Let me first introduce you by telling that I am a seasoned traveller and stayed in some of the most luxurious hotels of the world. When travelling, I like to pick my hotels by using websites such as Kiwicollection, Conde Nast, Travel & Leisure. For our Mauritius holiday, we decided to stay in One & Only for a couple of nights, followed by the Four Seasons (FS) for 6 nights. I advice everybody to try at least 2 hotels in Mauritius so that you can take in some different scenery. We preferred the Four Seasons hotel over the One & Only hotel, mainly because the One & Only is an older hotel and because the Four Seasons hotel offers villa accommodation instead of rooms. I can see how the One & Only must once have been the Grand Dame of Mauritius, while it is now surpassed by new hotels such as the Prince Maurice, Oberoi, and the Four Seasons (offering a more luxurious experience). Nevertheless, I am convinced that a total, innovative renovation of the resort could give back its status as the top hotel of Mauritius.
One remark before rating the hotel (I wrote the same in my review about the four Seasons) : I have been to the Seychelles, Maldives, and now Mauritius. While Mauritius is very nice, I have to agree with many other reviews on the internet : it is not in the same league of the stunningly beautiful and tropically exotic Seychelles and the Maldives. The latter islands have truly the most beautiful, powdery white sand beaches of the world, and are covered by a dense, jungle-like vegetation (with lots of palm trees), while I found the beaches at Mauritius nothing to write home about, and the island vegetation rather sparse (except for the implanted palm trees at the hotels you will stay). Nevertheless, we truly enjoyed our time in Mauritius, but we probably will not come back.
What we did like :
-the staff was amazingly friendly, including the manager (first name “Xavier”) who was there to greet me on arrival.
-while the room was “old”, it was not worn down at all as stated by other reviewers. Nevertheless, they are in need of a little (contemporary) revamp. A big plus of the rooms is they are almost on the beach.
-lots of complimentary on-site activities
-while the resort is on the east coast, you still can witness amazing sunsets (over the lagoon) at the top of the private peninsula that they are located on. We really enjoyed that a lot !!!
- halfboard is complimentary when you book through their website.
What we did not like (with some suggestions for the hotel owners) :
- the beach. While the beach (and coconut groove) is nice, it is not out of this world as described by some others. There are no waves, the water does not have an incredible blue shade, and the sand is not super-soft nor powdery. It is a nice beach, but we should have lowered our expectations about it before arrival.
- the prices are exorbitant. The hotel rates are among the highest of the island. While I do not mind paying a lot for a hotel room, this is problematic to me at the One & Only because the other top hotels (like Four Seasons) on the island will offer you a better product for the same amount of money. As long as the hotel is not renovated, I should suggest that they somehow reduce their rates.
- dinner options : halfboard (complimentary, and highly appreciated) entitles you to dinner in one restaurant (switching between a la carte and buffet). Food was good, but did not really impress me. There are also 2 other restaurants on site, but you will have to pay to eat there (half board entitles you to a 20 euro discount per person). I think it would be better if half board would entitle you to eat in at least 2 of the 3 restaurants, so that you would have more dinner options.
- they offer airport transfers for the outrageous price of 140 euro one way. Just know that you can also arrange a taxi for a fixed rate of 35 euros one way by booking Taxis Mauritius online (we were very happy with their service).
- when they ever renovate the hotel, I would advice them to make some hot tubes near the swimming pool, which would be an added bonus on the more chilly afternoons/evenings.
- a band is playing at the main restaurant until 11 pm, so request a room away from the restaurant if you want to enjoy a quiet evening at your room.
In summary : a 5-star hotel, once the Grand Dame of Mauritius. The hotel lost 2 stars in my rating because :
- Mauritius did not impress me a paradise island (for that reasons alone, I would recommend travelling to Seychelles or Maldives, which will blow you away).
- They need to lower their prices as long as they do not renovate/revamp the hotel.
I recommend the Four Seasons hotel over the One & Only hotel if you travel to Mauritius.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- One&Only Le Saint Geran nestles peacefully in the silver sands of its own private peninsula. Its stately gates welcome guests into a Mauritian garden paradise of friendly calm and easy luxury. - Surrounded by fabulous coral reefs and clear waters - Located between a beautiful sheltered lagoon and the warm Indian Ocean - Includes a crescent-shaped stretch of stunning white sand beach - Ideal climate year-round - The resort is approximately one hour drive from the International Airport (MRU). Transfers can be arranged with One&Only Le Saint Geran's private chauffeur or by helicopter. ACCOMMODATION 162 suites and one villa with exquisite taste and grand opulence blend with state-of-the-art technology. All rooms feature a private terrace or balcony facing the ocean or lagoon, and a back door opening onto a tropical garden. Spacious bathrooms are beautifully appointed, with great cascading showers. All guests enjoy personalised 24-hour butler service. ACTIVITIES AND EXCURSIONS - Snorkel or dive through a string of reefs and crystal clear waters - Water-skiing, wakeboarding, kitesurfing, stand-up paddle, hobie cats, snorkelling trips, kayaks, laser sailing, pedal boats, windsurfing and glass-bottom boat trips - The lush Gary Player 9-hole golf course, situated in the resort's grounds, has its own Golf Academy - KidsOnly and Teens Club offer exciting complimentary activities DINING Restaurants offer an array of local and international cuisine - as well as a variety of special dining venues, including: - PRIME Contemporary Grill serves only the finest Australian Angus Wagyu beef, fresh seafood and local produce - The Indian Pavilion offers modern Indian delicacies - La Terrasse, an all day dining, is located by the pool with beautiful ocean views, offering local and international specialities - Enchanting and ultimately private One&Only dinner on the beach - The One&Only designed Tipi is the perfect venue for private dining and special occasions HEALTH AND WELL-BEING Choose from an extensive menu of traditional and contemporary treatments inspired by the local surroundings at One&Only Spa. - One&Only Spa is a discreet sanctuary with its own private lap pool and a tranquil outdoor spa pavilion - PEDI:MANI:CURE Studio by renowned Bastien Gonzalez. Upon request pedicure can be enjoyed on the beach - Cutting-edge hair salon - The Fitness Centre features Kinesis™ and Technogym(R) equipment - Secluded spots are ideal for yoga ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- One And Only Le Saint Geran
- One&Only Le Saint Geran Hotel Belle Mare
- Le Saint Geran
- One&Only Le Saint Geran Mauritius/Poste De Flacq