We have just returned from a 14 night stay at the Lux for our honeymoon. We painstakingly researched the best hotel for our honeymoon and booked the Lux based primarily on the excellent trip advisor reviews. Whilst agreeing with many of the positive comments, we also found that there are some areas which didn't meet our expectations.
Room - We booked a double deluxe room through Thomson. The deluxe rooms are slightly apart from the main complex in an adult only section of the hotel. They surround a lagoon and have magnificent views over the sea. On arrival to our room, we had champagne on ice and were shown this magnificent view which was really beautiful. The room was also very light which was lovely. But if you are expecting a really impressive and largish suite (we were!), you will be disappointed. The room is basic, with 1980's Ibiza style décor and whilst being adequate, we would have liked more 'wow' for our honeymoon. We have stayed in much more spacious rooms in four star Egyptian Resorts. There are no sun loungers on the balcony (if you have a top floor room like us) but there are sun loungers on the ground floor rooms.
On closer inspection of the room, we found that it was not quite clean. There was lime scale all over the shower head and the shower handle fell off when we turned it. The towel rail also fell off the wall. One of the two sinks was blocked and the water wouldn't go down. There was a separate toilet cubicle which was a little bit 'icky' with stains all over the door and walls. The chairs on the balcony outside were dirty with bird droppings and it was not nice to sit out on them. Whilst obviously not being a room of 5* standard, we were prepared to overlook the issues and after our long flight (and a scrub of the toilet), have a little nap. Then the doors started banging...! Unfortunately, the position of our room meant that we were just above a cupboard that staff were constantly going in and out of. The staff were renovating/decorating some of the rooms underneath us and shouting and making a lot of noise. They didn't just close doors, they SLAMMED them. After a 12 hour flight, this is obviously not what you want to encounter in a 5* resort. I called reception and they apologised and said they would stop it, but it didn't stop.
That night we had a restless sleep, because of doors banging and trolleys being wheeled up and down from 6.00am. Not to mention people walking by going back to their rooms making noise until gone midnight. Reluctantly we decided that we would complain as were so disappointed with our honeymoon experience so far.
We were met by the Resident Manager Stephan Anseline who could not have been more accommodating in trying to make us happy. He offered us another Deluxe room, which upon inspection was exactly the same as the one we had but with an inferior view (sideways) over the lagoon. So then he offered to upgrade us to a Junior Suite. The Junior Suites are based more centrally in the resort and are not adult only. They are high up though. On looking at the suite, we could hear a baby crying and children were making noise playing outside underneath the rooms. There is a terrace with separate seating area and sun loungers and the view also looks out over the lovely palm trees (but they block the view of the sea). The Junior Suite was quite dark and lacking any character. It was still quite small and basic. We could still hear doors slamming as well. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, we decided to stay in our deluxe room as we weren't confident that the Junior Suite would be any quieter and the view from the deluxe room is infinitely better as you can see the sea and it is light which is important to us. The Junior Suite again is not 'wow'. To get 'wow' here, I think you would need the top suite whatever that may be.
On arriving back to our room, Stephan had given us a bottle of champagne and a letter of apology for our issues. We appreciated that he did everything he could to help but his hands were a little tied as he simply didn't seem to have a quiet and quality room to give us. They also sent someone to fix the issues with the room...but these were done haphazardly and a quick fix. A few days later handles were dropping again but too tired to keep notifying. For the remainder of the holiday we experienced problems with noise. The noise from the bar went on until 12.30am and could be heard all over the resort...it was very loud in our room even though we were the furthest away from the bar. Then from 6.00am the banging and clattering would start so there was never any chance of a lie in.
On Sunday night when the Thomson customers left, they cleaned the rooms at 4.00am to get ready for the next cohort! The walls are so thin that we were thoroughly woken up with banging and clattering. I rang reception and was told matter of factly that 'the room is being cleaned.' At 4.00 in the morning? 5*? Absolutely not. We had NO sleep after that as the noise carried on and on until we got up. Get ready for noise on a Sunday night if you're in a deluxe room! It was really unbelievable. Also reception, don’t lie and tell us you are going to stop the noise, when you have no intention of stopping it.
