Arriving at about 0500 in the morning from the overnight flight, you are bound to be a bit groggy, but even the immigration officers at SSR airport in Mauritius greet you with a smile. After about an hours drive we arrived at the Cardinal. Again we were warmly greeted, offered juice, coffee and pastries, and a shower. We then snoozed on the beautiful private beach until our room was ready at about lunch time. There are only 13 rooms/suites here, and over our two weeks, the hotel was never more than half full. Our junior suite was generously proportioned, with an enormous romantic bath, and walk in shower. A balcony with delightful views of the beach and Indian Ocean.
Throughout our stay, all of the staff were absolutely delightful and helpful, nothing was too much trouble for them. Slightly oddly, the owner sat in seclusion every morning at his own breakfast table snapping occasional orders, and unlike his staff never smiled or acknowledged the presence of any of his guests, perhaps he should follow their example? We were on bed and breakfast, and the breakfast was OK but not outstanding. Again slightly oddly, fresh orange juice, as opposed to processed was available at extra cost, but at this level you might have expected it to be the norm, and interestingly Mr Big the owner always had all the extra items. The hotel is not cheap (circa £200/night) which for Mauritius is expensive, so really you would expect a five star breakfast to be the norm. Most guests seemed to be on half board so took dinner every night. I would not recommend this. The restaurant is OK, but a bit limited. They can cook things to order, I had a very nice plane lobster with butter well cooked, but again, the ala carte menu and wine list is expensive by comparison with elsewhere in Mauritius. We enjoyed some really superb meals in restaurants around the island, which often came in at 1500MR (£30) for two with wine and cocktails. There is a very nice beach bar which does snack lunches, and here I had a nice Creole prawns, but some awful satay skewers. There is a piano bar, which is a bit sad, because there is a lovely pianist, but with so few guests, he was often playing just for us. Overall, this is a superb location and great hotel, which I would unreservedly recommend, but the restaurant needs some re-thinking.
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- Also Known As:
- Le Cardinal Exclusive Hotel Trou Aux Biches
- Le Cardinal Exclusive Resort Mauritius/Trou Aux Biches