Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa 2019 Review

Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort 2019 Review

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).

British airways 787-9 Business Class Club World

To Read our Flight Review, Click Here ->BA LHR – SEZ 787-9 Club World Review <-

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.


Hilton Seychelles Northolme resort

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

Hilton Northolme seychelles

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.

Hilton Northolme seychelles 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.

Hilton Seychelles northolme

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

ilton Seychelles northolme villa

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.

Hilton Northolme seychelles

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.

Hilton Northolme seychelles villa bed

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.

Hilton Northolme seychelles villa 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.

Hilton Seychelles northolme

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.

Hilton Seychelles northolme gold

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. 

Day 1:

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.

Day 2:

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.

Hilton Northolme seychelles room service

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.

Hilton Northolme seychelles dining

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

Hilton Seychelles northolme breakfast

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

Hilton Seychelles northolme beach

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

Hilton Seychelles northolme pool

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. 


Tips:

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.

Hotel Vincci Tenerife Golf 2019 Review

Hotel Vincci Tenerife Golf 2019 Review

The Hotel Vincci Tenerife Golf Review – this hotel is just 5km from Tenerife South airport with the hotel vincci tenerife costa adeje offering a restaurant, all-inclusive, pools, Sundeck, rooms, reception, entertainment. Conveniently located for shops, cafes, restaurants, supermarket and bars, seafront location, Spa & only 100 yards from Tenerife’s Golf del Sur Golf Course.

How to find the Hotel Vincci Tenerife Golf

To find the hotel from the Tenerife South airport (TFS), it only takes between 11 -15 minutes by car.

Public transport options are also available from the airport terminals taking approximately 34 minutes.

The quickest route by car is to follow the TF-1 to the TF-645, then onwards to the TF-65 until you reach your destination.

Taxi charges from TFS airport is approx 12 – 15 euros only (Prices correct @ 2019)

Hotel Vincci Tenerife Golf Reception

As we arrived at the main entrance doors we got the first impressions of a good quality 4 star hotel. The facade of the hotel is impressive with floor to ceiling glass, well presented outside with Palm trees and a marble forecourt. Everything was kept scrupulously clean and well maintained, so far, so good…

As we entered the main reception we observed a large reception desk staffed by two Vincci employees. From reception you can view the outdoor swimming pool and Sundeck area through glass window panels, to the right we could see a large restaurant area.

Around the perimeter of the reception area we observed various sofas, armchairs & coffee tables. A long, cushioned seating area, lounge sofas, a pool table and bar area. This area gives the impression of a very good 4 Star Hotel. 

The Receptionist welcomed us with a friendly “hola” and booked us in very quickly and explained the hotel facilities & services. Please be aware there are no porter service available at this hotel, luckily our allocated room was located on the ground floor. Escalators assist all customers to other floors within the hotel.

We arrived just after midday so our room was not available yet, we only waited about 15 minutes for cleaning duties to be finished. 

Pools & Sundeck area 

The Vincci Tenerife Golf hotel accommodates one main swimming pool & one smaller children’s pool separated.

Around the perimeter of the wooden Sundeck we only saw enough space to hold about 40 x sunloungers and parasols. The amount of Sundeck floorspace area does not mirror the amount of rooms within the hotel. We visited in March out of season and did ask ourselves what would happen in-season? We can only imagine quite a few people extremely unhappy when not being able to secure a space for a sunlounger during their holidays.

Tenerife is known for strong winds especially along the coastal resorts, this hotel has fitted glass screens around the Sundeck areas which work well to deflect strong winds off the sea.

The sunloungers were in good condition but the cushions looked like they could have been in need of some cleaning as we observed many cushions with stains. The cushions were stored away in two small rooms, one at the rear of the sundeck and one located next to the lifeguard.

The main pool was clean but cold with no heating installed. The children’s pool was the same.

The lifeguard was on duty from 10am through to 5pm everyday and controlled the music played next to the swimming pools.

On our first day we decided to explore the pool areas after breakfast and found another Sundeck area up a set of stairs. The upper Sundeck contained double, cushioned sunbeds, its own sunloungers with cushions and an area containing Rattan sofas and chair furniture,  all under a canopy for shade. This was very useful to take a quick break from the Tenerife sun at midday.

We found this upper Sundeck area a retreat from the main, busy pool area on the ground floor. During our entire trip only a handful of people used the upper area to sunbathe and relax. If your like us and prefer a quieter, more relaxing area then this upper Sundeck is for you. There was always sunloungers available everyday during our trip so no need to keep getting up early to put your towels on a sunlounger.

Room accommodation 

We paid for a Seafacing balcony room as accommodation during our stay. When we entered our room our first impressions were not so good, especially after the good impression we had of the hotel from the main reception area.

Our room size was adequate, a king sized bed, flat screen TV, bathroom, balcony, wardrobe with safe and air conditioning, but as we looked closer we saw signs of wear and tear throughout and the whole room in serious need of some updating.

The balcony partly faced the sea so we could not complain but the patio doors were old, tatty and the curtains in need of replacing. The housekeeping was of a good standard and cleaning including new bedding, towels and toiletries replaced everyday.

The entire room in our opinion required a serious refurbishment, it looked to us as if no investment had been made in the room for atleast 10 years. 

Bathroom

The bathroom consisted of two wash hand basins set into a worktop, a toilet, a bidet and a bath with shower and glass screen and extra towels were stored away.

Once again, the bathroom looked like it could do with an update and a good refurbishment. How many hotels these days still have a bath fitted with a shower attached?

The taps were discoloured due to cleaning, all chrome fittings like the shower fittings, plugs were all discoloured but clean. The shower attachment off the bath taps took some adjusting as when we turned the shower on, the shower head shot upwards making a lot of water on the bathroom floor. For the rest of our stay we had to have showers at a half flow and lean backwards just to shower and get clean.

The colour scheme of the bathroom had a lot to be desired. It felt like we had gone back in time to the 90’s with the lime green washbasins, marble effect worktops and a strange, lime green painted toothbrush holder. 

The toilet flush system stuck when you flushed so constantly refilled which I had to fix myself. Also, there was no extraction system fitted in the bathroom so the mirrors steamed up constantly. 

