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Reviewed July 20, 2012

Booking process directly with the hotel via their website was easy: confirmation sent immediately, received several emails with updates prior to our arrival, they helped to arrange car (a budget Hyundai Tuscon) pick up from the airport.

Hotel arrival and check-in was very good, and we were offered a much appreciated glass of champagne, albeit, sparkling wine. Meal process was then explained (if on room only basis, then you need breakfast or dinner vouchers from the reception, which is cheaper than going to buffet without them), this then was followed by a short tour of the premises. Following this, we were taken to see our villa, where our cases were delivered shortly afterwards.

In our 226 villa, we were impressed by our bathroom layout, which had his/hers sinks (though very small), a walk-in shower, a separate toilet, and a Jacuzzi bath fit for 2 people. The bathroom had patio doors with the view of the ocean – great for a romantic Jacuzzi evening. Inside the villa, we had a great nespresso machine, large 4 poster bed and a variety of pillows, good air con, adequate storage, in-room safe and a basic mini bar. Our favourite feature was the outdoor comfy bed fit for 2 on patio with great views the ocean, flora and fauna. You are amongst the trees and the tropics, so the wasps/dragonflies are much larger, plus plenty of very loud birds and neighbours’ dogs at night. However, around 226 villa, there was constant musty/damp smell due to veg/debris alongside the villa.

Our main disappointment with the hotel was the food, particularly, as this was one of the main reasons we chose this hotel after reading so many favourable reviews about the food there. Throughout our 5 night stay, we observed that the food was mainly catered for basic tastes with heavy reliance on staple classic dishes. However, the biggest challenge with classic dishes is that, although they are favoured by many, they do demand an excellent execution as result, which unfortunately we did not notice. First night, we went to Le Cocotiere restaurant, and had to leave it as soon as our main dishes arrived, as the chicken dish with creole seasoning surprisingly still contained small but sharp bones, while waguy beef tenderloin was anything but tender. The chef, however, did come out to speak to us and to acknowledge it, and the food was removed from the bill. As we then did not re-visit Le Cocotiere, on the last day, our lunch was complimentary.

Breakfast/buffet location is picturesque of coastal areas, yet again the food was very basic and the choice was poor. Although eggs could be prepared in a number of ways, that did not include eggs Benedict as they did not have muffin bread nor hollandaise sauce. They, however, had a good boulangerie selection, yogurt selection very limited; do not try the porridge as it resembles wallpaper paste. It’s not really a full English breakfast set up as poor sausages undercooked, no grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, beans, hash browns – unless you wanted to pay for it via the a la carte menu. We did this one day, when we ordered the waffles with deluxe 5 toppings, however the promised chocolate sauce arrived not from the chef’s hot saucepan but via a nutella jar and the desired maple sauce was forgotten, the fresh vanilla cream was anything but fresh, but from a can and the waffles themselves were clearly not made to order.

The hotel creates themed buffet nights during the week and we were “privileged” to taste the so-called Chinese one. Once again, this was unimaginative selection. Yes, they would cook your chow mein for you but that was about it unless you had a salad selection, including Italian artichokes from a jar, a very small dish choice, and the ‘classy 5 star resort’ was best summed up by the fact that the following morning you could have re-heated noodles for breakfast - as a special!

Service at breakfast can be either good or non-existent in terms of clearing the table or replenishing the coffee/tea which seem to go cold very quickly inside the pots.
At the bar area what we did like was the selection and creation of cocktails available, do try the pina colada, it’s the best outside the Caribbean. However the bar food menu, which is of course expensive e.g. 20 Euros for a burger, can be varied in its content and delivery. Spring rolls come in a quantity of 2, large in size, contain carrot/mushroom/onion only, and the 5 satay skewers vary in tenderness and taste, depending on who is preparing. This is clearly evident in all the bar food we tasted, as we also had the same items as room service and the standards, quality, preparation, content were noticeably different each time. For instance, the ice cream sundae with fruit, has no fruit, while the club sandwich has 2 pieces of chicken if you are lucky, and no sauce at all, mainly a lot of toasted white bread. The buffalo wings with blue cheese sauce come as deep fried battered wings with Creole sauce.

The beach is as per the pictures, small and ideal if not crowded or if the tide brings in leaves, weeds, etc that make the small bathing area unattractive for leisurely swimming. The small fish and resident two black tip reef sharks are constant companions which add to the scenery and the diverse water colours that are part of the resort’s location. Towels are provided for the beach and the pool, there are beds to use by both areas and snorkelling and kayaking equipment is easily available.

General cleanliness of the resort is good; they have people out early sweeping up the leaves that have fallen overnight, which can be annoying when they do it outside your room at 7.45am. Bar area and restaurants are well-maintained, even the golf buggy shuttle around the resort and the transfer cars are clean enough.

