We have recently returned from the Ambre and stayed from the 10th-24th November for our Honeymoon. As far as we are aware, this hotel is part of TUI/Thomson so chances are you will be travelling with Thomson if you are flying from the UK. This hotel is very popular and over a third of the people on our flight were staying there. This meant there were 5 coach loads of us all arriving at once and the first impressions were not great. The hotel is just not geared up to check in so many people all at once. We were ushered in to a conference room on arrival and were not even shown through the reception. The staff were so slow in showing people to their rooms that in the end we gave up waiting and found our own way.
Our room was large and spacious, maybe a bit too spacious with a lot of wasted space. We had upgraded our room to a superior sea view room (257) which had a large balcony, large bathroom with separate toilet, a massive bed, minibar with beer, coke, sprite, still and sparkling water, chocolate and crisps (restocked daily), safe, tv, swivel chair and the most uncomfortable and pointless sofa we have ever seen. There was plenty of storage space and hangers. We did notice whilst walking around the resort that some rooms had a very small balcony that barely had room for a table and chairs. Other rooms did not even have a balcony and just had a window. The room was cleaned every day, although I am pretty sure the bedding was not changed whilst we were there or if it was it was done once. Also surfaces were not cleaned that well, as the tea and coffee tray was always sticky. There also seemed to be no set order in which they cleaned the rooms. Sometimes it would not be done until late afternoon and other days the cleaners would be knocking on your door at 8.30 to get in.
Pool and beach
The hotel grounds are well kept and there always seemed to be gardeners doing something. Even though we were there for 2 weeks we did not use the pool at all. This was partly due to the fact that although the pool was quite large, there were not that many sunbeds around it, not much shade and the beds that were there were very close together. It was partly also due to the fact that we preferred the beach. The beach was lovely, as was the sea. Between us we have visited various Caribbean islands, Hawaii, Egypt and Cape Verde amongst other places and we both agree that the sea is the clearest we have ever had at a resort hotel. There were days when it was not so clear when it was windy, but on the whole it was lovely. We took sea shoes which we used every day as there was some coral and seaweed, although we did see people without them. The seaweed was cleared from the beach every morning around 8-9am but it soon re-appeared. The Ambre does have the best, longest and most prominent part of the beach compared to its neighbours.
Be prepared to play the sun bed game. We are early risers on holiday anyway as we like to make the most of the day, but after the first day we realised we would have to start saving sunbeds if we wanted one with a parasol or any sort of shade. These went very quickly and people would be up at 6.30am reserving them. One day we got down to the beach at 6.50am and they were all gone. The hotel do have a policy in which they say towels will be removed if beds are saved and not used after 45 minutes, but they do not adhere to this policy therefore we found ourselves joining everyone else in saving sunbeds. This may be different if it is a quieter time of year.
The non-motorised watersports are free and there is also a free glass bottom boat that goes a couple of times a day. The same boat will also take you snorkling for free.
Food and drink
There are 3 restaurants. The main one is the buffet restaurant called Indigo. They served breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast was lovely with lots of choice but unfortunately the same can't be said for lunch and dinner. Maybe we have been spoiled on our previous holidays but we found the choice quite limited. What was on offer was well cooked and edible, and on the first night we were really impressed with the selection, but we soon realised that it was the same every single night with some slight changes here and there. The dessert selection looked wonderful the first night but again it was the same every night. Also this restaurant gets very hot as there is no air conditioning and the 2 ceiling fans are never on.
What saves this restaurant with regards to the food are the 2 al a carte restaurants. One is La Plage on the beach and the other is Dolce Vita an Italian. Both of these had excellent food, cooked well and lots of choice. The only down side is that the service could sometimes be abit slow at the Italian. You can visit these restaurants as many times as you want to and book at the entrance to the main restaurant in the morning. Again this is something you need to get up early for booking starts at 7.30am and if you go along at 7.20am you will find yourself joining a queue. There seemed to be alot of problems with this system so they may have changed it by now. There are plenty of cocktails to choose from, the beer was ok and so was the wine. There were 2 bars, one by the beach called the Coral Bar which is were the evening entertainment was. The other was the H&H bar which was quieter. We always got our drinks from here and then sat on the sofas around reception as it was away from all the noise of the other bar.
During the day the waiters from the Coral Bar would go up at down the beach serving drinks. I think you got better service if you sat around the pool area or the part of the beach that was closer to bar. As we always sat at the other end we found the service abit hit and miss. If you wanted something simple like a coke it would come straight away but anything more complicated would take a while.
Unbeknown to me, before we travelled my husband contacted the hotel to arrange a cake for my birthday. On the day he went to reception to check it was still ok and was quite aware that he would have to pay for the cake (I think it was around £10). He was told quite sternly by whoever was on reception that "Thomson guests DO NOT get anything for free". So there you go. Don't expect any freebies!
We had decided before we travelled that if we were going to do any trips then we would book them with Chris on the beach as we had read on here before we went that he was better value than Thomsons. This is correct and we would highly recommend booking with him. We booked the 5 Islands trip with him and spent the day on a speedboat visiting various islands, snorkling, and having lobster, fish and bbq for lunch. It was also my 30th birthday on that day and without us knowing Chris organised for a birthday cake to be served after lunch which was a really nice touch. It was also a really nice group of English and was a wonderful day.
Chris also helped us to book a few other trips. He introduced us to a taxi driver who took us to swim with Dolphins (£30 each) and to Casela Park to walk with lions (£7 to get in the park and the £80 each to walk with lions). This was a once in a lifetime experience and we would highly recommend it. The lions are not drugged and you spend around an hour walking with them with 3 staff and 2 photographers. You can do other things there too like zip lining, segways. The taxi driver drove us around, waited whilst we did the activities and then drove us back to the hotel for £60 for the whole day starting at 6am and being back about 6pm. For a 12 hour day we thought that was very good value. We also went quad biking which was around £70 for 2. This was a half day trip which again we would recommend.
I know this review may seem negative. We did have a wonderful time but there are just a few issues the hotel needs to address. We would without a doubt return to Mauritius but would not stay at this hotel again simply because we like to visit different places so we would stay at a different part of the island next time. It is a beautiful country and everyone is very friendly. It is the first time I have been on holiday in a long time where I have felt safe leaving the hotel grounds.
We would recommend this hotel, just remember it is a 4 star so don't go there expecting it to be a 5 star just because your in Mauritius. If you want 5 star then pay the ridiculous prices and go to the Lux next door.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ambre Resort is located at palmar, on the east coast of mauritius. The resort is one hour away from theairport; one hour from port Louis, the capital city and 20 mins fromile aux Cerfs. The resort boasts a 700-metres long white natural sandy beachrunning along a sheltered bay. The adjacent tropical lagoon is a haven for fish and marine life, with many bathing and diving areas. Ambre is a four-star resort set in a tropical, easy-going environment, where island living can be experienced at its best. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Tingo, Agoda, Travelocity, Odigeo and TripOnline SA so you can book your Ambre Resort - All Inclusive reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Ambre Hotel Belle Mare
- Hotel Ambre Mauritius
- Ambre Hotel Mauritius
- Ambre Resort - All Inclusive Mauritius/Belle Mare