We also experienced 4 lizards in our room over the 2 weeks. We were told that this is to be expected in Mauritius. It really did freak us out, as it’s hard to sleep when you know there is large lizard running around the room (fast). We asked for help in removing it but were made to feel a bit silly and basically told to get on with it. We had to become immune to little lizards falling on us unexpectedly or running out when we moved things. The air con was also musty smelling and we didn't want to put it on.
Service - We agree with other reviews that on arrival, the staff are extremely friendly and welcoming. We had a guided tour of all of the facilities which we have never had before and was lovely. However, we found the longer we stayed, the less interested the staff became, to the point of regularly ignoring us when passing. It all started to feel a bit fake and as if the staff are not genuinely interested in you but put on an act, which didn't make us feel valued as guests. I honestly think that half of the staff were on sick leave the day they did customer service training. An example would be when booking a couples massage with a girl at the spa desk, she nonchalantly gave me a time the next week, but I didn't feel she was that bothered about my booking and she didn't give me a lot of confidence that it was properly booked. We turned up the week after for our massage and were told by another lady that there was no booking and were we sure we had booked? It turned out that they had no booking logged for us and we couldn't have a couple massage because they were fully booked that day. As our holiday was drawing to a close, we had to go back separately later in the day for separate massages. 5* service I think not.
Not sure how all of the other reviewers managed to get such wonderful beach service. In 14 days, we were approached three times maximum and asked if we wanted a drink. There never seemed to be anyone around to flag to get a drink. Beach service wasn't there for us at all. The drinks that were delivered were in dirty glasses.
At mealtimes, the poor service was even more noticeable. There is obviously a reluctance to serve drinks to all inclusive customers such as ourselves. We quickly came to find that drinks ordered arrived very slowly and staff were conveniently hard to flag for a top up. You can't order a bottle of wine and beer comes in halves. We are not big drinkers, but it was frustrating to find that you had finished your starter before a drink had arrived. I was lucky to get one drink an hour. You would think that perhaps there was a shortage of staff but the staff always seemed to be milling around, trying not to catch your eye. They were always quick enough to come over when you left though, to get you to sign a £0.00 bill. It is all a bit fake when they deliver poor service with a smile.
At night, the bar area is disappointingly small with very limited tables. They have a dance floor at the side of the bar near the live band area which is also small. There was so much more room to add more tables and a bigger dance floor, but they don't because they don't want people drinking and taking advantage of their all-inclusive privileges! One night, because the dance floor was so small, a lady who was dancing, kicked my table and knocked over my (hard gained!) cocktail, smashing it all over the floor. The staff came over at leisure to clean up the glass but didn't offer to get me another drink. We sat for 15 minutes but could not get anyone's attention to order another drink. We decided to go and on leaving were chased through the lobby to sign our £0.00 bill!!! So frustrating that the staff obviously deliberately ignore you until they need something. It's just not 5*-it wasn't even 1*!
In the morning we regularly did not receive tea or coffee until the end of breakfast, after numerous requests. It was just frustrating and ruined your enjoyment of meals. Who wants to eat a meal without a glass of wine or eat breakfast without a cup of tea or coffee? These are the small luxuries of life...Lux take note. The tables were also consistently dirty at mealtimes and were very stained. Birds droppings were on chairs sometimes, it's just not what I expect for 5* luxury.
We are saddened to find that we have been quite negative so far about our honeymoon experience but we feel that potential guests need to be aware that there are some issues here. It is not as perfect as the reviews have you believe and Lux cannot afford to become complacent. Onto the good bits...
