13 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
We have just returned from a most wonder...
"We have just returned from a most wonderful holiday at this hotel. From the minute we arrived at the hotel the service we received was exceptional.
We had two interconnecting rooms which were very spacious with huge bathrooms. The towels were changed twice a day if we wished. We had garden rooms so couldn't see the ocean but it was so tranquil that it didn't matter.
The amount of staff was incredible. They seemed to anticipate what we wanted. All the staff knew our names quickly and were happy to help.
The food was very european and quite rich but very nice. They even cooked different food for my teenage son as after a few days he found the food a bit too adult for him.
One of the best things was the butler running a rose petal bath every night. I thought I was in heaven.
If you want to go on a trip hire the X5 from the hotel, it was much better than a taxi and the driver Suli was very informative.
We have stayed in many luxury hotels all over the world and consider this to be one of the best. I am already looking to book for next year, something I have never done before as we like to try somewhere different. If you want total relaxation this is the place for you. Also think about flying business class as that made the journey seem alot shorter."
- Travel date: Sat 2nd of August 2008
We found The Residence to be a delightfu...
"We found The Residence to be a delightful hotel in a beautiful setting and it is the first hotel we have ever talked about returning to whilst still there! The staff were friendly and very helpful and the rooms and bathrooms well designed and decorated.
We were, however, a little disappointed by some aspects of the service. The Residence sets itself up to be an exceptional hotel and whilst it was a very pleasant five star hotel, it was by no means exceptional. I have certainly stayed in better.
Small niggles combined to make large niggles included the luggage arriving in our room 20 minutes after we did; only being left 2 bath towels each day despite there being 3 of us staying in the room and the servicing of the room taking upwards of 40 minutes each day. We also ran out of toilet paper one night (and we weren't using a particularly large amount). I consider this unforgivable in a supposedly five star hotel.
The Residence makes much of the personal butler who will take your laundry and ironing from you but as you are still charged the same amount as in any other hotel for this laundry service we failed to see how it differed from ringing housekeeping as you would elsewhere and were left feeling somewhat duped. The size of the room was also on the small side for a 5 star rating although the bathroom was superb.
The kids club was great, well staffed, and well equipped with the best schedule of activities I've seen. The highlight for us was the stable of ex racehorses & one pony across the road that could be visited at will and hired for fabulous beach rides.
I would absolutely recommend the Residence but if you have stayed in 5 star hotels before donât go expecting something exceptional. Itâs nice but lapses in service and the size and business of the hotel make it rather more ordinary than its marketing suggests. "
- Travel date: Fri 9th of November 2007
Oasis of Relaxation
"On my first visit to Mauritius in 2002 I enjoyed a terrific stay at the Beau Rivage Resort next door to the Residence. Earlier this year I decided to take my wife to see this great island with its world class resorts. I used the Trip Advisor online reviews of the Residence before making a resort selection. We had 10 days at the Residence and this resort well and truly exceeded all our expectations and was a definite cut above Beau Rivage. The weather was cloudy and windy for much of the time, which is to be expected at this time of the year. Despite that we arranged our schedule to take day trips on the cloudy days and relax on the beach on the fine days.
The service at the Residence was excellent. Every staff member was genuinely friendly and helpful. Our butler was oustanding. My wife was particularly diverted by him drawing a candlelit evening bubble bath complete with rose petals.
Our room was comfortable and well equipped. The two restaurants were wonderful with an amazing array of tropical island style food. A sort of "French meets Creole via Indian theme". The buffets were particularly good. There were plenty of activities both indoor and outdoors to keep us busy. The Sanctuary spa and health centre soothed away our city life cares. The resort has the only helipad in the district.
One minor negative aspect was the price of wine, which when purchased by the bottle was very high. The answer I found was to enjoy the various alcoholic and non-alcoholic tropical punches at more moderate prices. The final account we paid upon check out was much less than had been anticipated. The mixture of visitors was British, French, Italian and Spanish. We were the only Australians there. There were a number of children staying with their families, but they rarely intruded into our "child-free" existence.
In conclusion we would have no hesitation in recommending the Residence. We plan to return for another stay there in the near future."
- Travel date: Tue 26th of September 2006
A Holiday that grew on us
"Our first trip to Mauritius and hopefully not the last. We arrived to mixed weather, not much better than at home. Our reception at the hotel was wonderful. You were immediately made to feel like a five star guest. The first day was spent lying in a very strong wind by the swimming pool which was quite cold (the sea was warmer), however the hotel, the food and the exceptional staff who never stopped smiling more than made up for this. Nothing was ever too much trouble, trips laid on effortlessly where everything was taken care of.
