We stayed at Le Prince just after Easter. We arrived on the early morning flight and despite feeling travel sick, were bowled over as soon as we went through the gates, down the long drive through tropical gardens, passed the heliport and then ... entered reception: wow! The hotel and its setting are simply beautiful. We continued to feel that way after we recovered from the journey and explored the grounds. Loved the walkway to the floating bar and restaurant from which many tropical fish can be spotted, including a lion fish and patterned eel. The opposite side, towards the ocean, boasts sweeping views across the bay, and the beach side has the lagoon and mangroves at one end and the ocean - from which a constant roar of waves crashing onto the reef could be heard - on the other.
Our room was a junior suite, the cheapest category, as the beach suites were all busy (we booked quite late) and I wasn't sure about the stilted lagoon suites.
It was a downstairs terraced one - no 58 - which was quite dark or nice and shady, with just a few steps to the sea and the gorgeous lap pool. A perfect location. We enjoyed our room, which had a quite firm but comfortable large bed, and a huge bathroom. The air con worked perfectly - inc in the bathroom - though we would have preferred a ceiling fan for when we had the doors open. I requested one to be brought which arrived quickly, plus an extension lead so that we could use it on our terrace too. Apart from the 2 doors, the windows didn't open, inc the one behind the deep bath tub. WiFi worked well and there was a computer to allow you to access the internet via your TV with a keyboard provided (I misread somewhere that mini iPads were provided and left mine at home which was a mistake).
WiFi was also decent in the pool bar.
The service was amazing - the friendliest and best 'room boy' we ever accounted (thank you, Sameer!), excellent service at the beach too in terms of setting up beds etc, and I was very well looked after when I had stomach problems and needed to see the doctor. It's the kind of hotel which bakes you fresh crackers every day when you enquire where you could buy some :)
The service at the pool and floating bars were great too. And we enjoyed the views. The floating restaurant produces great food (unfortunately I was on boiled rice but my husband enjoyed his very much), though for us the motion created by people walking on and off was not something we enjoyed as we suffer from motion sickness so we didn't return.
The main restaurant produced consistently high quality food, even though after a few days the vegetarian options were somewhat limited and often appeared to be aimed at dieting healthy eaters, lacking entirely in protein / carbs.
I did speak to the chef and was able to order off menu.
The Asian restaurant was not to our taste ... most of the food is served cold, some of it raw / marinated, including my veggie spring roll and main dish - cold noodles. I was really disappointed at that as I had given 24 hour notice (being vegetarian) and requested something special as there were no main vegetarian courses on the menu, and expected a crispy tofu dish. The service was also excruciatingly slow, 1 hour till starters, with only a small aperitif which we didn't like to keep us going, so by the time the cold noodles were served, we walked away and ate in the main restaurant instead. I think they should have told us what to expect ... Saying that, sushi lovers will probably have a great time.
The service in the main restaurant was hit and miss: Sometimes it was excellent but many times drinks would arrive when we were getting our main course, so that we adapted what we selected, hoping it might be quicker (eg foregoing fresh fruit cocktails for Sprite or Orangina not something I'd normally drink). Oh, and we were never offered ice, always had to remember to request it ...
We viewed a lagoon villa on stilts with a view to moving there but decided it was not for us as the decking and part of the villa was sunny - perfect for sun worshippers though! I did like the villa other than that, though note it is not private, with everyone's decking open both sides (no screens) and even part of the rooms open to your neighbours' views (though there are blinds). The setting is lovely though and much quieter than ours. We could hear people above when they moved a chair etc and of course right and left when sitting on our terrace. Sometimes it was extremely peaceful, other times like being in a Kindergarten. Walking to pre-dinner drinks you could hear one crying baby after another in the adjoining suites ...
Talking about other guests, by far the largest group were French during our 11-night stay, and then a real mix from all over (Russian, Chinese, German, Italian etc). Half the guests were families, ranging from couple with baby to large family groups. The kids club was not well used despite of that, and the children were generally very well behaved. But of course kids' voices can be rather loud particularly when playing.
I did enjoy the spa, though more specifically the treatments and treatment rooms; not the relaxation area which was a breeze less sunny courtyard where you were expected to sit with a thick bathrobe ... This needs sorting, either with fans or architectural changes, or both. I was also disappointed in the service - at other spas you are greeted with a cold flannel and some delicious drink, and afterwards again offered a lovely drink. I was given a tepid glass of water ... there was also a jug of juice standing about but as that looked warm I asked for water.
The shops were nice and stocked essentials but would have liked the opportunity to purchase some of the beautiful items the hotel provided / used.
My husband also enjoyed the pitch & putt, and despite our intentions we didn't use the complimentary bikes, or exercise classes (some on the beach).
The water was warm and there is a fairly large bit cordoned off for swimming (occasionally shared with locals fishing), to ensure no collisions with boats etc. There is nothing to see in terms of fish, so don't bother bringing snorkelling gear. The boat house rents these out if needed during trips, and also provides jelly shoes - it is not advisable to wade into sea without - I always made sure I was swimming as quickly as I could and didn't go in at low tide when you could have walked to the reef edge (but not allowed as way beyond the cordon). My husband got two cuts on his feet, luckily minor and didn't get infected.
Note that the grounds are also frequented by at least 4 dogs which tend to go round in packs ... seemed harmless and there were of course some guests feeding them.
We did use the complimentary glass bottom boat and snorkelling trips (which run daily) which were pleasant with friendly staff.
Note that only hotel approved taxis are allowed on the grounds - so a taxi, return, to Port Louis (50 mins) or Pamplemousse Gardens (45 mins) is c £60 including waiting time. The airport transfer took 50 mins on the way back in the early hours (5am, grrrr) and disappointingly the promised take away breakfast never materialised (we waited 10 mins for our suitcases to be collected by golf buggy to our taxi, and there was no staff to be seen). So, not a perfect goodbye.
In summary, we had a lovely relaxing time, and were very sad to leave, and would recommend this beautiful hotel - despite some minor service issues.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience the ultimate romantic hideaway, where stunning architectural design meets relaxed luxury. Step into this high functioning deluxe paradise, and choose from one of the 64 Junior suites, 12 Family suites, 12 Villas or the sumptuous Princely Villa. Revel in the intimate and secluded setting, pamper yourself at the renowned Sisley spa and U Spa by Constance, then enjoy the exceptional international cuisine created by our chefs from around the world. Families enjoy the beach-side villas and complimentary children's club 'Constance Kids Club', while golf fans can retreat to our 2, 18-hole championship golf courses. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Constance Le Prince Maurice Hotel Poste De Flacq
- Le Prince Maurice Hotel
- Constance Prince Maurice Mauritius/Pointe De Flacq