Earn up to 1800 Bonus Avios – Rover Pet Services – BA E-Store offers
Every now and then a big, bonus Avios point offer emerges on the BA e-store.
The British airways e-store are notoriously bad for advertising the biggest bonus avios point deals but if you know how to sniff out their best offers using their search bar, you can find them easily.
Today, we came across a new offer for up to 1800 bonus avios points for various per services.
Below is an outline of how “Rover” works and how to gain that big bonus point offer.
Existing customers collect 700 Avios.
Stated reward is for your first booking (new dog owners only). Existing dog owners will earn a lower reward.
Rover connects dog owners with their perfect dog sitter. Search from thousands of local, reliable dog sitters across the country, each providing a guilt-free alternative to dog kennels or pestering your family and friends!
You can find and book your perfect dog sitter in four easy steps:
1) Enter your postcode to find local sitters offering home dog boarding, doggy day care, walking, house sitting or drop-in visits near you.
2) Review each sitter’s listing and read reviews from thousands of other dog owners, then arrange a meet and greet.
3) Schedule, book and pay online – no need for cash! All Rover bookings are covered by the Rover guarantee, a 24/7 support and veterinary consultation.
4) Send your pooch on a holiday of their own, and stay up to date with photos and videos from the sitter.
If your thinking of a luxury vacation, think no more than the Seychelles!
The Seychelles is up there on most people’s, most diserable locations to visit in the world atleast once in their lifetime. It was on our “Bucketlist” of places to stay & we only made it possible by utilising a bit of knowledge on collecting & redeeming points and a little luck on our side.
Our Seychelles dream started way back almost a year ago. We had a large pot of Avios Points sitting there doing nothing, with talk of a BA Avios devaluation coming, the heat was on…
British Airways, almost a year ago suddenly announced that they were reinstating a previous, direct route from London to the Seychelles. As soon as this announcement went Public all the best seats in First Class & Club World were being snapped up by Avios point collectors. Not only was this a new Premium route but BA were also flying the fairly new British Airways Boeing 787-9 aircraft (Win,Win).
Searching & Searching we finally found some dates which still had Club World (Business Class) availability outbound from Heathrow. However, searching almost a year in advance using the Avios Reward Flight tool, we still had a few days before the Inbound Avios Reward Search showed any availability.
Staying up until Midnight, ready to pounce, the return availability showed up and there they were, 2 seats available in Club World. Clicked, booked & we were on our way to the Seychelles.
Luckily for us, we had a large stash of Avios Points in our account from utilising the much missed, previous Tesco Direct Bonus Point offers.
Unfortunately this route has now closed but this route collected us enough Avios Points to be able to pay for our Club World flights Inc a 241 BA Amex Companion Voucher + £1200 in taxes.
Then also pay, just using Avios points for our 5 Star Hilton Northolme King Hillside Villa accommodation with Breakfast included for 2 x people for Seven nights stay.
Room Rate – £550 Per night = Saving £3,850.00
Flights Cash Cost – £7000 = Saving £5800.00
So, a luxury Seychelles holiday for two in a 5 Star Hilton Resort plus Direct BA Business Class flights all for £1200.00 in Taxes & a load of free Avios points – what’s not to like?
Two weeks before our arrival at the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa we started to receive email communication about our stay from the resort. After reading people’s reviews on Flyertalk we decided to allow the resort to book our Taxi transfers. It appears you need to barter the price down with the airport taxi drivers and we did not need the hassle after a 10 hour flight overnight, all for £20.00 saving.
Within these communications the resort offered us an Upgrade from our basic King Hillside Villa to one with a pool. After reminding the resort I was a Hilton Gold member we managed to reduce the upgrade cost per night down to £150.00 extra. We do not usually pay for upgrades but for £150.00 per night, we couldn’t resist our own swimming pool for a week especially as the vacation cost us so little.
This was probably one of the smartest moves we have taken when booking accommodation as this Villa was breathtaking and swimming in our own pool all day will stay in our memories forever.
Arriving at the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa
After a fairly short, 25 minutes Taxi ride from Mahe airport, we finally arrived in Paradise.
As you enter the resorts main entrance you immediately notice how established the resorts grounds are. Tall Palm trees, lushish greenery, Cannon ball trees, Waterfalls and exotic birds of all colours flying within the trees welcome you.
Your dropped off at a mini reception area near the entrance to the resort first where your greeted by Hilton reception staff, offered a cooling, fragranced towel and a fruit cocktail whilst your luggage is taken care of.
After a short while, your then asked if you would like to now visit the resorts main reception area about 5 minutes walk away. You do not actually walk to the main reception area, your transported in a buggy called the “Club Car”. This experience is unforgettable, facing backwards in a speedy electric buggy taking in all the sights of the resort.