The weather was quite mixed for the duration of our stay but when the sun came out it could be really hot and with the breeze it was easy to get burnt! The most sheltered sunbathing from the wind was round by the Plantation restaurant. The watersports were great fun and again the staff were well trained. You felt totally safe. Within the reef you are protected in the lagoon. Try the SCUBA diving - it really is awesome out there. It took a few days to really start relaxing and to adapt to the weather conditions. If it rained there were games, DVD's, the lovely spa etc. to go and use or the wonderful staff to chat to (they would always come to you for a chat and to check on your needs and discreetly leave the moment they felt they were intruding).
Food was amazingly good. I had pre-booked the Plantation restaurant to avoid the buffet nights which I thought might be the usual awful mass catering option but in fact they were the most popular and with good reason. All the food we had was delicious, even our teenage daughters loved everything they tried. We tended to stick to the Carte du Jour. Extra's were expensive, so we like a few other people would occasionally nip into the village for a takeaway lunch for between 75p - Â£1.50 for the 4 of us instead of the usual Â£50 lunch at the hotel.
By the middle of our second week most of the key staff seemed to know our names and cheerily greeted us. We had fallen in love with the island and with the hotel. On our departure we practically had to prise our daughters from their room. Back to reality, no more petal strewn baths or amuse bouche or tissue wrapped laundry. We felt extremely lucky to have had a glimpse of paradise!"
- Travel date: Sat 26th of August 2006
We'll be back!
"Our second trip to Mauritius in July (against my wishes due to bad weather endured 4 years previously) but this time out of 14 days we only had rain 5 days and this was intermittent.
The hotel staff were as exceptional as was the food.
We have 3 children, boys 9 & 6 and an 18 month old baby girl. The boys loved the kids club and made friends with both German and French children. They lived on Pizza and Pasta in the kids club with the odd meal with us (if forced).Trips they enjoyed were the under sea walk and the water park (although some bullying from other children there). We employed a baby sitter for the evenings to look after our toddler which was reasonable, although this upset the waiters who all loved her and gave her extra attention.
Breakfast was buffet style and replenished constantly. The seafood buffet and African buffets were some thing not to miss (not sure about the Kangaroo on the African night!) but the food was excellent and the entertainment after was enjoyable.
We found the wine to be extremely expensive but the quality and presentation of the food made up for it.This is the first time I have appreciated a hotel more as the holiday has gone on rather than finding faults.
Nice touches on the beach, upon your arrival towels are laid out then complimentary water with ice a few minutes later. Also really appreciated the prepared fresh fruit brought around mid morning and afternoon.
Best part of the beach is by the Plantation restaurant as it is sheltered from the constant wind , I would imagine the wind to be a blessing in the summer months though.Hotel pool was freezing cold as they do not heat it but the sea was an enjoyable 22 degrees C but watch the strong current if you venture out any distance from the shoreline.
We booked a taxi for the day through the hotel and went into Port Louis, great if you like shopping for cashmere throws or jumpers,had a great lunch at a restaurant called Pescatore(?) and onward to Pomplemousse Botanical Gardens; the driver was very knowledgeable and friendly and only cost about Â£38 for the whole day. Make sure you put mosquito repellent on before visiting the gardens and the official guides are well worth the Â£1(these are people not leaflets!!). We drove through Flacq centre (best thing to do!) on the way back although I noticed a super market which the taxi driver informed us was the cheapest around, probably worth while if you need nappies, we were tucked up by the local "Bennies" super market @ Â£18.00 for a pack of 20 Pampers but we were desperate. It would have been cheaper for a cab to Flacq and back than buying from them. ( We noticed the shop tended to charge tourists more and lacked prices on the goods) Later found out the hotel kiosk was cheaper but not by a lot.
You may find grander looking hotels with plusher surroundings but I am sure you will NOT beat the service, we have been to Cliveden and Soneva Fushi we know good service and this is up there with the best !
We still managed to get a nice tan even though it is their winter but next time we come back (and we will) it will be in October when the weather is a bit more reliable."
- Travel date: Sun 6th of August 2006
exceeded all expectations
"We were a party of four adults just returned from a stay at this fantastic hotel 28th June - 6th July. Where do I begin!!! The hotel was fantastic, the staff were fantastic, the food was fantastic the entertainment was fantastic our rooms were fantastic!!! This hotel deserves all of its 5* status. We were upgraded to an Ocean Front bedroom from our Ocean View room which was a lovely jesture, the hotel was only at 1/4 of its capacity so really nice and quiet which was great for us. We travel a lot and always stay in 5* hotels and I can honestly say that this was the best hotel we have ever stayed in. Although the weather was not so good for our first 4 days (it was winter after all) the last 4 days of our stay was hot and sunny and we just lazed on the beach. Our towels were laid out for us and a complimentary bottle of cold water placed by us. Next we were presented with fresh fruit and then at lunch time, a menu was brought and we were served our lunch by our chairs on the beach. Sheer luxury. I read on trip advisor before we left UK that one writer complained about the birds flying around the dining room, all I can say is that some people just have to complain about something and I always hope and pray that when I go on vacation, we never have to share a hotel with any of these miserable whinging travellers. Yes birds did enter the dining room (little sparrows) looking for tit bits, but they were not a nuisance and all the food was very well covered with nets etc. I found the birds part of the mornings entertainment, quite endearing, there is absolutely NOTHING to complain about this hotel at all. I purchased a dress from the hotel shop and asked if I could just run an iron over it as I wished to wear it that evening. Within 5 minutes, Alan, our butler had appeared in the shop, took my dress away and within the hour had delivered it to our room all ready for me to wear.
Do not hesitate to visit this hotel, it is the best and I say a huge thank you to everybody there who made our stay a memorable one."
- Travel date: Thu 6th of July 2006
"We stayed May 15th - 21st for our honeymoon.
The hotel has very good service, excellent service and wonderful view. Staff went out of their way to help us. The hotel was half full when we stayed so all facilities were easily booked - spa fab, sailing excellent, and beach service real luxury.
Our room, a standard with Ocean view, was perfect. We changed from our first room as it was above the band which plays until 11.30pm. Our new room was one of the best in the hotel with truly amazing views.
Food was good, but not great; chef needs to concentrate on simplicity, though sweets very good. Wine is very expensive for average South African and French wine. Our honeymoon dinner organised by the hotel was really special.
Hotel busy times are Easter and before Christmas, book in May as the weather is still good. Service is very good, but not true 5*, the friendliness and atmosphere more than make up for this. A great place for Honeymooners and young families."
- Travel date: Wed 7th of June 2006
Amazing Honeymoon Hotel
"My husband and I stayed here for our honeymoon in March 2006 and after 2 weeks we could have easily stayed for an extra week. The rooms were amazing- very calm, peaceful and plush. The restaurants were very good and both had a romantic atmosphere- with one on the beach and the other by the pool. The staff were the best I have ever come across- they were friendly and welcoming and went out of their way to make our stay fantastic. The butler service in the room was excellent. The beach was great and there was a good choice of water sports. The pool, spa and other facilities were fantastic. We asked if we could get upgraded to a suite for free and the hotel readily agreed as they had suites available. We had an amazing sea view from our room and every night there was a fantastic band. We could not fault the Residence or Mauritius- it was the perfect honeymoon destination."
- Travel date: Mon 29th of May 2006
"We visited The Residence for 10 nights on honeymoon in April/ May. We completely agree with the rave reviews on this site as this is a fabulous resort.
We arrived at about 8am in the morning, after a horrible flight through the night before, and were feeling very tired, stressed and in serious need of a shower! The place strikes you on arrival. The lobby is vast, and is packed with orchids which give a lovely sweet smell. We were met by very friendly staff who presented us with towels and iced tea and took a seat on the comfy sofas in the lobby which extends out to the pools and onto the ocean beyond. The place is breathtakingly beautiful.
We were very pleased with our room; it was described as an ocean view room, but you couldnt really see the ocean due to the huge palm trees in the way!- lovely nonetheless. A good size room and very comfortable. The bathroom was huge and the massive shower as well as a nice bath were much appreciated. The Nicholas Feuillante champagne on arrival with fresh fruit was a nice extra touch, as were the "quotes of the day" left in your room after cleaning, for contemplation in more philosophical moments!
Food in the dining room and plantation restaurants can only be described as fabulous. Only criticism might be that it sometimes tries to be too fussy, and the flavours can get confused, but this is my only complaint. Generally, the food is absolutely top notch and cannot be faulted. As has been noted on here, wine is very expensive, but here is a tip - drink the south African wine- cheapest on the wine list by some way but at around Â£11 a bottle is perfectly drinkable, especially considering the next optioin is around Â£30 a bottle for an average French white wine. The local beer is also very nice - Phoenix beer - which isn't too expensive in the hotel, but there is an off licence in the village (about 5 minutes walk from the hotel) and the staff didn't seem to mind me attempting to be discrete in coming back into the hotel loaded up with carrier bags full of beer!!