Facilities include a well stocked library of books, although the DVD collection cannot be called that, there is pool table, darts board and a small gift & jewellery shop.

Of the staff, two people stood out for their attentiveness and courtesy, they are Robin the bar supervisor and William who may be the food beverage manager.

However, some staff stood out for all the wrong reasons. The reception staff were asked to have the mini-bar restocked which did not happen for almost two days, we arranged for our car transfer and then were called to ask when we wanted the transfer, we agreed our late checkout time, but were then called before 12 noon to ask if they could come and get our luggage and the bill process at the end of the stay nearly left us missing our plane. If you are going to try to be like a business hotel and give your guests a bill the night before under the villa door, then reception should expect that the client will check the final bill, which has had the previous nights food, drink, service, plus that final breakfast, lunch etc all added, which when presented, has in almost all the previous 4 days items bulked into the final day and when trying to reconcile, they resort to a manual calculator to add up each invoice, which still did not add up. Particularly, Mika the reception hostess got angry explaining the bill without having adequate English to do so, presented the final bill with a page missing, called another hostess to help, who between them spoke in Creole so we were unable to understand, as we speak both French and English, looking at a laptop and at times giggling whilst we were already running late for check in for our plane. Karin then arrived as desk Manager to resolve the issue, which only resulted in us having to pay the total disputed bill without it being reconciled and promised to resolve the issues herself, scan all 18 invoices and send to us an email with these and bill amounts by the morning of the next day. We received no email from her, nor did we get the scan copies, we only received two emails generic in nature asking for feedback and then finally one from Federico (who had been on leave for two days and clearly does all the work) saying that they had checked, it was all correct and leaving us unable to dispute this without any reference to our scanned receipts. The explanation at the point of departure around the local government tax and service charge was misleading, not detailed and the bill could not be easily checked to invoices, as the bill does not show these items per line, but are bulked up as total items creating a large irreconcilable bill.

Finally to the General Manager Marc Schumacher, if you are to host a guest cocktail reception, then when one considers only 40 rooms, sending an invite addressed to ‘Dear Guest’ and signed pp instead of by yourself is not the sign of an attentive 5 star resort of this size, but rather a 300-bed Hilton which we had deliberately tried to avoid.

In many ways, the hotel attempts to provide a small hotel ambience, however, it fails to lose its big corporate chain background in often the most important ways. We will return to the Seychelles, but we will do so at Raffles, which has a big corporate family but provides a 5 star small hotel luxury experience.

Room Tip: higher room numbers have better overall view but are further from the sea..depends on your preference...
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank SIBOX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RM_HiltonNortholme, General Manager at Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 3, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for choosing to stay at the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa and for taking the time to share your comments on Trip Advisor.com. We greatly appreciate any comments made by our guests and constantly strive to achieve the highest quality standards.

I was pleased to read about your kind feedback on the décor of the bathroom, bedroom, patio and the selection of cocktails at the bar.

I was really concerned to learn that you were disappointed with the food selection and you departure experience. Please accept my sincere apologies for all the inconvenience caused. I have personally followed up on your mentioned comments and the necessary actions have been taken.

I hope to have the opportunity of welcoming you back to our property for a more enjoyable and comfortable experience.

I remain at your disposal for any future enquiries.

Yours sincerely

Marc O. Schumacher
General Manager
Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2012

Had a bungalow facing the lagoon. Watched the dolphins play every morning. Cool breeze. Great food. Excellent customer service. Beautiful location. Paradise.

Room Tip: Be specific when requesting a room. Do you want to be on the lagoon or elevated on the cliff?
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank royalt3240
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 10, 2012

Dear Guest,

I would like to take this opportinuty to thank you for your recent stay with stay at the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa.

We have well noticed your kind feedback on your stay, the food, the overall services provided by the team and the location of our Resort.

We look forward to welcoming you back to our lovely Resort or any of our Hilton Worldwide Hotels in the near future.

With best regards

Marc O. Schumacher
General Manager
Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2012

This place is close to perfection. It's beautifully done with immaculate, airy, large rooms, my wife found it difficult to leave the huge spa tub overlooking the ocean through the open doors onto the balcony. It felt very private and relaxed, its small size is a massive plus. Every member of staff was friendly and attentive. Beaches are small but perfectly formed. The outside screen was a great touch. This place is expensive but worth it though the beers and food are pricey. We stayed on three islands in three completely different places - this place shone.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank davofrombr3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 7, 2012

Dear Guest,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your recent stay with us at the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa. I hope that you have experienced the true magic of the Seychelles and return home with many wonderful memories.

We were extremely pleased to read that your wife was very happy with the design of the bathroom, the view of the ocean, the friendliness and the attention service provided by the team. All your kind comments have been greatly appreciated and shared with the whole team.