Television & Wi-Fi

The LCD flat screen Television in our room had approximately 40 channels installed, however out those 40 channels we could only find three American channels of which two of those were news channels. This was disappointing as we have read many reviews online that a lot of English people stay at the hotel.

The hotel does not have Wi-Fi installed in any rooms. If you want to access Wi-Fi you need to be in the reception area and its chargeable on a weekly fee rate. We did find two PC’s at the rear of reception which charged €1 per 10 minutes of internet access.

Restaurant / Breakfast

The Restaurant area is located off reception next to a bar area and holds approximately 60 tables including various areas serving hot & cold foods, drinks, tea / coffee and a chef manned egg station.

The Restaurant serves daily breakfast from 7am – 10am, lunch from 1pm – 3pm and Dinner serving from 7pm – 10pm everyday. 

Dinner rates on a daily basis cost €39.00 for two people including drinks at your table which is billed to your room.

As we only paid for Room & Breakfast rate at the hotel we can’t comment on the Lunch or Dinner servings.

Breakfast Serving in our opinion was of a good standard. The choice on offer was varied from hot cooked items such as bacon, sausages, tomatoes, mushrooms etc. Freshly cooked eggs are available from the egg station and your choice are cooked to order by a chef. 

The Restaurant at breakfast served a multitude of different foods & drinks such as cold meats, cheeses, salads, fresh & dried fruits, cereals, nuts, yogurt, sliced breads, rolls & baguette.

We opted for on many days the cooked eggs of choice from the egg station which were very good. The omelette is cooked to order and you can request additional items such as onions, peppers, ham, mushrooms etc.

Outside the restaurant we discovered another area with tables & chairs so customers can eat breakfast in the morning Sun. Unfortunately this area is also shared with smokers so if your unfortunate like we found you can be sharing your breakfast time with people smoking on the table next to you.

In our opinion the restaurant offerings and service were a good 4 Star Hotel standard.

Local area & Facilities

One of the main reasons we choose the Vincci Tenerife Golf was the local area adjacent to the hotel. Using Tripadvisor reviews we found that the hotel was located next to a shopping parade containing many restaurants, bars, cafes, banks, shops and a Supermarket.

This shopping parade was only a few minutes walk from the hotel and was very convenient to pop out for a few snacks, eating out for dinner or just to take an evening stroll.

During our stay we found a few very nice restaurants including an excellent Indian, an Italian and a Spanish restaurant cooking a multitude of different dishes.

Prices in our opinion where similar to English restaurants, we spent on average £30 a night for dinner for two with soft drinks. 

Our Verdict / Recommendations 

During our research for a hotel located near the Tenerife South airport, on the coast and a minimum of a 4 Star rating at a decent price, the range of hotels on offer was always going to be limited.

We find it such a shame when hotels portray a great image on the internet, invest in the “front of house” & facilities but then fail miserably when it comes to the standard of the customer rooms. This hotel has a lot going for it with a good location, a great restaurant but why not invest in updating the rooms?

We are lucky that including using a discount code we managed to only pay £82.00 a night Room & Breakfast rate for our stay. If we had paid more than this rate we would have not been very happy.

We found the best price available by using various hotel comparison sites on the web. Once we had decided on the right hotel, we then search for the cheapest price available. In the end, we used Trivago as they displayed the most competitive rates, using the information displayed on Trivago we then made a note of the cheapest companies then headed over to Topcashback to bag some cashback off the final price & using a discount code. 

To read our British airways Club Europe flight Review from Gatwick to Tenerife South click here >British airways Club Europe Review < or our Review of the Business Class Lounge at Tenerife South airport by clicking here > Tenerife South Lounge <

If you have any questions or want to leave us your comments on the Vincci Tenerife Golf hotel please leave a comment below.



Hampton by Hilton Gatwick North 2019 Review

Hampton Hilton Gatwick North 2019 Review

Hampton by Hilton Gatwick North Hotel Review – Our article today covers in-depth the Hampton Hilton hotel located inside the Gatwick North Terminal. We look at the rooms, restaurant, breakfast, dinner, bar, reception, prices, bathrooms, location and comfort, business centre & fitness centre.

How to find the Hampton Hilton – Gatwick North Terminal 



For location, this hotel is an absolute winner if you flying in or out of Gatwick airport. The Hampton by Hilton Is one of the only two hotels actually located within the terminals at Gatwick airport. The hotel is just 2 x minutes walk to the North Terminal’s departure gates and only 5 x minutes away from the South Terminal via the free Monorail around the clock passenger service.

To find the hotel you need to enter through the main entrance at the Gatwick North Terminal. Then proceed towards either the escalators or use the lifts provided to the first floor concourse.

From exiting the lift on the 1st floor, turn right into the concourse where you see the baggage & ticket machines for airlines such as easyjet. From the top of the escalators you will need to travel forwards, then turn right past a WH Smith outlet. 

Turn right and you will see in the near distance at the end of the concourse the Hampton by Hilton hotel entrance. You then follow a covered walkway through to Reception.

Reception / Foyer 

We entered the Reception / Foyer area through the sliding entrance doors and were surprised by the modern interiors, the choice of lighting and the colourful furniture with wooden flooring.

Gatwick North Hilton chill out area

In comparison to the Hilton at the Gatwick South Terminal the Reception area is a lot smaller with two reception staff on duty at most times.

The general reception area gives a relaxed atmosphere providing plenty of “chill out” areas to sit down & relax.

Just before reception we noticed another area with plenty of leather tub chairs & sofas. We noticed customers using this area to get ready after checking out rather than clogging up the main thoroughfare with their luggage.

The reception staff were professional and pleasant and processed our keys quickly. They explained all the hotels amenities including the restaurant, breakfast area, bar and elevators. 

Rooms

We entered the elevator to take us to the fifth floor where our allocated room was on this occasion. We selected our floor but nothing happened, the doors just stayed open? After a minute or two I frantically started pushing our floor number again, still nothing.. For security reasons we discovered that you have to swipe your key fob first to activate the lift.