We thought the breakfasts were out of this world. There were people cooking pancakes, omlettes, making freshly squeezed fruit juices.....plus choice of cereals, cold meats, cheeses, pastries, fruits, yoghurts...you name it. Another nice touch is the news sheet available with breakfast (they have them available for the French, Germans, Spanish and Italians too). You can also have breakfast served in your room at no extra charge (although we quite liked sitting in the restaurant overlooking the pools and the ocean). People have commented on the birds that hop around the restaurant during the day. We thought they were charming. The restaurant is beautiful because it is open to the outdoors and it is hard to see what the staff could have done to keep them out. They were really not a nuisance.
We thought the evening entertainment was spot on- pianists or good instrumentalists- a lovely accompaniment to sitting in the bar. What more do you want? There are shows a couple of evenings a week in the Plantantion if you want to watch dancing etc. Otherwise go to Butlins.
The hotel is packed with an army of staff, who seemed to out number the guests considerably. They were all polite, friendly and keen to do everything possible to make your stay comfortable. We actually felt at times that it was too much! The concierge, reception and porters were all excellent.
The hotel was very quiet while we were there - it seemed nearly empty although it was busier by the time we left. This was great because we didn't want somewhere too packed. There was always plenty of room by the pool and on the beach. We would certainly recommend going in April. It is towards the end of their season, so was therefore quieter, but the weather was excellent. It would rain early morning, and then clear blue skies and temperatures around 28-32 for most of the day, with refreshing coastal breezes.
If we go to Mauritius again, we will definitely stay at The Residence. It was exactly what we wanted from a honeymoon- relaxing in truly luxurious surroundings- and it exceeded our expectations.
Mauritius is a great destination and you don't need to feel as though you're missing out by not doing very much. A couple of days of sightseeing is sufficient to feel as though you've seen the main attractions and thereafter you can relax at the hotel. Friends who had visited the island before told us a trip to Ile aux Cerf was well worth it as the beaches are supposedly the best. The beach hawkers for example will try and sell you boat trips to Ile aux Cerfs.....our advice - don't bother. If you're staying at The Residence, you won't find better beaches than the one on your doorstep. Just enjoy it!"
- Travel date: Fri 26th of May 2006
"My husband and I honeymooned at The Residence for 2 weeks in May 2006. We had an absolutely wonderful time and cannot speak highly enough of the quality of the hotel or the high standard of service we received throughout our time there.
The Residence is a beautiful hotel, charmingly decorated in creams, beiges and dark wood with many intriguing colonial pieces all around the hotel. The setting is stunning, on a gorgeous 1km white sand beach with clear blue sea which is calm at the shoreline thanks to the protection of the reef. The beach is exceptionally well kept and very clean due to regular combing by the staff, and is far more pleasant than the stretches of beach in front of the other hotels along the Belle Mare beach past which we walked. The hotel grounds are lovely, well maintained lush gardens with paths throughout to all areas of the hotel.
We stayed in a colonial ocean view suite (the largest but not the most expensive of the suites) and it was absolutely stunning. Photos/descriptions on the hotel website and in brochures do not do justice to the sheer size and loveliness of the room. We had a living area with seating and a large wooden dining table, off which were a study with computer with free 24 hour internet access, one of our two bathrooms and the bedroom. The bedroom contained a king size four poster bed (not found in the standard rooms). The bathroom was massive, all in marble, and included a separate toilet, a bath, separate shower cubicle (room would be a better description) and a changing room. Outside we had a balcony area with sun loungers and two tables that led on to a shared private garden. We were blown away by the room, which from the quotes we received was only slightly more expensive than the standard rooms so do check out this option if you can. We also managed to get the room for less than half price as many tour operators include deals whereby the bride stays free if you are on honeymoon (a frequent offer on Mauritius it seems), so do check the small print to see if any such deal applies as we paid GBP 4k for a GBP 8k room, bargain!
As honeymooners we were welcomed with a bottle of champagne in the room on arrival and a bowl of fresh fruit. We were also treated to a special candle lit dinner, which can be taken in the restaurants, but which we had on our balcony. I would definitely recommend this option for the meal as compared to the set up when in the restaurant we had a much better deal. If taken in one of the restaurants it involves a different coloured table cloth, some bows on the backs of your chairs and some star anise on the table. When having it in your room they go all out with the candles, scent burners, and flowers, and we had personal service all evening from one of the room service staff.
The service from all staff was excellent, they cannot do enough for you and are ready and willing to help in any way they can. On the beach each day we were brought towels, water and fruit, and in the restaurant/bar you did not need to lift a finger as they poured all drinks, pulled back the chairs for you etc. Our personal butlers were excellent and very helpful in booking meals, packing etc, and the romantic baths were amazing, I would definitely recommend that you treat yourselves to these! All staff are very friendly and are keen to say hello, many knew our names by the end of our stay.
