We have been to Mauritius several times, we have stayed at different resorts each time, having previously been at le Morne, Flic n Flac, Bel Ombre and now Balaclava, we believe we have a reasonable feel for differences in the resorts we have visited, this review is for the InterContinental Balaclava
* We knew we were going to arrive early, upon booking the resort we sent a separate email requesting a room be available upon arrival, the reply given was that if available a room would be made ready, but no guarantee. It was a nice to have the room ready after check in
Room was well appointed, bed comfortable and room well serviced, amenities as expected for the star rating of the hotel
* Ambiance of the grounds was really impressive at night, lighting enhanced the surroundings
Ground keepers should be complimented on the the way the grounds are established and kept
* Small salt water swimming area as alternative to swimming pools is a winner
* laundry service was very good, service professional and quick
* Fixed priced cabs available, clean neat and tidy cars with savvy drivers
* We understood the Veda restaurant (Indian) is very popular, we phoned the service desk to make a booking, the phone was answered and transferred to restaurant bookings, they did not answer the phone, the call was not automatically transferred back to point of origin. We went to the restaurant to see if we could get a meal after not being able to book, the restaurant advised us they were booked out for the evening. After confirming our reservation for the next evening we went to the nearby Noble restaurant (Asian - without noodles or fried rice dishes??)
Our room was opposite and overlooking the Veda restaurant, 90 minutes (8:30PM) after our asian cusine dinner upon arriving back at our room we observed an occupancy rates of approximately 25% of tables at the Veda, I am unsure what fully booked means or perhaps they only allow a certain patronage between 7-10 PM? if this were anywhere other than a hotel restaurant it would not be profitable running tables this way!
The next night we arrived on time (7:00 PM), we were given a set menu, we explained we would like an a la carte menu and would pay the difference, we were advised that they were promoting an Indian festival of food from varied regions of India and the menu was fixed to certain dishes, the meat dishes for main course were duck and fish, unfortunately neither of these dishes were what we wanted, we asked again for a more extensive menu and we were told that this was the only menu. It left us no choice but to leave.
We walked back to the main pool area on our way to the central buffet restaurant to see what theme was on this evening (French with pizza's??) and the waiter from Veda approached us and said the chef would be prepared to make a different main course. This should have been explained earlier (3-5 minutes) when we asked for a more expansive menu at the restaurant, the fact we had left was enough for them to understand we would not return.
Do they really believe people will be happy to have a choice of two non vegetarian dishes for a main course at a 'so called' leading restaurant? The look of shock or confusion on the faces of staff suggested not many people after sitting down had ever walked out, we are though paying customers and can always have a choice
Very poor to non existent service during the day compared to night time, not anticipating clients needs was the biggest issue. People who sit at tables, usually are looking for service, more than once we had to go to the bar and interrupt staff conversations to get service, we are not snobs but this is the essence of customer service.
Towels at pool, no, only one pool, why not have facilities where people swim, not where the hotel thinks it is convenient for themselves.
The young people you are using really need coaching and development, basic things such as language skills could help in less frustration by staff and clients, the kids are keen I believe and are very quick to smile if things go right, I believe they are too robotic, some of the service at night was outstanding, very professional but it was plain to see these people were much more experienced, perhaps these more experienced people could mentor some of the day shift people or the hotel get a better combination between experienced service providing people
I understand staff need to know room numbers, but it would be nice to be addressed occasionally as Mr or Mrs rather than what room number? This means no real interaction or feeling of interest on who we are, in a service industry I think your resort is missing this point, we are people not room numbers
Our 3 star hotel in Rome had it, Mauritius airport has it, Reunion airport has it, nearly every other hotel and resort has it! Yes my big complaint here is wireless Internet. In this day and age how can a hotel chain of this repute still rip it's customers off by charging Internet fees for plug in cable service in the room with no wireless and then only have wireless service in the lobby, I know all the people will be saying, hey you are on holiday!!
But what about the new age of tablets and i pads, can you see a cable connection on them, come on InterContinental, get with the program.
Even the paid cable version only gave a maximum of 10 hours availability, does this 10 hours stop when you log off, oh no, it keeps running whether you use it or not, this is a rip off.
Want to download the happy snaps to social network or email in comfort of your room stretched out having a wine or beer, forget it if you have an i Pad only!!
Whilst sitting relaxing having a drink or lunch under the umbrella near the beach on the hotel grounds, the last thing you need is someone hawking beads, shells or boat crusies, security was around? I assume then that this is allowed by the hotel management? One lady selling beads decided she would have a rest and sit on a potential house guest chair and conducted business via mobile phone and set up here wares on another chair!!
Lovely little birds tweeting away at breakfast............NOT Did you wonder why there was extra flavour or crunchy bits in some of your breakfast? Try keeping an eye on where these birds land, help themselves to open table offerings or leave deposits behind?
Overall I guess the positives outweigh the negatives, or do they? As I have said previously, we are not snobs but if we pay top dollar we expect, no demand top service and amenities. Overall value for money is not there and I will not go back to this particular resort, I have stayed at intercontinental facilities elsewhere in the world but believe this facility is lacking in quality of service and amenities compared to other InterContinental properties.
The other resorts within Mauritius in which we have stayed also offer better value for money than this resort
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC