We chose this hotel due to the complimentary reviews on Tripadvisor and were disappointed in our 2-week stay. I didn’t mind that the hotel was across the road from the beach, but I did mind not being able to find a vacant lounger until around 4:30 in the afternoon. The staff begin to remove the loungers from the beach not long after that, so if you wish to enjoy an early evening cocktail while watching the clouds change colours over the sea (sunset is on the other side of the island), you must sit on the sand or on the grassy area above the beach. I had read about the lounger shortage and brought a lightweight beach chair, but would have liked to have been able to use something with a bit more sand coverage and would have preferred not to have to lug my chair across the road everytime I wanted to sit at the beach.
Our room was probably one of the better rooms, being tucked back from the footpath and away from the road. The sliding glass door entrance to the room had blackout curtains, but I needed to stuff one of the sofa cushions in the shower window at night to keep morning light from waking me up. On the plus side, there was a small patio area outside the room with a table and 2 chairs and the bed was fairly comfortable. The grounds were well maintained, except possibly the pools, which we were unsure how often they were cleaned and were often busy with young children. 1 of the 2 pools was closed for 3 days following a storm, but I did not see much damage elsewhere.
We were told we could only change our beach towel every 2 days. The problem with this is that the towels are heavy and do not dry easily. Also, you are supposed to change your towel before 10 in the morning. Mauritius is 4 hours ahead of the UK and I hardly ever got up before 10 in the morning. The reception staff took pity on me and changed my towel a couple of times. There were no beach towels available a couple of times when I tried to exchange my husband’s towel card.
The resort location was about 15 minutes walk from Belle Mare village, but it’s not a walk I would do at night (too dark to see foot path and road has no lighting, with some speeding cars). There is not much in the village anyway, except for a few shops and 1 or 2 restaurants. Your choice of things to do in the evening is limited by your budget for taxis/dining out (there are a couple of expensive resorts in the area you could try - taxi fares were about £4-5 each way) and the entertainment on offer at the hotel. I thought the entertainers at the hotel (except for the 1-man show) were the best thing about the place. Some of the entertainment was in French, which I don’t speak. I don’t begrudge the French speaking, however, as it is one of the main languages in Mauritius.
I did somehow hope for some English language television, as the hotel is marketed to British tourists and a bit isolated. The choice of tv channels was unpredictable and very limited. There were sometimes 1 or 2 stations in English, sometimes none, and my husband managed to find news only once. No, we don’t spend our holidays glued to the television, but like the option of watching the news and maybe a film at night.
This was only our second all-inclusive holiday and probably our last. We hadn’t realised the food would be buffet-style as this was not the case on our last all-inclusive holiday. We also somehow thought there would be an ala carte menu. The pizzas (improvise your own toppings from the grilled fish and/or vegetables on offer) and pastas were good, but the quality of the other food was variable. What doesn’t get eaten at breakfast or lunch is often recycled into salads (most of which I actually enjoyed) or stews. I had an upset stomach during the night a couple of times after eating the fish stew (had forgotten it had happened the first week). The quality of the chicken and meat is poor - bony and fatty. There was not much of a queue at the buffet stations, though the hotel could definitely use more staff to help clear plates away after courses are finished. There was a fly problem in the restaurant the last week of our stay.
We were on all-inclusive, rather than Emeraude-inclusive, so were able to drink more than 1 glass of wine per day. We enjoyed the wine, so it was worth it to go all-inclusive for us. We thought the restaurant manager was being a bit mean when he said we would have to pay extra to have lunch on our last day (we decided to take a taxi and treat ourselves at The Residence instead). We’d missed nearly all breakfasts and my husband hardly ate any lunch or dinner (he lost half a stone while we were there). The hotel also did nothing for my husband’s birthday, even though they asked for our room number when I told them it was the next day. Other hotels we've stayed at have been more celebratory.
We walked down the beach to have afternoon drinks a couple of times at The Residence to try to feel a bit more pampered. The drinks were about 10 euros, but it was a lovely setting and a refreshing change. You can hear road noise from the beach across from the Emeraude, but not at The Residence.
We took taxis to other locations on the island on a few different days and a glass bottomed boat trip that was included with our holiday package. If you are on a two-week package, a day trip to Ile aux Cerfs (well worth it for the boat journey and hanging out at the picturesque beach bar – bring cash, ~7 euros per cocktail), a nearby small island, is also included.
Most of the staff were friendly and helpful. In fact, all the Mauritians we met were very friendly. Hardly any of them were out to sell us anything. I wound up chatting with a couple of low key beach hawkers near the hotel a few times; something I would normally never consider. There were never more than 1 or 2 beach hawkers and usually none near the hotel. There were plenty of locals at the beach, having group picnics and playing in the water.
My husband had a worse time than I did. He was so miserable, partially due to the heat, that he wanted to go home early. The hotel has a Departure shower room that is not air conditioned and not well ventilated. We were dripping with sweat as soon as we stepped out of the shower. There were no towels in the room, even though we’d booked a time slot. The staff at first said there were none available, but eventually found a couple of towels with holes in them. That about sums up our experience. We would not go back to this hotel and probably not Mauritius. There are plenty of other places that offer better scenery and better value for money.
Some of the seaview rooms are also closest to the road. Worth bearing in mind if you are sensitive t...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC