“Great beach - Great for families. Telfair better for couples.”
Le Telfair v Le Paradis ......
We travelled as a family (kids 16,15 and 12) to Mauritius pre christmas 2011 for 10 days. It was our first visit and given the vast list of hotels to choose from, I did a lot of research before going. The southwest corner of the island appealed due to the more mountainous backdrop and being west facing (sunsets etc)...above all I wanted good food, comfort, good watersports and golf. I write this review as comparison of the two hotels that we stayed at : Le Telfair (5 nights) and Le Paradis (4 nights) to help other families in the planning phase.
Bottom Line : If I were to return to Mauritius with just my wife, Le Telfair would win this fairly easily. If with teenage kids however, I think Le Paradis would just squeeze the popular vote. If you are British and dont want to share your holiday with your fellow Islanders, then stay away from the Paradis !! but therein lay the appeal for our children.
In that conclusion you already have the main differences in 'feel' of these two hotels. I make these comments as someone lucky enough to stayed in Aman's, Four Seasons and Banyan Trees etc so I have a fair idea about what good hotels are trying to achieve.
Wins on :
* Quality of infrastructure - This is one of the very few hotels that I ever stayed in where the property is nicer than the pictures in the brochure. (they should re-shoot brochure actually). The layout of the property and asthetics of white washboard are really very attractive and the flaura and fauna is much more established than it looks in pictures.
* Rooms - They are lighter, more modern and much smarter than Paradis. The bathroom has a sliding wall that opens to the bedroom if you want. Only niggle...shower was fitted by someone who is not nearly as tall as my 1.90m !! That said baths at Paradis were far too shallow and 1970's brown !
* Pools - they have 3 excellent pools here compared to 1 at Le Paradis ..despite Le Telfair being half the size. Children progress towards C Beach Club at Telfair leaving the pools relatively toddler free.
* Food - a Telfair highlight actually. GinJa on the beach and The Chateau on the golf course are seriously good restaurants that would live it up with best in London's west end, but even Annabella's (half board inclusive) does a pretty good job of feeding everyone each evening. The only gripe is that because it is a served restaurant and not buffet in evening, it was occassionally on slow side. Le Paradis has a bigger choice of restaurants on paper and especially if you include the neighbouring Dinarobin (better food), but much revolves around perfectly good buffet style fare and then other themed restaurants where the food actually was not much better than the buffets and certainly not memorable as at Telfair. On balance, I think that Le Paradis probably just wins the Breakfast competition on scale and choice although both offer a cracking start to the day ! Last point here, Telfair is more generous than Paradis on Half Board cash contribution to other non half board restaurants. Le Paradis, annoyingly, give kids under 14 less allowance..costing me double to give my son a steak than myself. That really grates.
* Golf Course - I really enjoyed the Telfair course. It is in excellent condition and sewn with European grass (not bermuda) unusually. It has a variety and scenery that really appeals. The Paradis course is more demanding to score on, but I found it less fun and a little 'samey'. My boys were keener to play a second round at Telfair, that probably sums it up.
* Staff - such a difficult one. When I left Telfair, I particularly searched out and tipped four members of staff, who had shown a strong desire to make our holiday special. They were ueber friendly and keen to please and be helpful. When I left Le Paradis, while all very competent, no staff member stood out for me. This difference comes with the size of the hotels to an extent, but was a disappointment given the extremely self-confident prediction by the welcoming manager on our arrival, that Le Paradis was in a different league to the Telfair from a staff perspective. Wrong !
* Teenage beach club - we liked the C beach club at Le Telfair the hotel has recently built aimed at the teens. Actually at lunch time its a good place for all family to eat (better salads than on main beach) It is an easy walk, but is situated on the other side of river inlet which gives an ' away from the parents' feel. But close enough if needed. An excellent addition to property.
* Evening drinks for two ! - The Bar at the Telfair is really stunning, but better suited to couples than huge families. The quality and variety of furniture sticks in the mind.
* Spa - the spa at the Telfair is top notch (but expensive)and is in a different league to the Paradis. Enough said.
