I have very mixed thoughts about Paradise Cove. I got married there in October so my memories should be amazing, but I left feeling a little disappointed with what should have been the best fortnight of my life.
Firstly, let me say that the staff were wonderful. Waiters and bar staff were very attentive and always greeted with a smile, the maid service was impeccable, the gardens well maintained. The hotel is beautiful, clean and luxurious. The little love nests around the cove are really lovely to laze away the day, and you’re bought drinks throughout the day from the bikini bar, albeit sometimes you had to go up to the bar to ask for it. The ‘beach’ is very small, but big enough for the small number of guests at the hotel. The cove is cleared of seaweed every morning and evening, and is fine to swim in. But it’s not a beautiful long sandy beach and it doesn’t overlook the sea. So if that’s what you want, go somewhere else. We spent most of our time by the pool, which was never very busy and service was good from the bar.
The food at Paradise Cove I found very bland some nights. The fact that the same menu is repeated weekly, and there is no alternative, is a good reason not to stay here for more than a week. They serve at the table 3 or 4 nights a week, and on those nights the food was definitely better. The buffet nights were not good at all. The house wine was barely drinkable so if you’re all inclusive you will still have to pay extra for anything palatable. Le Cocoterie restaurant is not a separate restaurant, just a few kiosks down by the beach, with seating for 2 or 4 people. The food is a different menu, but there’s a 25 euro supplement per person, plus VAT, to eat there. It is 30 euros (plus VAT) each extra to eat at La Cocoterie on Maharaja night, but definitely not worth the cost or the effort. The lobster was awful and there was absolutely no atmosphere at the restaurant at all. I'd been expecting them to play indian music and make a bit of an evening of it, but after our meal we went up to the bar dressed in our saris, felt really out of place because there was only 3 couples dressed up, and went straight back to our room to get changed. A real let-down. The breakfast buffet is very nice, with fresh fruit, cereals, pastries, eggs and bacon etc. The best food was at the bikini bar, which was always much more tasty than the evening meals. The Mauritian burger and the bikini salad are fabulous.
You will find bird poo all over the chairs and beds, because there are a lot of birds there. I only found it frustrating when my husband actually got pooed on while we were eating breakfast one morning! I also sat on some poo when I sat down to eat breakfast, and there was frequently poo on the table – but this was always on the outside tables. The staff did their best to clean up in between guests but they can’t be expected to house train the birds! If it bothers you too much, you can eat inside where there are only a few birds flying about.
I can't comment on the watersports as I'm not into snorkelling or waterskiing, but basically the only things worth doing you had to pay for. We went for a speedboat ride for an hour, and that was great, but it cost £130.
As we were getting married, we decided to stay in a junior suite, which was beautifully decorated, but much too dark. I found this very frustrating when trying to get ready, or when looking for anything in drawers or trying to make a cup of tea. Friends we met out there stayed in a 1001 nights room, and this was light and airy, and the room colours much more vibrant. We were upgraded to a senior suite for the last 3 days, and this was really lovely, albeit our wifi didn’t work in the room as there was something wrong with the connection. The hairdryer was not very powerful and I really wished I’d bought my own. Other than that, I think the rooms were of a very good standard.
The entertainment I’m sorry to say, was really not very good, and repeated weekly. Wednesday night is Sega night down at the beach. The best night we had was our wedding night when the Sega dancers got us up dancing. However, I think it had more to do with our mood and the champagne as the evening was nowhere near as good the following week. However, in my experience, entertainment at all inclusive hotels tends to be a bit naff so I wasn’t really surprised, just bored.
Our wedding day went really well and more or less to plan. However, due to lack of information whilst in England and once we’d arrived, I spent the first 5 days of our holiday very stressed – to the point of tears on one occasion. I kept being told not to worry, but I guess any bride will tell you that’s easier said than done. They have a very laid back attitude which I found quite frustrating, but in the end the wedding was beautiful and we had a wonderful day – and that’s all that matters.
If you are getting married here, please make sure you have a hair trial. The heat and humidity mean that you need gallons of hairspray to keep curls in or hair up. My hair took a lot longer than anticipated, wasn’t finished to my liking and I ended up rushing my makeup and pre-ceremony photos and late for the ceremony. If I had had a trial, I am sure this wouldn’t have happened.
My husband and I had a back and shoulder massage at the spa, and it was lovely. I think it cost 80 euros for both of us, which I thought was ok.
We paid 220 euros for the 'romantic' sunset cruise, which was a complete let down. Instead of taking us for a calm ride along the coast, with romantic music playing, they took us right out to sea where it was cold and choppy and I was holding on for dear life, whilst they played heavy reggae music. I think you'll agree this image does not conjure up an image of 'romance'. The hotel have since commented that on the cruise it is ‘most appropriate to play sega music as this is traditional to Mauritius’. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one – the music was in no way romantic and neither was the choppy sea.
All inclusive finishes at 12pm on the day of departure, even if you’re not leaving until late evening. Considering the amount you pay for all inclusive, I think this is awful, and was our lasting impression of Mauritius. Food and drink are really expensive here, so you will need to go all inclusive, but expect to pay through the nose on your last day, or go hungry!
All in all, I think the hotel did what they could to make our wedding and honeymoon special, but it did not quite live up to my expectations. I’d read a lot of bad reviews after I’d booked Paradise Cove, but the most recent ones all seemed very positive so I was hoping I’d be pleasantly surprised. Although I don't think it's nearly as bad as some of the reviews make out, some of the points are very valid.
Make sure you book Walking with Lions at Casala Park. It is the most amazing experience and you will not be disappointed. Don’t bother with their dvd however, it’s of very bad sound quality and therefore not very easy to watch. You will get lots of footage of other people posing for photographs. Just take a few shots of your own, and then enjoy being able to touch and walk with these magnificent animals.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.