We place great value on your custom and your continued relationship with Hilton. We look forward to welcoming you once more to Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa or any of our Hilton Worldwide Hotels in the near future.

With best regards,

Marc O. Schumacher
General Manager
Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2012

After a lot of trawling my wife and I decided to stay here for our honeymoon, and ‘wow’ what a great decision. Everything about this hotel is truly fabulous. It is in a prime location on the island of Mahe boasting day dreamy views over the islands of Silhouette and North Island and not to mention the gorgeous bay of beau Vallon. It has two small private beaches with great snorkelling opportunities - one has two baby sharks and other colourful tropical fish. There are many delightful endemic birds too (and the odd fruit bat) which seem to have taken up residence within the grounds, their morning feeding cacophony is noisy but pleasantly bearable. In addition, the flora is very tropical with palm trees and other indigenous plant life mixed within the grounds. The staff is also worthy of note: nothing is too much trouble for them and everyone greats you with a sincere ‘Hello’! The food too is also worth mentioning as it was simply fantastic- try for breakfast the egg-fried noodles with fresh prawns - delicious. If I could find fault with this hotel it would be for the noise from the bar in the evenings. It is a bit irritating listening to Karaoke by force when you are trying to relax and sip some wine on the villas balcony. Thankfully though, the noise does not persist too late about 10:30 or so it all ends and you are free to enjoy the sound of the crashing waves........

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank TheBlag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded June 27, 2012

Dear Guest,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your recent wedding and honeymoon stay with us at the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa. I hope that you have experienced the true magic of the Seychelles and return home with many wonderful memories.

We were extremely pleased to read that you’ve had an enjoyable honeymoon experience with us.
We have greatly appreciated all your kind comments about our location, the view of the nearby Islands and the sea, your snorkeling experience, your appreciation of the flora and fauna of the Seychelles, the food and especially the friendliness of the team.
Please be advised that your kind feedback has been shared with the whole team.

We have well noticed your comments regarding the entertainment at the Bar and please accept our sincere apologies for all inconvenienced caused.

We look forward to welcoming you back to our lovely property and to any Hilton Hotels & Resorts in the near future.

With best regards,

Marc O. Schumacher
General Manager
Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2012

Perfect for couples - this is an intimate retreat.

We arrived on the Thursday and were invited to Management drinks - which included free prosecco, house wines or a signature cocktail. The management team actively circulate amongst the guests... and really do make efforts to ensure you feel welcomed.

Each day the hotel arranges an excursion - which is not expensive. We went on the beach hike to Anse Majore a beautiful remote beach, which is only accessible by foot or boat. Included in the price was their guide - who is really well informed, fruits, water and for the foot weary you can elect a boat ride back!

I loved the design of the hotel on a rocky outcrop - a lot of attention has been taken to make best use of the location. Breakfast for example is situated in the restaurant with the most remarkable views, perched over the water. Such a place encouraged a leisurely start to the day.

Attention to the gardens is also taken - there are plants thriving in the hotel's gardens which are only found on the island at the botanical gardens.

The bedrooms, which are individual wooden villas, really are remarkable. We stay in many of the world's best and the fitout and design of the Northolme's rooms were perfect. Stylish yet a little colonial, with plenty of space to spread out. You balcony is vast - with a table and chairs, two loungers plus a love seat too.

My only disappointment would be the bar - and its food. It has a lovely outlook, but mostly offers fried food. So stick to the drinks at the Hillside bar and enjoy the view. Whereas the food at Les Cocotiers (their a la carte restaurant) is really impressive.

I understand that the beach at the hotel is best enjoyed from March - June, when the sea is at its calmest and good for snorkelling. If you wish to visit in Oct-November you may prefer to stay at a hotel on the south west coast, which will be enjoying calmer seas at that time.

Enjoy!

Room Tip: We had room 212 - a less expensive category because it is set slightly back from the sea (but only 30 metres or so). But because of it's height it still has an uninterrupted ocean view. All rooms are actually the same size and layout.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Trufoodie111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded June 25, 2012

Dear Guest,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your recent wedding and honeymoon stay with us at the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa. I hope that you have experienced the true magic of the Seychelles and return home with many wonderful memories.

We were extremely pleased to read that you had appreciated the Management Cocktail concept on Thursdays, the hotel’s location and the magnificent views from your villa and Restaurants, the hotel activities, Les Cocotiers food and you felt that the exterior and interior design of the villas were stylish and perfect.

On another note, we have well noticed your feedback on the food at the Oceanview Bar. Please accept our sincerely apologies for all the inconvenience caused.

We look forward to welcoming you back to our lovely property and please do not hesitate to contact me directly for any future enquiries.

With best regards,

Marc O. Schumacher
General Manager
Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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