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“Not up to par”

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Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Glacis
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 30, 2010

The hotel states that they are very much aware that only if your overall experience was joyful and memorable, you will return to the smallest Hilton as well as recommend it to your friends and families. Sadly, we found the Hilton Seychelles not up to par, which is disappointing. When you are staying in a 5* hotel and paying a 5* price, you also expect the level of room cleanliness, service and facilities to match. The location of the hotel is excellent, the garden is well kept and everything is stunningly beautiful, as you would expect from a 5* hotel in the Seychelles. All villas are equal in size, and you have a total of 90m² private space to enjoy.

CHECK-IN:
We arrived in our rental car, and the friendly, helpful guard at the gate directed us to the parking lot located on the upper area of the property, then took our suitcases down to the HHonors reception. In advance we had requested an early check-in, which was honored. We were met by Kalina, and were given cold towels and choice of ice tea or water for refreshing and cooling down while she did the check-in. Kalina did a very good job, and made us feel very welcome. She then took us to our villa 216 where we would stay for the next days, and went over and beyond what we expected in terms of explaning all the hotel and villa facilites. She also mentioned that the large mango tree standing right outside our villa attracted a large number of fruit bats and birds and they could be very noisy. Kalina repeatedly asked what we planned on doing during our stay, to which we replied that we were just going to relax as much as possible and enjoy our stay before flying back to Europe. We thought nothing more of it at the time, but in hindsight we now know why she asked.

IN THE VILLA:
As we were left to our own, we soon discovered that the villa was not very clean at all, and it gave us a feeling of getting a villa that had just been vacated. Hairs from previous guests were still on the bathroom floor, there were threads of blue beach towel on the floor underneath the table, and it was dusty in every corner and underneath the bed, all of which is hard not to see on dark hardwood floors. This sparked a closer look at the rest of the villa, which revealed that the hairdryer, shaver socket and make-up mirror light did not work, and the make-up mirror was not properly fixed to the wall (missing a screw). One of the sinks were almost clogged, and a chrome fixture that was supposed to be mounted on the short end of the bathtub/shower divider was on the floor. In addition, the coffee cup dish had stains of old coffee underneath.

THE TERRACE:
The terrace looked very inviting at first, but the beach bed mattresses and one pillow were downright filthy, either with old sweat or spilled drinks. There were loads of bird/bat droppings, leaves, pieces of mango, and a partly eaten mango on the terrace floor, which you certainly wouldn't want to walk on barefeet. We did not use the beach beds. Even though beach towels were laid out, it didn't feel very inviting to relax there.

LETTING THEM KNOW:
Everyone can make a mistake, and we always give a hotel at least two chances to put things right. So we decided to take a drive around the island in our rental car, and informed Nelle in the reception area that we were not happy with the standard of cleaning, and that we would like to change to another villa the next night if the bats and birds proved to be too noisy for us. He let us know that the hotel was not fully booked, and took note of our requests. We had a good time exploring Victoria, and came back three hours later to find that nothing had been done.

WAITING:
We decided to give the hotel another chance to fix things, and went down to the lower bar deck, where complimentary afternoon and snack was served. Somehow the waitress made us feel unwelcome. She didn't bring the tea, only the snack. We sat there for about twenty minutes, but the tea never materialized and we left for the pool area where we met Nelle again. We reminded him of our request to have the villa cleaned properly, and he said that he had given notice and expected it to be taken care of shortly. He also informed us that there was no way they could put us in another villa in case we were bothered by the bird/bat noise, as they were now fully booked, only four hours after he let us know they were not.

POOL/BEACH:
The pool itself was wonderful, although a little too warm to really cool down in, so we decided to go to the beach area down by the bar deck instead. As you will discover, the beaches around the hotel are small. The beach below the bar deck looks nothing like the picture they show in the Hilton Worldwide Resorts catalogue - either the sand is completely washed away, or they've added a bunch of rocks to the beach. Most of the beach beds seemed to be occupied, but they weren't. Staff didn't remove beach towels when other guests obviously left the area. The sand around a couple of the beach beds was filled with cigarette butts and paper litter. Maybe the hotel should provide ashtrays and litter boxes? The hotel also provides snorkelling equipment, but you really should bring your own equipment, both for safety and comfort reasons, as the hotel's equipment is somewhat old and worn. Anyway, we relaxed, swam in the wonderful sea water, and spent about three hours there before returning to our villa to freshen up before dinner.