This hotel is like the inside of the Tardis, it doesn’t feel large when you enter reception but it has many floors and a total of 192 rooms. We travelled through a few corridors until we located our room number. All corridors are carpeted to reduce noise disturbance and in general it gave us the impression of a very well maintained, clean & tidy hotel so far.

As we entered our Queen room we noticed how modern & clean the room felt towards our last stay at the Hilton Gatwick South, review found by clicking here Hilton Gatwick South.

Our room contained a large, Queen sized bed with crisp linen and very plump, soft feather filled pillows. Extra linen and blankets were also available stored away in the wardrobe.

A wall table which housed a flat screen TV, small kettle, a selection of Tea bags / Coffee sachets, sugars, milk cartons etc. Two cups & saucers were also provided and glassware but no under counter refrigerator or water. We do feel that all hotels should leave guests atleast a bottle of water in each & every room.

Two Side bed tables housing swivel style adjustable lighting and a telephone / clock radio.

All rooms at the Hampton by Hilton Gatwick have air conditioning, we found this facility to be quiet towards other hotels we have stayed at in the past.

Free Wi-Fi in all rooms comes in very handy when either catching up after a long flight or pre-departure. Reception provides you when you sign in the Wi-Fi password. We found the Wi-Fi signal strong & reliable in our room, we would imagine this would be welcomed if you were using the desk area for business reasons.

The room contains a small but adequate wardrobe, this area was large enough to hang up about 8 x items and store your luggage away. We also discovered an iron & ironing board and a safe within the room.

A desk area and a comfy leather tub chair would come in very handy if conducting some business before or after a flight. 

Even though the hotel is located within the North Terminal, we did not notice any aircraft noise or any disturbance from other hotel guests during our stay.

Bathroom

Just off the main room adjacent to the wardrobe area contained a large, spacious & modern bathroom. This contained a walk-in power shower, large wash hand basin, toilet and additional towels & toiletries. The bathroom looked to us as been recently refurbished with all facilities impeccable clean, we were very impressed.

The bathroom was well supplied with free toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner & shower gel all contained with a pump dispenser located within the shower cubicle. The wash handbasin also held hand wash & hand cream dispensers. The towels were all fluffy and looked new with extra stored away in a cabinet within the bathroom.

Bar / Restaurant area

The bar area looked very clean, modern with white & grey tops and downlighting. In general the bar area was well stocked with beer on tap, spirits, wines & soft drinks with reasonable prices for a hotel located at a London airport.

The staff were friendly & efficient offering service as soon as I approached the bar area. If you fancy a glass or bottle of wine or a cocktail to start off your onward journey, the bar menu was fairly extensive with plenty of choice. We did not notice any premium wines in the bar menu but this is to be expected unless your staying at a 5 Star Hotel on site.

The bar area contained lots of seating for customers including either smaller, intimate areas with two chairs & table settings to larger tables seating up to six people. The bar area floods with natural light from the floor to ceiling Windows and down lighting.We noticed a few couples eating within the bar area and a family.

Large flat screen LCD TV’s displayed a major sporting event during our visit and regional news. The entire area felt relaxed and not crowded. We decided to use this area to eat dinner also as we found the separate area cold with no atmosphere. The bar menu is available 24 x hours a day offering a selection of cooked foods to order.

Business Centre

Hampton Hilton Gatwick North Business areaThe Business Centre can be found from a doorway off the bar area located in the corner of the building.

This area was mostly separated from the main bar / restaurant by high walls to provide a quiet area to conduct business.

Facilities include Audio/Visual Equipment Rental, Complimentary Printing Service, Fax machine, Meeting Rooms, Photo Copying Service including the use of a Printer.

 

 

Breakfast Serving & Facilities

Hot breakfast is served everyday from 6am through to 10am. Out of these hours a cold breakfast serving is available everyday in the same area consisting of cereals, fruit, yogurt, breads, jams with coffee and tea.

Due to this hotel’s convenient location to both Gatwick terminals, the breakfast serving even before 6am became quite busy, fairly quickly with lots of people awaiting the hot breakfast to be set out. 

The breakfast area was well stocked during our visit. Due to an early morning flight we were there just before 6am before the hot items were brought out from the kitchen. You can either choose from a wide selection of muesli, granola, cereals, porridge oats, fresh fruit or fruit salad & yogurt.

A good selection of jams, butter, margarine and spreads were also available for toast. On a separate table was a smaller selection of cold meats and cheese.

Along the walls of the breakfast area contained facilities such as a catering size toaster, hot water, tea bags and coffee sachets. Also two, large instant coffee machines serving at the push of a button Cappuccino, Latte, Flat white & Black coffee. Other drinks on display included fruit juices such as Orange, Apple & Breakfast juice.

The hot breakfast servings included bacon, sausages, eggs either fried or scrambled options, tomatoes, mushrooms etc.

I found the hot breakfast serving to be ok, the bacon & eggs being well cooked by the kitchen team. However, I did notice that the Sausages to be of a lower standard than expected. Overall the cooked breakfast was Satisfactory / Good standard.

The breakfast seating area runs the length of the side perimeter of the building with views from the floor to ceiling glass panels of the terminal traffic below. 

Check out & Room Billing

After breakfast we vacated our room fairly quickly as we had only a few hours to spare in the British Airways Lounge before our flight departure, review found here BA Lounge Gatwick.

Reception were extremely fast at checking us out and processing any billing to our room from the dinner and drinks from the night before. When you check-in at reception you are required to provide a payment card for any billing. This enables all bar & restaurant bills to be added to your rooms account enabling a faster check out process. 

Room Pricing

We paid for our Queen room by using 15k avios points. A queen room at this hotel averages out at approximately £90.00 a night using one of the many online hotel comparison sites. Going direct to Hilton for our room averaged approximately £99.00 a night.

However, if you do not use Hilton to book your hotel stays direct you will not be allocated any Hilton Honor points. Hampton by Hilton provide breakfast free of charge to all customers so we factor the additional charges for breakfast into our research when booking hotel stays at Gatwick airport.

The Skint Travellers Verdict / Recommendations 

As soon as we entered the Hampton by Hilton Gatwick North hotel reception, we knew the hotel in general would be modern, clean and offer a good range of facilities.

The hotel is so conveniently located that you do not even need to leave the terminal to board your flight which in our opinion adds extra value.

We compared this to its sister hotel, the Hilton at Gatwick South and actually prefer this hotel between the two and its cheaper on average, per night. The room was better than the Hilton in our opinion, but the facilities were better at the Hilton such as the restaurants and breakfast area.

We would recommend to bag the best price for a room here would be to book as soon as possible using an online company offering hotel rooms as these companies generally can offer rooms cheaper than Hilton direct.

Also, once you have found your best online price for your room, try checking out a Cashback company like Topcashback or Quidco before you book just to see if you can earn some cashback from your purchase.

If you have any questions or would like to post your opinion on the Hampton by Hilton at Gatwick North Terminal, please leave a comment below.

The Heritage Awali Golf & Spa Mauritius 2019 Review

Heritage Awali Golf & Spa Mauritius 2019 Review 

The Heritage Awali Golf & Spa based on the South Coast of Mauritius is a Luxury 5 Star Resort located approx 40 minutes from Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport.

The Resort has an average price of between £300 – £500 depending on the time of year you decide to stay and any add-on packages like the All Inclusive options.  The Heritage Awali boasts an Infinity pool and two other swimming pools on site, pool side bars, 12 x Restaurants, luxurious rooms, Fitness centre, 18-hole golf course, kids clubs, beach front location etc.

Arriving at the airport:

BA premium economy 777 Mauritius
BA 777 200 arriving at Mauritius

After a long, but direct flight from London Gatwick on British airways In World Traveller Plus – Review found here > BA Premium Economy Review. We finally touched down at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport 11 x hours later. The weather looked mixed on our arrival which gave us a slightly nervous feeling as we expected wall to wall sunshine from Mauritius. We exited the plane, walked across the runway towards the arrivals area, no airport transport buses here then…

To our pleasant surprise outside of the arrivals terminal were a group of dancers in wonderful, colourful outfits performing a traditional, Mauritian dance called the “Sega” to the sounds of a steel band. The dancers made their way to all passengers arriving off the plane and provided us all with exotic flowers as a welcome gift to the Island. This lifted our mood instantly and was an amazing, unforgettable start to our holiday. The airport terminal was fairly basic and the Immigration queue long. After 20 x mins through Security and another 15 x mins awaiting our luggage we made our way out of the arrivals terminal where we were greeted by a host ready to show us to our air-conditioned mini bus.

Arriving at Awali Heritage Bel Ombre

Arriving at the Heritage Awali Golf & Spa Resort

After a fairly short travel time we arrived at the Resort. The Heritage Awali Golf & Spa in Bel Ombre had for us an instant feeling of Grandeur. You enter the resort through a large wooden, gated entrance and travel you through some amazing, green and lush gardens with coconut trees and a spectacular view of the golf course.

As we pulled up to the main entrance we could see and hear an Indian Native pounding a set of Indian drums. This welcome to guests was very impressive and a real wow factor.

Indian Native drums at the entrance to Heritage awali
Indian Native drums at the entrance to Heritage awali

The main entrance is under Canopy and to each side of the walkway to reception contained ponds full of large, multi coloured fish where Water falls flow into the ponds that provide a perfect backdrop.

Exotic fish in the ponds at the Heritage Awali - Mauritius
Exotic fish in the ponds at the Heritage Awali – Mauritius

We were escorted to Reception, this area was fully air-conditioned where we could finally see the beach & the ocean. The Resort has a similar look and feeling throughout with dark wood adorning most surfaces with soft furnishings and classy decor throughout. We were quickly greeted by staff at the reception area who made us feel very welcome. We were escorted to a lounge area with comfy sofas and provided delicious iced, citrus fruit cocktails and lemon scented refreshment towels. The lounge is very relaxing after a long journey and we spent about 10 x mins taking it all in, the surroundings, the views, the wonderful Citrus scents throughout the resort.

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Hilton Gatwick South Hotel 2019 Review

Hilton Gatwick South Hotel 2019 Review

The Hilton London Gatwick South is one of the most conveniently located hotels serving Gatwick airport. In this Review we cover the Rooms, Parking, Restaurant Facilities, Breakfasts, Bars, location, executive lounge and service.

The Hilton Gatwick South is a modern, 4 Star Hotel with a wide selection of Facilities on site including various Restaurants / Bars serving food & drinks all day / night. With 821 various rooms, Open 24 hours a day with Reception, Elevators, Lounges, Concierge & laundry services provided & a Fitness Centre, this is simply one of the best & Conveniently located Hotels at London Gatwick airport.

How to find the Hilton Gatwick South Hotel

Covered Walkway Tunnel to the Hilton Gatwick South entrance
Covered Walkway Tunnel to the Hilton Gatwick South

This Hotels location cannot be beaten for convenience as it only takes approx 5 x mins on foot from exiting the South Terminal to entering the Hilton foyer. It’s also only 10 x mins away from the North Terminal by using the free monorail service. The convenience and location to the South Terminal is unbeatable for an early morning flight or late night arrival. If you do not like a long walk after or before your flight then the Hilton Gatwick South hotel is for you.

To locate the Hotel you simply exit the Gatwick South Terminal and follow the signage stating “Hotels”. You follow the Pedestrian walkway across the road to the Covered walkway next to the Car Park. Turn right and follow the Covered walkway for a few minutes and turn left at the signage “Hilton Hotel”.

You will now enter a Walkway Tunnel and after a few mins walk you access the Hilton Gatwick South grand entrance.

Hilton London Gatwick Parking

The Hilton London Gatwick South Hotel does not have its own, private customers Car Park. However, just a few minutes walk from the Hotel foyer you can park your vehicle in the Gatwick South Terminals car park. You can locate the Car Park by foot from the Gatwick South arrivals terminal by exiting the terminal, crossing the main road and you will see the Multi levelled Car parking zones in front of you. Take the Stairwells or the Elevator to gain access to each floor & zone. The Hilton Gatwick South Hotel also offers Park & Fly options / Valet Parking during the booking process.

To locate the South Terminal Car Park by Car, Exit the M23 at Junction 9, follow the signs for Gatwick Airport. When you arrive at the first roundabout you need to turn left following signs towards the South Terminal.

Reception / Foyer

Hilton Gatwick South reception area
Reception area staffed 24 x hours a day

As you enter the Hilton london gatwick airport entrance you find to your left a Costa Coffee area, perfect for grabbing a quick coffee & snack. Continue forwards and we were surprised to enter a very large foyer area with the Reception desks to the left and a bar / seating area in the middle where you can relax and grab a drink or something to eat. This entire area is covered over by a transparent roof Canopy making it feel very light & spacious. The area had an instant feeling of vibrancy and a good, first impression.

The Reception area was staffed by three receptionists when we arrived and we found a staff member available immediately. The Hilton staff were professional and we could not fault their friendliness. I was advised that I had been allocated an upgrade to an Executive room on the third floor due to me being a Hilton Honors Diamond member.

The Reception area is open 24 x hours a day and are very efficient. We had to make a request for an early morning wake up call, our call was answered extremely quickly.

Restaurants / Bars

You can catch Lunch at Amy’s Bar from 12.30 on weekdays and is situated next to reception in the foyet area. Amy’s bar opens in the week at 10.00am everyday & 11.00am on the weekends. This bar serves a selection of light lunches / sharing platters & snacks. Amy’s bar also serves most alcoholic drinks including cocktails or Tea / Coffee & closes at 1.00am.

If you prefer a quick coffee or snack then Costa is open everyday from 6.00am to 6.00pm. Service is quick & efficient and good value.

Dine in the evening at Amy’s Restaurant from 6pm – 10.45pm everyday of the week including weekends. This restaurant serves a finer dining menu and a perfect setting for a Romantic dinner before or after your journey.

Amy’s Restaurant


If you prefer a more relaxed, chilled out atmosphere then Charlie Fry’s sports Bar is the place to visit. The bar hosts big sporting events on the large screen TV’s and serves faster food like Burger & fries and beers, spirits etc. Charlies bar is open everyday from 5.00pm – 11.00pm.

Breakfast area

The Garden restaurant is where breakfast is served everyday from 5.30am – 10.30am & 11.00am on the weekends. Being a Hilton Diamond Member we got breakfast for free during our Stay. You enter the Garden restaurant from the ground floor near the elevators. As you enter, you are asked for your room number and escorted to your table of choice. The Garden Restaurant has lots of natural Light flooding through the many Windows on one side and soft down lighting, much appreciated after a Long flight or early start.

Hilton Gatwick South garden restaurant breakfast area

The breakfast sitting had a wide range of hot & cold foods including self-serve areas containing cooked bacon, sausages, eggs etc. A large carousel toaster for fresh toast, ranges of fruit juices, yogurt, pastries, fresh fruits, cereals and muesli. A waiter asks for our order of Tea or Coffee at our table and promptly returned with our order. From our observations the Garden restaurant was well run and all staff polite, courteous and well dressed. The area was kept impeccably clean with a staff member observed sweeping up and cleaning tables and leaving fresh, clean tablecloths, napkins etc.

The only slight niggles we had would be that they didn’t appear to stock all UK national newspapers. I found the newspaper table but could only find an Irish publication?

With such an early breakfast serving starting at 5.30am, this worked well for us catching a 9.00am outbound flight.

Executive Lounge access

Hilton gatwick south executive lounge area

The executive lounge was located on the third floor and was only a short walk from our room. All Hilton honor Diamond members get complimentary access to all Hilton Hotel executive lounges. All guests staying in either Executive rooms or Suites also get complimentary access to all lounges.

Facilities in the Hilton Gatwick executive lounge included free Wi-Fi, private check-in desk staffed at all times, PC usage in a small business area, free newspapers and magazines, Televisions.

Complimentary continental breakfasts are available in the executive lounge areas, free drinks, tea or Coffee.

Complimentary canapés and drinks served daily between 6:30pm and 8:30pm.

We were not aware of any Room service offered or made aware of this service on arrival.

Rooms

The Hotel is extremely large and we did on occasion find it difficult to locate our room. You take an elevator to your floor but with 821 rooms in total, the numbering and directions to locate your room can be a little overwhelming especially after a long flight.

Hilton Hotel gatwick south executive room

All walkway corridors are carpeted, this works well to reduce noise from luggage being dragged along outside your room & reduces disturbance. We seemed to walk down a number of long, various corridors until we located our room. We also noted whilst crossing a glass covered walkway what appeared to be a newer looking section of the hotel. On further research it appears the more up to date rooms are located in this section.

When we entered our Executive room, we instantly noticed the high temperature of the room. The heating / cooling system had been set to 23c which we found very uncomfortable. We reduced the temperature down but the cooling system appeared to do little to reduce the temp quick enough. We woke in the middle of night on a few occasions feeling hot & uncomfortable.

The room appeared adequate but a little dated. Located In the corner of our room was a large built-in desk area. A generous sized bathroom with Separate shower cubicle, wash hand basin and toilet. Toiletries were supplied like shower gels, shampoo / conditioners and toothpaste.

The king size bed was more than adequate with feather filled pillows, thick feather filled duvet and cotton bed sheets. An extra blanket was left at the end of the bed, as if we needed that…

A large flat screen TV, small kettle and a choice of free Tea’s & Coffee. Two small bottles of water were all supplied in our room. A large wardrobe with hangers to accommodate two people.

On reflection we think the room was outdated in decor and furniture. The desk was far too large for the room and the bathroom could benefit a refit to modernise. We expected more from Hilton and we think maybe they have not invested in updating all the rooms in the Hilton Gatwick South Hotel due to its captive audience being so conveniently located to the airport.

Payment

The Hilton london gatwick airport south accepts all major credit cards. When you arrive at reception you will be asked to provide a payment card to be swiped in case of any additional payments required on your bill like food, drinks or other payable services that the hotel offers. 

Verdict / Opinions

For convenience to the Gatwick South Terminal, this hotel is an outright winner. There are not many airport hotels that you can exit a terminal and in less than five minutes be signing in at reception.

