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“Great hotel - some practical info...”

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The Residence Mauritius
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Belle Mare
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 November 2010

The Residence is a great hotel, as most of the other reviews attest. It was opened in 1998 and looks fresh as they do it up every few years. The rooms are bright and clean. The shower was one of the best I have ever had. There are a lot of repeat customers - we met one family on their third trip who are already in the process of booking for next year. One of my colleagues has been at Easter for nine years in a row. I can easily understand why as the hotel has so much to offer families. Please read on for what I hope is some fairly practical information that you will find useful.

1. We flew BA. The flight out is a night flight, which was fine, but the way back is during the day. It was a 12 hour flight, which can be difficult cooped in economy (the kids were fine, it was us that were cramped). Air Mauritius does a night flight on the way back, which I think gives you an extra half day in the hotel (we had to leave at 6am to catch the 9.30am flight).

2. Alcohol is very expensive in Mauritius. There is a 100% tax. The cheapest bottle of wine in the hotel is about £35. There is a lovely red called Arniston Bay, which I recommend. You can, however, pick up alcohol when you arrive in the airport. Prices are in Euros, but the local currency is Mauritian Rupees. We didn't leave the hotel so only used them to tip the driver who took us to and from the airport and to tip the staff centrally at reception at the end of the week.

3. When you are going back home, make sure you take some food with you for your wait in the airport. There is only one food place, which is awful and expensive. There is a small supermarket in the local village - go out of the front gate and turn right. The supermarket is after the road bends round to the left by the police station and just before it bends round to the right. Saying that, I went in the afternoon to get some bread to take, and it had all gone.

4. We went in October half-term. There was a mix of families (predominantly with younger children) and couples - I'm not sure if it is different out of school holidays. I would not personally choose it as a couples destination. I think if it was just the two of you, there are more romantic hotels that don't have kids splashing around in the pool. Saying that, without exception, there were no kids running up and down in the restaurant or shouting in the pool.

5. The transfer from the airport is 1 hour along the windy coast road. Both of our kids were car sick (both ways), which is unusual. I suggest you take a plastic bag or two.

6. We had an ocean front room. There are, I believe, ocean view and garden view rooms. These are both slightly set back from the shore and back onto the road. My parents in law were staying in one of these and said that they were woken in the morning by traffic passing on the road outside.

7. If you can, arrange to get a VIP card. I think we got this thrown in when we booked. It gives you an allowance for lunch (£30 per adult and £15 per child) and also 10% off drinks. It just means that you have no concerns about your kids ordering a £10 children's pizza for lunch, followed by a £5 Cornetto.

8. There are two restaurants - the main one and the Plantation, which is closer to the beach. They have broadly similar food, although there is greater choice at the main restaurant. The main difference is that the Plantation is closer to the beach and is open on three sides. The main restaurant is quite darkly lit in the evenings, which did make it atmospheric, but we preferred the Plantation as all of the kids tend to go down onto the beach after supper while you're having coffee to play stuck in the mud, etc. It's great because they get to run around and you can see them from where you are sitting. My one recommendation is to take some mosquito repellent as one dinner in the Plantation with cut-off trousers led to 20 mosquito bites round my ankles - I looked like an extra from the plague room in the London Dungeons. My one criticism of the whole hotel is that the service at lunch could have been slightly faster. With young kids, you don't want to be spending 2 hours on lunch. We eventually resorted to having lunch by the pool so that you could swim or read until your food turned up.

9. They have themed buffet dinners which take place on set nights of the week. These are very popular. There is a seafood evening with local dancing on Saturday night. We turned up on Saturday and by the time we found out about this, it was booked up.

10. There are three hard tennis courts, which are in really good condition. These you should book, particularly if you want to play at around 4pm or 5pm. They will give you towels and water (both essential as it gets really hot). We took tennis rackets and balls, but you can borrow both. The rackets are fine, but the balls had seen much better days. The coach, Curtis, is great, and kids seemed to really enjoy his coaching, although his backgammon is not as good as his backhand.

11. One of the great pluses of the hotel is the ocean. About 400m off shore is a reef that runs parallel down most of the East coast of the Island. It means that the waves break on the reef so that inside the reef, it is like a large swimming pool (unless it is windy). The water is also quite shallow going out some way from the shore. It's similar to the Maldives, except there is quite a bit of coral not far off shore.

12. The reef means that it is a great place to learn to water-ski as the water is calm. You can also learn to sail - they will organise lessons for you if you want/need them. Water sports are on tap and you only need to sign you name and you can go waterskiing, sailing (Lasers and Hobi Cats), ringo-ing, kayaking and on a pedalo. There is also a dive school, which costs extra. I didn't read the small print, but did wonder, at least in passing, as to what my liability/come back would be if I happened to slam my boat into another boat at full speed or got run over by a boat when I was waterskiing... The guy who runs the Yacht Club (apologies for forgetting his name), is very knowledgeable and willing to give you tips for how to improve your waterskiing, rather than just sitting behind the boat inside the wake. All of the staff were very friendly and many had learned our names by the end of the week. They are one of the hotel's real standout points.

13. You need to think carefully about what time you go as the weather can change considerably. According to some of the staff we spoke to, late October is one of the best times (as is the corresponding time in our spring). The temperature was about 30 Celsius, the humidity was about 30 percent and there was a gentle breeze. It meant that we were never too hot. There can however be neap tides at that time of year which can affect the water sports due to the depth of water. On one day, you couldn't go out until 1.30pm and then again from 4.30pm. They have had occasions where the water hasn't been deep enough for waterskiing and sailing for a whole week.

14. My wife did circuit training while she was there, which she really enjoyed. Other than that, they don't have any classes (step etc), although the gym is well equipped.

15. The kids club looks excellent. I say looks as our kids didn't want to go into it. Part of the problem is that they divide the kids into two age groups - up to seven and over seven. We have one above and one below who wanted to be together. They keep the kids really busy with a variety of activities and the facilities are great. I don't think our kids missed out, but I'm sure they would have really enjoyed it.

16. I had assumed that there would be wifi in the hotel, which there isn't. There is internet access in the rooms, but it is via a cable, which was of no help with my iPad. There are a number of computers within the hotel that you can use to check in for your return flight.

All in all, I think the hotel is excellent and would not hesitate to go back.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with family
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12  Thank Londontripadviser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 October 2010

We stayed at the Residence Hotel for 9 nights from 2nd Oct on our first ever holiday to Mauritius. Booked through Trailfinders in London with Half board basis and a very handy VIP card for free lunch and 10% off beverages.

As per most of the reviews we can only add our confirmation that the hotel is truly excellent. The room (Ocean Front 2nd Floor) was spacious, spotlessly clean with all the amenities you could wish for and the bed was far to comfy. The staff are without exception friendly and chatty and all the ones we were lucky enough to encounter regularly were as good as any we have encountered in all our travels.

The pool area is great and the beach and sea is straight from a postcard. Beach Hawkers were polite friendly and not intrusive. The food and service in both restaurants was excellent although we did favour the Plantation on the beach for the view and slightly larger menu. Excellent choice as well at the breakfast buffet.

Basically a lazy relaxing holiday with one day out (hired a taxi from the rank just outside hotel (MUR2500 for the day) aprox £50. Went to Curepipe, Floreal and Port Loius.

Weather was superb and on the one afternoon we had cloud and heavy rain we watched some DVD's we had brought with us in the room.

We will definately go back to Mauritius and we will not be looking to stay anywhere other than the Residence. Mauritius is perfect for a relaxing calm chilled holiday surrounded by kind friendly people.

On the Mauritius shopping front two negatives. It was in my far from expert opinion not overly cheap for clothes and most of the shop assistants can be a nuisance as they will not let you browse without standing over you and bombarding you with info even when asked. In the end we would often just walk out if they did not leave us in peace.

As for tipping in the hotel we tipped as we went along and think it is better than handing over at the end of the stay.

In summary we cannot speak highly enough of the Residence and we will be saving up for another visit.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank TomD1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2010

We stayed at The Residence for one week to recharge our batteries. It was the perfect place to do this.
We had booked on a half board basis but on arrival we were told that we had been given VIP status. This meant that we had a credit towards our lunch , a welcome bottle of champagne and various discounts during our stay. This was a nice touch which we appreciated. Our room was garden facing but we could still see the sea from our balcony. The room and bathroom were large and the bed very comfortable. The room was kept spotlessly clean by the maid.
All of the staff were all attentive and helpful - fruit and chilled bottles of water were supplied free of charge by the pool and on the beach, breakfast staff remembered that I like mint tea, the butlers bath is not to be missed.
The food, we felt, was of good quality, well prepared and tasty. The seafood night was excellent. There are two restaurants which we alternated between . You are given a credit if you stay on a half board basis. Be aware that this does mean that there are dishes on the menu that you will have to pay extra for if they exceed the amount of the credit. The selection for a one week stay was fine although if I had stayed two weeks I may have wanted a greater choice. Yes , the wine is expensive but there is a shop down the road where you can buy it cheaper if you feel unwilling to pay the hotel prices.
The down side is that the wind does blow (sometimes with remarkable vigour) into the main pool area of the resort. A little tip is to move along the beach a little where there is a sheltered area away from the winds.
As this was not our first visit to Mauritius we decided not to go on any excursions so we cannot comment on that. We did take a short enjoyable trip on a glass bottom boat which was included in the cost of the stay.
This is not an "all action" resort and other comments regarding the evening entertainment being limited are correct. However if comfort and relaxation is what you are looking for this should fit the bill.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank tourists_are_us
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2010

