16 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Excellent location but still disappointed
"Breakfast ok but birds steal your food all the time. Buffet and dinner not worth the cost. People book beach chairs from 7 even though it's not allowed to leave your chair for more than 30 minutes. Guards don't care. Entertainment not good. We paid for sea view but did not get it. Took a lot of our time to try and sort this out. Beautiful Beach and quiet."
- Travel date: Sun 11th of December 2016
Excellent value for money
"This is a lovely clean hotel. The manager Tony and staff provided excellent service with a smile. we were even provided excellent vegetarian meals. Special thanks to Chef Christain, Kailash, Bernard, Neha, Kevin,Jaimie Keep up the brilliant service Tony and the team. "
- Travel date: Mon 18th of March 2013
We spent two weeks at The Merville Beach...
"We spent two weeks at The Merville Beach on our honeymoon and had a wonderful relaxing time. We were greeted in reception by friendly staff and given a cocktail upon arrival whilst they efficiently checked us in.
When we got to our room, there were flower petals laid on the pillows and in the bathroom and there was a complimentary fruit basket and bottle of champagne.
In addition to this, there was a personalised welcome note and an invitation to have a complimentary meal on an evening of our choice (with several options to choose from) to celebrate our marriage.
The room was clean and spacious, with an enormous bed (larger than super king size!) and a private balcony. The room was cleaned and the mini bar restocked every day.
The complex included a large restaurant and bar area, complete with tables outside that overlooked the private stretch of white sandy beach and clear blue waters. We enjoyed a cocktail on the beach when we arrived which was a perfect start to our honeymoon!
They have beach waiters who will bring you drinks and snacks throughout the day in addition to the bar and restaurant staff. The only downside to the beach were the vendors who can get a little irritating, trying to sell you sarongs and necklaces - they can be a little pushy and will approach you every day.
All the staff provided an excellent service and looked after us very well. As we visited at the end of the rainy season, we had a few showers but the complex also has a gym on site that guests can use free of charge anytime - we used it a few times and it was usually empty!
The complex also organised watersports and trips and had tennis courts on site.
Each evening there was a cooked buffet where guests could help themselves - always presented very well and of varying themes on different evenings (Chinese, Indian, Italian, barbeque and always a good selection of salads, meat, fish and fresh fruit).
Breakfast was also a buffet but there was a chef there to cook you up an omelette or bacon & eggs etc. The food was lovely - particularly the three course celebratory meal, which was beautifully presented, complete with menus to take away which were personalised with our names, the date and our menu choices.
We went on a half board basis - if we went again, we would certainly go all inclusive as the drinks and bar snacks were quite pricey.
We ventured out around the island and visited the botanical gardens (where they have giant turtles), Port Louis and the sugar cane plantations but spent the rest of the time in the complex.
The residential parts of the island are a stark contrast to the luxurious hotel complexes - run down, and in some places very poverty stricken.
In summary, we had a lovely time and would definitely return - if you want a relaxing, carefree holiday or honeymoon in a self contained complex then this is definitely for you."
- Travel date: Fri 4th of May 2007
We have just returned from a lovely holi...
"We have just returned from a lovely holiday at Merville Beach. Like the other comments mentioned we were greeted with a warm welcome. We stayed in a superior room which was worth paying the extra for although other guests say the standard rooms are ok, but these were in the old part of the hotel.
The staff were very helpful and friendly and would do anything for you. All inclusive meals were a bit repetitive though and there is only one menu to choose from in the day so we ate the same food. We only had buffet meals once a week, in the day with burgers and fish and rice which gets a bit boring after a while.
The waiters are very good especially Nimesh, the beach waiter who always brought you drinks when you asked for them and came back each hour! Rooms are clean with a maid service three times a day in superior rooms. Evening entertainment is good but again becomes repetitive.
The weather was lovely but, be warned in July and August it is their winter and it is cloudy a lot and has rain most days but generally clears up. So donât visit if you want really hot weather as we were annoyed our travel agent did not point this out to us.
There was building work (or renovation as the manager described it). When we complained of the noise of drills etc each day until sometimes 10.30 at night, they moved us away from the noise, but you could hear and see it on the beach.
