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Big Sur - Hiking Andrew Molera State Park

One of the great delights of living in the Bay Area is the proximity to the natural beauty of California and it's hard to beat the stunning drive down Highway One to Big Sur. This is certainly one of the iconic American road trips, but for me the joy of being in the area is getting out of your car and hitting a trail, so you can be "in" the landscape rather than just looking at it from the asphalt. 

Introducing the Hilton Northolme - Seychelles

Click here to see all my posts from the Seychelles 

Before we arrived I was predisposed to liked the Hilton Northolme because their reservation people had generously upgraded us in advance, and sent a great email outlining all we should expect as Hilton Gold members. It was a good start. This resort is very different from the other Hilton property in the Seychelles, the Hilton Labriz which I reviewed here. This was all part of a trip that took us through Doha and Sudan before we arrived in paradise. Located on the main island of Mahe, Northolme is  far smaller and sits high above a series of beautiful coves which are a contrast to the expansive beach you'll find on Silhouette Island. However, despite these differences  and the more limited footprint of the resort at Northolme, it  has intimate charms of its own. This is a far more elegant, sophisticated hotel and it is clearly aimed a couples. We loved our private pool room, and for me this was the heart of the experience,  here privacy, luxury and the ocean view are the draw. You can expect consistently good food and service and it's a great location to relax.

Given the small size of the resort pool and the limited beach access (particularly in the rainy season when we visited) this is a hotel where I'd highly recommend the newly finished private pool rooms. I think this picture alone should be enough o convince you!
However if you're not going for a pool room I'm not sure there's really an appreciable difference between the Hillside rooms and the Ocean View rooms so this is an unusual case where I'd say  consider saving your money and opt for the lower category, but I'll explore this in more detail in an upcoming post on the rooms. 
The entire resort is built for you to look out at the view and what a view it is. On a clear day you can see all the way to Silhouette Island where we had stayed. There is some nice snorkeling in the cove below though it was quite rough in the rainy season.

The landscaping of the resort really is beautifully done with lush vegetation surrounding the paths. As you can see the rooms are built along the lines of the hillside.
I love the way that they incorporated the large boulders into the design. The  horizontal wooden slats you see on the left are a privacy guard at the edges of  one of the private infinity pools.
This photo doesn't do justice to the small spa which has a stunning situation and beautiful view of the ocean, below.
There is a lot of greenery at the resort and plenty of varied small seating areas including this one in front of the gym, below. The spa is in the background and the resort's infinity pool is above.
There are also a series of decks around the restaurants and lobby, so although the beaches are small there is always somewhere to relax.

Unfortunately I didn't take very good pictures of the two tier infinity pool because  once we paid to upgrade to a private pool room we ween't going to use it. As you can see while the resort has a lot of small places to sit overlooking the ocean, there is fairly limited seating around the main pool below.
As I mentioned we were happy with both the food and the service. We found the hotel was very generous, below you can see a delicious complimentary afternoon tea they offered us as Hilton Gold members.

Breakfast was more elegant than the larger buffet at Hilton Labriz and included excellent fresh juices, a substantial buffet and beautiful views. I loved fresh fruit compotes and homemade yoghurt along with a glass of South African sparking wine! Overall we liked the food at the resort, in both the casual restaurant and Cocotier the fine dining option. The chef was very friendly and went out of his way to prepare a particular fish dish for us.


I think Northolme makes a wonderful hotel in combination with a private island experience and it works well with Labriz because each property has a different strength. I'm sure it would work well in combination with a more luxurious private island resort too. I loved the location at Labriz but the style, service, privacy and luxury at Northolme. If you're looking for a pool villa Northolme is a fabulous place to stay and the location on the main island means you're well located for your international flight. Everyday evening we sat and enjoyed the view across our private pool below, no wonder we loved this place!
Free free to email with any questions on the rooms. 

Comments

Dan said…
This place just looks fantastic! Love it. Always wanted to go to the Seychelles. Thank you.
Thanks Dan - glad to give you a heads up on this property. I enjoyed the Seychelles immensely but I have to say I'd be more inclined to return to the Maldives for complete relaxation.

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