First let me say thanks to all at The Residence for another fabulous holiday with you at the end of September. This now my 6th visit to the hotel. My first was in November 2006 and on planning to return the question did arise in my mind would it come up to the first class standard of my first visit. Well I need not have benn concerned for not only did it match my expectations - it exceeded them and has continued to do so each visit. I don't know how you improve on perfection - but somehow you do - well done and keep up the good work.

From the moment you arrive, you are welcomed by some of the friendliest people you will ever meet who are genuinely pleased to welcome you with cold towels and iced tea to refresh you after your long flight.

I was travelling this time with my elderly parents ( this was their 4th visit ) and we felt as though we had arrived at home in our Residence such was the welcome. Throughout their stay the staff were wonderfully caring and thoughtful towards them at all times - thank you.

From the moment you look out from the cathedral like entrance hall with its high vaulted ceilings, out over the pool area and out to the beach you just know you have arrived in paradise.

The rooms are elegant and tastefully appointed and your personal butler ( yes you have a butler ) and the room boy made sure that everything was just spotless and perfect throughout our stay.

The dinning experience is centered around the beautiful main dinning room and is the epitome of fine dinning experience where the chef and his team will create mouthwatering dishes for you. You can also eat at the plantation, sitauted on the beach, which is less formal and hosts wonderful themed buffet evenings along with local entertainment which you must not miss during your stay. If you have any dietary requirements just let them know and everything will be taken care of for you so that you fully enjoy your dinning experience throughout your holiday.

My own preference for during the day is the pool area for sunbathing and swimming. This as with all the other public areas is kept to an immaculate standard with constant attention by the staff. There are three adult pools and one specially formed pool for the children.

There is also a spledid pure white sandy beach which spans the ehtire length of the property which my father ( just turned 80 ) loved to walk every day before swimming in the cystal clear blue waters of the Indian ocean - this was his special treat. Ther is also a host of complimentary water activities down at the beach.

The thing that makes this hotel so successful are the staff who are welcoming, friendly, courteous and they are always attentive but never intrusive. One very interesting point is that many of the staff - if not infact the majority - have been here since the hotel first opened. This is quite an achievement and is due in no small part to the excellent management philosophy. All the main managers, including the general manager are seen regualrily around the hotel and all take time to interact with guests.

Having traveled extensively throughout the world, mainly on holiday but also for business on occassions I can tell you that high standards of servcie can be increasingly hard to find - but not so the Residence where they set the highest of standards that many would do well to emulate.

We met wonderful people at the hotel and this year we have formed amongst ourselves the 'September club' - a very mixed group of young, middle aged and seniors who are planning to return next year for what we know will be a most excelent time. You see we are all a very discerning group of travellers.

My holidays are very important to me and I have enjoyed many in varied countries but standing head and shoulders above the rest is The Residence. My friends often ask why I return so often. The answer is simple - I have found my liitle piece of paradise and I have found the best - so why look anywhere else.

If you have never been to Mauritius you must visit soon and when you do make sure it is to The residence. I can assure you that like me you will not be disappointed - you will love it and it will draw you back time and time again.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank RevJ0hn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2010

My wife and I have just returned from our second two week stay at this fabulous hotel. It's only the second hotel in the world to which we have paid a return visit for a holiday. The world is so large it's nice to have a change however good the hotel. In my business I have had to travel extensively worldwide and stay in top class hotels and it takes a lot to really impress me.

To those of you looking at the reviews for this hotel, and like me not only looking at the 5 star ratings, but also those where people were not so impressed, please ignore the comments of Sue 708, Sun Seekers -south ,serial traveller and bc69. Our first visit was in September 2008, around the times of their evaluations and we simply do not recognise the hotel they were describing at all. Look instead at the vast majority of positive ratings - they are much more accurate. This hotel on Belle Mare is not rated as no1 out of 14 on this website, by customers, for no reason!

What drew us back for a second time? It is after all a long trip and not cheap. We aren't honeymooners by the way! It is a combination of attractions. Our first visit was organised by our long standing friend who is a travel agent, who has stayed in all the major Mauritius hotels and strongly recommended The Residence to us as the outstanding hotel he had experienced. He even sent his mum and dad to the Residence!

