Stayed for 7 days in early November; 2-3 days partially overcast/occasional rain, 4 days magnificent clear sunny weather. The centre is more cloudy & wet.
ROOMS: We had a standard room (640) in the Manor House first floor excellent sitauation with lovely sea views & views over the croquet lawn. Standard rooms more than adequate, Our maid Francoise left flowers & notes daily, spotless sheets & comfy firm beds, great to see the local fruit bats (the size of seaguls with 4' wingspan!) in the trees outside our room at dusk most nights. Occasional noise from entertainment at Tides on one or two nights, if u like it quiet you may be better in the South Villas with a view over the quiet pool.
GROUNDS: These are magnificent constant work being done and loads of watering from the hotel's own impressive recycling facility. Do go on the 'Behind the scenes tour' offered: any hotel so keen to show you in detail the recycling facilities, maintenance areas, kitchens and solar heating plant is a reassuring thing to know. All spotless.
FOOD: The main resturaunt is a themed buffet, different each night eg: Lebanese, Seafood, Curry, Mauritian. Very wide choice though plates and some dishes could have been warmer. Service for drinks reliable and prompt best to order as soon as you arrive, they were usually on the table when you returned with your starter. Breakfast excellent. Ate at Tides twice : table service and a noticable step up certainly 'fine dining' to our taste, emphasis on fish dishes. If you are on the all inclusive (see below) you get a separate menu but there are several choices of starters & main. Staff well informed & offer explanations of dishes. Tried Citronella's once: Italian, food also good but portions large for our liking. No problems booking either of these resturants for us. Service at lunchtime at Tides a bit slow on occasion.
GUESTS: When we were ther nice mix of younger/wedding/honeymoon couples, Young families (French half term), middle aged & older farts (we are one on the latter two!)
FACILITIES: Tennis courts (6) easy to book & excellent,' tip : bring your own balls or you have to buy them, rackets are free if you don't bring your own. Snorkelling trip depends on tide & swell beyond reef: the day we went was clear and calm & saw more than we did on the catamaran trip. There is a large area inside the reef that is shallow but OK for sailing the free boats, nice not to have speedboats/jetskis in this part of the island. Beach is fine we walked a long way up & down in bare feet withouit any problem: must hgave hard feet compared to other reviewers! Spa used once was excellent.
ALL INCLUSIVE: Strongly recommend this: It is excellent we are not great drinkers but it took away a lot of worry, You get the Table D'Hote menu at Tides that is excellent, and can have most of what you can see on Citronella's menu. Staff well trained about this compared to some previous reviews. Items on all inclusive clearly marked on menu's and various bar lists. Includes a wide range of drinks including cocktails that could cost £8 and a range of mostly S African or Chilean wines by the bottle or glass. The quality of the wines I would put at around the 'under a tenner' supermarket level, would cost you £20-£25 otherwise. Room fridge includes beers, wine, soft drinks, & juices. Otherwise you can run up a big bill, on checkout all we had extra was a massage and one drink not on the all inclusive, the system worked well you signed for everything and the all inclusive items were taken off your bill correctly, another guest was having a bit of a shock over his bill on the half board option : even soft drinks for children etc rapidly build up!
WIFI: Something had to be a bit of a disappointment! I'm not bothered much but my wife likes to keep in touch. The free wifi is very slow and next to useless. Even sending an e-mail took ages : go to a hotspot, connect & by the end of your meal it might have been sent! Didn't try the premium service. Perhaps a bit unfair to criticise this as Mauritius is not Northern Europe. Gave up trying to check in for our return flight and was kindly allowed to successfully use the hotel's own computer in reception: it wasn't up to much either!
MANAGEMENT: We were most impressed by the regular presence of management, The manageer Andrew Slome was out & about much of the time and reguarly talking to guests including a cocktail party, around the resort & resturaunts, he was keen to hear personally feed back.
KIDS: Been there & done that! Not an issue for us but saw the Kids Club on the 'behind the scenes' tour: excellent and better than we had ever had when our children were younger.
OTHER TIPS: Don't rent a car with the hotel associated ABC rental : nice new cars but twice the price of lesser vehicles on the internet we researched before travelling easily booked by phone on arrival. Try a local bus to Port Louis, parking & driving there a nightmare bus only 60p and see some of the other side of Mauritius. Catamaran trip arranged by hotel was good : saw dolphins and excellent BBQ. Drove to sister hotel Le Tousserek and use their free boat to Ile aux Cerfs: good day. Tea plantation a genuine working plantation/factory, good tour. Found Mauritius very hospitable, always felt safe though easy to get lost driving in the central plateau towns! The quality of service at Sugar Beach excellent, hope to return again.
Booked with British Airways website only 10 days before we went : website price more competitive than offered by other operators, though BA was more expensive when we looked at other resorts. Nice to have an easily accesable voice on the phone the day we left when it looked as if our BA flight to Gatwick was going to be late & we might miss our BA Mauritius flight: just made it though!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.