We were the first ones through immigration thanks to disembarking first. After collecting our bags, which took a little longer than I hoped, we met the St. Regis representative. I read in advance that St. Regis transfers were a little more costly than taxis (roughly $100), but much more comfortable. The hotel offered either:
- Luxury Coach – 5500 MUR (~$150)
- Audi Q7 or Range Rover – 8000 MUR (~$220)
We chose the Luxury Coach (described as a minivan via email), but we were upgraded to the Range Rover at no additional charge. I saw the Q7 on property, in fact we were “upgraded” to it on the way back to the airport, but I never saw a van, so I’m skeptical whether or not it actually exists or whether they are just happy to take an extra $70 from some people who don’t know better…
The ride to the St. Regis Mauritius Resort took just over an hour and the sun set toward the end of the drive–most of which was through the middle of the island and not terrible picturesque, though the last 20 minutes or so were mostly along the water. Our driver, I forget his name but he’s pictured here in the right of the frame was awesome. As we found out on the ride back, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a smooth ride, and this was great. Not only that, but he gave us a great history of Mauritius and lots of info on the island. The hotel also provided a complimentary hot spot in the car which was nice given that data pricing is outrageous there.
Check-in was done in the room, and we were pre-upgraded to a St. Regis Suite, which was nice given that we booked a base level room on points. As we entered there was an entryway and bar area leading to the living room.
The bedroom was fairly large for a suite, and featured a king bed with a “window” through to the large bathroom which had a huge dual shower and tub room, then another room for the toilet just off the walk-in closet.
The view from the balcony the following morning was fantastic:
The hotel is just a few years old, and still in absolutely pristine shape. The physical plant of the hotel is as attractive and well thought out as any hotel I’ve ever seen. Mauritius is also, of course, a fantastically picturesque and beautiful location, and Le Morne Peninsula in particular has a huge mountain-y type thing as well which makes for some beautiful views from the water as well.
I had an even cooler shot from way out in a kayak, so if anybody in Mauritius sees a waterproof disposable camera wash up on shore, let me know!
If not for a few soft product shortcomings I could wholeheartedly recommend this hotel–its a truly unique and gorgeous place.
The first area that we weren’t quite happy with was food & bev. It’s a fantastic benefit that they offer SPG Platinums the full buffet breakfast (though, to be fair, almost all foreign properties do), but even by about 830-9am every day the breakfast looked unappetizing and picked over–which shouldn’t happen since breakfast is open another 2 hours.
It was a large spread, though.
There was a juice bar including other fruits being freshly juiced:
And about a dozen hot dishes includes pancakes, waffles and crepes:
There was also cold fruit, meat and cheese:
As should be pretty obvious from checking out those photos, there were plenty of choices, but it wasn’t well presented–certainly not up to 5 star standard–and really looked very picked over just halfway through breakfast hours. To the hotel’s credit, made to order egg dishes were fresh and tasty, and if we wanted anything from the buffet that didn’t look good or fresh, we could ask for it and they’d bring it out from the back (fresh presumably). Either way, that shouldn’t be necessary at a hotel where rates are $600-2000 per night.
There was also great confusion among the food and bev staff as to which restaurants were open for dinner which nights–we ran into issues there a couple times. The dinners weren’t bad, though they were certainly “resort priced” which is, I suppose, to be expected.
The confusion as to dinner was also pretty representative of the service on the whole. Everyone meant well, but didn’t really go above and beyond in any way more so than a standard 3.5-4 star hotel. Except for Hugo at the concierge desk who was fantastic. Our camera broke during our trip and he offered to take it to a local camera shop to see what they could do on his way home and to bring us his personal camera so we could use it while we were there. That’s truly remarkable service and very kind.
I get the feeling the service culture stems from a lack of management empathy and perhaps a manger a little too worried about the bottom line. While I won’t go into too many details, there was a fairly serious pest control issue with our room and it took two full days before we were even able to speak to a manager about it, at which point he kept trying to deflect the conversation and ask me things like “so did you enjoy your spa treatment today” or “how has the rest of your visit been” without really addressing the issue. He promised us a “surprise” compensation and when none was offered he was nowhere to be found on the last day of our trip. In general, very disappointing there…
To recap, the St. Regis Mauritius is:
- A good value on points at only 20,000 per night.
- A world class hard product/facility. Truly beautiful location, grounds, great pool, gym, spa, etc.
- A great place for SPG Platinums as upgrades were proactively offered and they give a fantastic full buffet breakfast benefit.
- Lacking in soft product–both food&bev and service for a hotel bearing the St. Regis badge.
Basically, if you’re content to just relax and be at one of the most beautiful settings in the world and not expect much beyond that, this is a great hotel. And given the location and physical property, it really is a bargain at 20,000 points per night. But this is not a 5 star service hotel–like for instance, The St. Regis Bali.