Firstly the location and physical style of the hotel is very elegant, classy well designed and comfortable - a true 5 plus star standard. The wonderful staff keep it immaculate, clean and very well tended and maintained, both the room , public areas, gardens and pools. The gardens in particular are beautiful and the rooms first class. Tne garden rooms, whilst not having a sea view, overlook beautiful courtyards which lead onto the beach

The food, both in the Dining Room and the Plantation was first class and varied - we never felt the need to go a la carte, and throughly enjoyed both the buffet and waiter service. We particularly liked the option of the waiter service - it made the evening a bit more special then a buffet arrangement, but we enjoyed both. The Plantation is on the beach and very atmospheric and you can eat there for no extra cost on themed evenings (Sega dancing and Mauritian cuisine and sometimes African dancing and food) or go for a set menu, or a la carte with a generous allowance. So you can mix and match as you wish

However, what sets this hotel above others is the style and culture which the management have established throughout the staff. I have never stayed in a hotel ( and remember I travel very extensively) before that has such wonderful personal attention to guest relations. You can have the most wonderful buildings, extensive facilities and so on , and feel just a number - I know, this has happened to us

This hotel is VERY different

The hotel has a number of key senior managers who are front of house and who make the difference - they set and maintain the highest possible standards of service - whether in the restaurants, the pool, reception, concierge,room or garden. All the staff here are simply first class - they make your stay with them a real pleasure. They are attentive but not overbearing, they smile a lot, clearly enjoy their work, and work so hard to make your stay memorable. It is significant that many of the managers and staff have been with the hotel since it opened 12 years ago - very unusual indeed in the hotel business

And if you have a special event to celebrate, the hotel makes a fuss of you with a special menu, and drinks - I had a birthday there and they made it an unforgettable experience.

And a very important point to make here is that you need not tip the staff throughout your stay, but if you want, add a tip to your bill at the end of your stay and it's put in a pool for all staff every 6 months. So staff who are particularly nice to you aren't angling for a personal tip at the time, which means they are doing it because they want to and it's part of the culture

The butler service is excellent - our butler from 2 years ago visited to check that our new butler was looking after us properly! And like other Maurutian hotels he offers as many rose petal baths as you can manage. He also will unpack and pack your cases if you wish, and generally keeps an eye on things to make sure everything is as it should be.

Don't stay in the hotel all the time, Maurutius is a fascinating island if you make the effort, and Mauritia people are so, so friendly. Our advice is to ask the concierge to book a driver for you for the day - depending on the trip you plan it might cost you £40 to £60 for the car, split between 4 is inexpensive, and not bad for just two. The drivers all speak English and will go where ever you want. And you have the added security that they are linked to the hotel.

The beaches are beautiful - to one side you can walk in front of a number of adjoining hotels set back from the beach - and the other way you walk in front of the immaculate public beach past the hotel's watersports centre. They are cleaned very day and are immaculate. And the water is that beautiful blue/green you dream of.

Regarding drinks, it's true they are expensive, but no more so than other Mauritian hotels and cheaper than some. A beer comes at about £3.50, and wine and champagne is expensive.

As return guests you are given a VIP card which entitles you to a free lunch every day, 10% off drinks and 15% off spa treatments. My wife had a spa treatment which was really excellent.

There is a super Kiddies Club where children are very well looked after ( we talked to a number of parents who were ever so pleased with the lovely staff there) There's also a baby sitting service

On both occasions we visited there were weddings on the beach - the hotel goes to a lot of trouble to make the occasion really special, and the setting is absolutely stunning. There are usually a number on honeymooners staying there along with some families with small children ( in September) and couples and groups of friends. Everyone we spoke with said it was the best holiday hotel they had ever stayed in.

If asked to describe what makes this hotel so special, it has quiet elegant class running through everything it does - it's truly an outstanding hotel and we will definitely be going back again.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank keekee27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Residence Mauritius

Address: Coastal Rd, Belle Mare, Mauritius
Region: Mauritius > Flacq District > Belle Mare
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Belle Mare
#2 Family Hotel in Belle Mare
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Belle Mare
#3 Spa Hotel in Belle Mare
#3 Luxury Hotel in Belle Mare
#4 Business Hotel in Belle Mare
Price Range: $292 - $1,236 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Residence Mauritius 5*
Number of rooms: 171
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 
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Also Known As:
The Residence Hotel Belle Mare
Residence Belle Mare
Residence Hotel Belle Mare
Residence Mauritius
The Residence Mauritius Belle Mare

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