My partner and I stayed here for a week in September and overall we had mixed feelings when we left. Let's start with the positives:
1. Location: The hotel is located on the wild south coast which is less crowded than the North and there are no other hotels for miles on either side so the beach really is a private beach with very little traffic (i.e. no hawkers)
2. Service: We found the service in the hotel to generally be pretty good. Special mention has to be made for Anne Lise who was just brilliant (efficient, remembered our b-fast order after the 2nd day etc) and Raj (our butler) who was helpful and always around without being intrusive
3. Spa: We had a couple of treatments at the spa and found them to be very good and the spa reasonably priced for a 5 star hotel.
The negatives were:
1. Location: The south coast is extremely windy and I had read reports telling me as much but I was surprised by the strength of the wind. It was impossible to sit on the beach without being blown away and you needed to find a few strategic spots that were sheltered in order to be able to enjoy the beach.
2. Service: While the resort itself was well looked after and maintained the beachfront was totally neglected. There were no members of staff to check in on guests and getting meals at the beach did not seem to be an option.
3. Restaurants: The hotel only has 2 restaurants and really only one (Le Flamboyant) that is open for dinner. For those who are on a full board package the options are incredibly limited therefore in terms of dining venues. Who wants to eat the same restaurant for 7 nights in a row? The Shanti Maurice and Heritage Le Telfair which are both nearby have multiple restaurants so the Sofitel So seems to be under-delivering in this area. We also found the room service menu to be very limited and the quality of the food to be pretty mediocre. (By contrast, we found the food at the restaurant for dinner very good).
4. Rooms: The rooms while adequate could have been better. We found having a tub outdoors was a complete waste unless you wanted to be bitten by mosquitos and surrounded by bugs. The garden was also similarly a waste and the rooms could have been extended instead.
5. Swimming pool: The resort has an oddly shaped swimming pool which is next to the beach but sheltered by trees so you can't actually see the sea. Once we found out how windy it was on the beach we realised why they had planted trees in front of the pool. For a resort of this size they really should at least have had 2 pools and they have the space to do it so not sure why not.
Overall, we found that the hotel was fine but were expecting more and left feeling slightly disappointed. I would not return to the Sofitel So given the negatives above given the range of choices in Mauritius.
As a final word of advice, we had hired a car and therefore did not take the full board option but most restaurants in Mauritius (outside of the hotels) are only open for lunch so we ended up eating in the hotel more than we intended. As a result, I think a half board package may be a better option for people as long as they are prepared to eat in the same restaurant.
Also do ask the butler to arrange a "Mauritius turndown" one night. It's really worth it!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sofitel So Mauritius Bel Ombre is located on the southern tip of the island in the most naturally beautiful place. The resort has 92 rooms, suites and villas, 2 restaurants, 2 bars, So Spa, So Fit. The resort also has a tennis court, kids club, outdoor swimming pool, 520 mts of beach, natural lagoon and corals, boat house with water activities and 24 hr personal butler service. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sofitel So Mauritius Bel Ombre Hotel Bel Ombre