We paid for our room using only Hilton honor points at 17k a night. Cash rates for a basic room can be as low as £79.00 per night.

The Facilities on site were great with a wide choice of places to eat and drink. The look and appearance as you enter the foyer of the Hotel is impressive and the breakfast we found a pleasant experience.

All the staff at the Hilton Gatwick South we encountered were professional, courteous and well presented at all times.

The only Negative we would say was our room. Especially as we were upgraded to an executive room, we expected a more modern room with an updated bathroom, decor and furniture in our opinion. It made us wonder what a basic room would have been like at the hotel?

How to Save Money at the Hilton Gatwick South Hotel

Go Direct to Hilton.com, sign up by Clicking Below:

Hilton 5% Cashback
Hilton Cashback

Receive up to 5% Cashback off your Total Bill + £10.00 Sign Up Bonus by Clicking the Banner Below:

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Have you ever stayed at Hilton Gatwick South Hotel?

How did you find your allocated room and facilities, we would live to hear your thoughts below.

Conrad Maldives – Beach Villa vs Water Villa 2019 Review

Conrad Maldives Beach Villa 2019 Review

The Conrad Maldives offers various accommodation on Rangali Island such as the Glorious Beach Villa up to the amazing Water Villa. With an average starting price per night of £500 or 95k Hilton Honor points, we managed to stay at Rangali Island using just Hilton Points and we can show you how to also. Read on for our Full Review on the Beach Villa vs Water Villa accommodation.

This Prestigious Resort is Situated in the South Ari Atoll and is easily accessible by Sea Plane Transfer from the main Maldives (Male) airport departing from the Conrad Seaplane transfer port. Male airport is better known as Velana International Airport which is served worldwide by most International airlines including British Airways, Etihad, Emirates etc.

Read our Review of our Non Stop Flight on BA Club World from London Gatwick to Male Maldives by clicking here – British Airways Club World Review Gatwick to Maldives

Consisting of two islands which are linked by a footbridge across a blue lagoon. The resort consists of various accommodation across the two islands which we will cover in-depth as an analysis, the Beach Villa vs The Water Villa.

The Resort boasts the famous Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, the World’s first and only undersea restaurant and the first in the world – The underwater suite, the Muraka.

If you are a Foodie and Love your Drinks including exclusive Cocktails there are Ten different award-winning places to eat & drink here including the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, the Sunset Grill, Mandhoo Spa Restaurant, Vilu Restaurant & Bar, The Quiet Zone & the Rangali Bar.

Rangali Island is famous for being located near many coral reefs and dive sites with shoals of marine life where you can spot Whale Sharks, Turtles and giant Manta Rays. Plenty of Sea life surrounds the Island and shoals of fish frequently swim very close to the Beach, one evening we even saw a family of Manta Rays swim close by. A Regular spot to observe sharks, large fish and Manta Rays will be outside the Mandhoo Restaurant everyday at noon where the fish feed to an awaiting audience on the walkway.

Two Spa’s, Three swimming pools including an infinity pool with waiter service. If this is not enough for you, the resort also offers various Luxury excursions including a trip of a lifetime to a Private Island for a Romantic Picnic lunch & Champagne by Yacht.

CONRAD MALDIVES BEACH VILLA REVIEW

View of rangali beach villa
View from Private Gardens Pathway

The Luxury Beach Villa is either available by paying cash or using Hilton Honor points. If you become a Hilton Honors Silver / Gold or Diamond Member you will receive One Free Night for every Five nights (You only pay for 4 x Nights – 380k points saving 95k)

This accommodation is 150sq m / 1614 sq feet of pure luxury. From the moment you we were escorted to our door by our Personal host to the minute we entered the Villa we were simply blown away by its sheer size and luxurious look & feel.

Hallway:

Hallway area floor to ceiling glass and umbrellas
Umbrellas in Glass to Ceiling Hallway

As you enter through your Security card accessed front door, you enter a light & airy hallway with floor to ceiling glass which looks out into your private rear garden. Located at the end of the hallway is an Umbrella stand & two Umbrellas. We found this amusing as were in the Sunny Maldives but to our surprise on a few occasions we actually needed those Umbrellas due to a few, short, early evening showers. Located off the Hallway this lead through to the largest Living area we have ever seen in a hotel / resort room. Off the hallway was located an amazing bathroom area, a large wardrobe area and a separate toilet.

Conrad Maldives bathroom
King Beach Villa Bathroom

Bathroom area:

The bathroom area consisted of two separate, freestanding marble wash hand basins, mirrors, lighting and complimentary Luxury toiletries. Quality egyptian cotton hand towels with bath towels stored underneath. Also supplied are toothbrush holders, hand tissues etc.

External Rain Fall Shower:

Off the bathroom, there were a set of sliding doors leading to a paved, patio area with the most amazing Rainfall shower. This area is part of a very private garden area with high walls around the perimeter. To shower in the open gardens is a liberating experience with only birds in the trees as your audience. The shower area is stocked with luxury, organic essential oils shower gels & shampoo / conditioner.

View from Bathing Pavillion to Shower area
View from Bathing Pavillion to Shower area

Bathing Pavillion:

At the rear of the Private Gardens we viewed a large, under Canopy Spa Bath officially known as the Bathing Pavilion. The bathing pavilion is surrounded by lush greenery, trees, bushes and exotic flowers. The pavilion steps up from the surrounding pathways into the largest and most luxurious spa bath we have ever seen. We later found out that you can pay for Room service to fill the bath for you including essential oils…

Rangali Island Beach Villa bathing Pavillion.
Under Canopy Open air Garden Bathing Pavillion

Wardrobe area:

The entire Beach Villa is air-conditioned throughout making it comfortable and a welcome break to cool down from the hot Maldives sun. Off the hallway we discovered a large wardrobe area separated with sliding wooden doors containing a safe. This area held lots of additional quality bed linen, towels, bathrobes, slippers and a Complimentary Conrad wicker beach bag. The wardrobe area is extremely large and easily accommodates three adults clothes and luggage. To find this wardrobe area with its own air conditioning was a great benefit, it kept our clothes cool and a relaxing area to get changed in straight from the shower.

