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“A very nice location”

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Le Cardinal Exclusive Resort
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Trou aux Biches
Certificate of Excellence
Nwest
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“A very nice location”
Reviewed 3 January 2014

My wife and I stayed here at the end of November & beginning of December for 12 nights on a half board basis. The location right on the beach is lovely, though the sand in front of the hotel is full of dead coral and is hard on your feet. We found ALL the hotel staff, without exception, to be friendly, courteous and professional. Any request we had was dealt with promptly and efficiently. We had a light bulb fail in our bathroom and a problem flushing the toilet on another occasion, both were fixed within 15 minutes of being reported. The food in general was very good, with plenty of choice, however some of the choices had quite heavy supplement to pay. Prices for drinks was equivalent to what you would expect to pay at top end establishments in the UK.
The rooms were cleaned and tidied daily and in a good state of repair. All rooms faced the sea, however as the hotel is on the North West coast of the island it does mean that most of the rooms do not benefit much from the sunlight.
On the negative side, I have stayed in many 5 star hotels, and this is the first one which did not have complimentary bottled water. The hotel is also advertised on web sites as being a quiet location and a "couples" hotel. When we were at the hotel there were two families with children there. The hotel only has 13 rooms, and although the children we saw were quiet and well behaved and their presence did not bother us, we could se other guests were upset. The hotel is too small and does not have facilities for children, and should stick to what it does best which is as a couples hotel with a reputation for excellent service. Both the lack of bottled water and the children issues have been raised on other tripadvisor reports. Addressing these matters would only enhance the hotel's reputation.
Note, the beaches in Mauritius are public. As a consequence that are a lot of traders selling everything from snacks to day trips patrolling the beaches. On the plus side, most of these do not keep pestering you if you say no, and you will find that some of the day trips they offer are equivalent in price to going to the tour operators themselves.

Room Tip: The deluxe penthouse is the best suite to get for sunlight. If you can get this room then you will b...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Nojay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Location
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2013

My husband and I stayed at Le Cardinal for the second part of our honeymoon in Mauritius. Having come from a much larger hotel it was wonderful to have some privacy and quiet but still all the service and luxury you'd expect from a 5 star hotel.
We were fortunate enough to get our room upgraded and our suite was huge with lovely ocean views.
The staff were helpful and in particular we enjoyed the cocktails in the piano bar which was a nice touch. We also received appetisers in our room before dinner in the evening.
The food on the whole was good and there was certainly plenty of it! I preferred the a la carte style dinners rather than the buffet style that tends to be on offer in larger hotels. This was more personal and felt like going out for dinner every evening. I would highly recommend Le Cardinal for couples looking for a quiet and luxury stay and delicious food.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Emma C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bromley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
63 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2013

This is a lovely hotel although with all the hype on trip advisor it would be almost impossible to live up to, so maybe my expectations were too high. Beautiful setting, lovely rooms, friendly staff. The food is a big part of the experience here but sometimes felt they were trying a bit too hard, for example the vegetables were so 'creatively' (pretentiously) prepared that they often were the consistency of baby food. 5 nights was plenty, there are not many options for eating out nearby tho. There is the sister hotel opposite, which is an all-inclusive resort with buffet style food. Good to go there for an early evening drink whether eating there or not, the price of drinks at le Cardinel was exhorbitant.
We were both given a small bottle of drinking water on arrival and that was it. To buy water at this hotel was again hugely expensive, a small matter in the scheme of things but does niggle a lot as excessively mean when paying top dollar for the hotel. I've never before been to any 4/5 star hotel hotel that doesn't provide water daily.
There was a toddler staying there, the manager said at one point "this hotel is adults only, well I mean almost adults only." I love kids but if I'm told somewhere is child free that's what I expect, and in a hotel of that size we could all hear at mealtimes if the child was upset or overtired (dinner served quite late in toddler terms.)
Overall a really nice stay but not one of my top resorts.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Mandykingkilby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Direction11, Directeur général at Le Cardinal Exclusive Resort, responded to this review, 23 December 2013
We thank you for your review and would like to comment on the following:-

First of all, the guests of our Boutique Hotel are mostly couples. However, it does happen that we receive bookings for parents who wish to spend their holidays with their kid … Never has our property been featured, either through our Tour Operators or directly with our guests, as a resort which welcomes adults only.

We are very flexible as regards to the dinner time of the children at the hotel, of course upon parents request.

 Our prices match those applicables by other hotels of same standards in Mauritius .

Our Executive Chef pays considerable attention to the harmony, arrangement and lay-out of the dishes in correlation with a 5***** cuisine. In case you wish to have more vegetables or a more generous serving, you just need to ask our Restaurant Supervisor … you will be served a second portion.

We provide our guests with two bottles of water free of charge in the room upon arrival. For the rest of your stay, you have the mini bar at your disposal at extra cost.