We would also thoroughly recommend taking advantage of the treatments offered by The Sanctuary, we both had two massages whilst here and they were very relaxing. The free watersports are also a must, my Husband particularly enjoyed learning to waterski.
The food was of a high standard and well varied throughout our stay. We were not that keen on the buffets at the Plantation restaurant but this may be personal choice. We also felt that the themed nights at the Plantation were sometimes dubiously named, for instance the oriental menu involved a Mediterranean starter, a North African main, and an Indian dessert! However, the entertainment at the themed nights was very good, notably the dancing/music at the African evening. As mentioned in other reviews, the alcohol is expensive, London prices plus! Lunch menu prices are also fairly steep (GBP 9 for a panini and chips), however portions are large and one meal between two will certainly suffice for lunch.
The weather was also better than expected, while the first week was overcast on several days we only had rain once (for an hour) and the second week was blue skies and sunshine all week.
This truly is a very special hotel that goes out of its way to ensure that you have a wonderful time, and while expensive you definitely get what you pay for. Iâd definitely recommend you give it a go."
- Travel date: Sat 20th of May 2006
"My husband and I stayed at The Residence late April early May this year for two weeks and had an amazing time. We were on our honeymoon and thought the hotel was perfect for romantic couples. We had an ocean view room which was lovely, our butler was very attentive and the cleanliness of the rooms and the rest of the hotel was second to none. The food was very good although quite rich so this hotel is probably not for those who are fussy about what they eat. The service of the staff throughout the hotel could not be faulted, they were willing to do anything for you and always with a smile on their faces. Wine is very very expensive although the local beer is just as good and a lot cheaper. We had to move rooms once as our room was very close to the hotel next door which was a little noisy music wise most evenings but we were moved without delay, I'm not sure what we would have done had the hotel been full. The first week we were there the hotel was very quiet which was bliss, however the second week it started to fill up and there was quite a few children about which did ruin it for us a little bit. There is very little to do in the evenings once you have had dinner and a drink at the bar but this is ideal for honeymooners.
Overall we had a fantastic two weeks, would highly recommend it and would love to go again."
- Travel date: Tue 16th of May 2006
Wonderful hotel, but somewhat overpriced
"My husband and I were married at the Residence in March. Overall, we had a great time and our stay was excellent. However, at 500 US dollars per night, we felt that the hotel was slightly overpriced.
We had a "standard" gardenview room. The room was nice, but somewhat more sparse than what I had expected. The bed linens consisted of a sheet and a very thin linen blanket which didn't keep us warm. (I'm used to having a plush comforter when I stay at the "nicer" hotels). The bathroom was separated from the main room by heavy sliding wooden doors that wouldn't fully close. On the day of our wedding, we were upgraded to an oceanview room which was a nice touch. We were able to open up our balcony doors and listen to the sound of the ocean.
We thought the food was delicious. The seafood was the freshest I've ever tasted. The buffets weren't quite as good as the menu items but the food was still tasty. We never had a problem reserving a table at either of the two restaurants, but we were disappointed that there weren't any additional dining choices at the hotel beyond the two restaurants. We specifically would have liked to have a more casual dining option for nights when we didn't feel like getting so dressed up. Also, having only two restaurants to choose from night after night gets to be a bit repetitive. The breakfast was just okay. One thing that I really didn't like was that the breakfast buffet was open to the outside, so birds were constantly picking at the food. They did have some of the fruit covered up, but I often saw the birds sticking their beaks through the holes in the bread basket. One morning, a guest at a table near us got up and walked away for a few minutes, and a bird landed on his plate and started eating his food! I understand that it's hard to control the birds when you're outside, but the staff didn't seem to be making too much of an effort to do anything about them.
Our wedding day was great. We were assigned a wedding coordinator who took care of every detail and provided us with everything we needed. We were married in the hotel gardens, and a photographer provided by the hotel took us around the property and shot some great photos. We opted for the in-room private dinner the night of our wedding. We were able to ask for whatever we wanted for our dinner. We thought it would be a typical room service experience where they drop off the food and go, but it was completely full service.
We didn't really use any of the other hotel services as we spent most of our vacation exploring the island, so I can't comment on those. The beach that the hotel is on was very nice, and spacious enough so you can find your own little spot to relax.
At night, there isn't much to do at the hotel except go to the restaurant and eat dinner. In the bar area, there was a piano player and lounge singer but we personally didn't find that very entertaining.
Overall, we had a great experience and would recommend this hotel, but I feel like we should have gotten just a bit more for the price we paid."
- Travel date: Tue 9th of May 2006