My partner and I stayed at the Lux* Grande Gaube for 11 nights in April. I should add that we have been fortunate enough to have stayed in some amazing 5 star hotels throughout the world and are extensively travelled; it's fair to say that our expectations are high.
There are many positive comments made by other reviewers about the hotel with which we would agree. For us, the one thing that stood out amongst everything else was the exceptional service which we received from all members of staff. We were made to feel very welcome from the moment we arrived until we came to leave.
Here is a summary of the key points:
Location - the hotel is based in the north west of Mauritius which is renowned for having good beaches. At the time of our visit the weather in the north tends to be the best on the island with plenty of sunshine, a lovely breeze and little rain. Transfer time from the airport to the hotel is approximately 1 hour 15 mins - this will be quicker once the bypass around Port Louis has been completed. The hotel offers a transfer by limousine but we booked our transfer online with www.taxismauritius.com at a cost of Euros 35 (each way).
Rooms - we upgraded to a Superior Ocean View room. The superior rooms are closest to the reception and the main beach and have the best views (as you would expect). The size of the room was adequate and the room was clean although the decor was looking a little tired and in need of modernisation. The complimentary toiletries are of a very good quality.
Restaurants - on the half board option you can either eat in the main restaurant (the Kitchen) which offers a themed buffet or book one of the a la carte restaurants (Karma, The Beach and Abalone) where some of the dishes (i.e tiger prawns, lobster, steak etc) come at a supplement. All of the food was outstanding both in terms of flavour and presentation with a service to match.
Half board/all inclusive - we deliberated at the time of booking as to the choice of dining options. However, on reflection we are glad we booked the half board option. Breakfast is so extensive (as are the evening meals) that we really couldn't have eaten much for lunch and snacks from the local shop at lunchtime were more than adequate (along with the free water, fruit etc).
Drinks - drinks for those on the half board option are not cheap. A pint of Phoenix (excellent locally brewed beer) will set you back approx £6 a pint and cocktails are between £8 and £10. A bottle of wine is approx £30. In comparison, a bottle of a beer from the local shop (see tip below) was 25 MRs (50p). The bars offer a very extensive choice of cocktails and spirits and the standard of all the drinks (especially the coffee) is high.
Activities - the hotel offers a very extensive array of activities which are advertised daily. None of the activities are intrusive nor do they spoil the peace and quiet of the resort (save for the aqua aerobics at the quieter beach - but it only lasts for 30 mins!). There is vast selection of watersports with great attention paid to safety. All of the equipment (including life jackets) is in excellent condition. The guys at the boat house are really friendly and provide an excellent service. They are also happy to provide free tuition. Both my partner and I can now sail a catamaran and water ski thanks to them.
The Beach - as many of the previous reviews have already stated, the sea is tidal (the times of high and low tides are advertised at the boat house). At low tide you cannot swim save at the main beach where there is quite a lot of seaweed but there are 2 decent size pools - the quieter pool being near the Banyan Tree.
Spa - my partner booked a massage with the 'Spa Me'. She thought the service was mediocre and the staff attempted to charge her full price having offered the massage at a special promotional rate.
Trips - some places worth visiting (and not too far from the hotel) include Grande Baie (but not on a Sunday when the shops are closed), Pamplemouses (the botanical gardens) and Goodlands (which has an open air market twice a week).
- if the hotel is full, book the a la carte restaurants as soon as possible at the start of your stay to guarantee your choice of restaurant. Menus for all the restaurants are available to view at reception;
- enjoy fresh coconuts and pineapple (free of charge) which are prepared by a chef every morning at the back of the main beach;
- cold water can be found in what looks like a BBQ amongst the hammocks by the main beach and by the Banyan tree at the quieter beach;
- all of the watersports (kayaking, pedalo, catamaran, water skiing, glass bottom boat, water skiing etc) are free so use them ! The water skiing is limited to 2-3 hours a day and the time changes due to high/low tide. Go skiing around lunchtime to avoid a wait;
- tennis - book tennis courts in advance (1 day max) - the best time of the day to play is 5/6 pm, floodlighting is free of charge and bring your own balls (to avoid being charged);
- use the games room - often not discovered by many guests but located next to the gym. The room is air-conditioned and has 2 pool tables, table tennis and a games machine;
- hire a mountain bike by the tennis courts (max 1 hour) and turn right out of the main entrance and cycle for 10-15 minutes until you come to a local shop on your left called 'Basing Hill'. It stocks everything your local corner shop would stock including a great selection of crisps, peanuts and booze (at a fraction of what the hotel charges);
- check the board outside the Kitchen for a summary of the day's activities (including aqua aerobics, yoga, Tai Chi, painting with an artist etc) as well as a daily weather forecast;
- visit the cinema behind the Kitchen (which is a proper cinema) as well as the cinema beneath the stars (outdoor screen and seating near the Banyan tree);
- hail a taxi from outside the main gate (where the price is cheaper) and practice your haggling skills. Note that having a driver (who will wait for you while you shop/sightsee for say 4-5 hours) will cost around 1,500 MR (approx £34 on current exchange rates). The taxi drivers can also arrange other trips again at a fraction of the cost charged by the hotel;
- try the unusual flavours of sorbet served from a traditional ice cream cart on a bike (its arrival is heralded by a horn to raise you from your sunbed) - flavours include passion fruit and chili, lemon and basil, tamarind and chocolate.
Overall, the hotel has so much to offer and it clearly prides itself on outstanding customer service. We throughly enjoyed our stay at the hotel - so much so that we are already planning on returning in April 2013.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our luxury hotel in Grand Gaube, Mauritius, overlooks the triple-bay beaches, lagoon and spectacular north islets. It exuberates a romantic atmosphere and its rooms all enjoy incredible views of the ocean. Other highlights include its proximity to the vibrant seaside village of Grand Baie, three swimming pools and access to a world-class golf course nearby. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Lux Grand Gaube Hotel Grand Gaube
- Legends Hotel Grand Gaube
- Legends Hotel Mauritius
- Legends Grand Gaube
- Hotel Legend Mauritius
- LUX* Grand Gaube Mauritius