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We recently had a stay at the Hilton Labriz, Silhouette island, Seychelles. Initially we had a stay booked for 1 week, with a second week booked on the mainland, Mahe, at a sister resort, Northolme. We made the decision on the order of our vacation, due to the fact that we needed to have a COVID test before our return to Dubai, and Silhouette did not initially offer it, and rather than having to travel to the mainland and back again to take the test, we decided to take the second week at the mainland hotel. Upon our arrival, by helicopter to Labriz, we were greeted warmly and driven by buggy and given an impromptu tour of the island’s facilities, before being driven to the reception, where check in was swift and efficient. We had a very early arrival, but were lucky as we were the first visitors to arrive at the hotel from abroad and therefore, the hotel was not fully occupied and our room was ready. The room was perfect, set right on the most beautiful, sandy beach, with the waves lapping not too far from the beach villa. We settled quickly, and whilst unpacking, had a visit from the island nurse, Ann. She welcomed us and took our temperature and checked for any COVID symptoms. She continued to do this periodically throughout the holiday. We enrolled our 8 year old in the island’s ‘Campcation’ of which we cannot praise highly enough. It was very well organised, with a full itinerary which was both varied and active. The staff were pleasant and fun, and had a real love of children. They would undertake things with the children such as bat watching, evening camp fire, swimming lessons with a qualified instructor, learning all about the running of a hotel behind the scenes, and lots more. It was suffice to say that my son was keen to get involved as much as possible, so much so that we often had to encourage him to spend time with us! The facilities of the island during the first week were sadly somewhat reduced, but we understood that this was because of the reduced capacity of guests, and there was some work being done on upgrading a couple of the restaurants, hence they were closed. However, the food was varied and plentiful. The food and beverage manager, John, catered well to our dietary requirements, and would go out of his way to suggest things that may not even be on the menu. He encouraged us to ask for what we would like, and ensured that they would do their very best to assist. The staff on the island were absolutely amazing, and there was not one member of the team that did not go out of their way to make our stay the incredible stay that it was. There are so many to mention, and we got to know many of them very well. The weather was perfect most of the time, and so we were able to fully unwind. Sadly the end of the week came and we were as sad to leave as much as our son, and we returned by helicopter to the mainland, where we were transferred to Hilton Northolme resort. Northolme: Another lovely welcome, and a beautiful pool room. The setting was very picturesque, but unfortunately no beach to speak of. However, sadly it soon became apparent that this was not a child-friendly resort, and we had discovered that this hotel did not usually accept children, but for the month of August had decided to open it’s doors to families. They offered a children’s activity schedule, but it was not particularly well organised as we had to book specific activities if our son wanted to partake; when you are on holiday you don’t want to necessarily plan everything down to the minute. When our son did decide he wanted to join the scheduled swim activity, we arrived ready, only to find that the program had been cancelled for the day as no-one had booked. We did manage a little bit of snorkelling, but the current was strong and so did not provide the best opportunity to see many fish. The service staff were personable and very well trained in service. Amanda was another amazing food and beverage manager, who truly shone with her personal service. She organised with the chef our vegetarian dietary requirements and the food was of superb quality. Sadly, after a couple of days, we decided this resort was not for us, due to the lack of facilities that suited families, and spoke to the General Manager about the possibility of being transferred back to Silhouette for our remaining time in the Seychelles. Daniele, the GM fully understood our predicament, being that he was also a father of young children, and liaised with the GM of Silhouette, Andre, about our return back to the island. As a bonus we also found out that Ann, the island nurse, n had now been trained to carry-out the COVID test on island, so there would be no need to leave the island for the test, before we left for Dubai. So, we decided to extend our stay for another couple of days. We transferred back to Silhouette, this time by ferry, which was an ‘OK’ experience, but not something we would relish doing had the sea been any more choppy than it was. We had a lovely welcome upon our return, with everyone pleased to see us, and our son was particularly overjoyed at the prospect of attending the kid’s club once again. It was a lovely ‘second’ visit, as we got to experience more of the restaurants, being that they had been opened during the second week, and we received the same outstanding service as we had before. We even had a personal send off at the Helipoint from Andre GM, and his wife, a really lovely touch If there was one criticism we had, it would be to address the lack of evening entertainment, sadly it was not the best, and most evenings, non-existent. We have been left with fond memories of our time at the Hilton group of hotels in the Seychelles, and hopefully when COVID passes over, the island will be in full swing once more, which will add to the ambience and the atmosphere. Thank-you to all the team, and everyone who work in both hotels; here is a list of some we can recall. If I forget to mention anyone, I would like you to know it’s not personal, but my memory isn’t what it used to be! Andre GM Labriz, Daniele GM Northolme, John F & B Manager Labriz, Amanda F & B Manager Labriz, F & B team; Harsha, Damith, Sidath, Aneesh, Hashan, Joclynda, Ragu, and Senthil (who produced some wonderful works of art and origami as gifts for our son). The staff oat the kids club: Anne, Rita, Faviola, and all the rest for the team!
Very happy guests, indeed
In summary: a fabulous, memorable luxurious experience with a few small areas for improvement. We would happily return with our family. It’s a well-rounded Resort in that there truly is something for everyone in the family - our 3 kids had the best time! We left relaxed. We’ve stayed all over Seyschelles (and travelled around the world), and this resort will always have a special place in our hearts. In more detail... PROS 1. Villas - we stayed in the Serenity Pool Villa and it was one of the nicest hotel rooms we’ve ever stayed in (and we have travelled extensively across the world over the last 20 years). Very spacious, private and SO serene. Beautiful boulders at the back. Lovely pool with a waterfall. 2. Kids facilities - kids club, trampoline, chess, mini golf, playground - this was honestly one of the best hotels we’ve ever been to for the Littles. The girls in the kids club were great - warm, attentive, smart, responsive, good English - I totally felt comfortable leaving my kids there. Kids under 6 also stay and eat free - bargain!!!! 3. Grounds/location - there are rivers, lagoons, waterfountains, miles and miles of white sandy beaches, and just natural beauty as far as the eye can see. 4. Activities / spa- there is also a lot to keep the adults busy! 4 hikes, snorkelling, kayaking, cycling, etc. We had a blast! 5. Value - we had a discounted rate for half board (about 5000 scr/night) and at this price, it was the most excellent value we have ever experienced in over 80 countries, mostly 4-5 star stays. 6. Service - as you would expect. 7. Hospitality - Andre, the GM, was around and making sure guests were well taken care of. CONS 1. A lot of things broken - in our room, the phone and air conditioning were broken and the WiFi didn’t work. These were all fixed promptly but still an annoyance. 2. Not enough buggies! Please please please management - buy some more buggies! Every time I tried to get one, I would wait around 15 minutes and then give up. With 3 very small kids, this was unfortunate. Once I was told “the buggy is at the medical centre.” Is there really only 1 guest buggy? Upon arrival, our friends waited at the dock for around 30 minutes as there were no more buggies to take them to their room. 3. Room not available at check in (although this was dealt with - they gave us another temporary room).
Memorable time at Hilton Labriz
Beautifully designed resort, 45 mins by boat from Mahe island. Resort provides transportation from Mahe, check in at their office at Bel Ombre. Light refreshments are provided. Once on the island, we had an incredible welcome by the staff at the jetty. Transportation on the island is by electric club cars, bicycles or walking. The natural ecosystem of the island is well protected. The resort has a small organic garden of vegetables. The team of dedicated and motivated staff are always on hand when available, special shout out to Ms. Tania, she made our stay an outstanding experience. Our villa was next to the beach with a private pool. Falling asleep and walking up to the sound of the waves crashing lazily on the beach is phenomenal. The sea is crystal clear and at low tide perfect for family with toddlers. There are bicycles for hire at the resort, an art gallery, spa treatment, tennis courts, and a souvenir shop. Hiking trails are also available. Breakfast buffet in the morning is abundant and scrumptious. There are some restaurants for lunch and dinner options, but I was very disappointed with the quality of the food and the amount being charged. Some restaurants were closed for dinner and therefore you have no option but to go for buffet dinner which is more expensive yet not the type of cuisine we liked. Hilton Labriz provided a memorable few days for my family.
Great resort hotel .. let down by the quality of the food
A great experience starting with a fast motor launch 35 min journey to Silhotette Island from Mahe Island. Terminals at both ends are owned by the resort and are equally well appointed and comfortable. Transport is with Club cars with bicycles provided to explore the sprawling resort and Island community. There are a variety of facilities for adults and kids, all organised by very friendly staff. Acomodation is in well appointed self contained bungalows. Sadly the quality of the food was uniformly poor and not in keeping with the 5 star property or the prices charged! This seems to be a common complaint of those we spoke with.
The best part is not thanks to the hotel
Silhouette Island is fabulous - it is how paradise should be described: - White sand, crystal clear water, aquarium-like experience when you go in the water, palm trees hanging over the sand, etc BUT: The hotel is terrible Americanised: - The bungalow we had literally on the beach has seen better days and since it is Hilton brand they will probably not do anything about for another 10years or so - sucking out all the money they can get. - The pool area is run down and needs attention - The food - 1 out of 5 restaurants existing on the island is good the rest is terrible food and barely eatable Luckily you have the nature I just wished the Hilton resort could have the standard of e.g. Kempinski but not this is 3* compared to Kempinski 4*
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