Le Meridien Ile Maurice (Trip Report)

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by JoeyVegaz, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. I just finished up a 4 night stay at the Le Meridien and below is my experience:

    Location: I decided to not go with a GPS (much to the chagrin of my wife) and it was a bad idea. It takes about an hour from the airport to the Le Meridien, but there is not much signage around. There was one sign 7.2km away, but that was it. We eventually found the hotel and still got a lost a few times throughout the trip, but if you do get a car (which I recommend as a cab is quite expensive and you can probably get a car for pretty cheap). Taxis to Grand Baie and Port Louis are about 700-800 Rupees each way (the concierge will give you a price list for everywhere on the island). You can do a round trip which includes the driver staying for a few hours while you eat/drink/play. I asked a couple of other cab drivers on the street how much it would cost to get home and they quoted me the same prices, so the Le Meridien is not price gouging, which is nice.

    Check-In: We checked in at reception, though this was not the correct spot for check-in. We were told to have a seat and a gentleman from the 180 restaurant brought us 2 cappucinos and 2 juices as well as a couple of chocolates. Our devoted check-in agent came by to speak to us and tell us about the hotel. I noticed right away that my check out date was incorrect (I always book single award nights as opposed to the entire stay on one reservation in case I need to cancel single nights or change them to C&P, etc). After about 30 minutes he had fixed the reservation and came back and gave us a rundown of the grounds. I am Gold and did not receive any recognition and it seemed that everyone received this same "personalized" service as a couple of other couples checked in while we waited.

    Hotel: The lobby is very nice. Huge and looks right onto the water, beach, and main pool. Pretty much what you get with a huge beachfront hotel. It is split into the main hotel and the Nirvana wing. We stayed in the Nirvana wing, which is about 7-10 minute walk from the main lobby. Not too bad. Most of the other hotel (from what I saw) seems to only have rooms looking onto the water, whereas the Nirvana rooms look over the back road OR the water. (Note, I did only keep to the wing of the grounds in which my room was located, so I cannot say for sure what the other end contained)

    Room: Old and in need of renovation. I booked a Garden View Nirvana as I had heard/read Nirvana rooms do not allow children and have some minimal benefits. I was told at one point by the concierge that the hotel was quite empty. However, I did not receive any type of upgrade. Same Garden View (read back road view) that I booked. Walking through the hallway, there were wet floor signs and towels on the ground due to leaking AC units. The door to our room was broken or something as it always felt like someone was on the other trying to prevent us from entering. It definitely needed a paint job and some repairs. The shower leaked into the toilet area (separated by a glass wall). The rest of the room was alright, though far from special. Comfortable bed.

    Room Service: Prices are reasonable: 9 Euros for chicken, 7 Euros for a burger, 15-20 for prawns. We ordered twice. The first time I called to order and asked about the service charge because it is not mentioned in the menu. I was told it depends on what you order. So I said, well that must mean it is a percentage of the order. So what is the percentage? I cannot tell you sir, it depends on what you order. Say, I order a hamburger, what is the service charge? After 3 phone calls and a lot of confusion, I was told the service charge is included in the menu price. I order, receive my food in about 40 minutes, except it is more than the menu price. This actually seemed to be a mix up as the other things we ordered were the same price as in the menu (as was the dinner from the following night), including the service charge.

    The second time I called about the Soup de Jour. The episode follows:
    I wanted to know what the soup of the day was.
    The soup of the day, what is it?
    What room are you in
    Room number
    Agent hangs up

    Call 2
    I would like to know what the soup of the day is
    Agent says something then hangs up

    Call 3
    I would like to know about the soup of the day
    It is in the menu
    Yes, it says soup of the day, but I would like to know what it is
    Oh, um, what is your room number
    Room number
    It is (whatever it was, I forget)

    Food arrived in about 30 minutes. Soup was okay, burger not great.

    Nirvana Wing: As a guest here you receive free soft drinks from 1100-1800, but only in the lobby or right in front of the Nirvana building. You are NOT allowed to bring them to the pool, or this will incur a cost. You also receive one free cocktail each (3 to choose from at the bar every night) from 1800-1900.

    Concierge: We asked the concierge to book us a dinner at Domaine Anna for 2030. He attempted to call right away, but could not get through. We left for the day and decided not to go as we were unsure if we had gotten a table. When we returned to the room there was no phone message or anything under the door so we were not sure if the concierge had ever gotten a hold of the hotel and were happy with our decision. Two days later (during our drive to the airport) we received an email stating that he was unable to make a reservation (the one for two nights earlier)!

    Beach: In front of the Nirvana wing and all up until the main hotel is about 10-20 feet of nice sand followed by huge stones as you enter the water. It looked like the beach was much sandier as you passed the lobby area heading toward the Cumin restaurant, and at the very edge of the Nirvana wing, bleeding over into the next property.

    Checkout: Very easy with no problems. Took about 5 minutes.

    Overall impression: As others know/have read, this hotel is not the best hotel in the Starwood chain. It caters to All-inclusives and British honeymooners, so service is not so personal. They have 1km of beach and 650 rooms, so the grounds are huge. There are a lot of staff, but I did not enjoy the immenseness of the hotel and the disconnectedness compared with other places (the Westin Cape Town we had just come from was simply flawless). The hotel, the Nirvana wing at least, needs a renovation. I know I am a lowly Gold, but did not receive an upgrade or any type of recognition. I don't think it is worth the cat 4 rating. I don't think it should be charging 200+ Euros/night.

    I know I probably left out a lot, but I hope this was helpful.
    sendaiben, uggboy and gleff like this.

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