As we arrived at the main Reception area we were warmly greeted by the reception staff and offered another complimentary drink. Our luggage was unloaded from the Club Car & stored safely away in a room behind reception.
Due to our flight being overnight, we arrived at the resort at around 9.30am. It was explained to us that our room was unfortunately not ready yet (Normal Check-In 3pm) but would not be long which was reassuring to hear.
After reception taking all our details & the prepayment for the room upgrade, We were provided complimentary breakfast vouchers and a quick tour of the resorts facilities. After this tour we decided to have breakfast which was great. Shortly after finishing breakfast the resorts manager introduced himself & provided us more complimentary vouchers for Free drinks at the bar, 15 minute massages each & invited us to the manager’s meeting.
About 20 minutes later a smiley receptionist advised us our room was now ready, this was only an hour after arriving at th resort. Encouraged to sit back & relax we were whisked away to our Villa.
The resort we believe consists of three types of Accommodation, the King Hillside Villa, King Hillside Villa with Pool & the largest Villa, the King Hillside 2 Bed with Pool Villa. Observing the standard King Hillside Villas throughout the resort, we thought ourselves to be extremely lucky to have upgraded as a lot of standard Hillside Villas only have a balcony & some views partially obstructed by large Palm trees & vegetation.
Arriving at our King Hillside Villa with Pool
With great anticipation, we were escorted down some small steps to our Villas front door. With a swipe of our electronic door card, we finally entered our Villa for the week with staff bringing in all our luggage.
The room attendant explained all the features of the villa to us quickly and wished us a very special stay and then left us to settle in.
As you enter the villa, to your left contains a small, undercounter Refrigerator containing the usual mini bar drinks & chocolate.
One tip, check the mini bar price list as paying the equivalent of €10.00 for 3 x small chocolates is a rip off. Above the Refrigerator is a marble counter work top containing a Nespresso coffee machine, glasses, cups & saucers, in a drawer underneath contains a large selection of Nespresso coffee pods, sugars, teas etc. These items including four bottles of water were replenished twice a day by housekeeping.
To our right we discovered a toilet area with bidet, a corridor leading to a wardrobe area including drawers and a safe. Coming back into the main villa area was a door leading to a very large bathroom. This bathroom contained the largest Spa bath we had ever seen, a great waterfall shower, two individual ceramic basins, mirrors, toiletries, fluffy white towels and bathrobes / slippers.
As you enter the main living area, a huge queen size bed with swans made out of towels by housekeeping greeted us. It’s a four poster bed with nets to prevent any flying, biting insects made out of dark wood.
The style throughout the villa is neutral, clean shades of white & cream with dark wood tones. The last area in the living room contains a large, fiat screen TV with international channels, a corner sofa, coffee table & floor standing lamps.
Then with large, sliding doors we could now see what we had been waiting for, the swimming pool. As we opened the doors you are hit with the heat from outside towards the lovely room air conditioning inside.
You walk out into a wooden decked area consisting of another corner sofa with lots of cushions, coffee table & a round dining table / two chairs. Large, reclinable wooden, Rattan Sun loungers with comfy cushions sitting in part of the pool.
Now for the best feature of the Villa, the swimming pool.
The pool spans the entire width of the villa and can be accessed by a small set of steps down into the water. It’s an Infinity swimming pool with the most wonderful views from the water of the sea and islands in the distance with some partial views of the rooftops of the 2 Bed villas in front of us.
It did not take us long to change into swimwear and get in that pool to cool down.
Swimming in your own pool in complete privacy does make your experience extra special. To rest on the edge of your Infinity pool looking over the bay towards a distance island in the midday sun has a certain appeal to it. Just to come out of your pool & be able to walk into your villa to change has an element of pleasure about it.
As a Hilton Gold member we received a bottle of Red Wine, fruit platter & Managers Welcome letter.
Dining at the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa
Due to research prior to arriving, we already had our Dining options planned out for the week ahead.
To set the record straight, we are not “Foodies”. We pay for dining at resorts usually in line with what we feel is good / average value and do not usually exceed this. You won’t find us in the fancy restaurants on site charging upwards of $100 each plus taxes.
Your more likely to find us dining at the bar where we stay, these dining venues usually provide for us the best value for eating out.
We dined out at the resorts Bar / Restaurants called – The Ocean View Bar.
On this occasion we ordered Pizza from the menu. Margarita pizza’s are always the best value wherever you stay. Our opinion were that these were just O.K. We expected a better quality pizza like from a homemade dough.
These tasted like a factory made base with toppings thrown on top, not what we were expecting from a 5 Star Hilton Resort.