Main Living area:

As we entered the Villa’s main living area, we were surprised to see two sofas. One a chaise lounge and the other a Sofa bed (Sleeps two). This area can be separated by a movable curtain for Privacy, excellent for children or friends / family staying with you. The BV can accommodate up to Three adults or Two adults & Two children.

Conrad Maldives Beach Villa sofabed
Conrad Maldives Beach Villa sofabed area

As Diamond Hilton Honor members we were delighted to find a personal management greeting letter welcoming us to our room including a bottle of Champagne on ice, various exotic fruits and chocolates.

Complimentary champagne on ice, exotic fruit and Conrad chocolates.
Hilton Honors Diamond members guest welcome

The main living area contained the largest, Super king sized bed with excellent quality feather pillows and Egyptian cotton bedding that we have ever encountered. The bed linen gave the feeling of real luxury and the bed was super comfortable. We always had a great nights sleep whilst on our stay.

Super comfortable king size bed.
Super King Size Bed

Coffee / Refrigerator area:

A small alcove area off the main living area contained a small, under counter refrigerator filled with min bar sized alcoholic and a mixture of canned soft drinks. Two large, Conrad branded water bottles, carton of milk and a selection of chocolate bars. These items except the water / milk are all chargeable to your room. A Nespresso coffee maker with a large selection of complimentary coffee pods which are replenished everyday by house keeping. A 32 inch LCD TV kept us entertained during our stay with free cable TV channels. You can even order Room Service from the TV set and receive personal messages instantly. We used the free internet wi-Fi service complimentary in all rooms in the resort to watch online movies of our choice.

Kitchen area Including Fridge, Nespresso coffee machine and complimentary free pods.
Alcove containing Nespresso Coffee Machine, Refrigerator

The Beach Villa has a separate Toilet area including soft down lighting, luxury toiletries and air-conditioned. This area also held under counter storage with addition a hand towels, flannels etc.

Additional Facilities:

As standard every room at Rangali Island also provides a DVD / CD player, hairdryer, Laundry service which is chargeable to your room. House keeping was of an excellent standard and our Villa was cleaned twice a day. Items were replenished on each visit such as our water bottles, coffee capsules, milk and fresh fruits.

Private Garden area With pathway leading to the beach.
Patio area with loungers, Private Gardens & Pathway to Private Beach

As you exit the main living areas sliding patio doors we found ourselves stepping out onto a canopy covered patio area consisting of two, cushioned wooden sun loungers & side tables. The sliding patio doors are also opened from the garden side by swiping your room key card on the reader which was very convenient when wanting to enter your Villa from the Beach. Your private gardens are full of coconut trees, bushes and flowers in bloom. On many occasions we saw fruit bats fly between the trees and other exotic birds. We followed the pathway through the gardens to find at the end the most jaw dropping, fluffy white sandy beach and breath-taking blue lagoon awaiting us. We had finally found Paradise on earth!

Beach & Sun Loungers & Warm water blue lagoon

Private beach / Lagoon:

Our Beach Villa was located in the low 200’s. After researching previous reviews, we both agreed for us that this location on the entire Island was perfect. The low 200’s accommodation side of the island faces into a beautiful, shallow blue lagoon. It’s extremely private on this side of the island and you face towards the ocean. As you walk into the lagoon waters you feel just how warm the water really is in the Maldives. In the far distance we could see the Muraka, the first in the world, under water suite under construction.

Conrad Rangali low 200's private beach.
Private Beach View – Paradise on earth.

Every Beach Villa has conveniently located at the end of your private gardens on the beach, two wooden Sun Loungers and cushions under either a thatched canopy or moveable canopy and small, side table for drinks. A waiter visits twice a day on the beach taking drink orders.

The lagoon is fairly shallow and we could easily walk for a many minutes until the water reached our shoulder height. The water is so warm and clear in the lagoon that we felt we just didn’t want to leave. We noticed on many occasions shoals of small fish swim close to the shore. As we ventured further out we noticed the most beautiful, large fish swimming past our legs. On some occasions we noticed giant Manta Rays swim past in the lagoon.

Giant mantra rays swim past In the blue lagoon.
Giant Manta Rays swim by in the early evening.

To the left along our beach, small boat excursions leave the shore to take people to local dive sites for Scuba diving. The Mandhoo Restaurant was located about five minutes walk but not in sight due to its location around the natural curve of the island. Clean beach towels were left on our Sun Loungers every morning and extra towels left in storage units along the beach. Our host visited us everyday during our stay to ensure everything was to our satisfaction and to keep us informed of special events on the island. I took advantage of the free snorkelling equipment hire during our stay and spent many hours exploring the lagoon.

Conrad Maldives Breakfast / Afternoon Tea

When staying on Rangali Island you have two restaurants to choose from everyday for your Breakfast. We used everyday during our stay the Atoll Market due to its close location to our Villa, literally 3 x mins walk. The Atoll Market serves breakfast daily from 6.00am with a wide selection of hot and cold foods for breakfast Inc sausages, bacon, various versions of cooked eggs. A chef will cook you eggs to order whatever your preference is and cook pancakes / waffles to order while you wait.

Another chef cooks to order omelette with any fillings you request, a juice bar, cold meats, jams, toast, breads, fresh fruits, yogurt etc. Waiter service shows you to your chosen table and takes your order for Tea or Coffee.

As Hilton Diamond members all our Breakfasts were completely free including free afternoon tea at the Mandhoo restaurant starting at 3pm everyday. Afternoon Tea included finger sandwiches, scones, pastries, canape’s and tea, coffees and soft drinks.

The famous goer the crane looking for dinner.
George the Crane looking for his Dinner along the shoreline

To Read Our Review of the Seaplane Transfer to Rangali Island click here – Rangali Island Seaplane Transfer

WATER VILLA REVIEW

Over Water Villa on Rangali Island Conrad Maldives Review

The Water Villa also known as the OWV – Over Water Villa accommodation is 86 sq m or 925 sq ft of pure luxury. We managed to upgrade from our Beach Villa to a Water Villa for the last night of our stay.

