But, even with the cyclone, there was enough to ensure that our stay was enjoyable and restful. The rooms are well equipped, pleasing to the eye and well maintained. The staff are very helpful and will accommodate any wish that you may have – within limits of course.
Just to make it even more interesting, there are four restaurants to choose from:
The most frequented restaurant, which has a panoramic view of the ocean and the two swimming pools and which is also the most informal, is 180 Degrees where you can enjoy a lovely, extensive buffet at breakfast or dinner. Choosing a meal is not easy at all, as the selections are numerous. It looks spectacular, however, and freshly baked croissants and bread are served with all the delicious delicacies that are on display for all to enjoy. The evening meal is accentuated with diverse and interesting flavours from Asia and Europe, and these are used by the chefs in preparing the delicacies in the centrally located and open kitchen.
Different nights see different themes, ranging from seafood to oriental to Mauritian, Indian, Italian and French specialties. Friday night is Carvery Buffet night with the most succulent and spiced meat as a treat for guests.
Shells is situated near to the waves and beach and offers guests light salads, tapas, grilled delicacies, and the most delicious and elegant seafood meals. Dress code for Shells is smart-casual. La Croque, which is situated next to the pool, serves pizzas, salads and sandwiches, with casual dining also being possible. The cuisine consists mainly of snack foods. It is a great place – just slip in and out of the pool for a quick snack or drink. Cumin is a contemporary Indian restaurant and offers fine table d’hôte dining for dinner by the main pool. The dress code is smart-casual and you can expect a casual and chic atmosphere while there.
The Bay View Bar is a centrally located floating bar ideal for relaxing while sipping an exotic cocktail and taking in the most beautiful sunsets over the Indian Ocean. At night, the bar becomes the hub of the resort’s night life and the place to enjoy a variety of live music and entertainment. Le Bois Cheri is a bar located opposite the lobby that adapts itself throughout the day to serve a variety of beverages from aperitifs and nightcaps to titbits or light snacks, accompanied by live jazz or piano music in the evenings. Sit and relax here while playing board games or just sampling and tasting the delicious cocktails.
Features and Activities Overview
Beyond simple relaxation afforded by the sand and sea, the hotel offers games such as volleyball, beach football and bocce ball; activities such as water-skiing, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking and water polo; and excursions that range from glass-bottom boat tours to snorkelling and scuba diving. The weather did not allow us to, but one can journey to the outer islands off the coast of Mauritius and explore Coin de Mire, Flat Island and Gabriel Island. Rediscover your sense of adventure with inspirational snorkelling, light-tackle fishing and awe-inspiring areas of natural beauty. Explore the lagoon of Tamarin Bay aboard a personal speedboat and swim in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean with dolphins.
For those who do not have sea legs, you are welcome to explore the surrounds, with a choice of two guided bicycle tours led by an experienced guide along the scenic route to Grand-Baie, the largest town on the northwest coast, or to Pamplemousses Botanical Garden. Two wheels and peddling not your scene? Well, then you can go on the complimentary jogging tour through the sugarcane fields, on the scenic coastal road and along the beach, taking in the magnificent views of the Indian Ocean together with the hotel’s entertainer every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Just so that you know, if you simply want to relax by going nowhere, visit Le Méridien Explore Spa, where the hotel’s beauty salon offers an array of beauty treatments that include nail rituals, hair rituals for men and women, henna design, waxing, manicures and pedicures, and make-up services. Free access is given to guests to the well-equipped fitness centre and you further have free use of the sauna, hamam and Jacuzzi. The gymnasium offers television, music, a steam room, a sauna, a Jacuzzi, a plunge pool, a beauty salon, a wellness spa, and a yoga and relaxation area.
The hotel has one tennis court, which is open from 9am to 8pm daily. Tennis rackets are provided free of charge, but a set of four balls are at extra cost. Of course, we did not get near the business centre, which is open daily from 8am to 8pm and offers a photocopier, a fax machine, laminating and binding services, and audiovisual equipment that includes an LCD, PCS and a scanner. Internet access is available at an extra cost, but Wi-Fi is free in the main lobby and the Nirvana lobby.
Penguin Kids Club
The hotel’s Penguin Kids Club offers a wide range of children’s activities under the eyes of a watchful staff, and there is a lunch and dinner menu for children accompanied by their parents. The hotel has two outdoor swimming pools, one exclusively for the use of guests in Nirvana rooms and suites. Discover the freshness of the tropical air while also indulging in some exercise in the main pool by joining the Aqua gym session every Monday to Saturday at 11:30am. Sports activities such as daily complimentary beach soccer and beach volleyball, daily complimentary bocce or pétanque, and a table tennis tournament every Tuesday and Thursday are there for the enjoyment of both young and old.
The packages available are: bed and breakfast, which is self-explanatory; half-board, which includes bed, breakfast and dinner and is the favourite package, because a late breakfast and a dinner are really more than enough to ensure you don’t lose weight; and full board, which includes all of the above as well as your drinks, but only excludes the really fancy liquors or foods which are obtainable at a reasonable cost. Leisure is the keyword for any holiday guest, and this is definitely not something that is neglected. For those lovely sunny days with calm water, which we unfortunately missed, there are free water activities down at the boathouse. For the more adventurous there are deep-sea fishing, scuba diving and catamaran excursions available, but these cost extra.
Leisure is not only about doing things but also about lazing around the pool with the pool bar right there, or about the lovely beach where you can enjoy a swim or snorkelling or just laze around in the sun. It is also pleasant to walk on the beach if you feel like walking off the sumptuous meals. While doing this, Le Méridien personnel will ensure your comfort and that you do not dehydrate. Do try the delicious cocktails, but beware – they are potent and can easily be mistaken for cool drink. All in all, the Le Méridien is a a four star establishment, offering five start services and amenities that is guest-oriented and where kids are more than welcome.
Hotel & Venue Review
It is always hard to choose a hotel in a far-off destination which you have not been to before. But, be assured, all of the Ile Maurice hotels are great and give excellent service, and, of course, this is the nearest you will get to paradise while alive.
Le Méridien, being part of the international Starwood Hotels and Resorts group, does not fall short of being a great destination where it is hard not to have an enjoyable stay. A warm welcome awaits with some lovely local – meaning Le Méridien – drinks and then David, or one of the other competent staff, will take you through the preliminaries to ensure you understand everything and that you are aware of all that you can enjoy while being pampered at the Le Méridien. The resort is typical Grand Island style with everything centred on the entrance and, of course, the guests. I must say, however, that we did not get to enjoy everything because of the cyclone moving in and playing havoc during our stay at Le Méridien.
Le Meridien - Paradise Le Meridien Ile Maurice-Style
by Carl Wepener