out with some bar snacks as we waited for the main courses. Keeping with the dining theme of our trip, as you can guess we ordered a pizza, along with the catch of the day which had been perfectly grilled and served with rice and Creole tomato sauce.

Catch of the day

Seafood pizza

The food was great, and the views were even better. It was the perfect spot to catch a final sunset from our trip to the Seychelles, and marked the end to our island adventure. Overall, a very different island experience than the Maldives, and highlighted by our visit to two of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

One final sunset


  1. nice post, i too went to that hilton in seychelles and wasn't disappointed. your pics bring back the good memories

    1. Glad I could bring back some good memories, thanks for reading!