NIGHTLY NOISE:
Back at the villa, we discovered that they still hadn't managed to clean it, despite us not having been in the villa for the past seven hours, and repeatedly having requested it. By this time, it was dusk and the large mango tree right outside our terrace immediately became a hotspot for dozens of fruit bats and hundreds of birds, resulting in a cacophony. It lasted for about two hours until darkness, when they fell silent. We went to bed later in the evening, and had a good night's sleep - until 4am, when we were woken by the same bat/bird sounds. It was impossible to fall asleep again, and it's rather impossible to relax when you can't even get a full night's sleep - even in a great Hilton bed. We were fully aware that we were in a tropical habitat, and that some sounds must be expected. We didn't mind the ants in the bathroom, and the birds and the bats are just doing what they naturally do, but the hotel should recognize that most (if not all) guests come to the Hilton Seychelles to relax. Having a large mango tree as an attractive hotspot for birds and bats right outside several of the hillside villas is maybe not such a good idea when trying to sell total relaxation and a good night's sleep. We went out on the terrace at 6am, and heard several other guests outside on their terrace, that had obviously been woken up by and expressed, we guess, what seemed to be irritation in their own language. (we do have a video with all the noise from the birds/bats)

TURNDOWN:
Turndown service was ok, nothing out of the ordinary. We mentioned to the maid that the hairdryer needed to be replaced, and she said she would let the technical staff know.

FOOD/DRINK:
Nothing to mention, the usual Hilton breakfast with anything you could possible want. We dropped dining at the hotel restaurants, but had some food delivered to our villa instead. Good quality food, well presented and fast delivery.

IN CONCLUSION:
The Hilton Seychelles is largely a good hotel, and it's location is excellent - how wrong can it really be in the Seychelles? However, the hotel lacks the final perfection in some important key areas, such as cleanliness and attentiveness/responsiveness of some staff members to requests that are made. We agree somewhat with some of the previous reviewers who feel that the hotel is run partly for the purpose of training junior management and reception staff for Hilton. However, We got the impression that some younger staff members (not managerial staff) did their very best, and thus deserve kudos. The gardens are well kept, and the area is very nice, there is no question about that, but if the hotel had the same attention to detail inside the villas, most of what has been written here would not have to be mentioned.

The fact that it was impossible for us to get a full night's sleep during our stay (a paradox that they have a sign on the walkways that says "Shhh, Silent Please You are now entering the "NO NOISE ZONE"), and that issues brought to the hotel's attention were not resolved are our largest disappointments. Therefore we will probably not return to Hilton Seychelles unless they sort out some of the things mentioned here - and we really hope they do, because it is a beautiful place, and we would love to stay there when it's perfect. If you are looking to stay at this hotel, you should probably check out some of the other 5* hotels/resorts in the Seychelles, as they may offer a better overall experience than the Hilton Seychelles. If you are hellbent on staying at this hotel, be sure to book a waterfront villa, or one of the high hillside villas away from the main building (potential disturbance by A/C compressors) and mango trees.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank nimenime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 22, 2010

Spent two nights in Hilton Northolme Resort with wife in late Nov 09
The resort is ideal for any one searching for relaxing with very good service
We felt exactly like home thanks for the great friendly and smiley staff
The resort has every thing you may need and was exceed our expectation
Rooms was large and includes every thing even a bed time story you can read before you go to sleep!!
Food was carefully selected and presented with a amazing ocean view dining
We enjoyed the shesha and the open ocean view cinema
The pool was great and enjoyed every second on it as will the great message in the Spa
Beach was small due to the natural of the island and was effected by the high tide mainly during the period of our visit and due to our reading and research before the travel we were not surprised by the disappearance of the beach!
Special thanks to the resort sales manger Mrs. Natalie for every thing she made for us to make our stay one of the best experience ever
I will defiantly return to this place once again.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Aboaziz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2010

As this was our first trip to Seychelles we did not know what to expect.
Whilst Seychelles is a poor country, it has to import all manner of items - the challenge for the hospitality industry must be huge!
This does translate into the high cost of all items - however what we could not understand is the high cost of the seafood which is in abundance and a stone throw away?
This would be the only area that prospective tourists need to understand before embarking on a trip to Seychelles - whatever your budget - TRIPLE IT BEFORE GOING!!!!!
Our holiday nonetheless was spectacular and everything you could dream about in terms of an island holiday.
The Hotel was truly a gem, in that the service, cleanliness, rooms, food and amenities are world class - a challenge due to everything having to be shipped in.
My wife and I were truly impressed and can safely and objectively recommend this venue as a destination.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank JabbaDurban
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2009

I highly recommend for honeymooners and couples. The Spa was exceptional. The staff is very friendly and will go out of their way to make you stay exceptional. The rooms are warm and romantic. The scenery is breathtaking.

Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
1  Thank TYASAD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2009

We stayed in the Hilton Seychelles for honeymoon for 1 week before traving around the islands and 1 week after. Hotel was absolutely great: very calm, romantic, safe, with fantastic stuff, very good food, great service level. When we returned back after 1 week being out I had a feeling that we returned home: best villa was waiting for us, flowers, on the bed we found 'Welcome back' message made from the leaves, all small details which make your holidays just GREAT.

During the stay we were provided with lots of usefull information about the islands together with a different very clear guidelines and recommendations. Hotel also have good library with at least 500 books in different languages in different stiles and another 200 DVD, so you can simply enjoy reading on the beach and listering the sea sounds. Hotel also provide some items for water sports (as koyaks, snorkling equipment), so you can enjoy the sea with really beautiful clear water. Hotel has 2 beaches, both are not big, but not many people are leaving in the hotel, so you really enjoy cozy atmothere. eople

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Nata_Baltics
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2009

The reason we will not go back is that the place seems to be run entirely for the purpose of training junior management and reception staff for Hilton. The (heavily) paying customer is there to provide practical experience for a succession of beginners. The senior management were focussed solely on this task to the extent that you would be ignored when asking a question while the manager explained to the beginner how to answer it. That's great but they're not going to do it at my expense again. The hotel manager was frequently in evidence but never bothered to talk to us or even smile.

Other disappointments were the disappearance of the beaches featured in the resort photos (washed away apparently) and an inadequate decent pool to compensate. The rooms are large and well planned except for an oppressive overuse of wood on every possible surface and an unnecessary and very dangerous step at the end of the bed to fall over in the middle of the night.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank DavidLondonUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2009

Worst hotel experience we have had for some time. This is NOT a cheap hotel. If you pay the rate, you expect a level of service to match.

This was certainly not the case with our visit.

There is a seperate check in 'pavillion' where you are booked in that is seperate to the reception area. We were met by a security guard in the car park and had to carry our bags to the pavillion.
We were shown around the resort and checked into our hilltop room overlooking the ocean...........and the roof of the main building with all the compressors running, not conducive to a nice atmosphere.
The first night in the buffet was not to the level expected. As mentioned in other reviews here, as soon as you put a plate down it is whisked away from you.
We eventually complained when they took our bread plate away, with bread still on it that we had not finished.
We later discussed our first day concerns with a nice Scottish gal, who seemed to be the restaraunt manager and she had a few issues sorted.
We brushed the first day problems away and hoped the rest of the stay would be nice.
Well, a number of small issues kept occuring.
Now while these may be small issues, when you pay these rates, you expect everything to be perfect.
We waited 20 minutes in the empty bar for a drink one afternoon.
Dinner in the fine dining restaraunt one night was very nice.................until we were given the bill and told half board guests had to pay here.
This was exactly the opposite of what we were told at check in, and he quickly said 'Oh, I will just take it off then'
Overall all, the worst service hotel we have ever stayed in.

Rooms are nice, outlook is OK, but can be found in several other places on the Island.
If the Hilton thinks they are making money by putting the rate up high, that is a very extremely short sighted management decision.

We can only hope some of the other big resorts open here and strip Hilton of this claim they think they have to the finest resort in the Seychelles.

Sunset Beach Hotel, which is just up the road is less than 1/2 price, food quality is similar, service is much the same, but with the extra money saved, hire a car, go see the rest of the Island.
Have dinner at the Boathouse in Beu Vallon for a great night out and you will have a much better holiday.
If Hilton management read this (which I very much doubt, as they seemed very distant to our concerns) I would be very happy to discuss in details the problems we had.
If they dropped they cut the rate by approx 1/3 it may have been better value for money.

Cannot say how much we were dissapointed by this resort.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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14  Thank Les W
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:
Location: Seychelles > Mahe Island > Glacis
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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: $375 - $658 (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 Hotel Glacis
Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort And Spa
Hilton Glacis
Glacis Hilton
Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa Mahe Island

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