We've just left after spending 7 nights at this hotel. Overall a positive experience with a few sour notes.
We arrived in the early evening but our room wasn't ready. This in itself wasn't a big problem as we were given a brief tour of the hotel, visiting an example of the type of room we had booked, the class above featuring an identical room with an adjoining private jacuzzi terrace and the presidential suite. This was a shrewd move on the part of the hotel as we immediately paid to upgrade to the room with the private terrace.
The hotel has several restaurants, but being on half board we mainly stuck to the main restaurant, save for one night we ate at the Thai restaurant "noble house" which was ok but nothing special. Generally there was a decent variety of food in the main restaurant catering to most palates, with a different theme each night. The first night the bottle of wine we had ordered arrived as we were finishing our main course. For the rest of the week the service in the restaurant was patchy, sometimes very attentive and at others leaving us feeling forgotten. This was true of the service throughout the hotel. E.g. We had booked an excursion which meant us leaving the hotel at 6:30, half an hour before the restaurant opens for breakfast. We duly filled in the in-room breakfast card and left it hanging outside the door in the evening, only to find it there at 6:15 the next morning. When I complained to the reception the receptionist managed to have a packed breakfast rustled up within about 10 minutes.
We found the service in the pool bar area generally better, but this could be because they had a smaller amount of ground to cover. The bar staff were also generous with the drinks;)
A couple of gripes. There was decent free Internet reception in the communal areas for normal browsing, but the in the rooms Internet had to be paid for in advance. On the two occasions I did pay the speed was so slow as to be unworkable so don't bother. The minibar in the rooms is unstocked. Guests have the option of pre-paying rather than paying as they consume. I would strongly advise bringing your own duty free as the prices for whiskey such as johnny walker black label are exorbitant to vergeing on daylight robbery.
One thing to be aware of which is not really the hotel's fault is the amount of flies. These aren't Mosquitos but were buzzing around us in such great numbers to drive us crazy.
With regards to touring the island, we booked the holiday through trailfinders and their local representatives were White Sands tours. We met the rep on the first day at the hotel and she sold us the South Island tour. I'm glad we didn't book the isle de cerfs or the dolphin experience tour through them as we booked exactly the same tours later with the crystal tours rep wandering the public beach for at least 1000 rupees cheaper each. If you are going to do one tour and one tour only I highly recommend the dolphin experience, swimming with a large school of dolphins in the wild.
- 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
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- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Mauritius Resort, Balaclava Fort Hotel Balaclava
- Intercontinental Hotel Mauritius
- Intercontinental Hotel Balaclava