They are building a spa and Jacuzzi room which they say will be open in September 06 so I would advise you to check the ongoing work with you tour operator before going as Kuoni did not inform us of this!
Overall we would recommend this hotel to anyone although there is not much to do with children so I would recommend this hotel for couples although the water sports are very good on AI so good for teenagers!
The nightlife is not good at all outside the hotel and I wouldnât advise to go to Grand Bai at night. There is a lot of deprivation in Mauritius which is evident in Grand Bai. I hope this review helps you decide weather to go there. We will probably return as overall hotel staff very friendly, hotel was good value for money!
- Travel date: Sun 30th of July 2006
This was a very clean hotel and had a ni...
"This was a very clean hotel and had a nice beach. The rooms were nice too. We were there on the 3rd week of our honeymoon. The food was reasonable, although we would recommend going AI, as we found drink and food in the hotel very pricey.
The water sports were good. Also, the walk into town takes around 10-15 mins and there are no pavements for a lot of the journey so we did not find it very safe and certainly not during hours of darkness. I would not say that the waiting staff were overly friendly, although we had spent our 1st 2 weeks in S. Africa, where we were really spoiled. All in all, I don't think we would make a special return journey to Mauritius although the beaches and climate are lovely - we didn't really find it good value for money and it was a long way to travel for a beach holiday.
However, as I said, we had 2 weeks in S. Africa first of all so there really was a lot to live up to as value for money, quality of food, wine, service etc were all superb there.
- Travel date: Thu 2nd of March 2006
On arrival at the hotel, we were greeted...
"On arrival at the hotel, we were greeted with hot towels and a fruit cocktail. The guest services then gave us all the information about the hotel. This gave us time to relax before being booked in and shown to our room.
The room matched the rest of the hotel, spotless and comfortable.
The food and all other amenities were top class and you could never be hungry or bored.
The staff could not do enough for us, from local information to making sure we had everything we wanted. From the general manager to the cleaners we were always greeted with a smile and friendly conversation.
The beach was immaculate and when something different was required a ten minute stroll took us into Grand Baie. Here we found everything that anyone could want, from souvenirs to designer goods to suit the lowest budget. Once again the local people were very friendly and helpful without being intrusive.
This is a holiday that we will definitely repeat changing neither the resort or hotel.
- Travel date: Thu 12th of January 2006
"Our first trip to Mauritius and the Mauritian people truly make you feel so welcome! It made the holiday.
We stayed at the Merville Beach for 2 weeks in Dec 2005 - truly a tropical paradise. Location just outside Grand Baie was excellent. A supermarket 10 mins walk away, and centre of Grand Baie approx 15 - 20 mins away. Would recommend the supermarket for cheap bottles of mineral water (e.g. 10 rupees for 1.5 litres as opposed to 2.50 euros for a litre in the hotel) and also cheap, tasty local beer (e.g. 15 rupees for a bottle of Phoenix beer as opposed to 2.50 euros in the hotel bar / mini bar).
We flew with Air Mauritius - they were very good. The seats were comfortable and my partner was very happy with the leg room. Service was brilliant. However, we did find the food on the overnight flight from the UK not as good as on the return flight from Mauritius. Drinks were served throughout the 12 hour flight (even the overnight flight), you just had to ask, so no problems with feeling dehydrated.
We booked with Kuoni and couldn't fault their service. Transfers to and from the airport were very well organised and you weren't squashed in a bus with loads of other people....there were 4 of us in a minibus (and only 2 of us on the return trip).
Angeli the Kuoni rep at the hotel was so helpful and always happy to recommend places etc to make your holiday a memorable one. She was never pushy in terms of trying to sell you trips like some reps do.
The Merville Beach is classed in many brochures as a 3 star plus....we felt it deserved a much higher rating.
The hotel is set in beautiful gardens and has a private sandy beach. We stayed in a superior room situated in the garden courtyard (with pond, fountain, tropical trees and shrubs)....a fabulous setting for keen birdwatchers.
Our room was clean, very spacious and situated on the ground floor. We had a patio, which overlooked the gardens and also had a sea view. The rooms were very private and have been built so that you don't overlook your neighbours.
During the holiday we were adopted by the resident local ducks, which turned up every day for some food! My partner, a keen amateur photographer was thrilled with the birds we saw on our doorstep every day (e.g. red whiskered bulbul, village weaver, madagascar fody).
I agree with the other reviews - the staff were so welcoming, friendly and helpful throughout our stay. They couldn't do enough for you....and always had a smile and a greeting for you.
We stayed half board and found that was great for us. The food was delicious (although if you are truly vegetarian and don't eat fish, you might find the table d'hote menu a bit limiting but I'm sure if you notified the hotel in advance, they would be happy to cater for your needs). Breakfast was buffet style with lots of choice to keep everyone happy including fabulous tropical fruit, with staff on hand to cook omelettes, eggs, waffles, pancakes etc made to order too.
Dinner was either a buffet (with BBQ and meats cooked by the staff throughout the evening e.g. chicken, fish, beef, lamb, pork etc) or table d'hote 3 course dinner. They also served a 4 course gala dinner once a week (no extra charge). For an extra charge, you could enjoy a lobster dinner on the beach once a week too.
The hotel also organised entertainment every evening and a manager's cocktail evening to enable you to meet the management team.
As breakfast and dinner were so delicious, with very generous portions, we were happy with a small lunch bought at the beach bar (e.g. club sandwich approx 6 euros). The beach bar also served a la carte lunch options. We also bought picnic food from the supermarket for our days out in the car.
N.B. The hotel charges for everything in euros.
The hotel provides water sports at the Boat House located on the beach (included in the holiday price e.g. water skiing, windsurfing, pedaloes, canoeing, snorkelling, glass bottom boat etc - unlimited use which is unusual especially as you normally have to pay for motorised water sports). You only paid extra for the special boat excursions e.g. catamaran cruise.
The Boat House also provides you with clean beach towels whenever you want them (again no charge).
We hired a car for a couple of days with AVIS, arranged by Angeli the rep. It was all very efficient. The car was air conditioned and in very good condition and worked out at approx. Â£42 pounds a day all in for a Nissan March (i.e. insurance, unlimited mileage etc). We just topped up the petrol before handing the car back, which was cheaper than AVIS charging us for use of fuel.
It was very easy to drive round the island, the roads were in good condition, although the road signs were a little non existent in some places and you had to guess, but it made it more of an adventure. Hiring a car gave us the flexibility to visit places we wanted to see and spend as much time as we wanted to, rather than going on an organised trip. Angeli helped us plan our route to make the most of our days out in the car.
Would recommend visiting:
- La Vanille Crocodile Park where you see Nile crocodiles, reptiles etc. You can also get up close and persoanl with giant tortoises, some of which are supposed to be over 100 years old! (This is in the south of the island and we found the organised trips didn't go there...)
- Pamplemousse Royal Botanical Gardens - with their rare plants including the giant water lillies - lovely to walk round
- Black River Gorges - within the National Park - lovely walks and can take a picnic.
- Casela Bird Park - to see a host of tropical birds and stunning views from the observatory.
- Waterfall at Chamarel - spectacular view!
Driving round the island you see stunning scenery - not to be missed....especially with the contrast from north, south, east and west coasts.
Diving - we completed our PADI referral diving course in the UK and wanted to do some of the open water dives in Mauritius, towards completing the PADI open water certificate.
We arranged a couple of dives at the PADI certified diving school at the Hotel Mauricia (approx 15 mins walk from the Merville). Although the staff at the school were very friendly, we found the instructor not so good if you're learning to dive. I felt I needed more support for my first open water dive and found the instructor a bit blase - he had done 450 plus dives but didn't seem to understand we were doing our first 12m open water dive and felt a bit apprehensive. It was all very much...put equipment together, on the boat, off the boat etc, whereas I felt I needed a bit more time to compose myself and ensure I was happy and confident before doing my first open water dive. I didn't feel comfortable during the dive and felt the instructor kept swimming off to show us the fish (which was really nice of him) but with it being our first dive, I felt I wanted to get comfortable being in open water and maintaining my buoyancy, which is very different to being in a swimming pool.
