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Mauritius – Rodrigues Tortoise

Mauritius – Rodrigues Island

Mauritius – Ile Rodrigues Map

Cotton Bay Hotel (Pointe Cotton, Mauritius)

3 Case Rating
Location Cotton Bay is located on the east coast about 30 minute drive from Rodrigues airport. They offer a free shuttle based on flight times of Air Mauritius. Within area is a public beach which is well known for its octopus fishing, though a lot of other areas are also noted for this. There is a small hut with snacks etc by the public beach. For all major sight other popular beaches it's no more than 20-30 minutes by scooter as its a small island, most of the road are very well developed. Room My room which seemed to be the closest to the pool and main area is a spacious room, 3 star resort room (of Indian Ocean standards) standard but could do with some improvements. The bed is very large but quite firm- not that uncomfortable but not exactly soft. Each side are wooden bedside tables but no drawers. Lamps are on top & they are the main source of lighting, since the ceiling just offers a ceiling fan- making the room quite dark overall. One of the side tables has controls for the hallway light and the fan but to have a plug by the bed requires unplugging the lamps. There is a small straw sofa which is basically good for placing your bag on, since it only faces the bed - not the TV. The room also offers a dressing table/working desk with 2 UK plugs and 2 Euro. The chair is just a straw stool so ok for make up but not really for any length of time, such as working on a computer (then again this resort is not a business hotel). The desk drawers offers a bunch of candle sticks but no holders, so not functional unless you stick them to their desk, in which I am sure the hotel don't encourage (covering everywhere with wax). There is a pointless fold up luggage rack that the straps are broken, not sure why they don't remove it or repair it since it look bad. To the side of the bed at the beginning of the hallway is a flat screen TV, but no guide is offered. 8 channels, of all sorts, some very grainy picture, all but one is in French, BBC news though it has no sound when other channels did (an ongoing issue I am told by the management) . Above the TV, in a badly thought out position is a kettle with free teas and coffee but no bottle water, why it is above the TV and electronics makes no sense since surely it's a health and safety issue incas you spill the kettle and there is plenty of room on the desk. Below was an empty mini bar filled on request. Two large wardrobes one with umbrella & (shocking for resort) only 4 clothes hangers are offered. They offer no slippers or flip flops, or even robes - first I have seen at a beach resort which even 2 star ones do in Asia. Small bathroom is offered with a shower only, worked fine, only two towels one big one large and mini bottles of hotel branded shower gel, shampoo and body lotion only, no dental kit, annoying because I lost my tooth brush thinking a resort might offer one but only if if you buy. There is a patio outside with two straw chairs and table - the highlight of the room. Overall for the price they charge (200plus euros a night) and it is the number 2 hotel on the island, I'm afraid to say in my experience of resorts and beach, it was shockingly disappointing in how badly thought out everything is and lack of basic things like a safe and one free bottled water at the least. The broken luggage rack on display really makes the hotel look even worse, plus no guide to anything- TV, facilities, nothing. Hotel rooms I have stayed at In Reunion and Mauritius offer at flip flops and the Reunion one was only 2 star small hotel. Cotton bay should get their act together and consider the degrading standard of room but perhaps they are either broke or just don't care to fix these issues. It's seems like they are complacent being one of the first resorts. You can also hear the TV in the adjoining rooms and guest chatting, lucky didn't have any annoying 'noises' but the room 102 (the receptionist room) had constant stream of phones ringing thru the evening which as you trying to get to sleep became annoying. Facilities The hotel offers free wifi at the bar and reception only, it is very slow and painful but this is Rodrigues in general and not the hotels fault, though I do think a resort should have wifi across the board (such as in rooms) since even 10 metres from the lobby it won't pick it up. Especially considering how much it costs. The hotel offers a large pool full of sand but seemed ok very central to the hotel. With bar opposite and restaurant and lounge room which turns into a club at about 9-11pm playing local and international music like your at a 1990's wedding. The restaurant offers a buffet service which was fairly basic run of the mill, overall Mauritius suffers from bad food at resorts when at buffets but the barbecue fish was nice on the night I stayed. They have a guy waking around playing an accordion. I think it differs every night. There is a shop that sells some souvenirs including a map of the island at 200 rupiah in which seemed a very cheap that the hotel don't offer a free map anyway- similarly a postcard of the hotel, you even have to pay for. There is one computer to connect to Internet Windows only but is still painfully slow despite LAN connection. The hotel is right on the beach, outside room is a nice kind of garden of Aloe Vera plants and a few cabanas to sit in. They have plenty of deck chairs around the pool in which were comfortable so long mattress are on them. The ones on the beach are horrendous almost left angle design offering zero comfort but the odd upright chair is ok. However I noticed these on all the beaches i visited in Mauritius so must be public, it seems though worldwide the chairs of Mauritius including the airlines are some of the most uncomfortable I have experienced in the world. They have a boat house that advises on sea- subs diving and free snorkel hire, but when i went you are not allowed in the sea after morning due to its high tide. They do rent out snorkels, and advice of scuba and snorkelling trips plus there is a concierge desk for tours in which staff are very informative of. They also rent out scooters at 800 rupiah for day only (not 24 hours) and 4x4 at 1600 which staff try and push but I found the scooter fun to drive over this hilly mountain making stopping for the fantastic views easier to as the roads are a acceptable, even the ones with pot holes down lanes etc. There is a kids play area and SPA in which offers a sauna and steam room but you must book to use. Massages are also offered close to 2000 rupiah. I didn't see these facilities. It's again odd they offer those but not a gym. Overall the facilities are ok but dated in general its- there is no promotion of their facilities or guides so its hard to find out. Plus they don't seem to provide much in the way of entertainment other than the evening disco. I mean like most resorts such as day trips etc or things included in your package. Staff Staff here are actually much nicer and more warmer service orientated that you find on the mauritus island. Overall they were the strength of the hotel, easy to chat to but they do try and get as much money out of you as possible with excursions and car hire etc.. but that is Mauritius in general. Overall this hotel was paid for me but looking at the prices it is well over charged for what you get- especially the standard of the room. I mean the price is more than say a Shangri La in Oman but this is a 3 star hotel. The staff are nice and the location is really relaxing especially at night. Rodrigues is likely not a competitive market for hotels so a degree of complacency exists but hopefully cotton bay will reagin its former glory to the top spot with some work on the rooms and details of the facilities.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Pointe Cotton, Rodrigues Is, Mauritius
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Sri Lanka – Hindu God (Negombo Beach)

Jetwing Ayurveda Pavilions (Negombo, Sri-Lanka)

4 Case Rating
Location The hotel is located on the main street in Negombo beach on the opposite side of the beach. The beach is about 5 minutes walk though and the street itself 5-10 minutes walk offers many souvenir shops, restaurants, bars and general beach type stores. The sister hotel Jet wing offers a huge pool is about 10 minutes walk away, you can use the facilities there as the hotel pool is quite small. From the main airport it takes about 10-20minutes drive and Colombo city I am told is over 1 hour drive away. Room The room, 205, was located on the top floor on what looks like a newly built area. It is quite a narrow stair case but porters were helpful. The room was spacious, very wooden with an entrance area offering a sofa and then the bed on a raised level. The room itself was a non A/C room type with only overhead fan offered above the comfortable double bed- also covered by a mosquito net. There is no bedside tables though but light switches and plugs are nearby. A table and wardrobe are closeby, plus a luggage rack. The wardrobe offers an easy to use laptop safe. The table offers a mirror, 2 glass bottles of water and a telephone. There is a luggage rack as well. No TV was offered but its a very relaxing place so it was not needed. No mini bar either. Also no bedside table and plugs are only offered by the table. The non AC room was not actually hot due to the airy design of tall wooden roofing. The over bed fan worked fine with different settings. The bathroom was spacious offering a cubicle shower and some basic hotel amenities. Surrounding the room are doors that lead to the narrow balcony but there is raised square wooden floor- great for meditating or yoga. Overall a nice room in which was most suitable for this holistic style hotel retreat. Facilities The hotel offers free WIFI hotel wide that worked well. There is a restaurant that offers very tasty and healthy food- they offer an interesting concept with breakfast that they select the juice based on your body size. Plus some vegetarian dishes and also local dishes. Good standard of food. There is a small pool nearby that is more for relaxing than doing laps. There is though a sister Jet wing hotel about 10 minutes walk away that you can use their pool- which is very long and spacious right on the beach. The highlight of this hotel though is the Ayurveda Spa facility- here they offer multiple massage types following a consultation with the in-house doctor. It costs $35 but the treatment is vey traditional in a simple building but one of the best massages ever had healing a stiff back within the 45 min time frame. They also use steam as well. The retreat itself also offer services for guests staying for 7 days, such as weight loss diet, detox etc.. where you get treatment everyday, yoga and specific meals designated for you at the restaurant. It great get away, detox, eat healthy and get away from it all. Staff Staff are very nice in all area, spa, restaurant and reception offering welcoming & relaxed Sri Lankan hospitality. Overall a very nice hotel that is reasonably priced that offers a relaxing grounds of garden and nice staff. The SPA is the highlight.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Porutota Road, Ethukale, Negombo 11500, Sri Lanka
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Maldives – Eye View of an Island Resort