In case you wish to have lunch or dinner outside the hotel, you can book at reception a taxi to take you to Grand Baie which is situated at ten minutes’ drive.

~ The Management ~
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Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2013 via mobile

My husband and I chose this hotel for honeymoon after reading the reviews, and we were so glad we made the right choice! Friendly and caring staff, top-quality food luxury setting, beautiful beach with crystal-clear sea waves - they all made our 5-day stay absolutely joyful and memorable. The relatively small number of rooms enables this hotel to focus on as many details as possible to make our stay special and comfortable. We loved it! Thank you Le Cardinal!

Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank CandyGuo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
68 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 October 2013 via mobile

I've been fortunate enough to stay in some pretty fabulous hotels around the world and Le Cardinal would now be right up there near the top of the list.

If you're looking for a luxury, quiet, kids free, boutique hotel in a beautiful location with amazing food and wonderfully attentive and friendly staff, then The Cardinal is perfect.

With only 13 rooms, all with beach views, you really do feel special as you get to know all the staff and they get to know you. The wonderful general manager, Jean-Laurent, personally greeted us on arrival and then made a point of greeting us every day and checking we were enjoying our time at the hotel. This single minded focus cascaded all the way through the team at the hotel as every one of them were terrific, deftly judging the right balance of formality with casual friendliness as appropriate to the various nationalities of the guests.

We had their basic level room but it was large and beautifully kitted out, had a circular bath nicely positioned in between the bedroom and the bathroom; there were flowers scattered all over the bed for our arrival and candles and incense left by the bath should the mood take us.

The hotel has a beach bar and piano bar, together with an indoor/outdoor restaurant. And that's about it. But if you want a relaxing break then there can't be many better places.
The Cardinal's (more down-market and much larger) sister hotel across the road also has a terrific spa and a rough'n'ready gym room that we used three or four times during our visit. The latter could do with some investment but was adequate for our holiday needs.

The view from the beach is spectacular and everything that you could want from a paradise holiday, although the first steps into the water from the beach are onto gravelly coral remnants and so you do need to be careful.

It's definitely worth going half-board as there really isn't much else around to eat in, unless you go to some of the other hotels and pay their a-la-carte rates. And why would you? The dinners at the hotel are fabulous. The chef is very creative and tries combinations that you wouldn't expect, some that work better than others, but the food is a feast for the eyes and the taste buds. Every day there are some local Mauritian dishes, so you can experience the local food too. Wine is expensive, as the import taxes are high, but this is an island off the coast of Africa so a ugh cost for alcohol is to be expected.

The food experience continued throughout the day with complementary fruit skewers offered to guests on the (essentially private) beach in the early afternoon, hors d'oeuvres delivered to your room early evening, and then further hors d'oeuvres offered again with pre-dinner drinks and pre-meal. You won't go home weighing less than you arrived, that's for certain.

As you can tell, we throughly enjoyed our totally relaxing time at The Cardinal. If that's what your looking for then I can highly recommend it.

And furthermore, despite Mauritius not being a legally/culturally gay-friendly nation, the hotel staff didn't even blink when two guys arrived together and they could not have been more welcoming.

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank SamQ_Oz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2013 via mobile

We have just finished a ten night half-board stay at Le Cardinal. Overall, this is a fantastic place to stay and one of our favourites (along with Club Villa in Sri Lanka and Andronis Boutique in Santorini). We travelled to various other parts of the island - Belle Mare, Flic-en-Flac, Trou d'eau Douce, Port Louis, Ile aux Cerfs - and this particular spot was our favourite. The hotel is right on the beach and gives you the option to do plenty (notably water sports) or just relax. Complimentary use of the sister hotel's water sports facilities (from snorkel gear to laser boats and daily boat trips) is an added bonus. We were upgraded to a two-storey 'duplex' room, with great views of the beach (as have all the rooms) and enough room for a family of four (though no children stayed here during our stay and it is definitely more of a couples resort). The bed is enormous and comfy, pillows are plentiful and the bathroom is huge and well equipped.

The hotel itself is very sleek and modern. The food is of an excellent standard (and plentiful) - though by the end of our stay we were starting to feel the effects of the rich and generous portions (including pre-dinner canapés served in your room you could have 9 courses - every night!). The pool is lovely, though the sea is so close it seems to barely get used. Communal areas are all spotless. Service was generally excellent and the staff were friendly and attentive. Reception staff helped organise a local hire car (1200 rupees/day) and a golf trip and were courteous and helpful throughout.