As we have just started diving, we don't have our own equipment yet and my partner found they had a limited choice of masks...the one he was given kept leaking and therefore he didn't find the dive as enjoyable as he could have done. An experienced and confident diver would probably have a differet opinion, however, I was comparing my experience to the instructor back in the UK.
Having said that, we did see a baby octopus and a paper fish during our dive - the experience didn't put me off diving but we decided to complete our other open water dives on another holiday.
N.B. The coral reefs around Mauritius have been badly damaged over recent years and are slowly starting to recover due to conservation efforts. Hopefully in years to come, the fish will return to make snorkelling and diving even more enjoyable. We have been to the Maldives on previous holidays and saw more fish there in shallow water than we did during the 12m open water dive in Mauritius.
We decided to spend our last day on Ile des deux Cocos, a private island belonging to the company that owns the Merville Beach. For 50 euros each, we had private return taxi transfer to the hotel Le Tropical (another hotel belonging to the same company), from where we were taken by motor launch (with other guests) to the island. Upon arrival, we were greeted with sparkling wine / soft drinks. We had use of the island for the day, which included a BBQ buffet lunch, unlimited drinks (wine, spirits, soft drinks etc). The staff arranged glass bottom boat and snorkelling trips to a reef in a marine park (a conservation area) just a short boat ride from the island, where we could snorkel and we actually saw a whole host of fish.
The island has a beautiful villa, built in British and Moorish style, which we were able to visit. We were also told the island can be hired exclusively for 24 hours for private functions (with staff to tend to your needs) such as weddings, honeymoons etc. at a cost of approx. Â£2000 pounds sterling.
This was a wonderful end to a truly magical holiday, despite the fact that it rained (the only day it rained during the whole 2 weeks)!
We would definitely recommend the Merville Beach - it was great value, especially as nearly everything was included in the price of the holiday and the staff truly made the holiday a wonderful experience. We would also recommend that you make the effort to get outside the hotel complex and explore the island, to see what else it has to offer."
- Travel date: Tue 27th of December 2005
Best beach holiday ever
"There are plenty of reviews on this website which focus on the facilities at Merville so I thought I would take a different angle and tell you about what made my holiday fantastic - the people.
The staff at Merville are totally brilliant. Here are some examples:-
- The Boathouse staff who run the watersports are patient, fantastic instructors. I learnt to windsurf and waterski with their help. They want you to participate and genuinely enjoy it when you improve
- I wanted to play tennis but had no-one to play - no problem - Faz from the Boathouse played me after his shift was over at 5 and arranged doubles matches too
- The waiting staff are very efficient, the food and drink comes promptly and they are very polite. We had a great laugh with some of them and even when we were quite demanding they were unfailingly smiley.
- I was sitting on the terrace drawing a palm tree and the beach. A young waiter came over, looked at my drawing and said "That is very beautiful". Such a nice thing to say and with no ulterior motive
- Every single member of staff that you meet be it gardener, cleaner or whoever says hello or good morning when you pass them which creates such a nice atmosphere
- A managers cocktail party allows you to meet all the managers at the hotel to ensure you are happy with the service
Merville Beach has a beautiful setting, stunning beach and lagoon and superb facilities but its greatest asset are the Mauritian people who work there. I was genuinely upset at having to leave but I will certainly return. I cannot recommend this place highly enough!"
- Travel date: Thu 8th of December 2005
"Wow, this hotel is absolutely fantastic - it should be 5 stars! The pool was great or even better....sunbathing on the beach - white sand and clear blue sea! The service is 1st class - the staff were so friendly and would do anything to make your holiday the best ever. Our room was in the garden court which was lovely - the gardens are beautiful.
The free watersports were great -waterskiing, wind surfing, snorkelling on the reef, kayaks, pedalos etc..
You must go to this hotel!!"
- Travel date: Wed 7th of December 2005
"This hotel is brilliant - the staff, rooms, beach facilities ... everything! We booked a superior room but were upgraded to one of the deluxe garden rooms which overlooked the beach and gardens. On arrival to the hotel we were met with a face towel and welcome drink - we didnt even have to check in as one of the guest relations did that for us! We arrived at 8.45am but our room was ready and waiting for us.
