We stayed at Le Meridien from 23-26 December 2012. The hotel was very expensive at around A$700/night but we thought since it is Christmas, we would splurge a bit for our hotel stay for the trip.
At first impression, it was very very nice. The hotel shuttle picked us up from the ferry jetty as we took the Betico ferry from Noumea to Ile Des Pins. The only thing I would complain is that it costed around $40/person for this shuttle and for a 5* hotel of this expensive rate, the shuttle should really be complimentary.
The resort was not overcrowded and very peaceful with nice hut/shading along the beach and complimentary kayak, paddle boat, stand up paddle and snorkelling gear. There are also other game equipment such as badminton.
The room is very spacious and nice. We had the upper floor room facing the pool.
The rental car at $100/day is quite pricey but at least their fleet consist of new cars (Ford Fiesta).
All was well until Christmas Eve. They had a special Christmas Eve banquet at their restaurant but when we wanted to book, they advised that they have exhausted their banquet menu but we could order a-la-carte or room service. As their normal a-la-carte and room service menus were very limited, we wanted to have their special Christmas Eve banquet menu. It is surprising for a 5* hotel not to have enough food for such special event for all their guests. It’s not like this is a massive resort either. That was our first disappointment as my partner really wanted to have a special meal for Christmas.
On Christmas Eve, our a/c also stopped working. One technician came, fixed something but it failed again and he had to ask his manager to look at the problem. They created a mess but it was cleaned up later. However, as it was during the evening of the Christmas Eve, we didn’t have anywhere to go without a room as we were told that the Christmas dinner was fully booked. The hotel receptionist kindly provided us with complimentary drinks at the bar after we complained. At the end of one drink, the compliment was not communicated with the bar staff but was resolved after 5 minutes.
Our stay at Le Meridien went from bad to worse. My partner complained of stomach pain on Christmas Eve day but I was fine. However, on the night of Christmas Eve, in the middle of the night, I felt nauseous and vomited. This was when I realised, my partner must have had a mild food poisoning attack while I had a severe bout of attack. I continued vomiting throughout the night about four times. After all is exhausted with nothing able to be vomited anymore, I had diarrhoea seven times during Christmas morning even though I had not eaten due to the vomiting. I was very dizzy and called the Receptionist to find out if they have a house doctor or a pharmacy which they don’t. They then said that I have to go to the next Village as there is a “Dispensary” there. As I didn’t get any better, my partner then went to the Reception to get a better idea on how far this Dispensary was but was told that as it is Christmas, there was no Doctor working but that there would be a nurse who could provide some medicine. As I literally had to go to the loo every 5 mins and since there is no doctor working on that day, we thought that my partner could just go to the Dispensary and get me some rehydration salt and any other prescribed medication. The receptionist then said that I have to go along as the nurse needed to do a check up on me. The hotel arranged for a taxi and agreed to pay for the return trip to the Dispensary but not the consultation cost or medicine. That was fine by us at the time. When we reached the hospital, the nurse called the doctor as he told us that over the last month, that particular Dispensary had treated over 50+ cases of contamination from guests at Le Meridien. He also confirmed that these cases are all from Le Meridien. He called the doctor who decided to come to the Dispensary to look at my condition, perhaps alarmed with the continuous contamination imposed on the guests of Le Meridien. He told us that Le Meridien should compensate us for the consultation and medicine costs. My partner, upon return to the hotel, went to see the receptionist to seek compensation on these costs but was told that the General Manager would contact us. The GM never contacted us.
The other issue we had was relating to their day trips. On 24 December morning, the receptionist told us that if we would like to join any day trips on Christmas Day, we need to let them know by 8pm on the 24th. We then decided (before I had my food poisoning attack), that we would like to join the outrigger day trip and went to see the receptionist in the afternoon. The receptionist on shift at that time advised that there is no trip on Christmas Day. Had we known, we would have swapped our car rental day from 24th to 25th and join the trip on the 24th rather than getting stuck at the hotel on Christmas Day with nothing to do. Anyhow, it turned out that I was so ill on Christmas Day that I wouldn’t have been able to join any trip.
On 26th, my partner booked me on a two hours reflexology treatment as an early birthday present. The booking was made from 12 noon to 2pm and it was confirmed in writing. I turned up at the spa hut at 12 noon to find out that the door is locked with a notice requesting guest to go to the reception. I went to the receptionist and she told me that they are on lunch break! I mean, why book me in at 12 noon when this is a lunch break hour?! After going back and forth to the Spa hut to check when they are open, I was finally served at 12.30PM. The reflexology massage then ended at 1:55PM. I went back to the reception to seek pro-rata refund as we had paid for a two hours massage, not less than 1.5hr. The receptionist then advised that I have to deal with the Spa staff directly to get the refund but I insisted that she deals with the Spa staff on my behalf since the booking and payment was made at the reception. Eventually, they refunded me approximately $40 from the $200 we paid for the massage. The massage itself was the worst massage I have ever experienced. It was supposed to be a reflexology massage. When I signed up for a reflexology massage, I expect physical act of applying pressure to the feet, hands, or ears with specific thumb, finger, and hand techniques. Initially, the masseuse simply put her thumb at two points of my foot. I told her that she should press harder as I can hardly feel anything. She then pressed rather than touched the two points on my other foot with about 5% of the pressure of a soft poke. That was the extent of the reflexology. The remaining part of my body was splattered with oil and that was pretty much it. It was so disappointing.
I think Le Meridien really needs to look at their water filtration system. The doctor told us that he would be reporting Le Meridien to the authority the next day as they had been given previous warnings and procedures to follow to avoid this severe type of intoxication on their guests. Incidentally, when my partner was at the reception to enquire about taking me to the doctor, one other guest also informed the reception that she had one bout of vomiting overnight but was ok afterwards.
Ile Des Pins is a very nice island with amazing Baie of Kuto beach and is a must visit for New Caledonia. Le Meridien is the only 5* hotel there, but there was one 4* hotel which unfortunately was fully booked 3 months prior to our trip. I would suggest guests to prevent staying at Le Meridien if possible as I took all precautions and still ended up with severe food poisoning.
I have also read one of the Management’s comments on one of the reviews here that the contamination was under control but obviously not.
To protect their brand, I believe Le Meridien should compensate us for all the expenses incurred including the room rates, but I guess that’s wishful thinking on my behalf!
- Also Known As:
- Le Meridien Ile Des Pins Hotel Ile Des Pins
- Le Meridien Ile Des Pins Hotel
- Meridien Ile Des Pins
- Ile Des Pins Meridien
- Ile Des Pins Le Meridien
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Paradise is shaped like this. Le Meridien Ile des Pins overlooks the pristine white beaches of Oro Bay, just 15 minutes from the island's airport, and is nestled in a centeries old coconut grove, redolent with the scent of lush, tropical vegetation. ... more less
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