Cost – $22 each plus taxes & tip.
Within our room, we discovered the room service menu. On investigation we could not believe our eyes, It was actually better value by atleast 20% to order food to be delivered to our villa. We always thought Room Service was a luxury option and would never be cheaper than eating out.
We also discovered that Gold / Diamond Hilton members do no pay room service delivery charges.
We ordered Burgers which came with a very generous portion of fries and a small side salad. Cost – $54.00.
For the next five nights we stayed in and ordered room service every night. The benefits of room service for us included not having to dress up each night and to dine in the luxury of your own villa looking out over the pool & bay.
Our dining options for the rest of our stay included the Club Sandwich with fries / salad, Spaghetti Bolognase, Fish & Chips, Tomato Penne Pasta & a delicious chocolate brownie and ice cream. All the food we ordered as room service was if good quality and of reasonable cost for the Seychelles which is known for expensive dining at resorts.
Behind reception you can find a Restaurant called – Le Cocotiers.
This offers a la carte dining menu options. Food prices are expensive there so we did not experience this venue.
Breakfast at the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort and Spa
Breakfast each days starts at 6.45 am – 11.00 am.
As you enter the breakfast area you are asked for your room number and escorted to an available table.
Breakfast was a pleasure at this resort. Sliding doors were opened to let in the Cooling sea breezes in an otherwise humid atmosphere at 9am. A very friendly waitress greeted us everyday and offered Coffee / Tea or freshly squeezed Orange juice which was delicious and became a daily ritual for us.
The breakfast dining option is a self serve facility with lots of choice. Champagne was also on ice for anyone wanting to enjoy a “Bucks Fizz” or two at breakfast.
We discovered delicious fresh fruit salads made with melon, Sharon fruit, kiwi and apples pre made in convenient glass jars. Fresh Muesli made with yogurt in glass jars also on ice.
A Juice bar with lots of variety of freshly squeezed juices on offer.
An Omelette station where you can order to be cooked and delivered to your table a variety of different Omelette, eggs or waffles. Breads, pastries, jams, butter, rolls and a toaster.
A separate section for cold meats & cheeses. Cereals, nuts, dried fruits & milk. Catering style, hot food servers hold bacon, sausages, tomatoes, vegetables & potatoes.
The Beaches at the Hilton Seychelles Northolme
Due to the location, the Hilton Northolme Resort & Spa is positioned on the coastline in the hillside. To the front of the location is a very small and Rocky sand beach which it looked like nobody used.
To the right of reception was a larger sandy beach with some sunless and a snorkel hire hut. Large rocks protrude out of the sea which gives the Seychelles its unique look.
To be fair, the Hilton Northolme is not really a beach resort as its very small beach could not entertain more than 20 sunbathers at any one time. This was also another reason why having your own pool was extra special for us.
There is however near reception a swimming pool area with more sunbeds and four poster, Sun bed loungers and a decorative waterfall.
Conclusions / Recommendations
To stay at a 5 Star Resort in the Seychelles was a dream come true for us especially having a Villa with its own swimming pool all to ourselves.
The Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa is the smallest Hilton Resort in the world & rumored to be a favorite of Ian Flemming who reportedly wrote the James Bond film “Thunderball” whilst staying there.
As soon as you enter the resort you notice how well established the grounds are and how well kept they are by an army of gardeners. The Resort has a similar look & feel throughout with dark wood tones, lush vegetation everwhere but at the same time a feeling of old Luxury.
The staff at the resort are a pleasure to communicate with and go that extra mile for its customers. House keeping done a splendid job everyday, once in the morning and then a special turn down service & replenishment of water at 6 pm everyday.
Dining options are limited at the resort with only two places to eat, either at the bar or at the Restaurant unless you choose room service like we did.
A big bonus is the location of the resort to the Mahe international airport. Approximately only 25 mins by Taxi from the airport was one of the reasons we choose this resort instead of the Hilton Labriz which is on a separate island accessible by a ferry which can take up to an hour.
The Seychelles is truly a wonderful place to visit and a little piece of Paradise. The Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa is highly recommended but if your after a beach holiday it would probably be better to choose its sister Resort – The Hilton Labriz.
If you want to save money on airport transfers, take Euros & expect to barter. This can save you upwards of 30€ each way.
Food at the resort is fairly expensive, to save money choose the bar restaurant for dining or room service over the resorts main restaurant.
If you can, choose the King Hillside Villa with Pool over the standard Hillside Villa but do expect to negotiate a better upgrade rate. Expect to pay between 130 – 160 USD extra per night.
If you have any questions or want to add your comments on the Hilton Seychelles Northolme resort & Spa, please leave a comment below.