Dress code on an evening is no shorts, vests or sandals for men.
We went half board because we didnt want to stay in the hotel the whole time. There are some really good restaurants in Grand Baie - a taxi costs Â£2 each way. I could recommend - Luigis Pizza, Spurs Steak House, Le Capitaine, Palace de Chino and Cafe de La Plage. A 3 course meal costs from Â£15 to Â£30 with wine included. Its nowhere near as expensive as you would think!
Stock up at the local supermarket on water (20p) and bottled beer (30p) - we took everything out of the mini bar and replaced it with our own.
Hire a taxi to places - the Botanical gardens, aquarium, Mont Choisy and Pereybere are all great places to see. We hired a speed boat from one of the sellers on the beach (Dennis) this was well worth it for 2 hours and was far cheaper than the hotels prices. Great morning as they took us to some brilliant snorkelling sights and also had a tour of the coast.
If you go half board be prepared to pay for expensive drinks at the hotel. Beer is 3.4 euros, bottled water 2.5 euros. Bottle of wine - 25 euros upwards!
British Airways food - we were given a meal at 8.30am and then nothing until 4.30pm! I would recommend taking something else with you.
Watch the internal add ons with BA - several people on our coach from the airport were without luggage as there flights were delayed from domestic flights therefore not given enough time for luggage transfers at Heathrow. They had to wait 3 days for their luggage!
Food at the hotel is not brilliant! The Table d'hote and Gala nights are great but the buffet food is a little limiting. We were told that you could have A La Carte but at a premium so it was cheaper to go out.
Overall I couldnt speak highly of this hotel, particularly helpful staff were Vinnay and Cedrik. There is no tipping in the hotel - at the end of the holiday you put whatever you want into a box on the reception desk.
Beware of stone fish though - we bought special shoes from a diving shop to go into the sea. This made the walk into the sea much better than tip toeing in plus we used them for snorkelling under our flippers.
I would definately go back to this hotel. It should be much higher than a 3 star."
- Travel date: Tue 25th of October 2005
"Have literally just returned from a wonderful 2 weeks of doing absolutely nothing. It was absolute paradise. We stayed in the garden court cottages right on the beach. The rooms are kept very clean, the maids go in there twice a day. Only had one problem with them, where we came back from dinner a bit earlier than usual and suprised them only to find they were having a bit of a 'hair and makeup party' on me in our bathroom. Apart from that, the staff can't do enough to help you. We actually felt really lazy and almost embarrassed at not being allowed to lift a finger!! Food was good, we prefered buffet nights to the set menu nights as more variety, but I think you'd have to be an exceptionally fussy eater to go hungry there! The evening entertainment is frankly very underrated in my opinion. The singers (especially the female are excellent). Its quite nice that they play British DVD's also. Handy if you run out of reading material! The beach is very well maintained, and lots of space for everyone. Only the beach hawkers got a bit annoying after a while, but they are not too pushy.
I was very sad to leave. This hotel I would rate much higher than its 3 star status."
- Travel date: Mon 24th of October 2005
"Just got back from my best holiday ever at this fantastic hotel and island! The view from the beach was stunning (see my photos) and the hotel staff so helpful. They seem genuinely nice, rather than just trying to suck up to the tourists for tips. Hotel food was great, and the wide range of watersports activities gave a welcome break from just sitting in this wonderful location. I usually got a sunbed of my choice in the shade, and I never saw people not able to sit somewhere. I had a standard room, which was much better than I expected to be honest.
Town is only 15 minutes walk away, but there isn't that much there really... There are a few good bars and clubs though, and the locals seemed friendly enough. There are a number of excursions. I recommend a catermeran (spelling?) cruise to Ile aux Cerf, which is beautiful (although fairly crowded). I also went on a quadbike afternoon, which was amazing, but don't do it if you are nervous as the terrain was not that easy (although we all coped, as beginners).
A few points to note: change your currency in town for a better exchange rate, get up fairly early for hot water and have a lot of fun!"
- Travel date: Thu 13th of October 2005