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Hotel Review: Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort and Spa, Mahé in Seychelles

Kevin Pilley checks in for a stay at this eco-friendly luxury resort.

By Kevin Pilley  |  April 30, 2022
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Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa
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James Bond went to Seychelles once, but he wasn’t made aware of any sustainability practices and didn’t adopt any sea cabbage or cauliflower, do his bit for coral reef rehabilitation, or became conscious of the time he was taking and the amount of water he was using in the shower.

James Bond creator Ian Fleming visited the paradisiacal 115-isle coral and granite archipelago in the east Somali sea section of the west Indian ocean in 1958 and wrote ‘The Hildebrand Rarity’ there. The short story, which was first published in ‘Playboy’ in 1960 and then in ‘For Your Eyes Only’, is many people’s favourite for the title of the next Bond film, although it may have to be dumbed down.

The book is about Milton Krest, a power mad villain who liked to flog women with the tails of stingrays. The name came from the local ginger tonic Fleming discovered on Mahé before £15 cocktails and glasses of South African wine and £7 local Tamakata rum became standard. There was probably smoked marlin for breakfast too then.

Hotel

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The resort combines a luxury stay with sustainability

Popular with honeymooners and empty nesters, Northolme is the oldest luxury hotel in Mahé and the smallest in the Hilton Resorts Worldwide stable. Children must be over-thirteen.

Modern full and half board castaways and Qatar Business Class family travelling Robinsons staying at Northolme can take part in the hotel’s eco-friendly sustainability and conscious travel activities which are part of the famous luxury hospitality brand’s ‘Travel With Purpose’ commitment.

Special sustainability days allows guests to witness first-hand how impactful small behaviours can have on protecting the environment. Small sand timers in guest villas’ bathrooms urge guests to think about their water usage whilst showering.

Room

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Each private villa has a balcony overlooking the Indian Ocean

A keen spear fisherman, Fleming stayed at the stilted cottage hillside, now gated, complex with prime snorkelling ten metres from the ocean edge. Rooms come with or without infinity pools overlooking two private beaches, Silhouette Island and Beau Vallon beach.

Reached by foot or electric buggy taxi through lush tropical flora including a rare cannonball tree, you can stay in sunset-facing, cliffside King Sunset villas with ‘semi-private balconies’ and a whirlpool bathtub, making use of the community infinity pool. Or opt for a Grand Ocean Pool villa and have one of your own alongside a jacuzzi and huge twin sink and monsoon shower bathroom.

Food

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The Mahé Restaurant offers authentic Creole flavours and a live cooking station

The hotel’s healthy dining restaurant, WAVE, has an environmentally-forward-and-aware menu, with dishes including ‘the blended burger’ – a patty containing 30% mushrooms and 70% sustainably sourced beef and thereby reducing the CO2 generated by the dish by 29%.

The Mahé Restaurant, overseen by Manuel Carbone, above the pounding surf, serves hibiscus salad, fish platter for two (£44), wild octopus (£35), roast spiced pineapple, reconstructed Seychellois niçoise, roast fish with buttered breadfruit and fried calamari. Prosecco comes at £45, but the Asti is free at breakfast.

You can also have floating aperitifs and sparkling wine in your pool starring smoked salmon cumin cookies and caviar vol au vents.

Further along the clifftop, after your Happy Hour passion fruit mojito, cucumber dry martini and Mr Sakura’s signature Absinthe-Minded cocktails, Wave offers fish, pasta and meat dishes and a dessert rejoicing in the name of a messed up chocolate Marguerita with tequila jelly and milk, mango and cocoa mousse.

To do

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Kayaking is a popular activity with guests

The breezy wellness sanctuary above the waves offers all the usual clarifying, deeply exfoliating and detoxifying treatments with gentle, ever-smiling, courteous staff.

To help increase fish biomass, you can also adopt some stony table and brush coral supporting the hotel’s on-rope coral cutting nursery and artificial reef in its fight against marine degradation, coastal development, increasing sea temperature stress, anchor damage, bleaching and the Crown of Thorns starfish.

In 2020, Hilton CleanStay was introduced, bringing an industry-defining standard of cleanliness and disinfection to hotels worldwide. Northolme may be for over 13s, but its new Sustainability Playbook teaches guests of all ages in-villa energy and water conservation practices. Its organized Beau Vallon Beach Clean Ups are in response to the unsettling calculation that by 2050, the world’s oceans could contain more plastic and other man-made fibres.

As well as making full use of the complimentary snorkelling and kayaking, James Bond would have learned a few things at Northolme. Not least how not to drink resident mixologist Mr Sakumar’s signature Absinthe-Minded house cocktail without the bio-degradable, single use pasta straw going up his nose.

Factbox

Audley Travel offers tailor-made trips to the Seychelles. A 14-night trip with seven nights at Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort and Spa and seven nights at Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort and Spa, both on a bed and breakfast basis, costs from £3,490 per person (based on two sharing). The price includes flights with Qatar Airways and transfers.

For more information on the resort visit hilton.com and for details of flights visit qatarairways.com

Check Availability

And Book Online

Hotel
Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa
LLM may receive some revenue if you click BOOK NOW & book a stay via Booking.com. See terms of use.

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