Mauritius – Flip Flop with Beach Sand

Mauritius – Island Map and Dancing

Mauritius – Map

France – Chameleon (La Reunion)

Seychelles – Turtle

Sri Lanka – Elephant (Colombo)

Hotel Les Creoles (Saint Gilles Les Bains, Reunion Island)

4 Case Rating
Location Located in a quiet road opposite side of the beach. The beach is literally 5 minutes walk whilst the town of Saint Gilles Les Bains is around 15-20min walk- in the other direction is a small village/town of Ermitage in which has some cafe's shops and even a casino. The town of Saint Gilles has many bars and resturants, shops– there is also water sport activities. I drove from the Saint Denis airport and it took around 1 hour. To get to the other end of the island is about 1.5 hours drive say to Saint Joseph. 2 hours to the famous Volcano. Room Room was larger than expected and very clean for a beach side hotel. It came with a mini kitchen- medium size fridge (but no mini bar), Electric Oven Microwave and sink as well as cooking utensils and cutlery- all quite nice and clean. The double bed was fairly comfortable and soft – it had simple bed side tables with small lamps, a telephone but no clock. A decent sized flat screen TV exists in which has French satellite but no English speaking channels. A desk also exists for working on computers. For storage there is a large wardrobe with a easy to use safe inside. The bathroom is quite spacious that has a shower and some simple amenities (only shower gel) but plenty of towels, hair dryer is also included. AC is in the room as a stand alone unit, it is slightly noisy, but one gets used to it. The area though is very quiet at night and slept very well. This particular room was on the ground floor and so has a nice small porch in front with sliding door windows that faces the swimming pool, a table with two chairs. Pleasant if you wish to sit outside and still have some privacy. Facilities There is a bar that also has breakfast facilities- though did not use these. The bar is quite nice close to end of swimming pool and lobby. The swimming pool is of decent size and clean and majority of hotel is around the pool. In the lobby area is a pool table, table tennis table and two cross trainer machines, with many seats in front of lobby. It looks very boutique design with huge lamps for the lights. It is also gated. Parking facilities are offered both secure (with fob) and unsecure. WIFI is available for free- register email and despite going down around midnight, it worked well and fast. Staff The staff are very nice at this hotel they are all friendly, helpful and plesant. Only a few speak English but you can get by- to be fair it is a french only destination. The manager in particular is very nice and he was able to recommend places to visit on the island. My flight was also late in the day that I checked out (check out is at 12) and they allowed me to the pool as well as use a shower with towel before I left at 6pm. Overall very nice hotel and would defiantly stay here again if I came back. Reunion is an interesting place with much panoramic landscapes, mountains and volcanoes- at times felt like being in the French alps when you drive up the mountains with the Fern trees and towering green mountain tops The beaches are ok but only a few places you can swim in the sea (one being conveniently across from this hotel) this due to coral and so is not that deep. The island is renowned for many shark attacks so deeper water should be avoided. The beaches are adequate but not in comparison to the likes of nearby Mauritius.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 43 avenue de Bourbon, 97434 Saint-Gilles-Les-Bains, France
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Holiday Inn Mauritius Airport (Mauritius)

3 Case Rating
Location Located about 700 Metres from the airport there is a shuttle bus that meets you on arrival (if you let them know about it). You could walk it but did not notice any side walks so might be dangerous. In the immediate vicinity there is nothing just some fields and the beautiful sea in the distance. You cannot walk to the beach but need a taxi to Blue Bay (which is stunning) but for the 10 minutes journey by taxi it is pricey at 1000 MRU which is about UK£20 or US$30.However as of 2016 they now offer bicycle hire (for free) which takes about 20 minutes to their beach house in blue bay. You can also use their free transfer bus that goes once every hour or so up and till 5pm. Room The room is quite bright with colourful decor, clean looking and has some degree of a holiday feel to it with light grey and blue colours with light wooden furnishings. There is a large double bed in which is very comfortable to sleep. The bed itself offers a decent amount of power plugs and a sort of AV centre for plugging USB/AV plugs into TV although did not use. There is also flexi reading lights which offer a nice touch as well as normal fixed lamps. The fan can be controlled from the bed as well with five switch settings.The A/C is digital and worked well. The room has a wooden desk and modern office chair in which a nice lamp and plugs are offered. It is not a huge desk but ok for working on a lap top. There is a lazy chair as well. The room has a open fridge but only had 2 bottles of water inside so not sure if they offer mini bar service (although they still took a hefty deposit). The room has a safe, hair dryer, Iron and Ironing board, kettle and some tea/coffee. There is some slippers but no towel robe- which is surprising because they have a pool that is entered through the lobby. The bathroom offers an italian designed shower with one above head and detachable - both worked fine with decent temperature of water. Amenities are nice, branded as Duke & Forsyth and include body lotion, shower gel and shampoo amongst soap, vanity set, mitt etc but no toothbrush or shaver set (these can be obtained on request on reception). It is very modern with an innovative green light. The room overall is very clean and comfortable. Facilities WIFI is available for free and is not secure- one just agrees and connects so multiple devices can be used. It is of decent speed. There is a salt water pool (not quite a forest pool as described?) - medium sized and nice design for a dip, found it very hot like the sea (december). There are some nice gardens that are very new. A gym also exists. There is a restaurant that offers a buffet for all meals as well as a la carte menu. The buffet offered fairly tasty food with many options and was fresh always including a fish and meat option as well as a salad bar. Breakfast is also quite good- the only thing they don't have in meeting international standards is green tea. There is also a full bar with a TV which is quite a comfortable spot to sit, the bar tender is also very friendly. There is a conference centre but didn't see it. As of my last visit in 2016 they now have a beach house down in blue bay. This house has a TV, some beds and an area outside that faces the sea, you can relax on bean bags. There is also a water sports centre in which is all free and includes snorkelling hire (not the boat to get you to the nice marine), wind surfing (though the guy was very reluctant to give to me since it was my first time stating if anything is damaged I have to pay for it) there is also kayaks as well. Staff Staff at reception are generally very welcoming with a high level of enthusiasm. After my last visit being there 3-4 times now. I find the staff slightly complacent and on my previous to recent visit found the staff argumentative at reception. In the restaurant staff are ok but the chefs are moody, when asked for no onions on my omelette that they make & it came with onions- so took it back. Chef response was 'well i am now busy with something else so you will have to wait a while" which seemed unprofessional to me since he didn't listen to my request. Also when it is rainy be careful taking bags to bus, bus staff just stand by van and then load it not as you expect take your bags to van, as a result I slipped and damaged my angle, there was no apologies from staff. These are individual incidents that obviously don't happen to everyone but in general the staff at the Holiday inn were initially very enthusiastic and professional when it opened but 3 years later are now quite the opposite and complacent. They need to re-think of their training to maintain the standard you expect at a business hotel in Mauritius.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Montresor, Plaine Magnien, Plaine Magnien, Mauritius
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