My fiance and I stayed for two weeks at Le Cardinal. This is a small hotel with only 13 rooms and a maximum of about 30 guests. It has an 'exclusive' feel, and lots of staff.
We had a beautiful room- all rooms apparently have a sea view. You could sit in the circular bath sipping cocktails and watch the sun go down- very decadent.
Service was very attentive- rooms made up twice per day, and lovely little touches of amuse bouche being delivered to your room each afternoon. Also felt very safe with a security guard front and back 24/7.
We had been a little wary regarding the negative reports of building sites etc- but we were here in Sept/October 2010 and the only building work was much further down the beach where the Trois Aux Biches hotel is being re-built. It did not interfere with us or our enjoyment.
The hotel is well placed on the coast road about 10 minutes drive from Grand Baie- we had a car so could go there very easily and sample the many restaurants. If you were on foot, there are a few restaurants within a 5-10 minute walk, as well as a few touristy shops and couple of small supermarkets.
We stayed on a bed and breakfast basis, which I think is not encouraged, as they have a highly rated chef. We only ate in the restaurant once and the food was fine, and service very attentive. We like to try a variety of food styles, especially local cuisine hence the desire to stay bed and breakfast.
The beach is nice- very quite, and the water lovely. The largest beach on the Island is Trois aux Biches, and the long stretch of sand is literally next to the hotel. The actual hotel beach is relatively small, but that really didn't matter as the long beach was a 30 second walk away.
Free water skiing every day, free pedalos, free flat bottomed boat all helped in the overall feel of attentive service.
My only negative points relate to the way things are done in Mauritius generally- there is a real sense of hierarchy and this got in the way of simple things- For example at breakfast, you could not ask the chef who was standing there doing nothing, for a fried egg- you had to ask the waiter who would then ask the chef- if the waiter was busy you would have to wait- frustrating and un-necessary.- A minor gripe also was the noise from the extractor fan in the kitchen was quite loud, and at breakfast, again un-necessary.
These were minor gripes, and did not interfere with us having a lovely stay. I have put up a few photos from our trip- hope you like.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.