May 2019 (Last updated in September 2019)
The Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa is located on Silhouette Island, the third largest granite island in the Seychelles. Despite its size, it only has approximately 200 inhabitants. Ninety-three percent of the island is declared a national park, and Silhouette Island is one of the most biodiverse places in the West Indian Ocean.
To get to the Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa, you have two options, both of them rather expensive: a helicopter or the hotel shuttle boat from Mahé. We chose to take the boat, which was the more affordable option.
Arrival and Check-in
From our previous hotel in Beau Vallon (a beach district on Mahé), it was only a short taxi ride to Hilton’s dock, the Bel Hombre Jetty. We checked in right at the dock while a staff member took our luggage — the Hilton Labriz completes the formalities before guests even arrive at Silhouette Island, which we found very convenient. At the other hotels we stayed at during our visit to the Seychelles, the check-in process tended to be a lengthy affair. In Hilton’s lounge on the dock, this was done in just a few moments.
We arrived at Bel Hombre Jetty 30 minutes before the shuttle boat departure as the hotel requests, and thus had some time to spare. We therefore appreciated the complimentary wireless internet in the lounge. We were also offered welcome drinks and cold towels, and more drinks and sandwiches could be purchased. Additional facilities in the lounge included showers and restrooms, and there was seating both inside and outside.
A few minutes after the scheduled departure time, we boarded the boat and received a short security briefing. The interior of the boat was not the newest, but the seats were very comfortable. Other guests obviously agreed, as a surprisingly large number of them were napping during the boat ride. On the way back, a newer boat was used with more updated interiors. However, that boat was smaller, so it moved slightly more in the waves. Both boats had restrooms onboard.
The 20-kilometer journey from Mahé to Silhouette Island took 40 minutes. On the return, the journey was a few minutes shorter. Both trips were smooth given the calm seas in May, but we have been told that the sea can be considerably rougher at other times of the year.
As we approached Silhouette Island, we saw a group of people standing on the dock. It was the hotel staff welcoming us to the resort. Once inside the arrival lounge, each one of the staff members introduced themselves. We thought this was a very nice gesture.
After the warm welcome, guests were divided into groups and taken for a tour of the resort in golf carts. During the tour, we got lots of useful information about Silhouette Island and the hotel.
Since we arrived early at Silhouette Island (we had taken the boat from Mahé at 9:30 am), our room was not quite ready yet. The staff therefore drove us, along with the other guests, to the pool bar and offered us a light breakfast consisting of drinks and pastries. They informed us that wardrobes and a shower were available at the activity center, and after a quick snack we went there to put on our swimming suits.
A couple of minutes later, the Duty Manager, to our surprise, turned up in the activity center to let us know that our room was ready. He then escorted us personally to our villa and explained what benefits we were entitled to as Hilton Honors Diamond status holders*. This included free breakfast, a 15% discount on spa treatments, and free bike and kayak rentals. The discount on spa treatments was supposed to apply only to treatments of 60 and 90 minutes, but we were able to use it on two 30-minute treatments.
Our King Garden Villa
We had booked a room in the lowest category, a King Garden Villa, located in the well-kept garden area of the resort.
Upon entering the room, we found it nicely decorated with flowers and a greeting on the bed. The cute dog made from towels made us smile.
A welcome gift — a stylish beach bag — also awaited us, and a few minutes later some sweets were delivered to our door. We have rarely felt so welcome anywhere.
The spacious bungalow consisted of a large room with a seating area and an armchair, a king-size bed, and a separate bathroom. Everything was comfortable and very clean, but the room did show some signs of wear and tear.
The bathroom, in particular, could have used an upgrade. The room had double sinks, a bathtub and a separate rain shower, but was somewhat more worn than we would expect at a 5-star hotel. Outside, there was a second shower and we loved showering in the open air while admiring the mountain views.
In the combined sleeping and living area, there was a well-equipped minibar, a coffee machine and a kettle. The Nespresso machine came with two free capsules a day, while instant coffee and tea were unlimited.
The hot and humid weather made us appreciate the well-functioning air conditioner and ceiling fan.
Yet another gift from the hotel was two reusable water bottles. These are given to all guests and can be filled in various places around the resort. Free water is also offered at all restaurants.
Other facilities in the villa were bathrobes, slippers, a large TV and wireless internet. The latter was not very fast but worked pretty well for surfing and checking email. Uploading photos was a challenge, though.
The resort provided evening turndown service, and on our last evening we came back to find our bathroom beautifully decorated with flowers and candles (yet another Diamond membership perk). The bathtub was even filled up with water which was at a perfect temperature when we got to our room after dinner!
Restaurants and Bars
We arrived at the Hilton Labriz on a Sunday, which is the day of the weekly lunch at the Grann Kaz restaurant. The lunch was fully booked, but the Duty Manager still managed to get us a table.
Having lunch in the old plantation house from the 19th century was just amazing. A band played catchy music and did a great dance performance. In addition to the hotel guests, some local residents had taken the trip from Mahé for the occasion and everybody seemed to have a great time.
The food was traditional Creole cuisine, set up as a buffet in the beautiful garden. We rounded off the lunch with a visit inside the plantation house, which has now been converted into a combined restaurant and museum. Walking around among the old furniture on the second floor felt like travelling back in time.
We had dinner in the buffet restaurant Café Dauban. The theme of the evening was the sea, and a good selection of tasty fish dishes was served.
We also had dinner in the Asian restaurant Sakura. The Thai dishes we ordered were all tasty but did not stand out in any particular way.
The breakfast buffet was set up in Café Dauban. The selection was not the most elaborate, but the food looked good. We did not, however, eat breakfast here as Diamond members can also have breakfast in the quieter Mediterranean restaurant Portobello.
After some rather chaotic breakfast experiences elsewhere in the Seychelles, eating breakfast in Portobello was heavenly. At one point there were six other guests in the restaurant, but most of the time we had the entire place to ourselves.
Breakfast was a la carte. Each morning freshly squeezed juice, coffee, fruit and a well-stocked bread basket were brought to our table before we ordered from the menu. We tried a few different dishes and were impressed every time. The service was also impeccable and made us feel like royals.
The Hilton Labriz has several other restaurants and bars. Our favorite place to hang out in the evening was the beach restaurant, 4th Degree. Looking at the stars while having a few drinks was the perfect way to end the day.
Facilities and Activities
The Hilton Labriz has a large spa with a whirlpool, plunge pool, steam room and sauna, all cleverly built into the terrain. We had two massages which were very relaxing but unfortunately did not have time to try the rest of the spa facilities.
The fitness room had quality equipment but was quite small. The view, on the other hand, was impressive, with jungle and some huge granite stones right outside the windows. The hotel also has a tennis court and mini golf course.
One of the things we appreciated the most during our stay was that we could borrow bikes for free as Diamond members. Since the resort is spread out over a fairly large area, we saved a lot of time by cycling instead of walking. Even if you have to pay to rent the bicycles, we strongly recommend doing this.
Other activities at the Hilton Labriz are a diving center, a kids club and a turtle center. The hotel also organizes various excursions, outdoor cinema and weekly nature talks about Silhouette Island.
We did not attend any of the arranged excursions but instead went on a jungle walk of our own. Our goal was to cross the hill to the Anse Mondon beach, but the trip unfortunately ended with us turning around before we got that far. Due to the rain the night before, the steep path was muddy, and after slipping a few times, we thought it was safest to return to the hotel. Although we did not make it to the beach, the hike was still a wonderful experience. Silhouette Island is incredibly lush and green, and we found it to be very exciting to explore. In the jungle we saw various species of birds and a large number of Seychelles giant millipedes.
Since we spent most of our time venturing around the resort and jungle, we did not lounge much by the pool. Even though the hotel was fully booked, there always seemed to be available sun loungers.
There are several beaches near the hotel. Our favorite one was the Presidential Beach, located to the north of the resort. The beach was incredibly beautiful, and we pretty much had it all to ourselves. At all beaches, the water level varied quite a bit throughout the day, which meant we had to be cautious when swimming at certain times. Flags indicating the swimming conditions were present at every beach.
The service at the Hilton Labriz is one of the hotel’s greatest assets and surpassed that of any other hotel we stayed at in the Seychelles. We felt so welcome and every staff member seemed genuinely happy to see us. During our frequent bike rides, we were always greeted with kind words and broad smiles. Questions were also answered promptly and with a can-do attitude. An example of this was when we stopped by the reception to request some ice cubes to be sent to the room. We then biked back to our villa. To our surprise, a staff member was already waiting outside our door with ice cubes when we arrived!
- Since the Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa is located on a secluded island, there are no places outside the resort to shop for drinks or snacks. The minibar in the room is well stocked, but the contents are expensive. To save some money, it is a good idea to shop at Mahé before going to Silhouette Island. Water is free in the room, public areas and restaurants.
- It is advisable to bring reef shoes because of the danger of stepping on sea urchins.
- If you are prone to seasickness, consider taking the helicopter during the months when the sea is at its roughest.
A walk in the jungle. There is an excellent viewpoint just a few minutes’ (steep) walk up from Presidential Beach on the trail to Anse Mondon. Be careful if it has recently rained.
The Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa markets itself as a secluded island paradise. That was precisely the feeling we got during our stay. The opportunity to explore dense jungle and swim on beautiful empty beaches, all while enjoying the comforts of a 5-star resort is unbeatable. Even with rooms that could use a little upgrade, the hotel is without a doubt our favorite one in the Seychelles. Next time we will surely stay longer than two nights!