Food - The food is absolutely 5*, particularly in the a la carte 'Beach' restaurant where it was just exceptional quality. Be careful to book though well in advance as it seems to be fully booked quickly all the time. You certainly won’t get a reservation the same day. Lunch in the Banyan Resturant under the old Banyan tree was delightful. The breakfast was faultless with unending variety. The buffet was always lovely with different themes every night and great variety. Francesca on the buffet at night was so genuinely friendly and nice and always had a big smile. She was very genuine and how I imagined Mauritian hospitality to be. Thanks Francesca. I don't think we have eaten so well ever. You will not be disappointed with the food. Just a shame about the drinks.
Honeymoon- Bottle of champagne and fruit on arrival, rose petals on bed every day, a free couples massage (just make sure they book it right), a meal for two by the pool or upgrade it and pay extra (1600 rupees) to have it on the beach as this was much more intimate and worth paying a bit extra. A cookery class which was great fun... a delicious cake delivered to our room-thank you Lux, we appreciate the experiences that you gave us.
Facilities - So much has been said and it's all true. On the all-inclusive, you get water sports; kayaking, catamaran, pedal boats and much more. My husband had an unforgettable experience on a catamaran for the first time with Reuben who was really friendly and professional. Thanks. You can eat as much AMAZING ice cream as you want and the coffee bar did amazing lattes. Please go all inclusive as I saw a poor couple debating over whether they could afford to buy an ice cream. Go all in and there are no worries. There is also the free phone box home, indoor and outdoor cinema under the stars, star gazing, painting classes...a library with books people have left behind. (This was such a great idea). Spa and Jacuzzi area with sauna. It’s all fantastic.
Our only slight gripes with facilities was that the gym was wholly inadequate and far too small for amount of guests...could never get a treadmill. Also for tennis you have to buy your own balls for £10.00 so bring your own if you like tennis.
Also the Pools are really not adequate for the size of the resort. They were disappointing. If you are imagining beautiful large pools (as I was) overlooking the ocean, you will be let down. There were also renovations going on by the pool and so impossible to relax and go to sleep by the pool - more noise!
Location and August Weather - Grande Gaube is situated in the North East of the Island. The transfer from airport took approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes. There is not a lot around the hotel and no where to go on foot. So unless you hire a car, you will be pretty much tied to the resort. Car hire was £35.00 per day and the roads can be a little hairy as you go through villages. People don't seem to obey the highway code! There are lots of stray dogs on the island which can be a little upsetting as they run in the road. Someone needs to take care of them!!! Grand Baie is the nearest shopping area with supermarkets and restaurants. The Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens are well worth a visit. We toured the beaches of the East and they were paradise. After exploring the Island, we felt that the East was really naturally beautiful and that you seem to go all the way up to Grande Gaube and there in not a lot there really. Weather wise, Grande Gaube is very windy but not as windy as the East. We had sunshine, showers, cloudy days and rainy days but it was all good fun and still came home with a great tan! We wouldn't hesitate to return to Mauritius in August despite it being Winter. At night though, do bring a cardigan as it got very chilly.
There is free wifi everywhere and fast. Brilliant.
The toiletries in the room are plentiful and rather nice.
In summary, I found there was a juxtaposition with this hotel. It aims for a tranquil and peaceful setting with water features, Buddha’s, flowers in bowls, spas, yoga etc. etc. and yet it was very hard for us to find peace here. The rooms are 3* at best and the noise contributed to us feeling stressed rather than a sense of calm. If you are the sort of person who values peace and quiet I could not recommend it. If you aren’t that bothered by noise or having a prompt cup of coffee in the morning you will love it. We travelled 6000 miles to find peace in paradise but unfortunately we didn't find the peace at Lux.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our luxury hotel in Grand Gaube, Mauritius, overlooks the triple-bay beaches, lagoon and spectacular north islets. It exuberates a romantic atmosphere and its rooms all enjoy incredible views of the ocean. Other highlights include its proximity to the vibrant seaside village of Grand Baie, three swimming pools and access to a world-class golf course nearby. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lux Grand Gaube Hotel Grand Gaube
- Legends Hotel Grand Gaube
- Legends Hotel Mauritius
- Legends Grand Gaube
- Hotel Legend Mauritius
- LUX* Grand Gaube Mauritius