Firstly I think that holidays are so subjective that I refrain from recommending places to stay, visit etc. because everyone is different. However from a review perspective one can draw the good elements & the not so good from a review or indeed a series of reviews where there is a common them reoccurring from a positive or a negative slant. We chose the Intercontinental because I’d stayed at two of their hotels previously & found them to be exceptional value as well as of a high standard. We looked at some of the reviews before booking and then thought that we would try the hotel out for ourselves.
First impressions is that the reception area is huge & looks phenomenal. This is a great feature for guests or visitors when they’ve travelled so far to get to Mauritius. We were welcomed by one of the courteous members of staff who (as it’s been mentioned before) provided a welcome drink, a refreshing towel & most importantly a friendly smile. We had to wait 20-30 minutes for our room to be ready, however this wasn’t a problem as we chose to admire the reception area. What was very pleasing was that Shane the Commercial Director introduced himself & sat with my family & I. He assured us of an excellent stay as well as expressed his delight that we came from one of his favourite cities “Newcastle-Upon-Tyne”.
The room was superb, a family room with two large LCD TV’s, a huge bathroom, living room & balcony as well as to the delight of my daughter, a separate bedroom. The room in general was clean & tidy, although there were small areas that could do with “freshening up” but not a big issue. The housekeeping staff were attentive as well as again very courteous. However the noise element from guests shouting whilst walking down the corridor was a little annoying – although this is down to the building construction rather than anything else.
Outside around the pool was always clean & tidy, the waiters could have been a little quicker (20 minutes for a drink on average is a little slow in my books) we did bring this to the attention of the management, however we saw little or no improvement at all, this was a popular complaint by many of the guests at the hotel. The two pools were slightly on the small side, however adequate for most people & fun at the same time – especially the heated pool.
Some of the activities that were advertised did not seem to take place, this was a little disappointing as around the hotel apart from the water activities which were excellent, the pool, tennis there was little else in the way of entertainment. This is certainly an area that could be improved & would perhaps bring guests together a little bit more? The cats that roam the hotel are not really welcomed by me or it would seem the majority of the guests. I’m not too sure if they serve a purpose or not, however they do appear to be clean they are a nuisance & in fact we did see them on the table eating food that was left over. As previous guests have commented, the birds eating the food is also a little off putting. Sure there are bird buffets, however as long as some guests continue to feed the birds I’m sure they will just return time and time again. As a result some of the cushions were ‘splattered’ with bird muck which was very off putting.
Food wise, the buffet breakfast is excellent – there’s something there for most folks & the lunch and dinner again are very good. The food is constantly replenished & always hot, however the buffet restaurant does have a ‘canteen’ feel about it. We preferred to eat to the right of the buffet restaurant (as you face the sea) this is a little more intermit and a nicer surrounding. I have to say hats off to Looben (apologise for the spelling) who is a restaurant manager there. My wife and daughter who did not always like some of the food on offer, he & his team prepared various dishes to cater for their pallets. We also received a special seafood meal courtesy of Shane for our wedding anniversary which was spectacular & well received. We did encounter some problems when a corporate function was on & we could not eat in our desired restaurant however this was compensated more than adequately by Shane & his staff.
The beach as previously discussed by other reviewers, was not great although the best part of the beach is next to the pancake/ice cream parlour. The hotel is basically isolated, this may be fine for some holiday makers however if you plan on getting out and about then you need to bring a lot of extra cash with you as a round trip to the nearest town (Arsenal) is 1000 R return. You can negotiate a cheaper rate with the taxi drivers outside the gate, however doing this everyday will cost you a small fortune depending on where you wish to visit. My recommendation is hire a car from Europcar, you can get a good deal on line & pay the representative at the Intercon. 250 R to deliver it.
All in all a really nice holiday, we enjoyed our stay & would like to thank Shane, Looben, and the girls in the kids club who were exceptional.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The InterContinental Mauritius Resort Balaclava Fort is located on one of the most pristine stretches of beach overlooking Balaclava, Mauritius. Offering 210 well-appointed rooms including 10 presidential suites, 40 family-type, 20 Jacuzzi rooms, 20 Executive rooms with free WiFi and 120 standard rooms. Facilities include: 3 bars, 5 restaurants, 2 swimming pools including one heated pool, 8 massage rooms, a unique private island, Planet Trekkers kids club, recreational activities, tennis court, 4 meeting rooms & 1 ballroom. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Mauritius Resort, Balaclava Fort Hotel Balaclava
- Intercontinental Hotel Mauritius
- Intercontinental Hotel Balaclava