We paid $185 to upgrade for the one night, it was a special treat and we felt we couldn’t stay in the Maldives without trying out a Water Villa at least once. The average cost per night for this type of accommodation is around £800-£900 a night. Considering we didn’t pay out any cash for our Beach Villa, we felt paying $185 justifiable.

Unfortunately, Rangali Island is exempt from the Hilton Diamond members conditions that you will receive an upgraded room where available. I believe exceptions to this rule have been made in the past, our Tip would be to try staying here during the quieter months of the year for a better chance of bagging that elusive free upgrade.

Transportation:

After securing our night in the Water Villa via our Personal host, we were advised to get all our personal belongings together and Pack all our luggage. Our host came and found us on the Beach and advised us that someone will be calling at our BV at midday. Right on time, the doorbell rang and a very friendly member staff asked for our luggage and bags. He took everything for us to an electric buggy parked up on the path. We were asked if we’re ready to move or would be prefer later, with anticipation and excitement we were ready and promptly jump in the buggy for the short ride to our Water Villa.

It was fun to ride in the buggy and after about five minutes and lots of twists and turns down different pathways and across the bridge spanning between the two islands, we found ourselves outside our new accommodation on the quiet island.

Wooden pathway leading to the over water villa.
Walkway to Over Water Villa

We arrived and parked up at the end of the wooden walkway to the entrance of our new accommodation. Our luggage was taken into the Villa for us and an explanation given of all the new Facilities.

The Water Villa does certainly have the “Wow” factor. The main living areas are all covered in wooden panelling, you certainly get a feeling of luxury staying here. Our Villa had a large curved sofa, a glass desk facing out of a window to an amazing view of the ocean.

A section in the floor was made of glass, we stood there for at least five minutes staring at all the fish swimming under our feet.

Living area in the OWV

A nice surprise was to find awaiting us again a bottle of champagne on ice, chocolates and fruit. When we evaluated the differences between our Beach Villa to the Water Villa, we found that basic facilities were roughly the same though.

Bathroom:

The bathroom consisted of two, separate marble round bowls set onto wooden units. We got the same standard of toiletries as before. The biggest benefit was definitely the window facing towards the lagoon and the ocean facing bath.

Over Water Villa Sun Deck:

Owv sun deck
OWV Sun Deck

Now this is where we noticed the big difference between the two Villa’s we had the pleasure of staying in. When you open the sliding doors from your main living area, we were taken back by the breath-taking view out into the blue lagoon.

The sundeck on the OWV consisted of a small, plunge pool at the end of the deck. We found this luxury to cool off in the hot, Maldives sun. Steps lead down into the Lagoon from the sun deck. This was a wow factor for us, we had never imagined staying at a hotel that you can walk from your room into the ocean. We swam with fish, watched Manta Rays glide by and just relaxed in the warm waters of the lagoon.

Conrad Maldives water villa sundeck
Conrad Maldives water villa sundeck picture

The Sun deck contains two wooden loungers with cushions, a Sun umbrella canopy, table and chairs and the plunge pool. At night, the sun deck is lit by recessed lighting, we found it so relaxing to sit at our table with a Coffee watching the sun go down. Privacy was good at the Water Villa, our Sun deck was cordoned off to each side by a wooden walls on stilts out of the lagoon.

Our Verdict: Beach Villa vs Water Villa

Firstly, we had to pinch ourselves regularly to remind ourselves that we were lucky enough to be staying in the Maldives, let alone being able to stay in two different accommodations in a 5 Star Resort here.

The main differences between the two villas has to be the Sun deck in the Water Villa and that you are actually staying in accommodation on stilts just above and in the ocean. The Sun deck really has that extra special feel and the ocean views are just stunning.

However, if you look at the Square footage of both Villas as a comparison then the Beach Villa wins hands down. You get nearly 80% more space in the BV for your money. Plus it’s cheaper, if you pay cash then your looking at an approx difference of 40% cheaper for the BV.

We found the Facilities in both Villas similar except for the Sun deck in the OWV. Even though we loved walking down steps into the lagoon, we also loved being on an amazing beach in one minute at the end of our private garden in the BV. You do sacrifice the beach in the Water Villa.

We think most people would always choose the Water Villa over the Beach Villa. However, if you were looking for best value for your money then we would definitely say the Beach Villa was the winner due to the price per night. If you ever get the chance to stay at the Conrad Maldives in a Beach Villa, we would definitely recommend enquiring about an upgrade to a Water Villa like we did just to experience the two accommodations.

Skint Traveller Cost Breakdown:

We stayed in the Beach Villa for 7 x Nights plus upgrading to a Water Villa for 1 x night.

7 x Nights in a Conrad Rangali Island BV can be purchased for approx £3500. The standard Hilton rate for this Villa is $687 per night but you can usually find a cheaper deal using one of the many Online Travel Agents advertising on the web.

7 x Nights in a Water Villa costs approx £700 a night so nearly an additional £1400 more than a BV so nearer £5000 for a week’s stay.

We paid for 7 x nights in the Beach Villa all on Hilton Honour points for our stay. The amount of points we used came to 570,000. That is 95,000 HH points per night but if your a Hilton Honors Silver status member or above, you get 1 x night free per every 5 x Nights. So normally 665,000 points.

Every customer Staying on Rangali Island has to pay for the Seaplane Transfer to and from Male international airport. This costs an eye watering £445 each so £890 Return for us two. 

Our final bill came to £1430 including the Upgrade to the Water Villa, thats including all our food and the Seaplane Transfers. We were chuffed to only pay less than 1.5k for that package as a cash purchase cost would of been nearer £6500.

Our bill was only possible by us having Hilton Diamond status allowing us Free Breakfasts everyday and free afternoon tea. We did enquire about the cost of breakfast by cash and we were quoted £140 a day.

We strongly recommend that you acquire Hilton Gold or above status when Staying at Rangali Island to save a lot of money. Hilton Gold can be acquired for Free through taking out the Amex Platinum card. If you are interested in aquring Hilton Gold for Free, contact us and we will send you all the details.

If you have any questions or want to leave your comments on the two accommodations we reviewed here, please leave a comment below.