There were a few minor things that would have helped elevate this hotel into the 'deserves more than 5 stars' category. The lunch menu has lighter and more straightforward options than the a la carte menu and it would have been nice to have similar options in the evening (though to be fair, we didn't ask). Although the service was excellent overall, it was a little inconsistent - e.g. turn-down service not taking dirty plates or glasses more than once, used beach towels left by the door not taken, wet towels being folded and some not being replaced, a twenty minute wait for drinks in the Piano Bar one night (when the Piano bar was open drinks were generally prepared at the downstairs beach bar). A bit more flexibility would also be good - e.g. the bar closes for a period before dinner and although fruit is supposed to be served on the beach every day at around 3ish, it seems that if you miss the window by even a few minutes, your chance is gone (and on at least two days, it never arrived at all). And bottled water is free on your first day but not after that - which for the price of the hotel seems like unnecessary penny (or rupee)-pinching (a walk/drive to the supermarket in Trou aux Biches will save you a lot of rupees versus the minibar price).

Despite that last paragraph - would we stay here again? Definitely. In the whole scheme of things they are minor gripes that barely detracted from our stay - fixing them would just make a very good hotel that tiny bit better.

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Warren D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Direction11, Directeur général at Le Cardinal Exclusive Resort, responded to this review, 22 October 2013
We would, first of all, like to thank you for your very positive comments and wish to clarify the following points:-

Our lunch Carte at the Beach Restaurant offers a wide variety of light meals (salads, sandwiches, pizza, burgers, …) with the appropriate service. On the contrary, the dinner menu is gastronomical with more sophisticated dishes served within a hushed atmosphere.
However, should you have preferences as regards to the dishes served at dinner time, you just have to inform us so that we can take the necessary measures to give you satisfaction.

Our turn-down service takes place once during the day and as from 18h00 in the evening. Our Housekeeping Department is at your disposal in case you may have specific requirements.

“Le Cardinal Exclusive Resort” is deeply involved in an information program for the protection of the environment. Water is indeed a precious natural resource becoming rare.
It is clearly mentioned on the relevant document in your room: “Please leave in the bathtub the towels that you would like to change”. Our Housekeeping remains at your disposal for any complementary service.

We have taken good note of your remarks concerning the Piano Bar. The Head of Department concerned has been informed of the matter.
The Piano Bar is open for appetizers in the evening; during this period on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. Otherwise they are served at the Beach Bar.
You can view the program which is displayed in the hotel lobby.

Fruit skewers, as well as a cold towel, are provided every day, at around 15h00, at the beach at no extra cost to our guests. In case you miss the slot, you can notify our team so that you can enjoy this benefit.

Two bottles of water are available free of charge in your room on your arrival date. You can consume from the mini bar for the rest of your stay.
Tea ,coffee and decaffeinated coffee are also included in your room package.

We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you, once again, at Le Cardinal Exclusive Resort.

~ The Management ~
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isle of Wight, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 October 2013

Le Cardinal provided us with the perfect setting to enjoy our Honeymoon.
From the moment we arrived we were greeted with a friendly welcome, smiles and hello's from all staff, who could not do enough to make our stay as memorable and relaxing as possible, and this level of service was upheld for the duration of our stay.
The Room was of an extremely high standard both cleanliness and decor, with an amazing view of the beach. (we were lucky enough to be upgraded to a penthouse/duplex room).
We were half board and enjoy our food, and were both amazed at the extremely high standard of meals, and service we received, especially during the evening meal. An excellent Menu, with a great variety of dishes to select, including fantastic local dishes to try which we were most pleased with and enjoyed again and again. The level of service provided by the Restaurant Team was first class, always courteous, friendly and helpful, and would always accommodate any individual requirements, this was highlighted on our last evening with a special menu provided specifcally for us as a present for our Honeymoon, a treasured memory for us both. On a Friday Saturday and Monday we were treated to Cocktails and Music in the Piano Bar, and was a pleasant way to begin the evening.
We were lucky enough to be treated to a Massage which was a Wedding Present to us both, which was conducted on the Rooftop overlooking the Beach, a beautiful and tranquil setting. My Wife also took advantage of a great offer which was provided for further Massage at Le Cardinal's Sister Hotel accross the Road, which she enjoyed very much.
The Hotel's location is Beachfront and is a quiet, romantic setting, perfect for relaxing, however if you do feel like a more active day then you can take advantage of the 'Free' Water sports available ranging from Water Skiing to Kayaking, Glass Bottom Boat Trips to Wakeboarding.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank James R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Le Cardinal Exclusive Resort

Property: Le Cardinal Exclusive Resort
Address: Royal Road, Trou aux Biches, Mauritius
Region: Mauritius > Pamplemousses District > Trou aux Biches
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Trou aux Biches
#2 Luxury Hotel in Trou aux Biches
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Le Cardinal Exclusive Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 13
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Also Known As:
Le Cardinal Exclusive Hotel Trou Aux Biches
Le Cardinal Exclusive Resort Mauritius/Trou Aux Biches

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