We stayed here 6 nights b&b in a standard room. The hotel is in the colonial-style, with a mainly wooden construction and it’s full of old antique elements and old photos of Mauritius, which add to the hotel nicely. It is open and airy in all the public areas and the reception has a “wow!” factor when you enter for the first time.
Check-in: the welcome was friendly, efficient and informative. We were shown our room and our butler then picked up and showed us how everything worked
The room: it was a big room with a large king bed, large TV, easy sofa & chair, plus tea and coffee. There was a big separate bathroom, with separate bath and shower, walk in wardrobe and safe. Water was also supplied and replenished daily, although on a couple of days the water was forgotten. Similarly, on a couple of occasions a hand towel was not replaced (leaving us without), a floor mat was removed and not replaced or flannels weren’t left. Replacements were quickly brought when we called, but they shouldn’t have been forgotten. Our room was also within easy hearing distance of the evening entertainment in the bar. Whilst we didn’t go to watch the first couple of nights, we could hear ever word sung / note played from our room. So, whilst the large open spaces are lovely, there is a downside to them with the noise carrying easily.
There was also a device in the room called a Handy, which is basically a locked down smartphone that’s free to use whilst you’re staying. It enables free local calls, Internet calls, maps etc and can be taken around the island. Well, that’s the theory. We used it whilst in the room on Wi-fi but it just didn’t work outside the hotel. We tried to make a local call when in Port Louis but it wouldn’t dial. If it worked, it’d be a great feature but, we found it to be of limited to no use.
Concierge: they were really helpful, organising a Taxi for us to Port Louis plus a little tour around and at no point did the driver ever try to renegotiate and the price was good, considering the journey times and Taxi prices in Mauritius. However, his cab had a sticker on it linking him to the hotel and he explained that at busy times he’s pretty much employed by the hotel guests so it’s obviously sensible for him to keep guests happy for repeat business.
Pool area / beach: there are plenty of beds on the beach section of the hotel in amongst the palms, which was away from the pool but it got busy at that end. We stuck to the limited space in the “adults only” section near the pool, where there was always space. The pool itself was made up of several sections and occupies a large area but we found it a bit noisy as there were quite a few kids there. As such, we stayed away. There was also some inconsistency with pool service. Whilst towels were generally out on sunbeds, some days we were brought water, others we weren’t. Some days we got flannels, others we didn’t. Some days we were asked if we wanted drinks or food, some we weren’t. You get the picture.
Restaurants: we ate at Plantation on our first night and enjoyed the food however, it took too long for our drinks to come and whilst the service was friendly there was something missing, but we just couldn’t place what it was. We also ate there on our 3rd night and noticed it again. Drinks took too long, in fact, we got our starters before water arrived and we had to ask for that twice. We were delivered two starters when we ordered one to share and, whilst the drinks were tasty, the food was under seasoned and over priced for what it was. And we’re used to central London prices. A couple were also shown down to the beach seats for a drink and then no one went to take their order, forcing the gent to come back up and ask for someone to take the order. Still, they didn’t. So the couple moved up to the restaurant and as they were being seated the gent told the waiter that their process “just isn’t working is it?”. If nothing else, it reaffirmed what we thought of the service: disjointed, not really organised. It’s almost there, but almost is frustrating when you’re paying a lot for the food.
We did the buffet on our 2nd night as it was Mauritian themed. Whilst some of the dishes were nice, a waiter admitted that some were ‘dummed down’ in terms of spices for the benefit of guests. We’d have preferred it if they’d kept the dishes authentic, spice and all. Again though, the price was just too high, particularly Rs 450 for a small glass of wine. That’s £10.50 for a glass of South African Chenin Blanc. Again, that’s more than I’d pay in central London.
My biggest bug-bear of the evening was the dress code. We’d been told it was “casual-smart” when we checked in. In truth it was more ‘casual’. Jeans, trainers (not fresh, clean white ones) and t-shirts with large, tasteless designs were all on show. I was told I couldn’t go in despite wearing a polo shirt, a pair of tailored shorts and ‘smart’ sandals. Apparently, long trousers and shoes were the dress code for men. That wasn't what we were told. On that same night I saw a man wearing sandals with socks (never, ever ok), a lady wearing shorts that just about covered her bottom, some tatty trousers, worn jeans...I could go on. So I was somewhat hacked off that my original outfit was deemed ‘inappropriate’. On our forth night I wore pretty much the same outfit to Amari at the Lux* hotel next door and not a word was said about my outfit, and I wasn’t out of place.
It’s easy to take away that we didn’t enjoy our stay: we did. It was relaxing, plus the view out to sea and the clear waters are just beautiful. Most things are fine and we may have just had bad luck on the service.
We like to explore a little and try different restaurants so a choice of two at The Residence was always going to make us try elsewhere, and was one of the reasons we didn’t go half-board here. You’d need to check the pricing but, for us, staying at The Residence (it was cheaper than the Lux for the week we were there) and going to the Lux to eat in the evenings worked OK. It is only a 2 min walk between the two along the beach after all.
If you can get a good HB package at The Lux (or even an AI - which opens up the ice cream snacks, rum hut plus other things) then the choice of 4 restaurants and the quality of food would make it worthwhile (it would have done for the 6 days we stayed). The food there was so much nicer, the service was exceptional, and the food and drink prices are no worse than The Residence, but you get what you pay for. In fact, it’s worth me pointing out that the food and drink prices everywhere we looked in Belle Mare were high and not what we’re used to paying when going on holiday! And don’t expect to be able to walk in to Belle Mare (or anywhere else) to experience some local restaurants / cheap eats as there aren’t any. You are limited to going to one of the 4 hotels along then stretch of beach from The Residence south.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Residence Mauritius is situated on the east coast of Mauritius along a mile-long beach of immaculate white sand, fringed by the azure Indian Ocean and tropical gardens - an idyllic retreat for your unreserved relaxation. Inspired by the island's stately turn-of-the-century plantation houses, this luxury Mauritius resort blends modern elegance with classic, colonial style that envelops you in an endearing sense of nostalgia. Live like royalty in rooms that radiate luxurious comfort and charm, with attentive service worthy of the grand colonial houses of yesteryear. Dine on exotic cuisine that captures the incredible potpourri of island flavours. Discover new secrets to soulful relaxation within our serene spa sanctuary, and an endless playground of attractions and activities to be found in the island's unique mix of cultures and stunning landscapes. Whether you seek a romantic escape with your loved one or a spectacular beach getaway with your family, The Residence Mauritius will enthrall you under the warm glow of the Mauritian sun. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Ctrip TA, Agoda and TripOnline SA so you can book your The Residence Mauritius reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- The Residence Hotel Belle Mare
- Residence Belle Mare
- Residence Hotel Belle Mare
- Residence Mauritius
- The Residence Mauritius Belle Mare