Do not alarm yourselves .. I am not referring literally to a serpent ...nor Eve! :) My Review is very much in line with many of the other previous ones. I wish I could give this hotel a 5 star rating ...but I cannot! Sofitel has a beautiful Setting. As soon as you enter the hotel, you truly feel yourself being transported to some place magical. Actually, aesthetically speaking, I felt this through the whole 7 days of our stay - aesthetically speaking-. The built and decor of the hotel, its location, the pool, the garden, the beach - all very beautiful , very Mauritius. Unfortunately though there are many factors that dampened our stay ......maybe if we where staying for just 2 nights, we would not have felt this. I am not one to let things ruin my holiday, or stay looking for things to complain about, but - for a whole 7nights it is impossible to ignore all the flaws of this hotel.
Check in went nicely and smoothly - nice people and a yummy welcome cocktail. As soon as we arrived at the room there was a puddle of water in the middle - AC problems - not a big deal, maintenance was called and they came to fix it. The housekeeping came to clear the mess ( all at their time, but you know, island people :) !) Housekeeping noticed that there was still a drip from the AC and tried to call maintenance from our phone - phone not working! So after just a few minutes in the room we can already conclude that the Maintenance Department really needs to up its standards and efficiency. - Everything was back to normal as we came back after dinner.
Speaking of hotel departments - Housekeeping need to learn some love and consistency. They have very good standards set but they are not being met by all the staff - Some days I find chocolate at turn down, some days not. Some days the bed sheets are not even pulled, other days, perfect. Some days my papers and my clothes are left scattered around, other days everything neat and tidy. Walk-in wardrobe infested with tiny ant-like insects. What a pity! Housekeeping I am writing this not just to complain but truly because I believe that with tighter supervision and training you could be perfect!
Food and Beverage - The hotel advertises 7 restaurants from which to choose from - even during check - in we are told we can choose - this is a load of crap - the main restaurant is open everyday, then just 1 or 2 other restaurants are open, which you have to book before 3pm and pay supplement. Maybe it was because it was September and not high season ....but still.... The main restaurant offers stupendous food which we enjoyed - compliments to the chef - different every night and good standard.....why the false advertising?? The f&b staff, I have to mention also ... most of them are really very nice and professional. I am sorry I do not remember the names as there are some in particular I would have loved to mention. Nice people ....but....because there is always a but at this hotel .... some staff do not understand English and do not like to admit it ....so when you place your drink order, you get a smile and a yes, but not what you ordered! This was amusing to us, we never complained, also because they do not have a dispense bar at the main restaurant, and if you order a drink which is not wine, water or juice, they will tell you to wait for 7 minutes while they walk to the bar, this is not a problem really, but it will be inconvenient if you send them back to bring what you actually ordered!! - F&B management, it is super easy to solve this problem - in the rest of the world, when one makes an order, it is read out back to him for confirmation - just inform your staff to start doing this. Another example of inconsistency in this hotel is the food at the beach restaurant. I ordered a pizza one day ...mouth - watering, delicious pizza! I had to have another one before I leave ....did not get it! :/ different cut and amounts of ingredients resulting in a much lesser standard! Also, I must mention the super price tag on everything! Particularly for us, we suffered from the circa 23 euro per little cocktail. ...We love to sip a cocktail or two ...or even three while we are laying on the beach, but with these prices we really could not do this ...infact we noticed that no one was sipping any cocktails! Management do you not understand that if you have reasonable prices, the guest will be happier, buy more, and you will still get your profit! Lowering prices is really a win - win situation.
Front Office - same same, many positives, many negatives ..... I cannot write every single experience but I will mention this, the major negative experience of our stay. We desperately needed late check - out .... we had around 20 hours of travelling to do to get back home and our taxi was picking us up at 1800 to start our voyage ..... we asked repeatedly for this late check- out but reception refused to allow us one and had to leave the room at 1200! Now dear hotel manager, do not write back on this review saying that it was because our room was booked and you could do nothing about it. I have worked in front office and housekeeping departments and I know very well how things work! This was not peak season and we hung out at the hotel and there was nearly no one around and even reception told us that a large group was checking in at 1700 ...so you could have left us with the room at least till 1600 ( cleaning departure room takes max 1 hour) .....the least, because you could have easily allocated any other room to the arriving guests ..... We where told to get out because it is easier for housekeeping to schedule cleaning and easier for reception to allocate rooms, but at this hotel standard, with the brand name and your rates, the customer has to be first , second and third, then the staff! Having said this, I must admit the 6 room-less hours where not so bad, we stayed on a bed in the garden ( yes they have king size beds in the garden/beach - another lovely touch) , used the pool and where allowed to use the Spa ( which bdw looked stunning), to have a shower before we leave. Still I could not get rid of the upsetting feeling of being "kicked-out" of the room!
Any way, I could go on forever with this review, AC is controlled and you are not free to use it on all the time you would like, lizard sharing our room, could not sleep one night because of too much loud music and noise from an event being held etc etc etc .... I have made my point.
To my fellow travelers I am not sure what to say .... Maybe if you are going to Mauritius this is the standard to expect ... we encountered many experiences all through our holiday which had so much beautiful plus a little rotten! ...I could compare Mauritius and Sofitel to a fresh juicy apple, with a worm inside!! :) But then, maybe this is not the standard everywhere, so my advice is to read and ask around before you book anything, If all standards are so sloppy then I could recommend this hotel, because it is soo beautiful and the food is good, but if not, do not go any where near it!
To the management: Mr Carlier, you have such a good product, there has clearly been a large initial investment on the property, and it set in such an amazingly beautiful place but it really needs to start working better! I would like to suggest a firmer hand, training and supervision to reduce and avoid inconsistency. Staying away from an attitude that anything could ever be good enough and truly embracing putting the customer first. Also, lowering the prices is a good idea which you will feel its benefits both in the short them and especially in the long term. Please do not mistake my comments as pretentious complaints because they are truly out of love for this industry and because I wish you well.