Tag Archives: Seychelles

Seychelles Saga: Hilton Northolme – The Room

Seychelles Saga

A word about our rental car first. We got to the Avis counter and low and behold, the Avis guy wasn’t there. Stuck without really an alternative, we went with an enterprising guy next door who said he had called the Avis guy, and would offer the same price. He quoted the same price that we had on our reservation, so we accepted. He did of course try to add a 100 Euro “insurance” adder, to which I firmly declined (I had called Chase to confirm that my United MileagePlus credit card would provide primary insurance, which they said it would). He tried to add a few other charges, all of which I declined, and almost pulled the plug on the car. Ultimately, we were given a neon green two door that our suitcases barely fit in.
The drive up to the hotel was only about an hour with a few wrong turns. I’ll get to more about driving around the island in the next post.
Once we made it to the hotel though, things started looking especially up.
We parked in a lot close to the main entrance and walked a bit to a remote check-in area. From there we were driven down to the front desk in a golf cart (I don’t recall why), where we went through the formalities.

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Front Desk.

From there, we were driven to our room, what was really a free standing villa. We were in villa 112.

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Entrance to our villa.

Instead of the normal “Do not disturb” sign, it had an sign on the front that you could change based on how you were feeling.

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Relaxin’

The room villa had 3 rooms, and an anteroom, as well as a rather sizeable deck.
Looking around the room, we had a wonderful “Welcome” sign on the bed.

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4 poster bed.
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“Welcome!!”

We could simply could not contain ourselves to look around the rest of the room immediately, and had to check out the deck, which was sizable and had one of the most beautiful views we have ever had.

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2 person lounge chair on the deck.
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Outdoor table and chairs – great for evening pizza.
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Gorgeous view right from our room.

Stepping back to the room, we had a sitting area.

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Sitting Area.

In the sitting area was a nespresso machine.

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Nespresso!

There was a separate and sizeable bathroom, with a soaking tub, standing open shower, with a separate room for the toilet.

 Tub and Shower.
Tub and Shower.

Seychelles Saga: Sheraton Milan Malpensa Airport Hotel & Conference Centre

Seychelles Saga

Seychelles Saga: Sheraton Milan Malpensa Airport Hotel & Conference Centre

When we had planned our stop in Milan, we had done so with the idea that we might go into Milan, but we just weren’t sure how we were going to feel. Long story short, we had been coming off a few weeks of hard work, so our 20 or so hour stay ended up being significantly catch up on sleep, and wandering through the landside of Milan Malpensa Airport.

We have SPG Gold status, and this was our first time at SPG staying with it. I’m not sure I could tell anything different, other than free internet, I didn’t notice much different. I still believe free internet should be a standard now, but I digress.

The lobby was fairly modern, spacious, and clean looking.

Loby

There was also an espresso set-up in the lobby.

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We were given room 1105, which was a standard room, looking away from the Airport.

The room, while standard was pretty spacious. Looking back toward the entry, there were a couple of closets.

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Just after entering the bathroom was to the right.

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The toiletries were nice as well.

toiletries

After the bathroom, on the right was the bed.

BED

and across from the bed was a nicely wall mounted TV, as well as a small workstation, and coffee / tea set-up.

TV

Overall, the hotel was nice for an Airport hotel, but I would really have to consider whether I’d make the trek into the city instead next time… Especially if I had Emirates premium transfer service each way.

 

Seychelles Saga: Emirates First Class – New York-JFK to Milan, Italy

Seychelles Saga

Emirates First Class New York to Milan

The gate was already significantly crowded, but we found a side-route to board. While we were not the first to board, I think we were the first First class passengers to board.

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Onboard we were pleasantly surprise with an amazing looking cabin, much like the one on the A380.

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The seats were great too:

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As we were settling in, I noticed the mini-bar, and quite honestly thought to myself — wow, this is extravagance, who needs a mini-bar in First Class? Later in the trip, it became quite apparent how nice it is, to have a place to grab a water or soda from, during times when the cabin crew are seated (e.g. taxi, take-off, landing, etc.).

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And of course, there was pre departure bubbly.

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Pre-departure champagne was Vueve Clicquot, which was what they had in the lounge. They broke out the Dom Perignon (I think 2003) once we reached cruising altitude.

Soon after, the cabin crew came around with amenity kits, pajamas, slippers, and eye shades.

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I will note that the Mrs.’ amenity kit was much smaller than mine. Mine (inside the brown bag) looked like an old leather dictionary cover. Really, really nice, but large.

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Once we were in the air, the cabin crew came around with more champagne and some warm nuts. As you can see, there was a pretty good selection of them.

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After that, we each had a selection of sandwiches. They were alright, but I was looking for something more.

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The alternative (and I think they pulled it from either Business or Economy Class) was a small pizza. I clearly had not eaten enough in the lounge, nor done my research as far as the extent of the meal service.

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The Mrs. Had some stuffed potatoes and some sweets. I can attest to the great quality of the pink macaroon (aka, it was great).

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Afterwards we were tired enough that we really just wanted to sleep, so unfortunately I didn’t get photos of the bed made up. Briefly described: the seat was reasonably comfortable as a bed, the mattress pad however was too narrow for the seat and didn’t help all that much. Not to be picky, but a second pillow would’ve also helped, but the one was at least of a size that I could double it over.

About 90 minutes before arrival, we got our wake-up, and had a small breakfast. I opted for the Crepes, which were good, but nearly as phenomenal as my crepes on Qatar Airways Business class to Singapore.

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The Mrs. had an egg dish, which she enjoyed.

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Before we knew it, our descent had begun and our great flight was almost over. The views were great though, with snow covered mountains among the clouds.

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Before long we were on our way to the Sheraton for our brief visit in Milan.

Seychelles Saga: Intoduction

Seychelles Saga

This trip started after finding a mistake fare on FlyerTalk that we speculatively bought, figuring it wouldn’t last. Well a couple of months went by and folks started reporting successfully flying the fare, so we decided we would start filling in the pieces.

The first step was actually getting there. We didn’t start thinking about this until August or so. Our options were Ethiopian via ADD, Emirates via DXB, or Etihad via AUH. I think Kenya Airways and South African Airways have flights but none that worked with the type of miles we wanted to use or our dates.

Initially I was leaning toward ADD, because I generally have no problem earning UA miles, but, there was no premium cabin availability, and it was ADD (not judging but, it didn’t seem as nice as the UAE). Ultimately things worked out, where I flew my folks to Europe on United (Global First out, Business back), and they had some spare Diners Club points that could be transferred to Alaska Airlines, thereby we booked Emirates First Class to the Seychelles.

Since our trip back was already partially booked on Etihad, at least to Dublin, I booked a placeholder on Lufthansa. Then a few days before we left, I ended up changing from DUB-FRA-IAD to DUB-FRA-YYZ-BWI, because I could guarantee two seats in F and access to the Lufthansa First Class Terminal. Ending in BWI vs. IAD was actually better, since we are only 20 minutes away from BWI, so the additional transit time saved sitting in traffic.

Ultimately, our itinerary looked like this:

The red is American Airlines, DCA to JFK, Gold is Emirates, Green is Etihad and Navy is Lufthansa.

I’m starting this one out of sequence, primarily because I’m writing it from the Seychelles and want to try sharing updates faster than the May trip report I’m still writing.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing this, cheers!