And Le Paradis wins on:
* Beach and 'non-hotel' watersports - the Paradis and Telfair have two very different beach feels. If you want your sand white and your water blue then the Paradis is going to be difficult to beat for anyhotel. It is a glorious stretch (although less good nearer Dinarobin). Interestingly, the water is deeper here off the beach than at Telfair where it is quite shallow, but in the Bay behind Paradis the water is also very shallow and good for watersking etc. Both hotels provide their own watersports with a similar menu of activites for free. Le Paradis water sports centre is some walk from the main pool/restaurants which is a disadvanatge v le Telfair, but this is also somewhere that I felt staff were better at the Paradis. The snorkelling at Paradis is a clear win for the hotel..infact was awesome.
* Non Hotel watersports - Well Le Telfair doesnt have any (which is a good thing to some exent) but Le Paradis seems to be a boat park for many offering waterskiing, dolphin watching etc. I have no idea how consistent quality is here but we would all like to recommend Mervyn, a black dude, who got us all wake boarding and waterskiing in double quick time. This guy is a seriously high quality teacher and pleasure to be with and be taught by. They have two boats on the beach called Kolmar 1 and 2 or similar ...memory failing. Do look him up 4000 rupees for an hour.
* Beach food - Le Paradis beach is served by non-hotel beach sellers of fine salads and the hotel provides v good pizza's etc. The salads were a hit with the girls in particular. Le telfair did a 'smarter' job of providing you with food at your beach bed on a smart tray etc ...but food was maybe a little too fussy except for burgers, which were excellent. Actually difficult to choose between hotels here.
* Wind - Le Telfair is on the south side of the Pensinsula on which Paradis occupies the furthest westerly point. It is more exposed to the trade winds as a result. Indeed whilst the weather in 2011 I understand to have been some of the worst for a while around Christmas and both hotels were rained on during our stay...we certainly felt more protected from the clouds and wind at Le Paradis.
* Tennis - facilites at Paradis are top notch. Indeed Martina Hingis was there coaching a list of Australian Open hopefuls. Tennis at Telfair is fine but an after thought.
* Evening drinks for Families - following on from comments above....the bar has a decent size and nice proximity to the beach at Le Paradis which certainly is better suited to entertaining larger family gatherings.
* Nighlife - Le Paradis has a nightclub which seemed to attract the teens each night ! Luckily it is not situated too close to any rooms.
In conclusion :
I hope that gives you a good feel for both hotels. I will just leave you with a few closing remarks :
**Pillows - many reviewers comment on the pillows at Le Telfair. They are right to ..They are really not good at all. Funnily enough we actually slept quite well on them but for a five star hotel they are lumpy and not of usual expected quality. Hotel Manager ..you must change this.
**Heriatge Awali - is at least a full star below Le Telfair in all aspects...maybe more when it comes to food quality. Its style is very different - more wood and thatch..but dont get fooled by Tripadvisor rating here. If you are at the Awali you are going to be wishing you were at the Telfair all week unless you cant hack colonial type white washboard !
**River rooms - a river goes through the Telfair grounds. The river is brown ! The hotel offers rooms with river view.These rooms should be much cheaper than they are. They are same rooms inside but ..do you really go the whole way to Mauritius to be next to a river ?
**Tides - many reviewers have mentioned the tides at Telfair. Yes when the tide goes out then the beach is not your classic whitesand/blue sea look, but it really could not have mattered less. Infact it was quite enjoyable exporing the seabed...see what happens when you stand on a wine fish ! Fascinating. The only annoying thing about the tide is does restrict time for water sports, but again you quickly adapt your day around that.
**Reef break - this has not been mentioned before but I am compelled to. The reef at the Telfair is relatively close to the shore and has a huge break on it (surfers would sit all week thinking ..'if only' !) The roar from this break is wonderous and I found hugely therapeutic. We immediately missed it when arriving at the Paradis.
To sum up : Both hotels are definitely five star and worth travelling 12 hours for ..Telfair, is a stunning property and more discerning with superior food and spa, Paradis with better beach scene and better equipped for large groups but rooms feeling dated.
Paradis covers a very long stretch of beach. Be close to bar / restaurants. Ground floor rooms give...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC