We stayed at the Belle Mare Plage to celebrate my husband's birthday and our anniversary. I really wanted to totally love the hotel after all the positive reviews I'd read, but felt it just didn't quite make the mark.
We had booked a junior suite, which was lovely - and in a quiet block, as we'd requested. The hotel laid on a late snack, which was very nice, given we only checked in at 23h00. The two room attendants, Catherine in particular, were attentive and kind. We thoroughly enjoyed the towel art and floral decorations.
The hotel was at full capacity throughout our stay, and this showed most in the main restaurant, La Citronelle, which serves half board guests breakfast and dinner. We were frequently left waiting to be seated, and on several occasions gave up and seated ourselves. The buffet dinners were also disappointing. As I am gluten intolerant and struggle with spicy food, this meant two of the four main meal serving stations were out of bounds for me - which left a choice of roast meats or south east asian cuisine every night for 12 nights. It is the first time I've ever had a problem finding food to suit my needs. Other hotels in Mauritius often vary their buffet evenings by having a different theme each night - and it's something the Belle Mare Plage should perhaps consider doing to relieve the often bland monotony of their buffet menu. We did eat twice at the Deer Hunter (a set menu is included in the half board package), and the first meal was wonderful, the second, not so much...Both food quality and service were lacking the second time round - a pity, as the first meal and service had been outstanding. Consistency is clearly something of a problem at the hotel in terms of both catering and service.
This latter point is further borne out by the lackluster beach service. While you are given flags to call a waiter's attention, it can take over a half and hour for the flag to be noticed - and then usually only when one starts waving the flag!
The hotel's spa is well worth a visit and I'd strongly recommend the ayurvedic massage. Both Melanee and Nila are wonderful therapists. I did, however, object to the experience of my final massage. First off, the massage given was a straightforward Swedish massage, when it should have been a massage working on the acupressure points. Secondly, while I was still partially slumbering on completion of the massage, the therapist adopted a "hard sell" approach, insisting that I should try a "candle massage". Not at all appropriate and not appreciated.
Finally, my observation is that the Belle Mare Plage is a hotel far better suited to golfers than those seeking a beach holiday. With two golf courses and access to two other courses, golfers are spoiled for choice. The beach, on the other hand is certainly not one of the best on the island. It should be borne in mind that the east coast is, for a start, windier and cooler than the west coast - and sea temperatures are also slighter lower. Additionally, the beach is long but quite narrow, shelves very steeply into the sea and is full of broken coral and patches of what appear to be regrowing coral on the shoreline. There is also quite a strong current and the water can get uncommonly choppy for a lagoon. The swimming area is restricted to the stretch of beach to the south of the property - the rest is open to speedboats and other craft. The best section of beach is pretty much in front of the main buildings of the hotel. Snorkeling is pretty much a non starter - again, I've experienced far better snorkeling on the west coast.
While I realise this review no doubt sounds critical - I would still say that the Belle Mare Plage is a lovely hotel and well worth a visit - particularly if you're a golfer. Ultimately, I think perhaps it simply wasn't the right hotel for us. And while comparisons are generally odious, unfortunately, we've had better stays elsewhere on Mauritius.
A final shout out to Barbara Elkaz, for standing us our final evening's drinks and giving us a copy of the Constance group's beautiful coffee table book. Thank you.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Soft white sand, blue sky dotted with white clouds and turquoise lagoon which beckons long soaks…Stylishly renovated Constance Belle Mare Plage offers comfortable accommodations in a lively and cosy atmosphere; choose from one of the 104 Prestige Rooms, 149 Junior Suites, 6 Deluxe Suites, 18 distinctive Villas or the Presidential Villa for a top-notch island holiday. Seize the opportunity to try new things while having fun. Whether it’s relaxing on the beach or at one of the trendy bars, working out at the gym, pampering at the spa or enjoying water sports, Constance Belle Mare Plage is for an exciting memorable break! Seven distinctive restaurants and six hip bars situated at prime locations await you. And if you are staying with your kids, you will be thrilled to know that they will be having their share of adventures and fun too, at the Constance Kids Club. Set along a stunning 2km white sand beach, in a sheltered bay on the east coast of Mauritius, Constance Belle Mare Plage is a harmonious combination of tropical environment and Constance Chic. Combining space and design, all rooms are thoughtfully furnished and decorated for your comfort. Inspired by the unique beauty of the East Coast; space and style were combined to create comfort, to radiate brightness and to breathe in the freshness of the Indian Ocean. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Constance Belle Mare Plage Hotel Belle Mare
- Belle Mare Plage Mauritius
- Belle Mare Plage Hotel Mauritius
- Constance Belle Mare Plage Mauritius