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.
- Also Known As:
- The Residence Hotel
- The Residence Hotel Belle Mare
- Residence Belle Mare
- Residence Hotel Belle Mare
- Residence Mauritius
- The Residence Mauritius Belle Mare
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Residence Mauritius with its elegant colonial style is in perfect harmony with the intense turquoise of the ocean. With its kilometer-long beach of powdery white sand, The Residence Mauritius is one of the most beautiful jewels of the international hotel scene. ... more less
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